BY JOE SHAHEELI/ At every forum to which invited Democratic gubernatorial candidates have attended, cameramen are present, capturing every smile, frown, and gesture of each, along with their comments and their facial responses to statements made by their contemporaries.
Somewhere in the campaign headquarters of Gov. Tom Corbett there is a room dedicated to the viewing of those films and to the splicing together segments that will make each of them look either stupid or monstrous or whatever is needed to make voters view them with distaste.
Fortunately for Corbett, his cameramen are having a field day as a couple of the Democratic candidates, notably Rob McCord, are distinguishing themselves in the art of mudslinging. Itâ€™s fodder for Corbett, who is considered by national pollsters to be hanging by a thread.
More of this stuff and heâ€™ll role back into office on the back of a wave of disgruntled Democratic voters fed up with the â€œsame old same oldâ€.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell and US Sen. Bob Casey tried to get the mudslingers to tone down what they called the increasingly vituperative tone of the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Bob Asher doesn’t back losers! So heâ€™s giving credence to Gov. Tom Corbettâ€™s reelection efforts and doing it in a big way, hosting a fundraiser in Philadelphia which brought in $500,000. Corbett needed that money since he is reported having spent more than heâ€™s been taking in. Heâ€™s showing smarts going on television early.
Corbettâ€™s people are betting on a national swing reported swelling up against Democrats, which could benefit Corbett. A Zogby Report Card about President Obamaâ€™s handling of Russia and the Middle East talks collapse, have brought his popularity down to 45% with a 51% disapproval rating, cutting what coattails he had to offer to Democratic candidates this coming general election.
The campaigns being waged in the 13th Congressional Dist. as well as the several legislative and senatorial districts in Philadelphia can be viewed with satisfaction by Allyson Schwartz, the cityâ€™s Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for Governor.
For if Philadelphians turnout in enough numbers to climb above 25% of the total registered, she will be an easy winner.
In the 13th, Val Arkoosh has been picking up endorsements in Springfield Township, among Upper Dublin Democrats as well as Abington Ward 1 Commissioner & VP of the Board of Commissioners, Steven Kline.
Brendan Boyle continues to lock up more labor endorsements and seems to have a solid support base in much of the Philadelphia end of the district.
Last week he picked up the endorsement of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity.
â€œWe have been very impressed with Rep. Boyleâ€™s work in our community. In his time as a state lawmaker, he has demonstrated his commitment to community service,â€ said Rev. Terrance Griffith, president of the Black Clergy. â€œWe strongly believe heâ€™s the best choice to represent the 13th Dist. in Congress.â€
Rev. Griffith also noted Boyleâ€™s focus on city community development. â€œBrendan is the only candidate even talking about the importance of rebuilding urban neighborhoods, which needs to be a top priority for our next member of Congress.â€
â€œI am privileged to have the support of the BCPV, who are a distinguished group of community leaders and advocates from across our region,â€ said Boyle. â€œOur shared priorities for the 13th Congressional Dist. include access to a quality education for every child, reducing a growing income gap and eliminating poverty in our communities. These are issues that affect every person in our district, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the BCPV in Washington.â€
The Marjorie Margolies 2014 campaign debuted its first TV ad on air during game 7 of the Philadelphia Flyers NHL playoff series. It features Marjorie Margolies, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and President Bill Clinton.
Daylin Leach has received the endorsement of Lynne Abraham, former Philadelphia District Attorney.
â€œIâ€™m endorsing Daylin Leach for Congress,â€ said Abraham. â€œAs a lifelong Philadelphian who has served the city as its District Attorney for 19 years, I know how important it is to have strong representation in Washington. We need a tireless advocate for our city — for our communities, our schools, and for good jobs — and I know Daylin will be that advocate.â€
The Abraham endorsement arrives along with endorsements of Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern Pennsylvania, State Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) and the political blog Daily Kos.
Philadelphia State Sen. Michael Stack (D-Northeast) has moved his race for Lieutenant Governor into racing gear with a television buy statewide expected to reach a saturation level the final two weeks of the campaign.
â€œMike Stack has a message that resonates with voters. We see it when he speaks on the campaign trail and in the way campaign contributors have responded in a strong show of support for his candidacy,â€ said Marty Marks, campaign manager.
Stack, a four-term State Senator from Northeast Philadelphia, has raised $900,000 to date, more than three times as much as his four primary opponents combined. Stackâ€™s fundraising success has put the campaign into position to make an $850,000 media buy in the Commonwealth’s four largest media markets, reaching 90% of primary voters at saturation levels.
The four media markets where the ad is airing include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
This week Stack, in conjunction with former Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, outlined new Marcellus Shale drilling policy they said will restore the trust in Pennsylvaniaâ€™s environmental oversight and provide new revenue for schools and protection of natural resources.
Stack said he will introduce legislation that leans heavily on Hangerâ€™s experience as a drilling regulator and environmentalist.
The legislation being drafted will focus on an extraction tax similar to West Virginiaâ€™s as well as more transparency between the industry and the public, including the creation of an ombudsman position to handle complaints.
Stack said his legislation will contain a severance tax of 5 percent that will allow municipalities the flexibility to enact their own fees, similar to West Virginia law, pushing the effective rate to 7.2%. The severance tax will coincide with the existing impact fee.
This policy stand by Stack is no idle matter. If elected Lieutenant Governor, he would most likely step into current Lt. Gov. Jim Cawleyâ€™s shoes as chair of the Commonwealthâ€™s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.
The Democratic 64th Ward is holding a major fundraiser for Lorraine & Mary Bednarek at Knowlton Mansion, 8001 Verree Road, Tuesday, May 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Congressman Bob Brady is heading the host committee which is made up of Council Members, row office-holders and ward leaders. It promises to be an impressive event for a great couple.
Judge Jimmy Lynnâ€™s First Friday Breakfasts are turning out to be a gathering of VIPs past and present and a gourmet gastronomy Italian style.
In correcting us as to who wrote â€œCharge of Light Brigadeâ€, he noted his luncheon last week at Fratelliâ€™s Italian Bistro brought out retired Judge & Judy Wallace, ex-Inky and KYW reporter Ken Buck Shuttleworth, Ward Leader James Oâ€™Connell, writer Andy Kevorkian, Military defense Specialist George Kearns and Judgeâ€™s wife.
Republican City Committee Exec. Dir. Joe DeFelice reports the Party has filed 71 new minority inspectors, 25 more than any in any other primary. DeFelice is out to eventually man every division in the city.
The 9th Ward Leader polls the committee persons and endorses candidates for the next election based on majority vote.
State Rep, Cherelle Parker (D-Northwest) was endorsed by one vote. State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-Northwest) was not endorsed, but the 9th chose to endorse Brian Gralnick with many abstaining.
Congressman Bob Brady, IBEW Local 98 Business Mgr. John J. Dougherty, Councilman Jim Kenney, and Councilman David Oh hosted a fundraiser for Dave Henderson for State Representative for the 194th Dist. at the Black Sheep Pub in Center City. Heâ€™s proving to be a major obstacle to State Rep. Pam DeLissioâ€™s (D-Northwest) efforts to hold on to her seat.
Some ward committees are now organizing as â€œRegistered Community Organizationsâ€ in order to weigh in on zoning issues. They would be wise to emulate other civic associations with community-service projects like the 62nd Ward Democrats.
John Danforth reports, â€œOnce again the 62nd Democratic Committee members will be participating in a Wissinoming Park clean up this Saturday, May 10. It starts at 9 a.m. and the park is located at Cheltenham & Frankford Avenues.â€
Good move, John! The rest of you â€“ go and do likewise.