Sunday, March 19, 2006

Local Chuck supporters gearing up

Everyone considers Luzerne County to be Casey Country but many of us are not happy with the idea of Casey being shoved down our throats. I remember in the Governors race getting a call on election day to remind me to vote (I have never missed an election) from the Casey campaign. When I told the person that I had already voted for Ed Rendell he hung up.

Local supporter Austin Ford sent me an email on my he supports Chuck:

Chuck's plans for universal health care and a living wage could help stimulate the economy and support the 1.3 million Pennsylvanians who are without any health insurance at all. If we could switch to a federally sponsored, state controlled health care we could eliminate the middle man between Americans and their doctors. Each year the thousands of executives in the health insurance industry collect hundred of millions more while the national average for health care costs continues to soar.

But I am preaching to the choir, 87% of Americans want universal health care. Even 77% said they want it with or without a tax increase because they understand that the tax increase will be far less than how much they are paying large corporations to provide them coverage. So I ask you why is the will of the people being ignored? Perhaps because these same corporations that are profiting off of our poor are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into our US legislature in the form of campaign contributions. Rick Santorum and Bob Casey Jr both have already taken millions from PACs that openly admit they are pursuing the best interests of their rich corporate donors not of the average working man. In fact Casey and Santorum have taken money from 239 of the same PACs. This overlap includes all of the major pharmaceutical and health insurance industry PACs. No matter who wins between them universal health care will become even less likely.

This is why I am motivated to support Chuck. Chuck takes zero dollars from any PAC or corporation. His campaign is completely citizen driven because that is who he wants to be loyal to when he gets to the Senate. Chuck says he will use his office to inform the voters and help them put pressure on all legislatures to do the will of the people. Chuck believes that no amount of money can contain the will of the people.

In at least 32 counties he has organizations actively getting his message out many of them have conducted fundraising drives to pay for signs and radio ads. He needs only 500,000 votes to win this primary and I plan to deliver 12,000 from this county.

Yours in Service to our Commonwealth,

Austin Ford

The next event in the race is the state committee endorsement.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -Bob Casey has been endorsed by the Democratic State Committee in three straight statewide elections, and he hopes to extend that winning streak when the committee considers its 2006 endorsements next Saturday. With some of the nation's most powerful Democrats determined to see state Treasurer Casey become the party's standard-bearer against Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, that is likely to happen.
It may or may not be easy.
Chuck Pennacchio and Alan Sandals, Casey's two opponents in the May 16 primary, are working to derail a Casey endorsement. An open primary, in which the party does not take sides, "makes for a more competitive system and it allows the strongest candidate to emerge," said Pennacchio, a history professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Said Sandals, a Philadelphia pension lawyer: "Voters will become much more interested in the issues and the candidates if they understand that it really is contested."

One of my favorite analyst, LVDem, had this to say at KP:

Keep in mind that the state party endorsement has not killed a bunch of people in the past. In 1996 the state party did not endorse Casey in the primary: he won and became AG. In 2002 it endorsed Casey and Rendell won. Perhaps Casey should be more interested in running and hiding from this.

I will update you on the next Chuck event when I know about it.


pope george ringo said...

I would not be happy but I would not be surprised to see him nominated. The Democratic party has always had a penchant for shooting itself in the groin. I don't buy for a minute that 87% of Americans want universal health care--if that were true, why has every attempt to establish it from Truman to Clinton been shot down by congress?? But go ahead, vote for the guy and let's get him nominated and have Ricky crying all over the state as to how Pinnochio's going to rob your already depleted bank acct. to pay for health insurance that will forbid you from choosing your doctor, etc. Trust His Holiness, Rick Santorum would jump for joy if this guy is nominated. Final point--I really don't give a damn if Casey is pro life, etc. He's a Democrat and I want the party to control the Senate...and Casey is the best chance to win this seat--but then again, I only have 1 vote--we'll see what the majority of the Dems decides.

Austin said...

Obviously PGR you have not read my last post so I'll repeat how Chuck is our only chance to beat Santorum.
Firstly I can get you the link on that polling data if you really need.
Secondly, again, Chuck polls BETTER against Santorum then Casey does unless you assume nobody will learn a thing about any candidate in the months between the primary and general.

Casey's views on abortion are a polling DISADVANTAGE to him against Santorum. In a Quinnipiac poll he looses 35% of his Democratic support and picks up only 3.9% or Republican support. A net LOSS of over 10 percentage points!

Also I contest your statement that "he's a Democrat". He is against universal health care, against living wage legislation, against withdraw from Iraq, against reproductive right, against homosexual rights (according to his public responses to church groups), against gun control laws, against a moratorium on the death penalty and has state publicly he supports the Ten Commandments being displayed in public buildings.

Since he won't answer any of his positions on his site or email you can find how all his positions are reflected in his public speeches and statements here:

Now has does all that poll in PA you ask? Not very well at all my friend. Zogby minimally educates voters in its poll and shows his lead drops to 1.7% against Santorum. Chuck polls better and his views poll way better in other polls as well.

Chuck has been in this race longer, has more volunteers, more organization, a history of winning tough elections, more experience legislating and is quite frankly far superior at public speaking.

Austin said...

But anyway the reason I checked the comments was to thank Gort for writing the post and to encourage anyone with questions or who want to get involved to email me at
Thanks and sorry for calling you Gort but I don't know your real name or if you want people to know it.

LVDem said...

austin, I've read the methodology for that poll. It isn't a push poll, but it certainly is not a good poll in that it guages reaction AFTER information is given. Any poll (Zogby or QU) that gives information and then asks questions would not be considered accurate in gathering existing public sentiment.

Now, if you want to run around PA talking about universal health care, abortion, human rights, gay marriage, opposing the death penalty or anything else you listed, I guarentee a loss each and every time. PA's statewide elected Dems have never been progressive enough to satisfy the hard left and they likely never will be. Our state party is a coalition of labor, social liberals, environmentalists and ethnic/minority voters. Sure we voted for Kerry and Gore, but I think that is b/c they ran against Bush, not b/c they were liked by all parts of our coalition.

I guess Chuckie pulls in 25%.

Austin said...

Firstly both Zogby and QU ask first then give information and ask again to test the trend.
According to Zogby, not only have they had consistent success but they make a full throated defense/explination of it here:

And just to make it clear QU is a tradition phone poll that shows the trend even more clear.

Also we're not talking about all of those issues. Around here I talk to people about universal health care, living wage and candidates who don't need corporate money. Thats what is most improtant to me and so many of the people I speak to.

Like I've said in other polls I have pro-life hard core catholics writing into newspapers in support of Chuck Pennacchio.

I brought up those points because I'm sick of people talking about Casey like he is only conservative on one issue.

Austin said...

Like I've said in other posts*


LVDem said...

The polls are informed polls... they are not the same as the polls that show public sentiment. They are good at showing that when informed people change their minds, but if you need to inform them, you have already compromised the integrity of the methodology by changing the environment under which any follow up questions are asked. Therefore, those polls that you cite are not good for anything but saying, "well if people knew this...". The problem is that you can't change public perception with a poll. The QU poll is the same. It asks a question, gets a response and then offers info. Again, an informed poll. Those polls are great for opposition research but if a candidate needs to use them as anything other than a tool to help determine what needs to be done by the campaign, the candidate will lose each and every time. And no kidding Zogby is going to defend it: they get paid to do it. They are good tools when starting a campaign, not when trying to demonstrate the success of a campaign, which is what candidate needs 3 months out, 2 months out, 45 days out, etc. That's when you need the polls that we see showing Chuck with support from 5% of Democrats polled in a recent QU poll.

And for every pro-life catholic you point out, I will find a pro-choice liberal who will vote for Casey. Funny thing about antecdotes: everybody has one.

I'm sticking by my 25%. Just a note: I'm glad you are so ready to stand by your candidate. But understand if Casey does not win the primary, the Dems will never beat Rick Santorum again. He will win 2006, be positioned to run for the White House in 2006 and have more support than Sam Brownback, meaning he would be a lock for the hard right going into the primary. To beat rick you need to have money, something that shunning corporate dollars won't do for you, regardless of how noble the cause. If you want to change the rules, great, but to change the rules you have to win elections and you can't win elections without money to run media in 5 diverse markets.

Austin said...

Exactly "if people knew this" refers to absolutely anything about Casey and what will happen is he will loose.

Show me a poll that says people want someone who is against universal health care, living wage or corporateless candidates.

Asking "If this election were held today" is a hypothetical it assumes you will learn nothing from now till Nov. Santorum will have 25 mill and all he has to do is tell the truth about Casey to win.

It wasn't an antecdote. I mention it to prove the fact that the most important issues to T Pennsyvlanians are health care and living wage.

And his 5% on your push polls which mention the other candidates six times before getting to their only mention of Chuck sounds just find to me when I consider 1 in 12 of those people will actually show up and vote. I'm pretty sure Chuck's voters will come out at a much higher rate.

If you make this race about who has more money we will loose every time. The more conservative the candidate the more he will be able to attract dollars I understand that. But Rick is out-raising Casey big time. Also Casey has had bigger leads later in the game before but they were name recognition based as well and he lost by 12 points.

I'm taking all bets right now against Casey being our next Senator.

Bill Fitzpatrick said...

Chuck has been in this race longer, has more volunteers, more organization, a history of winning tough elections, more experience legislating and is quite frankly far superior at public speaking.

what tough elections has Chuck won, i will give you the fact that he is much much much superioir public speaker then Casey since we know Casey's credintials and Chuck has to be formabale decent becuase he is a professor.(i never heard him speak so I cant call him great)
But I though Chuck never ran for anything before

LVDem said...

Austin, if you write him off, you are right he will lose. I hope you take your energy with you to the general election and don't go home when it's all said and done.

As far as money goes, I'm not saying he has to be even, but he has to raise a ton more than what Hoeffel raised in 2004 (and keep in mind that i like hoeffel). Chuck will not manage a fraction of that. Casey is getting doubled right now, but Santorum is going to need to raise 20-30 million dollars just to stay in the race. Casey can afford to only raise 10-15 million. Can Chuck raise 10 million dollars to be competitive? The netroots get you to the game. They don't win it for you.

I am not denying the potency of health care and good wages, but you are speaking the wrong language. You say universal health care, the conservative sound machine and St. Torum will come back with socialized medicine. You say living wage and they come back with government trying to take money from small businesses. I have not seen a candidate win in PA talking about universal health care or living wages. We've lost the battle for now. By all means we should change the frame of the debate, but that takes time. We can't afford to lose elections in the short run (which will have a long term impact). The GOP didn't undergo a change in 5 years. After the Goldwater *splat* it took decades to build to where they needed to be to win elections but the GOP still had the centrist NE Republicans while this happened. It takes time to alter a coaltion and it isn't done by taking a candidate with strong branding and turning him into an icon for a broken party.

mean old man said...

I'm angrier than Hillary Clinton at a Betty Crocker cookoff convention over the way the Commie liberals are once again smearing our Sainted Senator Santorum! As far as the blogger Austin Powers is concerned, take your hippie outfits, your Greatful Dead records and get out of my beloved Pennsylvania! IT doesn't surprise me that you would support a pinko like Pinnochio! The day my blessed state elects a candidate who supports the commie national wait in the line health care that all you facists have been pushing for years is the day I go south! And gay rights!?! Come on Mr. Powers, maybe you and Mr. Pinnochio have been to see Brokeback Mountain time after time and that's a movie for pansies and prissies! God!!!! You heathen lefties!! My wife Thelma Jean is making her famous buttered biscuits as I write this post--and let me tell ya--they pack a wallop after they've been sitting for a day or two--especially if you don't dose a spoon of milk o' magnesia or two. Maybe if you had a few of them bounce off your bolshevik head if would put some sense back into you--you goddamned hippie!!! JUst remember Mr. POwers--its people like me and my dear Thelma Jean (don't tell her what I said bout the biscuits!) who elect the lawmakers in this state--not prissy flower children like you! GOD I HATE YOU LIBERALS!!!!

Austin said...

LV you make some good points but miss the big one. Moving to the right doesn't help us beat people who are already there. We lost the Senate race in 04 because we couldn't make a clear distinction about the candidates in people's mind. When you fail to do that people tend to vote with the incumbent.

About Chuck's history, as a campaign manager he has several tough wins under his belt in US Senate and House elections against incumbents who were actually liked! He relies on his grass roots expertise heavily.

As for the post by mean old man I honestly couldn't understand what you were talking about most of the time. I've read your posts before and I don't know if its satire or sencerity. But as for uninformed and misguided thoughts about progressive reforms that have prove extremely effective where they have been used. Also there is seemingly limitless polling to suggest the overwhelming majority want the government to step in on the healthcare issue.

As for your attacks on me and my fellow liberals coming into your state. My mother's family settled in Hazleton in 1860 and my fathers family moved to Monroe County around 100 years ago.

LVDem said...

Austin, my guess is that those arrivals for this guy are still too recent for his tastes. God I hope he's all satire too.

As far as moving to the right, I do agree. My problem is that our party needs to be that big tent that we like to say we are. If we don't have room for the conservative Dems in the tent then what have we accomplished. By all means support your guy during the primary, but we better be ready to stand shoulder to shoulder in November.

Now, can somebody explain to me NOW's endorsement of Sandals? Is it more was that a cop out of huge proportions!

Bill Fitzpatrick said...

Cop out is a great way to put it, we are not going to endorse Casey, but we are not going to help the guy who can beat him just the guy who has not done anything all campaign

NEPA Tom said...

Some of these posts are missing the point.

As to electability, Casey cannot beat Santorum. He loses all of his lead just on the anti-abortion stance. Remember, also, how good of a campaigner Casey is (not). This is a guy who blew a double digit lead against Rendell to end up losing by 12 points. Recall, too, that Santorum is an excellent campaigner and, unlike Casey, can actually be articulate in debates.

On the positions, Casey is in the minority of Pennsylvanians on issues like health care, death penalty moritorium, stem cell research, Roe v Wade, and Iraq.

On Casey being a Democrat in the Senate, that's all well and good. But, what use is he if he isn't a reliable vote on the things that matter most to Dems? On the very issues on which he aligns himself with Bush and Santorum we need every vote we can get. But Bob will be absent there (just as he is on the campaign trail).

On the Zogby and Quinnipiac polls "methodology", just sayin' it doesn't make it so. In fact, Quinnipiac knows Pa very well and it's polling is pretty much on the mark. The Zogby polls, using the same "methodology" were the best performing when measured against the actual results of the last two presidential elections. In terms of educating voters on positions, the position statements came from the campaigns and were necessary to separate the results from the pur name-recognition results of the non-issue-centric polls.

Finally, on NOW, note that NOW has not endorsed Sandals -- the NOW PAC did. They couldn't support Chuck because Chuck will not take their money. All PAC money comes with strings attached (one might wander back a couple of months and see how Sandals' view on parental notification was adjusted to get the NOW PAC money for an example). What is positive about it is that it breaks from the Schumer/Rendell designation of Casey and might encourage the press to remove the blinders as well.

Folks, nominating people like Bob Casey -- because his name is familiar and he has money, is exactly what Pa Dems have done for forty years. And that strategy has delivered 14 consecutive losing full term Senate races.

What's that line about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

Austin said...

About the general, I do plan to continue with the energetic grass roots stuff. For Chuck. If it is Bob, well I won't decide that until I'm done with the hangover on May 17th.

Mostly because the majority of my posts on blogs have been trying to get people to stop arguing about Casey v Santorum and start thinking if thats really what we want.

But also because at the least it will be a tough descision and I know the majority of liberal activists will not consider working for Casey. Not I'm sure Casey's campaign will want them.

Anonymous said...

As a longtime liberal democrat, if Pennachio doesn't get the nod I will not vote for Senator in November. I don't want conservative democrats in power--it is not good for our party. Even when Hillary is nominated I will not vote for her either because she is wrapping herself around the flag and that's kissing up to the right. Who cares if the democrats are a minority party--we have our honor! LEt the republicans have Santorum and the majority. Liberal and Proud!!!

Brenna said...

I honestly don't think that Casey could beat Santorum. Every time the man opens his mouth, he loses votes. When he makes statements (which is rare) he can't back them up. He has no depth of understanding of the issues and this becomes painfully obvious on those occasions when he is forced to answer questions. Take, for example, the recent interview about his stand on the PA Legislative pay raise. He said he had an extensive record of being against it. Then, when asked the nature of this "extensive record," he couldn't answer. The interview became a painful series of questions with him answering, "I don't know." And this was on an EASY subject! Santorum, unfortunately, is a good speaker and comes across as a personable guy. He will make toast of Casey and eat him for breakfast. Chuck Pennacchio, on the other hand, is a dynamic and inspiring speaker, very knowledgable and experienced, and very quick on his feet. He is quite capable of pwning Santorum.

mean old man said...

I'm happy today because you commie Democrats are wandering all over the place like a 25 dollar hooker at an Amway convention over who to pick to run against our sainted Sen. Santorum! Who cares anyway what you pacifist, dimwitted Brokeback Mountain loving peacniks want anyway? In my America we work an honest hours work for an honest dollar! Don't talk to me about your bolshevik health care plans either! In my day you were lucky if you were alive to graduate the 6th grade--and we didn;t complain about that--we loved it! MY father would come home from the mines coughing up soot and later blood (after mom found out he spent his wages at the bar)--but did he whine and complain? NO! because in my day America was strong and conservative and the few liberals that were around were cellmates with Sacco and Vanzetti! All you guys want is your dirty sex films and your free welfare food tickets so you could go and buy your beer and cigarettes on my tab! Scratch the cigarette part--you liberals don't even want to allow a hard working man the privelege of smoking anymore! I have to pay extra for my luckys because you need the money to pay for your commie abstenence programs! Yet its alright for you facist pigs to smoke your dope and get high to your Pink Frank albums!!!! GOD I hate you all! My wife Thelma Jean has a good solution to all of your problems--a good crack on the head from her pie roller!! Get out of Pennsylvania and go back to Moscow where you belong!!!!!!!!!!

Gillian said...

I beg your pardon mean old man, but is there any point at which you are going to make a coherent argument, or are you just posting so you can yell at people?
Chuck Pennacchio is my candidate because he cares about people. How can you deny the power of a man whose entire staff is there just because they want to and not because they're paid. And by the way, abstinence programs are support by your "sainted Rick Santorum", not by democrats. Do you know why? Because they don't work.
This is beside the point though, because Santorum is a scam artist. Just as an example, his charity Operation Good Neighbor. If he's such a saint why is his charity only spending 40-45% of their money on actually doing charity? He doesn't care about you, or about Pennsylvania. He barely even lives here. In fact his kids live in Virginia and attend a PA school via the internet, something that is costing Pennsylvania tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is just for his kids who DO NOT LIVE IN THIS STATE. Chuck Pennacchio is a real Pennsylvanian. He lives in PA full time and his kids live here and go to school here. He isn't flying all over the country begging donations from giant corporations who by the way also don't care about you.
Oh, and ps. I am a democrat and I do believe it is your right to smoke in public. So why don't you shove a cigarette in your mouth and light it.

Bill Fitzpatrick said...

I can see him and RJS actually being similar in style. RJS has said he admired Wellstone becuase he had his worldview and RJS had his and they did battle. in the senate like men

mean old man said...

I'm angrier than Teddy Kennedy and Bill Clinton at a morals convention over the remarks that are being made by bloggers on this commie site assassinating the character of our sainted Sen. Santorum! First off, you degenerate flower children, Rick Santorum has more intelligence in his pinky finger than Pinocchio and Casey combined!! ANd while I'm at it Missy BOlshevik who assassinated my character, you ought to take some lessons from my dear wife Thelma Jean--why are you posting on this site when you should be at home baking cookies and changing diapers! This is the problem with all you facist liberals--you destroyed the american family because women had to be just like men!! In my day a woman knew her place and that was being in the kitchen soothing the man! ANd she loved it!!! And don't go on saying to me that I'm livin in the past--look at the present. All these godamned hippie drug dealers walking the streets selling their crack and listening to their Bob Marley albums--maybe my wife Thelma Jean should frisbee one of her famous hot cakes in their direction--that'll put some real stars in their neandrathal eyes!! Rick Santorum wants to return us to the days when mom was there to greet you at the door after a hard honest days work and the kids knew what was right--and they'll love it!! But I guess I'm just hollering--but that's about the only argument all you no good hippie, commie, drugged out, flower children liberals can give against me!!! Well, I gotta go now, because THelma Jean is making her famous squirrell soup--but I guess you wouldn't like that either 'cause I shot the damned thing for playing around my garbage cans--GOd I hate all you liberals!!!!!