Thursday, April 24, 2008

10th CD postmortem

What a wild ride it has been in the Pennsylvania 10th Congressional District over the last few years. Democrat Chris Carney won the seat in 2006 because Don Sherwood kept talking about "family values" and then it was revealed that he had been playing house for over 5 years with a girl half his age who actually called the police because she said he became violent. There were other factors in the race but that helped clinch it.

Ever since then I've been hearing things like "that's one of our seats that we can win back" from my Republican friends. It's not your seat or the Dems seat, it's the peoples seat. The founders designed the House of Representatives as the pulse of the people and expected it to change hands often. But gerrymandering has slowed the turnover rate.

Early in the Republican primary I expected Dan Meuser to win the nod just because he had the most money. He's a Republican, you buy things. But he ran a awful campaign. His selling point was the he was the head of very successful company, Pride Mobility, that grew over the years and created some good jobs with the implication he would be able to replicate that throughout the district. That opened him up to answering for everything that Pride had ever done wrong by design or circumstance whether or not he had anything to do with the situation. Pride Mobility for Congress had it's limits and some his ads came across as a plug for the Scooter Store.

Chris Hackett ran a classic outsider vs. insider campaign. He railed against pork barrel spending and the way business is done in Washington. Just about every elected official in the 10th backed Meuser but it didn't bring him much. Most endorsements are good for a press release and not much more. The one's that matter bring boots on the ground and money, none of his did.

For all the negative stuff that happened at the end I thought (and I'm told) Hackett's ads pointing out that Pride had outsourced jobs to China resonated with people. The illegal immigrant thing showed showed how such a complicated issue is hard to discuss in a political campaign. I think the last minute abortion (he said/she said) accusations probably backfired as many thought it was a dirty trick.

A consolation point for Dan Meuser is that he will have the opportunity to challenge Chris Carney for the seat in 2010.


Anonymous said...

Gort, you are the true winner for your dedication and class. Keep up the great work.

Chuck said...

Gort, I almost want to agree with you on your whole post but there are a few problems. The biggest one being you bought Hackett's claim about jobs going to China and the fact of the matter is Pride added more jobs once they sent some of the products over to China to be built. So their "outsourcing" actually created jobs in NEPA.
Sorry it's hard for some people to understand but when you are like Hackett and you never created a job, you just replaced someone, it's easy to attack other people.
I know this is a fact about Pride because I've worked there for over 5 years.

Gort said...

Thanks anon 9:43.


I don't know the details of Pride's business. I was just being an observer of politics.

Right Winger said...

Good job with the whole Primary. We differ on the 10th but that's what makes America great.
Anyway, I hope we can all learn to relax a little and not be so angry all the time. (no offense Eddy)
This discussion is all intended to make people think. I think that's what a lot of people did in this one. But some other people take all this way too serious.
Here's to a few weeks off then it's time for the campaigns to begin again.

NEPAExpat said...


Outsourcing isn't a problem on its own when you receive something of equal value in return. Until people force the issue of product safety, manufacturing jobs aren't coming back to the area or the country.

All we can ask is that we try to stop the history about to repeat. Without restoring the worldwide confidence in the American dollar, we will reduce everyone's standard of living just in time for the boomers to realize the lock box is busted.

Instead of a quick fix by instituting more business regulation, we have to promote businesses that play by the rules.

Pride isn't to blame for outsourcing. It's just playing by the new rules. Fact is, as a business fully matures, all that will be left in an area will be sales, marketing, and management. Large businesses are only following the playbook Silicon Valley started in 2000.

Anonymous said...


Nice statement. Does your last sentence mean you think Carney will hold the seat in November? Interesting topic.

Anonymous said...

agreed expat.

Gort - thanks for allowing us to debate the issues and the candidate merits here.

Gort said...

A big Thanks to all of you for your input.

It's hard to argue with you Expat, it's a global economy and it doesn't matter if you like it or not.

Anon 11:18

Challengers don't win elections incumbents lose them. My view is that he hasn't done anything to lose. I'm sure that we will debating that point in the months to come.

kar said...

After a few days to de-compress and reconsider, I've decided to stay on the blogs. Truth is they are a bit addicting, thanks Gort.

A couple of things, to those who claim to know who I am, fine, but that doesn't mean that you know me or what motivates me. I work for Pride, I like working for Pride, I like and respect the Meuser brothers.

I approached Dan last summer when I heard the initial rumors about him running, I told him I would be happy to help in any way possible.

I "workrd" for Dan on my own time, evenings, early mornings, weekends, and took personal time off when necessary.

Many Pride employees wanted to help, as a matter of fact we had a hard time accomodating all of the people wanting to help, all of them did this on their own initiative, and all of them used personal time off when they helped during a normal business day.

As for my blogging and letter writing,I was my own boss, and I decided what to submit, without any influence or suggestions from the campaign.

But I digress, I'm back for the sole purpose of helping to defeat Chris Hackett in November. I will do anything I can to see that this lying hypocrite goes back to filling part-time jobs created by others.

I don't care about party unity, or if this helps put Carney back in office, I'd rather suffer 2 more years of him than the prospect of long term represenation by Hackett.

Sassy/Sara thank you for your comments in the other post, I looked forward to some interesting discussions...let the games begin!

Ciao for now, love you all.

P.S. Eddy (the angry one) I'm not Kevin Reynolds, and you might possibly be the dumbest SOB I've ever come across.


Anonymous said...

can't believe I'm about to say this but I'm with you Kar - and my guess is there are alot of Republicans, particularly in Luzerne County, who feel the same way

pj the wb lefty said...

Here's the thing about Pride and Hackett....he can say Dan made the election about Pride. So if Dan was touting his business acumen, instead of going negative, why didn't Hackett just tout his own business success and what he had done? Instead he cried about Dan always talking about Pride, felt the need to insult a large employer in the area (all you people that work at Pride...what are the chances you'll vote for the Hackster this fall? Probably as likely as a hispanic that lives in Hazleton voting for Barletta...), and really just absolutely killed any chance he had of winning the general.
Good long range vision there...
Also, thanks to Gort and all the bloggers too...good to have kar (aka 'not Kevin Reynolds') back also...I hope Hackett's fun bunch come back too for some banter...

Anonymous said...

gee KAR didn't you deny working at pride at one time?????????????

voted for Dan said...

If Carney wins again the seat will stay in Dem hands for the longest time. The best time to defeat a sitting elected official is after the freshman year. After that they get entrenched and people get used to them. Best example Phyllis Mundy.

If all you good republicans actually care about retaking the seat, help get Hackett elected and if you are unhappy with his performance, then go after him in the next primary.

If Carney gets reelected it will be the final stake in the heart of any republican representation from NEPA.

However, after reading much of what KAR had written in the past he doesn't have the brain power to grasp that concept. Every criticism about about Mueser, many of which turned out to be accurate, was met with hatred, vitriol and outright pettiness. When Gort suggested getting rid of his staff KAR went nuts, but it turns out Gort was correct. KAR's latest post here demonstrates how classless he and I suspect much of the Mueser camp and indirectly infer that Dan himself is. You lost and like the sore losers you are, you will take your ball home. The simple fact is that Mueser and Hackett were not that far apart on issues. I can only imagine how much KAR would be ripping apart Hackett folks if any of them wrote or said that they would help defeat Meuser in November.

The fact is KAR you ARE NOT influential at all. For all your boasting on this and other sites, you did not help your candidate win. Though you are not to blame for the loss your child like postings contributed to it. They reflected poorly on Dan and combined with the fact that team Mueser was full of incompetence and their lack of understanding of the people of NEPA and the 10th are what cost Dan an election he should have easily won. I voted for Dan and I will now vote for Hackett. It is too important not to let the republican minority fall any further. If we don't prevent more of a purge then the dems will end up with a large enough majority to push through their agenda, and in the unlikely event that McCain wins they will have the ability to override his veto.

Sorry KAR in simple terms for your addled mind that means they can do whatever they want.

KAR go back and enjoy your job before it is outsourced or you are laid off to help Dan get back some of his wasted money.... and while your at it try growing up.

Anonymous said...

Gort never suggested Meuser should get rid of his staff. That was another blogger that he linked to:

voted for Dan said...

I stand corrected on the source, but the point remains the same. After re-reading the post it was on target, but arogance never allows one to see their own folley.

Thanks anon 2:51pm

Anonymous said...

KAR’s comments above are the exact reason why true republicans should be thankful for Hackett in the 10th as a true representative. Dan Meuser stated that he stood for conservative and republican values. But since he lost the election, Dan Meuser is now abandoning the party to support Carney as KAR directly states. Outrageous.

kar said...

Anonymouses, please understand, I speak for myself, I will not support Hackett, even if Dan does, this is about me and my feelings toward a lying hypocrite.

Oh and anonymous a few up, if I'm so influential, why did you take 19
paragraphs to tell me and others?

Im think you're worried, and you should be.



kar said...

Note to self, no posting after a few cold adult beverages.

Please amend influential to not influential, or would it be uninfluential? Who the hell knows, but you get my point.

Also please excuse the I'm think you're worried, should be I think you're worried.

I meant the x's & o's though.


Anonymous said...

just read the Times Leader story on mending fences. those quotes are purely lip service.

the priorities in the fall are:
1. McCain
2. Tom Corbett
3. finding a candidate for Guv in 2010

2008 is a Carney cakewalk.

kar said...

Yes, and I just read the commentary by Richard Connor, I do believe he nailed it.

Imagine for a moment that you are one Christopher Hackett, and you need the support of some inflential local republican businessmen. These individuals can be helpful not only in terms of support, but in helping finance a costly campaign against Chris Carney.
One teensey little problem, you've publically called these men liars.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but speaking for myself, I would find it difficult to welcome this creep back into the fold, but who knows...lukewarm support at best.

As I said earlier, I'll suffer Chris Carney for 2 more years, as opposed to the prospect of lengthy representation by this unprincipled creature Hackett.



pj the wb lefty said...

Once again, can someone tell me why Hackett didn't counter with touting his own businesses rather than feeling the need to go negative? Can all you anons forget about the Kar pile on for a minute and just answer this? And how does he make this work for him in the fall? I get a sense that you all would like to see Hackett and the anons here continue to harp on the primary through the fall election...great strategy.

Anonymous said...


because as much as we all decry negative campaigning, it works....

Anonymous said...

The Times Leader article proves what KAR said: Dan Meuser lost the election, so now he's quietly abandoning the party. I find these public assertions by KAR representing Meuser alarming for Meuser's political future. But they are what they are.

kar said...

Hey pal, I'm speaking for myself, always have, always will.

Frankly even if Dan decides to support Hackett, I will not, it's just that simple...I cannot imagine a circumstance where I would vote for Hackett, and I have no intention of abandoning my effort to see that he does not win the seat.

Others will do what their conscience directs them to do, I have set my course.


Anonymous said...

Gee, kar, what did Hackett ever do to you? Sounds as though it's personal with you. All this because he ran a negative campaign? So, what else is new? Everybody acts all outraged about negative campaign ads, but they go with the territory, and they must work, or they wouldn't be standard practice. Hackett can't be any worse as a human being than Dan Meuser, can he?

pj the wb lefty said...

Once again, no one that supports Hackett answers this. Anon 10:26's point is well taken...I'd just love to hear this from a Hackett supporter but I won't hold my breath. Anon 12:34...tell the 10th why they SHOULD vote Hackett. I remember Dole v. Clinton (Bill that is)...Case in point - 'ol Rushbo couldn't stop asking that same question. "Why should we vote for Bill other than he's not Dole?" When your candidate is so bad on their own issues you tear down others rather than build yourself up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but if that's all you got you have a shell of a candidate. Won't work in the fall Hacksters...Carney by 10.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:34 here. I have no interest in telling the 10th why they should vote Hackett. I'm a Democrat, and I want Carney in that seat. As far as I could tell, there was very little difference politically between Meuser and Hackett, so I'm just wondering why all the hostility against Hackett - especially from kar.

Anonymous said...


will try to answer your question as to why Hackett didn't tout his own businesses.

he simply couldn't. there were plenty of former one source employees who could do a nice Meuser ad. They would talk about the challenges of finding documents for the people they placed. three to four weeks later it would be painfully clear they were illegals, but as soon as a manager called the person in to question them, the worker mysteriously disappeared.

You don't have to look too far either. Carney should start at Specialty Records and then head down to TJ Max.

keep in mind all this happened years after the 3 workers with false papers were discovered at Pride.

To Carol's surprise Meuser was the one who tried to keep this race clean.

In November, Meuser will be the one with a reputation intact.

Be prepared for Hackett dirty laundry to be aired early and often. The Susie videos will be hilarious too.

pj the wb lefty said...

Anons 1:27 and 2:05, thanks and thanks...I'm a Dem in the 11th too but like everyone here has kept an eye on the 10th. I think the hostility comes in part from a holier than thou attitude served with hypocrisy from Hackett. Anon 1:27...If Hackett tries this tactic on Carney and it works (hoping here that it won't) you'll feel like Kar and the rest of the Meuser supporters. Hackster calls out his opponent only to have it surface that he has problems of his own on the same issue. Kind of like a Senator that touts family values, vows to protect marriage and bashes gays then gets caught for soliciting sex from a male prostitute in an airport men's room...Anon 2:05 is right on...they don't tout his business because they can't politically. Would've been nice to hear this from a Hackett supporter but I'm sure they are all working on the 97 ways to tout earmark reform since that's their only issue. "Interstate highways in the 10th falling apart? Farm subsidies gone for farmers in the 10th? Yeah, but at least we didn't fund a Teapot museum..."

Anonymous said...

PJ - Early in the campaign Hackett advocated for getting rid of farm subsidies, arguing a survival of the fittest. Then someone told him it didn't work for Santorum, he quickly changed his tune and bought some Carhartt gear.

He still doesn't know which end of the cow is the business end but has learned to tiptoe through the cowshit.

voted for Dan said...

Honestly PJ, it is strictly partisan on my part. As I had stated earlier, for the republicans this seat is necessary to take back. We are going to lose more seats than we pick up in November and a freshman incumbent is considerably easier to defeat than one who gets re-elected even once.
The fact is that both Meuser and Hackett are sub-par candidates. Carney is better than both but on important issues he will have no choice, no matter how conservative he is, than to vote w
with his party if his vote is needed.
I voted for Meuser as the better of two lousy choices. Now I will vote for Hackett because he is the republican. I am not thinking based on what is only good for the district, but what is good for the country and I don't believe that democratic policies are best for the country.
Unlike simple, bitter thinking people like KAR, I care for the betterment of the country. No matter what republican was and will be elected, because of the minority they will hopefully tow the party line and help block liberal agendas.
If Mueuser does not publically support Hacket I will know by vote was misplaced and be glad that Hackett won. It will demonstrate that Meuser was in it for himself and a handful of back mountain elitist.

kar said...

Hey numb-nuts I'm not bitter, I'm just drawn that way.

Hackett goes down for the count and I couldn't be happier.

Please remember this republicans, Hackett, Toomey,Maderia,Paul,
et al, refer to themselves as conservatives, true conservatives, they have little use for the republican party in its present form, I'm a republican, and conservative, but I am not a kook.



Scott said...

Whoa, nice to see everyone is still here. Take a few days away from the the boards after a successful campaign and come back to find the venom still flows.

I must say from a partisan & strategic standpoint, I agree with "voted for dan".

To answer "pj", Hackett did tout his successful business, but he didn't make it the centerpiece of his campaign. He made his stand on the issues the centerpiece.

In my opinion, "going negative" is stating outright lies about a candidate with no basis in fact or data to back it up. (see most if not all accusations posted by kar and other anons). Pointing out differences on issues is what the campaign is for. Our challange as voters is to weed through the innuendo and baseless accusations and find the candidate that most closely matches our values. Maybe not as fun as tossing mudpies and clever phrases, but it does give us the candidate (Hackett) most likely to defeat Carney (sorry gort) in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Meuser's downfall is that he tied himself to Pat Solano - at a timne when most smart politicians want nothing to do with his old world politics - dumb move, Dan!

NEPAExpat said...

Kar et al.,

Maybe the outsourcing did hit a nerve with the electorate. Dan Meuser and company are playing by the rules of the global economy.

Unfortunately, being successful in business doesn't always translate into leadership:

Paul O'Neill = CEO of Alcoa
John Snow = CEO of CSX (railroads)
Henry Paulson = COO of Goldman Sachs

All were successful as businessmen. All were failures as Treasury secretaries.

The fact of the matter remains, PRIDE has decided to play by the rules of the global economy. As a net, like it or not, for them to remain competitive in the global economy, they must eventually move production until at some point (5, 10, 20 years) production in NEPA = 0.

I am not saying he won't come back in 2 years as a stronger candidate, but Dan Meuser must go back to the drawing board before he runs again and has to choose between his family/business or being a leader. One of the realities of life is that you can't have it both ways.

If Hackett doesn't change his playbook and...
if PRIDE reduces any production capacity in NEPA in the next 2 years and...
if the region continues receiving its largess from DC,
the seat will remain with Chris Carney until the party can promote someone who can win the battle of intellects (and it wouldn't hurt putting up someone who actually grew up within 100 miles of the district).

Anonymous said...

I would debate that Paul O'Neil was a failure. As it turns out he was fired because he would not go along with President Bush. I think the deplorable condition of the dollar and the economy will one day show that O'Neil was the right man for the job, he was just working for a poorly informed boss.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who feel that the troops should rally around Hackett to defeat Carney let me remind you that when Madeira suffered defeat at the hands of Lisa Baker neither he nor his supporters went running to her support. You didn't see Scott or Dave at the office making phone calls or giving money. Now you want it both ways - sorry! I'm with Kar - I'd rather have two more years of Carney then have Hackett represent this district - It's all just a matter of principle (comes back to bite you - huh?)
Funny - I read where Sordoni said he would too busy with work this campaign season to help - I'm sure there will be alot of "busy" people out there

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to supporting the party over the individual? Trust me when I tell you that party leaders are very upset over the behavior of Meuser's inner circle publically stating Dan's support of Carney.

Anonymous said...

Party Leaders? In northeast PA? What f--ing party leadership...
Don't worry after November the 10th will go solidly democratic.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:07 excellent point. don't forget to add the Haggerty crowd in there too. maybe there's hope this year. certainly James May and his loyal disciples have already opened their hearts and wallets for Karen Boback, all in the name of party loyalty.

anon 5:46 good question. they're all too concerned about pissing someone off and ruining their good names. With leadership comes responsibility. Had they taken their jobs seriously instead of just showing up at campaign kick-offs and election night parties we wouldn't be in this f'in nightmare for two more years.

kar said...

Anon 5:22, please slap a name on, any name, Goofy, Daffy, Dumb-Ass, anything to make you easier to reply to.

Party? Party unity? Do you believe Hackett & his posse represent, or even care to represent the Republican Party?

Hell no they don't, if we are going to have a battle for "hearts & souls" of the party, let's fight now, and get it over with, I feel no kinship with the Hackett/Toomey/Maderia axis of evil.

I won't vote for Carney, I won't support Hackett, I'll either not vote for this office or write in Dan Meuser.

Sleep well all.


Anonymous said...

did I miss a public statement of Meuser's support for Carney? Couldn't find it in any of the papers covering the 10th.

would like to know whose considered a party leader. Are they the ones with pretty name badges on puffed chests, or the ones who actually know how to put a yard sign next to their sidewalk and know 10 more people in their county who will do the same? Do they actually contribute to campaigns or expect to be comped at every cocktail party?

maybe its time for new leaders.

Anonymous said...

Kar you are not alone. It scares me where the axis of evil intends to take us -- this is not my party and I will not allow them to overtake us. Funny thing is, Hackett was never like this. He decided at the beginning of this race that if this were going to be a 4 or 5 person race (as it originally started out as) he needed an edge. In comes the far right and out walks Hackett's original ideas. If anything can be said about Chris it is that he does what looks good - nothing is genuine. I dont' really care that it's Carney for 2 more years what I care about is that the republican party has become so splintered even the most able mediator (and I know who you are) will not be able to repair this.
I will not support Chris Hackett. I don't like him and I don't believe in him.

NepaVu said...

In defense of James May - after the primary last year he did come and support Lisa and many other republican candidates (Remember the Baker office became the NEPA republican office) On election day as well as the days before he was there making calls - can't say that about Madeira or Haggerty but oddly enough even Bigus and his family ended up supporting the party (republican).

Anonymous said...

so was James May there in support of Lisa Baker or just to further his own political ambitions by being seen there? wouldn't surprise me if he was there for the sheer purpose of reporting back to Madeira everything that he saw and what was done by the Baker campaign.

nepavu said...

Wouldn't know - just thought he was being a good republican and for that I honored him. Madeira was nowhere -- and frankly it's where we all hoped he would stay!

pj the wb lefty said...

"He made his stand on the issues the centerpiece."

So bashing Pride will carry the day against Carney...that's so crazy it just might work!

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if Hackett has started to mend the fences with party leadership, or is he still on vacation with Susie and the girls?

Anonymous said...

Its over boys and girls, the election is over.

Anonymous said...

no the real elections has just begun... unfortunately himbo rino loser whats to destroy himbo rino winner