POLS ON THE STREET: Ridge Pumps Toomey; O’Brien Gets Hung

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FORMER President Bill Clinton was in town earlier this week on a whirlwind political tour that involved stumping for statewide Democrat candidates Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato, and finished at Constitution Center, where he awarded prestigious Liberty Medal to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Former Gov. Tom Ridge is getting involved in the US Senate race in Pennsylvania. Ridge, a Republican, endorsed GOP nominee Pat Toomey in State College.

“Voters across Pennsylvania are rallying to Pat’s vision for creating jobs and bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington,” Ridge said in a statement. “I am endorsing Pat today because he is an honest, principled leader who is unafraid to stand up for what’s right. As a member of Congress, Pat consistently fought for taxpayers, and in today’s economic climate, that trait is more important than ever.”

Both Toomey and Democrat candidate Joe Sestak have been rolling out their endorsements in recent weeks. They include an endorsement for Toomey from the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police. Sestak’s endorsements include the backing of Democrat Sen. Byron Dorgan from North Dakota, Republican Chuck Hagel, the former US Senator from Nebraska, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent.

DENNY PAINTING IS HUNG IN CAPITOL

Another Philadelphian has made the General Assembly’s Speaker of the House  Gallery. State Rep. Dennis M. O’Brien is one of these. His portrait was unveiled in the House Gallery located on the fourth floor of the Main Capitol building Tuesday.

“Denny” is also joining with State Sens. Larry  Farnese and Michael Stack along with the USO to collect soccer balls and pre-paid phone cards to send to the troops. The balls are used by the troops when they go into towns and cities to form a bond with local children. The kickoff is going to be at Parkwood Youth Organization in the Northeast on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.

G.O.P.’S ELLEN MAENNER  UNDERGOES SURGERY

Republican 7th Ward Leader Ellen Maenner suffered a serious heart attack this past week. She is currently recuperating in University of Pennsylvania Hospital, 34th & Spruce. She is on the 11th floor. Those wishing to contact her will find her in Room 1019.

Ellen, 60, has long been an anti-drug advocate in her ward, which has seen many a drug bust.

Her son Domenick  said, “She answers the door at any hour to help constituents who come to the house for help. It has taken a toll on her.”

A long-time smoker, she had given up the habit. She is considering retiring from her ward leadership.

She has been active in her community, helping all for over 30 years. Her home address is 243 E. Tusculum street, Philadelphia, PA 19134.

MURT EXTENDS BOOK DEADLINE FOR VETS

 State Rep. Thomas P. Murt (R-Northeast) has extended the deadline for submitting stories for inclusion in a “Memory Book” containing the experiences and memories of local veterans. Murt is asking veterans living in the 152nd House Dist. to write down their memories of their time in the service and send them, along with “then” and “now” photos of themselves, to his office for inclusion in the book. Submissions must be received by Sep. 30.

Murt urged local veterans or anyone who knows a local veteran to contact his office at 19 S. York Road in Hatboro, phone (215) 674-3755, or visit his website at RepMurt.com for a special form to use when submitting stories and photos.

CONSERVATIONISTS ENDORSE ONORATO

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato has been endorsed by Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, the statewide political arm of the environmental movement. They charge Republican Tom Corbett is protecting big oil and gas corporations at the expense of the water Pennsylvanians drink and the safety of their families.

“The Marcellus shale presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Pennsylvania – but it must be done right,” said Onorato. “I am proud to stand with the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania to emphasize the importance of this issue. My plan will create jobs for Pennsylvanians, enable the industry to grow and protect the environment.”

PAT AND MIKE ARE IN DEAD HEAT

In the rematch between Congressman Pat Murphy and the challenger he bested to take the 8th Congressional District seat, Republican Mike Fitzpatrick, pollsters see a very tight race.

The Global Strategy Group, which took two polls of 400 likely voters, Murphy is seen with a four-point advantage over Fitzpatrick, 47% to 43%. They are one of many polls taken in this Bucks Co. race. A Fitzpatrick poll shows him leading by seven points.

Murphy, to his favor, has the bigger war chest. Fitzpatrick has the winds of voter resentment at his back. With margins of error in each poll, Fitz seems to be in the lead by a nose.

PENNA. REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES HAMMERED BY LABOR MAILERS

Republican US Senate nominee Pat Toomey is finding himself the target of a major and huge direct-mail campaign funded by the AFL-CIO. He and four GOP congressional challengers will be hammered in order to win support for Joe Sestak and his Democrat colleagues. The campaign targets Toomey with Wall Street interests.

House Districts supported by the mailing include Kathy Dahlkemper in the 3rd, Pat Murphy in the 8th, Chris Carney in the 10th and Mark Critz in the 12th.

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