I attended the annual Kiss the Blarney for Carney event on Sunday along with a couple of hundred other people. Despite being to subjected to bagpipe music it was a good time. Many local Lackawanna County elected officials and candidates were in attendance along with reps from Senator Specter's office. I chatted with a few including State Rep Jim Wansascz who is running for State Senate to succeed Bob Mellow.
Carney asked me for my assessment of the race and I told him that I think he is in good shape. I'll repeat it again; Challengers don't win elections, Incumbents lose them. He hasn't done anything to lose this thing. Addressing the Health Care Reform bill in his remarks to the crowd he pointed out that we can't continue with the status quo. Something has to be done to get costs under control and insurance companies can't be in charge of who gets health care in this country. I offered my observation that he voted for it once because it was the right thing to do and his Republican opponents will howl about it but if he now voted no on the bill he becomes John Kerry, I voted for it before I voted against it.
He was little iffy on the FRAC ACT but assured the crowd that he was in favor of clean drinking water. He made the national security argument that the US has to off foreign oil. I'll keep bending his ear on this one. There is no reason this should be excluded from the the Clean Water Act and I'm sure that Kayak Dude can make that case.
I asked him about some of the other races this year. I was surprised that he endorsed Manan Trividi in the 6th CD primary against Doug Pike. His 2006 campaign manager is running Pike's campaign but Chris was adamant in his support for fellow military officer Trividi. As far as the Paul Kanjorski-Corey O'Brien race he said "I serve with Congressman Kanjorski" and supports him. 2 years ago O'Brien and fellow Lackawanna Commissioner Mike Washo showed up for the event but were not to be seen this time nor were any of Kanjo's people.
A real treat was meeting the author of NEPArtisan and we plotted another blogger meetup. For some strange reason he really wants to meet the Blogfather. I'll call Mark tomorrow and try to set up a meeting of his fan club and coordinate with the Northeast Blogging Council and the Saturday OT Committee to find an agreeable date.
The Republican candidates had an event in Lewisburg yesterday before 50 people. The tax cut triplets of Tom Marino, Malcolm Derk and Dave Madeira made it but Steven Solieri and young Ted Yale were no shows. Just a guess but I don't think that Yale or Solieri will make the ballot.
The Republican candidates all decry deficit spending but offer no realistic solutions to cutting the federal budget putting large portions of the budget off limits. At the same time they all advocated cutting taxes. Maybe they all need course in remedial mathematics.
I'm not going to pick it all apart so read these press write-ups.
Carney out of touch, Republicans say
Candidates lay out issues at forum
50 minutes ago