There is at least one Republican in Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional District that is willing to take on Paul Kanjorski that is not named Lou Barletta.
Coulter Jones broke the news in the Citizens Voice a few days ago that Christopher Howard Paige filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission this past week, clearing the way for the 37-year-old Skytop man to run for Congress. Paige, who runs a hedge fund with his wife in Monroe County, was a registered Democrat until 2008, but switched registration to the Republican Party after the Democratic-majority Congress passed the TARP - the Troubled Assets Relief Program, which was part of the bailout of the U.S. financial system.
My first reaction was Who is this guy? So I started asking around.
I contacted long time Kanjorski spokesman Ed Mitchell who replied "Never heard of him. Got balls running as a hedge fund manager these days!"
Our best local researcher McGruff did some digging and found out that Paige graduated from the University of Virginia, has a law degree from Yale University and a master's degree in political science from New York University. He was the Director of The Pace Poll and is now dealing in exotic financial instruments that most of us don't understand and may have contributed to the financial meltdown that happened last fall. He moved to the Poconos in 2006 was a registered Democrat until 2008.
Some choice quotes.
From the CV:
"I'm not some hardcore Republican. What the Democratic Party has been doing with the economy has been disastrous. We cannot let this continue."
He takes a shot at Barletta.
"We've tried that twice. We don't need to try that again. I don't share his approach on immigration at all. I think he would damage the Republican Party's reputation with that approach."
And he took a shot at Kanjo about his oversight of the financial industry and his vote for the TARP program.
"That's like bragging you were on the bridge of the Titanic and in charge of navigation," Paige said. "These bailouts were unbelievably expensive, and obviously ineffective if you look at what has happened to the economy. Just take it the common sense, how does it make sense to take our money to give it to banks so they can lend our money back to us?"
More choice quotes from the Pocono Record.
“I was outraged by the bailouts which I think are unconstitutional. You are throwing societal resources at inefficient companies.”
“The housing bubble was fueled by government policy subsidizing home ownership. We've got to stop trying to subsidize various industries.”
In an interview with pa2010.com he said “I think the public has decided to get rid of Kanjorski, they just saw Barletta as an unacceptable alternative,” Paige said. “Had it been someone else, we would have won last year.”
I had a brief conservation with Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta on Saturday who also had no idea who this guy is and declined to respond to Paige's criticisms. I asked him a few questions.
The last time I talked to you I got the impression you were running for Lt. Governor, what happened to that?
"I want to be in a position to affect change and that is not an office that would let me do that."
Are you going to run for Congress again?
Has your Congressional campaign committee raised any money this quarter?
When I talked to you in your office last January it was obvious that you love being the Mayor of Hazelton.
"Staying Mayor is not out of the question."
Mayor Lou will be teaming with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. of New Haven, Conn. to discuss immigration at a forum at Wilkes University on Oct. 22.
Corey O'Brien didn't return a phone call asking for comment.
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