Running from Records, Dems Get Personal
Desperate and baseless attacks are backfiring on Dems across the state
Vice President Joe Biden visited Delaware County this week, stumping for Democratic congressional candidate Bryan Lentz. In his remarks, Biden blamed the Bush Administration for the nations’ economic woes, further chastising the GOP for not "getting it."
As far as not getting it, it remained unclear as to which Bush Administration Biden was referring. But why stop at Bush I? Why not blame Nixon and Cal Coolidge, too?
The Veep, in an attempt to rally his troops, emphatically stated that those reports (READ: every single poll) predicting the death of the Democratic Party are "greatly exaggerated," and that his Party would "continue" digging America out of its hole.
"Continue"? Wait…when did they start?
There were two unmistakable messages that emerged from Biden’s speech:
1) He can reference Mark Twain, and
2) His Party is completely bereft of ideas, without the slightest clue as to how to right the ship.
Neither one is very helpful come Election Day.
Point Two is not a new revelation, however, as most Democratic incumbents have known this for quite some time. Since they know it’s childish and ineffective to blame prior administrations for today’s recession, especially in light of mammoth spending and crushing new taxes instituted under total Democratic control, these seasoned pols inherently understand that they can’t run on their records.
Hence, dirty campaigns have hit an all-time high.
Just when you think the wool can be pulled over Americans’ eyes, and that they are easily manipulated, they surprise you. Next Tuesday will be one of those times.
ats aren’t going to lose control of congress, the state house and the Pennsylvania governorship just on the issues alone (although that will play a huge role), but because of something much more basic: lack of credibility and good judgment. Kind of how the Republicans operated in 2006 and 2008.
More than ever, folks are looking for honest change and aggressive leadership on the issue that matters most — getting the economic engine started again. Instead of discussing solutions, however, many Democrats have resorted to the low-blow tactics so despised by voters.
Consider these Democratic campaign doozies playing out all around us:
• Bryan Lentz is giving Pat Meehan a run for his money in the 7th district, but rather than compete on the merits of their man’s vision, Lentz’ supporters actively recruited a conservative tea-party activist to run as a third party candidate. Stacking a primary field where most candidates agree on the issues is one thing, but doing so in a general election is tantamount to admitting your campaign platform is bankrupt of ideas. Sure, all’s fair in war and politics, but this disingenuous move will likely send Lentz to defeat.
• In northeast Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district, incumbent Chris Carney’s "conservative BlueDog" Democrat veneer has been stripped off by former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino, with several polls showing Marino slightly ahead. Carney loves to tell the voters of the Republican district that he’s not a liberal, yet refuses to run on his record of voting for the federal stimulus and Obamacare — and his 93% alignment with Ms. San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi.
Instead, he has chosen to run ads attacking Marino’s relationship with a local businessman who was convicted of a crime over three decades ago, and one in which no jail time was given. Marino was unequivocally up front about this friendship —years ago — yet Carney portrays Marino’s friendship as a "breaking news" damaging revelation, wildly taking the situation out of context. Carney’s smear campaign has rightly backfired, and despite a huge money disadvantage, Marino continues to hold his own.
• In Pennsylvania’s 151st state legislative district in Montgomery County, GOP challenger Todd Stephens, a former Assistant District Attorney, is running neck-and-neck with incumbent Rick Taylor. (Stephens lost to Taylor by only 400 votes in 2008). In a disgraceful —and utterly baseless —attack, the Taylor campaign slammed Stephens for his role in a 2009 high-profile murder case where one of the defendants wasn’t convicted.
A local newspaper editorial wrote that Taylor’s charge was "pure fabrication," and in an unprecedented move, District Attorney Risa Ferman called the Taylor line-of-attack "a complete, flat-out lie." Even the son of the murder victim was content with Stephen’s performance.
Taylor’s slanderous attack politicizing a man’s murder was so off-base that Taylor is reeling uncontrollably — as he should be. Even for politics, this is beyond the pale, and Taylor needs to be sent to the unemployment line.
• Perhaps most bizarre is the attack against former State Representative Jay Moyer, who is attempting to reclaim his seat in this Montgomery County district. Rather than discuss the state’s imploding financial situation which he helped create, however, incumbent Democrat Matt Bradford has continually slammed Moyer as "Jaguar Jay." Why? Because Moyer owns a ten-year old Jag he reportedly bought used.
The point? Anyone’s guess, but it looks like class warfare at its worst. Above all, though, it shows how truly "classless" Matt Bradford is.
• And for the truly clueless, we have Chester County State Representative Paul Drucker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato. To their credit, they are talking about issues. Well, just one each, actually.
Drucker wants to toll Route 422, which is already an immense parking lot every single weekday. The fact that Drucker thinks levying yet more tolls and taxes on Pennsylvanians is the viable path to prosperity just shows how insulated from reality he really is. Enough said.
For Onorato, his passion is similar — pushing for additional taxes on companies extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, the only industry that can restore Pennsylvania’s lifeblood.
First, Onorato stated that he would deny drilling permits to companies not hiring a certain number of Pennsylvania residents, which, in addition to being simply juvenile, is unconstitutional on every level.
Onorato (as he says in his commercials, it’s O-N-O-R-A-T-O, but could just as well be R-E-N-D-E-L-L) also loves to state that the oil companies need to "pay their fair share."
Like they’re not already.
Every company unlucky enough to conduct business in Pennsylvania is subject to the second-highest corporate income tax in the nation — a whopping ten percent! So to propose a nine percent extraction tax on top of that just shows how far out of touch Onorato (Rendell) is in this race.
Maybe that’s why he has never led in the campaign, and Rendell’s statewide approval ratings are in the twenties.
It cannot be stressed enough how important these elections are to the future of this state and nation. Candidates advocating the common sense policies of fiscal restraint, energy independence, school choice and public-sector union reform are leading across the board.
More important for voters, however, is choosing those with the political will and core convictions to follow through on their promises.
Only then will we be able to stop blaming past politicians of both Parties for current problems, and focus on the only thing that matters — the long road ahead.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com
Readers of his column, "Freindly Fire," hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller "Catastrophe."
Freind, whose column appears nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a guest commentator on Philadelphia-area talk radio shows, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX. He can be reached at [email protected]