PA Dems Go on the Attack

Six months ago, Pennsylvania Democrats faced their worst political environment in decades. The party lost a large majority of its competitive seats, and lost control of over a dozen high-profile state and federal offices.

To hear the PA Dems this week, one might think it was six years ago.

Bolstered by what they see as Republicans’ politically untenable budget in the PA House and Democrat Kathy Hochul’s Medicare-themed win in the special election for New York’s 26th Congressional seat, Dems argue that they have the momentum heading into the 2012 election (and yes, they know it’s 18 months away).

Yesterday, Democratic Chairman Jim Burn and representatives from the House Democratic Campaign Committee hosted a conference call with reporters. They detailed a paid media campaign targeting PA House Republicans who voted for the budget, which begins today and consists of robocalls, online ads and email.

“Not only is this budget devastating for Pennsylvania families,” said Burn, “but it’s an enormous overreach which will have severe political consequences for the House Republicans in the next election.”

They’re targeting 25 districts across PA where Democrats performed well in 2006 and 2008. They wouldn’t say exactly which members they were targetting, but they named a few: Rick Saccone, Kerry Benninghoff, Dan Truitt, Warren Kampf, John Lawrence, and as friend of the site J.D. Prose writes, Rep. Jim Christiana.

“The Republicans we’re targeting were already vulnerable before this vote. These seats are good Democratic territory. Of the 25 targeted seats, Senator Casey won 24 in 2006. Governor Rendell won 21, and won 18 of them by more than 55 percent,” said Fiona Conroy, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Dem leaders on the call acknowledged that redistricting would affect the voting statistics of districts in 2012, and said the targeting was conducted “as if the elections were held tomorrow.”

Practically in the same breath as he described the forthcoming paid media campaign, Burn mentioned the Democratic victory in the NY-26 congressional special election (though he omitted the fact that a third party candidate may have impacted the final outcome of the race).

“The environment is a 180 degree shift from where we were six months ago,” he said.

It follows up on an email that the state party sent out to the press yesterday, noting that the PA GOP had sent staffers to help with the NY-26 effort.

“Since campaigning on ending Medicare as we know it worked so well in NY-26, we figured we would send the PA GOP a copy they can use to campaign in Pennsylvania in 2012. Heck, we’ll even make copies for them to give to all 8.5 million registered voters in Pennsylvania,” said Party spokesman Mark Nicastre. He added he was sending over a copy of Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.”

So are the Dems really back? As you might imagine, it depends on who you ask.

Adam Maust, Political Director for the PA House Republican Campaign Committee

The House Democrats have chosen to sit out this budget process and not even put together a proposal. What the House Republicans are doing right now is governing; politics will take care of itself down the road.

We all know consultants can twist a vote however they want and HDCC can robocall and email till their hearts content. But 6 months down the road if the economy continues moving forward and a surplus is forming for next year’s budget, our members will be viewed by voters as having the courage to make a decision that was not only responsible, but was the best route for our state.

We won the majority in a landslide last year on a message that we will govern this state responsibly and stop the spending frenzy. Our budget vote clearly reflects the message that we delivered to our voters that we would uphold.”

J.J. Balaban, Principal Consultant with The Campaign Group (Democratic)

“I can’t say anything about the PA budget, but the NY26 outcome highlights how the Republican political winds of 2010 have subsided and what worked for the Republicans in 2010 isn’t working as effectively now. Republicans may have erred in believing that they received a mandate in 2010, instead of being victorious because the public was tired of “the other guys” (the Democrats). I suspect that there are some guys right now named Mike, Pat, and Lou who are really wishing they hadn’t rashly voted to eliminate Medicare to pay for a tax cut for the rich.

“That said, November 2012 is a long ways away.”

Chris Nicholas, President of Eagle Consulting Group, Inc. (Republican)

The PA House budget and NY-26 are “unrelated issues. Specials are often ‘over-interpreted.’

“The GOP here said they’d hold the line on spending and not raise taxes on people. They’ve kept that promise.”

Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll and Professor of Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College

We need more evidence that it will be a big factor next year. The whole issue for the D’s in NY26 was Ryan’s Medicare plan. We need to see how many R’s get out on that limb here [in PA]. I think few except those in very heavily R districts. I do think the D’s have an issue that voters certainly care about, but we need to see cases involving R’s that oppose the plan and how they do, and what trumps the economy next year. I don’t think we will have another big wave election. The election results will be more mixed, especially if the economy continues to recover.”

May 26th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg | 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “PA Dems Go on the Attack”

  1. Pat says:

    3-2. Requirements for Membership. All applicants for senior membership in CAP must be accepted by the unit and higher headquarters and must meet the following criteria:
    General. Possess the desire, willingness, and capability to promote the objectives and purposes of CAP.
    Age. Be at least 18 years of age or be a member of the Armed Forces on active duty at any age.
    Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States of America or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States of America and its territories and possessions or any lawfully admitted non-citizen residing in the United States specifically approved by the National Commander’s designee (NHQ CAP/LMM).
    Those persons in “admitted for permanent residence” status must possess and present a current Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151 or I-551) when making application for CAP membership. If an alien’s status changes from “admitted for permanent residence” other then by reason of acquiring citizenship, the alien is no longer eligible for membership.
    Requests for waiver of the citizenship criteria for lawfully admitted non-citizens residing in the United States who were not admitted for permanent residence will be submitted through the wing and region commander along with a copy of the membership application to NHQ CAP/LMM. The waiver, if approved, will be only for the period of residence within the United States.
    Suitability. Subject to being waived by the Executive Director or National Commander, any one of the following may be the basis for rejection of membership.
    Conviction of a felony by any court of record whether federal, state or military.
    A pattern of arrests and/or convictions including but not limited to sex offenses, child abuse, DUIs, dishonesty and violence.
    Discharge from the armed services under other than honorable conditions.
    Falsification of information on the membership application.
    Previously terminated or non renewed for cause from membership in CAP.
    Any other unfavorable information brought to the attention of CAP officials at any level.
    3-3. Confidential Screening. All individuals applying for active senior membership must be screened and registered by National Headquarters. The screening process requires that the individual complete a FBI fingerprint card used by National Headquarters to request a FBI criminal records check to determine membership eligibility. Final decision as to each individual’s eligibility rests with the National Commander or the National Commander’s designee (EX). The National Commander’s decision is final and is not subject to appeal or to the “complaints” procedure under CAPR 123-2, Complaints.
    Reports received from the FBI are maintained in strict confidence by National Headquarters and reviewed by only a small group of officials charged with making recommendations to the National Commander or his or her designee as to the member’s eligibility. National Headquarters will not release these reports or associated documentation. Such reports will be retained for at least 5 years after the individual is no longer a member of CAP.
    Members may be re-screened periodically as required by National Headquarters or upon request of unit commander of assignment or commanders of higher echelons with reason to question a member’s continued eligibility. Members renewing after the 90-day renewal period must submit a new FBI fingerprint card (see paragraph 4-2).
    10 CAPR 39-2 16 JUNE 2004
    3-4. Senior Membership Dues. National membership dues, region dues, wing dues and an initial fee for the senior member handbook are required for new members (see attachment 1 for actual amounts). Group and squadron dues may also be levied with the approval of the wing commander. Group and squadron dues are not forwarded to National Headquarters. NOTE: Cadets transferring to senior member status may do so without any additional charge for the duration their current membership year, after which time they will be billed as a senior member renewal (see paragraph 3-7 for application procedures).
    3-5. Application Procedures.
    Action by Applicant:
    The applicant should complete CAPF 12 (the original to be forwarded to National Headquarters with sufficient copies to forward to intermediate headquarters as required) and a FBI fingerprint card. The completed application and fingerprint card are then turned in with appropriate membership dues to the unit commander or the commander’s designated representative. A separate check or money order is required. (Unit checks will be accepted as long as there is one check per application). The check or money order should be made payable to “National Headquarters CAP.” Any check returned for non-sufficient funds or on accounts that have been closed will be redeemed by money order or cashier’s check only and will include a $20 processing fee.
    Mail the approved application form (CAPF 12) and check or money order to NHQ CAP/LMMR, 105 South Hansell Street, Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6332. (See attachment 1 for actual dues amount required.)
    Action by the Unit:
    The unit commander or the unit commander’s designated representative will review the application and fingerprint card for accuracy, completeness, and eligibility of applicant. Commanders may request assistance from the unit membership board in determining eligibility if they feel it necessary before approving the application. To ensure that NHQ CAP/LMMR accepts applications, each application should be screened against the checklist outlined in attachment 2. In the event higher headquarters does not accept the applicant, membership dues will be refunded and membership will be null and void.
    Return the original of the approved application (CAPF 12), fingerprint card, and check for National dues to the applicant for mailing to National Headquarters.
    A copy of the application will be forwarded to the wing headquarters. NOTE: Some wings do not require duplicate applications. Check with your wing headquarters to determine the local wing policy.
    The remaining copy of the application will be filed in the member’s unit personnel file.
    Action by National Headquarters:
    Review CAPF 12 and fingerprint card for accuracy and completeness.
    Process membership application and forward temporary membership card to member.
    Forward fingerprint card to FBI for processing. After screening, the FBI will return fingerprint cards to National Headquarters with a report of information on file.
    Upon receipt of FBI reports, National Headquarters will determine those individuals approved for membership and forward an approved membership card.
    In those cases where screening reveals questionable background information, the National Commander or the National Commander’s designee (EX) will make the final decision as to the individual’s membership eligibility. If it is determined that the individual is ineligible for membership, National Headquarters will remove the individual’s name from the membership rolls, notify the commanders concerned, and refund the membership dues.

  2. Pat says:

    This information suggest at least that republican legislators are being inappropriately asked to form an alliance with Civil Air Patrol and they are given unique benefit of high ranking status immediately upon membership such as free flight in CAP air planes, no membership fees, they don’t have to attend any meetings, and they don’t have to do the required background checks and finger printing other adult senior members are required to do for the protection of the children in CAP. Civil Air Patrol is a noncombat humanitarian organization under their Congressional charter but have been training children as young as 12 to operate military weapons. PAWG encampment sites (m-16 rifles) this is an outrage and direct violation of the CAP charter and CAP constitution and bylaws. Why are the tax payers flipping the bill to militarize children and give free flying in taxpayer paid planes to people who do not have to be finger printed like all the other seniror members in CAP?

    The Civil Air Patrol Congressional Squadron is open to Members of Congress and their staff members. Membership is honorary (and complimentary) and carries a number of benefits.

    See below Paragraph 7-2 of CAPR 39-2 Civil Air Patrol Membership 16 JUNE 2004 INCLUDES CHANGE 3, 1 OCTOBER 2009 for details.

    7-2. Congressional Members. Members of the United States Congress and federally appointed officials are eligible to become Congressional Members of Civil Air Patrol. These members do not pay membership dues or submit fingerprint cards. Wing commanders wishing to induct members into the Congressional Squadron should contact the General Counsel’s office at National Headquarters first. A framed membership certificate is available from National Headquarters for presentation to the individual. These members are authorized to fly in CAP aircraft, visit CAP unit meetings/social events and receive the honorary grade of lieutenant colonel.

    For further information on membership in the CAP Congressional Squadron, please contact CAP Government Relations or call 703 522-0060 or 522-0099.
    Also see below Paragraph 3-9 of CAPR 35-5 CAP Officer and NCO Appointments and Promotions 16 MARCH 2010

    3-9. Legislative Members. Federal legislators inducted into the Congressional Squadron are eligible for the honorary grade of lieutenant colonel immediately upon membership. Key staffers may be eligible for advanced promotion at the discretion of the squadron commander with the concurrence of the National Commander. State legislators inducted into State Legislative Squadrons are eligible for the honorary grade of major immediately upon membership. Key staffers and other elected officials may be eligible for advanced promotion at the discretion of the wing commander with the concurrence of the region commander concerned.
    NEW Congressional Squadron Membership: Since January 2011 congressional squadron membership (comprised of those members of Congress currently serving in the 112th Congress) has increased from 133 to 155 members. Several congressional staff members have also joined. Wings with new members of Congress in the squadron include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, National Capital, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington. CAP members are asked to use CAP Form 12L for all U.S. Congress legislative memberships. POC: John Swain – Ref: EX and CC Open Cockpit Apr-Jun 2011

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