Haggerty blasts Baker as "out-of-touch" Harrisburg insider, says Ridge visit indicative of Baker campaign's lack of substance
(KINGSTON, PA) – Kingston mayor and State Senate candidate Jim Haggerty today blasted former Blue Cross executive Lisa Baker as a Harrisburg insider who is out-of-touch with the people of the 20th Senatorial District.
"Lisa Baker is campaigning for State Senate on the basis that she has over twenty years of experience as a Harrisburg insider," Haggerty said. "In a year where Harrisburg insiders betrayed us by voting themselves a late night pay raise, the last thing the voters want to do is send another insider like Baker to Harrisburg."
Baker's campaign has recently sent "special invitations" out to select party insiders and big money donors to attend pay-to-play fundraising events with former Governor Tom Ridge. Invitations to the events were obtained by the Haggerty for Senate campaign from recipients who were offended that the Baker campaign is relying on the records of Baker’s former employers, rather than her own record.
"Harrisburg insider Lisa Baker is hosting an insider party for her insider friends," Haggerty said. "Check your mailbox. If you didn’t get an invitation to the party, you know you would be on the outside looking in with Baker as your Senator."
The battle lines have been drawn in the campaign for the open seat. Baker has chosen to take credit for projects in which she had little, if any involvement. Her website lists "accomplishments" such as the construction of the Wachovia Arena and its corresponding highway exit, which were the work of others. Jim Haggerty is running on a visible record of progress, cutting taxes, balancing budgets, and improving the quality of life of his community.
I don't think this is some super secret fund raiser ala the Santorum-Cheney event last summer that Ford drivers where not invited. The details of Ridge's visit are on her website.
DALLAS - Former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge will visit the area on Monday, March 27, 2006, to support of Lisa Baker in her bid for State Senate. Baker previously served as director of Governor Ridge's Northeast Regional Office, and as deputy chief of staff to Governors Ridge and Schweiker. "Lisa is a leader in the fight for good government and a tireless advocate for northeastern Pennsylvania," Ridge said. "While serving as Governor of Pennsylvania, Lisa was a key member of my cabinet and I relied upon her knowledge and expertise to get things done. She is, without a doubt, one of the hardest working and capable individuals I've known. I'm thrilled that she is seeking to continue her service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
It's no surprise that Gov. Ridge is backing his former aide and Jim Haggerty is running against Harrisburg. The question is who will outgoing Sen. Charlie Lemmond back? From the CV:
Although he is being cagey about it, State Sen. Charles Lemmond, R-Dallas, is expected to endorse one of the five Republicans looking to take his place. "Anyone who says they do not care who replaces them is fibbing a lot," Lemmond said in his retirement announcement on Sept. 25, 2005. "I will not be indicating a preference for anyone tonight, tomorrow, or next week, but when the field of contenders is known, the timing might be right." On Friday, Shawn Murphy, special assistant to Lemmond, said the senator expects to make a statement on the subject within 10 days.
If he doesn't back his former employee, Lisa Baker, most of my Luzerne County Republican friends (all 10 of them) will be shocked. I hope we get a reaction from the other GOP candidates to this news. The other candidates are Carl Sutton , David Madeira and Russ Bigus.
The only Democrat in the race is Robert McNamara. He can sit back and enjoy the infighting.