PA-8: Candidates Fight About Civility

Fitzpatrick-SantarsieroIt’s still early so the nominees in the PA-8 open race are only attacking one another with smiles.

A “civility pledge” has become a major point of contention in Pennsylvania’s most (only) competitive Congressional contest.

After being stung by some attacks, GOP nominee Brian Fitzpatrick first proposed a pledge in March. Then, at the conclusion of a particularly bruising Democratic primary, the Bucks County Courier-Times called for one as well.

This week, Fitzpatrick reaffirmed his commitment to sign the pledge and challenged Democratic nominee State Rep. Steve Santarsiero to do so as well. The younger brother of the retiring incumbent also called for three debates in the fall.

The next day, the Santarsiero campaign responded.

“We pledge to conduct a civil and respectful campaign that focuses on the issues and avoids personal and defamatory attacks. And we call upon our opponent and all other organizations who may get involved in the race – on either side — to follow our lead.”

The Democratic nominee, however, wants to focus more on issues than civility. Concerned that such a pledge would shut down a discussion on subjects like climate change, the Santarsiero team instead proposed a regular series of debates.

“The time is now to begin debating the issues. This race is too important to wait until the closing weeks of the campaign to give voters unfiltered access to the candidates’ positions. We propose we begin debating this month, with at least one debate following every month between now and November 8,” said Santarsiero’s campaign manager Eric Goldman. “We invite the local press corps to join both candidates and serve as moderators of the first debate.”

The Fitzpatrick camp accused his opponent of breaking a promise to the voters.

“On March 4, 2016, I issued a Civility Pledge to my opponent, calling on him to run a positive, issue-focused campaign that was free from personal attacks. I signed this pledge in the presence of the Bucks County Courier Times, who encouraged my opponent to sign this pledge. My opponent refused to do so,” Fitzpatrick responded. “On March 15, 2016, my opponent announced that he would be offering a civility pledge of his own for the candidates to sign. Not surprisingly, he never did so, and what resulted was a bitterly negative primary campaign between Santarsiero and his opponent.”

He went on to criticize Santarsiero for not signing the newspaper’s pledge.

PoliticsPA reached out to the Fitzpatrick campaign about Santarsiero’s monthly debate proposal. We also contacted the Santarsiero campaign about Fitzpatrick’s latest statement. Neither team has so far responded but we’ll provide updates should that change.

May 12th, 2016 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 20 Comments

20 thoughts on “PA-8: Candidates Fight About Civility”

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  5. Bubba Dem says:

    Dear Pete,
    As you demonstrated, when you revert to insults, it simply means you have no legitimate argument and run out of facts.
    Grew up here? Get your facts straight and ask him for his mailing address or where he voted over the past 12 0r 14 years. I guess he commuted to WashingtonDC, New York and California?
    Steve knows Bucks County, and the voters who also know a slick move when they see one.

  6. Pete says:

    Hey Bubba Dem,
    Who do you mean by “his people”? Rich tobacco company representing 1% lawyers like his wife? Or north jersey transplants who ran from north jersey because the democrats have taxed people out of state?

    Remember when you’re trying to determine who gets the little guy in this race, Steve is the 1%er from north jersey who is only trying to pretend he understands bucks county. Brian is the guy who grew up here, lived his life here, and who put his life on the line for his country and even for ignorant people like you.

  7. Bubba Dem says:

    Brian is just following a script his bro set out for him. experience? I went to high school there too. If that qualifies me, maybe I should run. Didn’t you folks say Naughton wasn’t a scientist after only two years in the field? Brian was an accountant for one. Does that count now?
    Steve supports his people, and we know where he stands and has lived.

  8. Joe from Bucks says:

    Hey Sue D, Here’s your experienced candidate running away from a tough vote. Just watch the video of Steve cowardly running from the floor when he had to choose between voting and fund Pennsbury School District and voting against Governor Wolf. A qualified state rep would have voted to fund his school. Steve couldn’t make his mind up so he decided to run like a rat off the floor before the vote. The entire chamber boo’d his cowardly nature. Watch for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrLdNWHLWFI

  9. Joe from Bucks says:

    Sue D,
    Brian is an attorney, an accountant, a former FBI agent who spent time in Iraq and Ukraine. He’s fluent in foreign policy and experienced in multiple fields. He has more qualifications in his resume for the seat than Steve has ever had. Further, Brian is a product of the district. He was born and raised in Levittown, went to school at Conwell-Egan, and served our country. To insinuate Steve Santarseiro, a career politician who capitalizes on 9/11 to further his own political goals is somehow more qualified is asinine. Not only is Steve a career politician, he’s a poor one at that. With all the years Steve has been in the legislature, he has never even passed a single bill. He’s a disgrace and a typical politician. Even with Trump, Fitzpatrick wins by 10.

  10. Sue D says:

    The only thing Brian Fitzpatrick has going for him is his brother’s coattails, and his brother has done a lousy job. Brian is totally unexperienced. Didn’t the Republicans have any real candidates to offer?

  11. Bubba Dem says:

    Brian debate? That means he has to answer questions about his campaign..and his brother’s help and donors…Silly question!

  12. In The Know says:

    How many bills that Santarsiero authored became law in his legislative career in Harrisburg? None. Zilch. Zero. I guess we can call him SantarZERO.

  13. Porter Randolph says:

    Of course BRIAN (it’s BRIAN, not Mikey) Fitzpatrick wants Steve to sign a civility pledge. Then the Koch Brother funded super pacs can say Steve has sex with farm animals, but the civility pledge won’t allow Steve to fight back to say BRIAN had sex with his brother (or whatever high-minded attacks the super pac scumbags on both sides will think up).

  14. BucksVoter says:

    The “civility pledge” is trash and I recommend the Santarsiero campaign to ignore it. Why disarm when you have legitimate issues surrounding abuse of the Hatch Act?

  15. Steve says:

    Does criticizing someone for not signing the civility pledge break the rules of the civility pledge or is it not in effect until both parties sign? Even a lib like me finds this nauseating.

  16. gulagPittsburgh says:

    Fitspatrick wants limited debates, so nobody will figure out that he is not his brother, the incumbent.

  17. Joe from Bucks says:

    Poor Steve’s entire life has been for this run, everything from teaching for two years to opposing matrix. Now he’s going to get blown out.

  18. Whistleblower says:

    An Ex FBI agent vs a Johnny Doc do nothing legislator?
    I’ll take the FBI agent by 5 Pts

  19. PhillySteve says:

    Santasiero wants the campaign to be uncivil so he can once again whine about accurate attack ads.

  20. Paul says:

    Santarsiero has no shot.

Comments are closed.