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PA-Sen: Groen Praises Fetterman

John-FettermanPennsylvania’s Democratic Party Chairman had some candid comments about this year’s field of Democratic Senate candidates.

Marcel Groen told Melissa Daniels of the Tribune-Review that he’s been impressed so far with the wild card of the race, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

“I think Fetterman is more competitive than people think he is,” Groen told Daniels. “Because he’s so different, and he’s really good on issues. Most people who are different are just nuts.”

“I think he’d be the toughest candidate in the general [election],” Groen continued. “In a society looking for different, he could catch on.”

Groen’s comments are particularly notable because most of the party’s establishment, as well as the state’s labor unions, are backing McGinty. He even pointed this out.

“Katie has more institutional support,” Groen said. “Joe [Sestak] has more committed support…and nobody’s going to outwork Joe.”

Finally, the Chair revealed that he is working to make sure the party does not endorse anyone at their upcoming winter meeting in Hershey this month.

Fetterman, McGinty and Sestak are all competing to take on GOP freshman Sen. Pat Toomey.

34 Responses

  1. @Harvey:

    I’ve heard many unsourced claims of “everyone who works for Sestak hates him”.

    Who are these people? I just spoke at length with Jake Shuford last night. He works for/with Joe now, and seems happy to be there. I know Jake Sternberger, same. I have spoken to several of his staff, ditto.

    I’ve also heard a lot of “Fetterman is awesome”. Fair enough, I agree, he worked miracles turning one (1) city around, and has my respect. I don’t think I could have done it. But: what are his qualifications to be US Senator? Much more importantly though, what does he (or McGinty) offer that is superior to Joe?

    This is the part I don’t get, and I gave Joe guff for it for months as well. These three have an upcoming race. They each have two opponents, and Pat Toomey isn’t one. Joe alone – finally – mentioned something specific that he brings that the others don’t. I have not seen anything SPECIFIC (as in examples and quotes, not “I love God and Country”) from either of the others. And voting day draws near.

    I’ll stick with Joe, until I see some concrete reason not to.

  2. Steven Todd, if that’s the reason you’re supporting Sestak, you should seriously give Fetterman a look.

    Pretty much anyone who has ever worked with Sestak will tell you that he is a strange little man.

    My issue with Sestak, other than his family lives in VA, and will put his PA house up for sale the minute he loses, is that he is on the record saying that while serving as Admiral commanding an aircraft carrier group, he knew that invading Iraq was a huge mistake.

    I don’t know how you go into a war and attack a country when you know it’s wrong. It’s not like he was a private just following orders, he was a top Naval Admiral and could have resigned his post if he knew it was wrong.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died or been permanently maimed because of his support of an unjust and foolish war.

    The most offensive thing about that is that Sestak touts his military experience as qualification for him to be a Senator. He’s trying to play it both ways. “I didn’t support the war and knew it was a mistake, but waging that unjust and foolish war is what qualifies me to be your Senator.” That’s pretty messed up.

  3. Dont know-

    Never claimed I had a vote (nor wanted one). But, I do donate and support state committee, so I’d like to see them vote wisely and fairly.

  4. Whosa whatsa now?, I read that Fetterman only owns the building he lives in. He has purchased several other properties and they were all given to his not for profit (that he has never taken a salary from) or sold to individuals for $1.

    Fetterman is the real deal.

  5. Simply attend the meeting and cast your vote… Oh yeah I guess I don’t see your name as even having a vote……
    Maybe get a job…

  6. Dont know-

    Acknowledging my lack of particular details/wording is the kind of caveat a responsible poster when making a case for how something should be done and seeking details on the past from knowledgeable posters who are aware of those details. The relevance of those details just shows how much of a change Marcel would need to make to kill and endorsement vote (and what, if any, precedent exists).

    Committing violence? Did you take “pitchforks and burning torches” literally? (you quoted it)

    If I had referred to “storming the castle”, would you have assumed the state chairman stays in an actual castle?

    If I say that you are “dumber than a box of rocks”, will you go out, collect a box of rocks, compete with it intellectually and report back here your results? (BTW, if we are taking bets, put me down for “box of rocks” as the winner)

  7. A great quote “people without brains sure do an awful lot of talking” And I quote from a writer- “I can’t say that I’m familiar enough with the past endorsement votes, particularly the wording” but this does not stop him from making comments… Clearly has no idea what he is talking about but then suggests committing violence over a vote that means Nothing. and I quote “If there is a nearby vendor of pitchforks and burning torches, this might be a good investment opportunity”
    How sick has our world become….
    Any state committee person that thinks the job is meeting for and hour and half and voting on people they hardly know is the only job of a state committee person should ride on the crazy writers wagon.
    If only the Oz could give this person a brain. Or a job, anything that would stop him from spilling his hate and ugly and uneducated garbage.

  8. Whosa whatsa now?

    You should actually meet John and talk to him about his story to before trying to fit it into a cliche. He’s lives in that town and is raising his kids in there.

    He’s not like Sestak whose wife and child live in a million dollar house in Alexandria, VA, while Sestak pretends to be a resident of Edgmont, PA (which is still a pretty darn nice area, and one of the 3 whitest townships in Delaware County, like his original family township of Springfield).

    Also, Fetterman was deeply affected by the sudden accidental death of one of his friends (around high school/college age).

    By every account, Fetterman is the real deal, and not just putting on a political kabuki show.

  9. This guy reminds me of kids I went to high school with. Their parents were successful and they had some misplaced sense of guilt about it. They dressed themselves as some blue collar lower income class characters and started reciting the same mantras of inequality. He didn’t pull himself up by his boot straps, he took what he needed and then cast away the success and hard work of his parents to identify with some downtrodden b.s. storyline. Also. He purchased a large property in the center of downtown that he is trying to rebuild through his position and for betterment of the community- which leads to financial benefit for him. No one has a problem with this? He must be getting a pass.

    That said. He is probably still doing much to improve the community in the long run.

  10. Yeah Right-

    Force the endorsement votes (or force an election for new chair)?

    I can’t say that I’m familiar enough with the past endorsement votes, particularly the wording, to know if a vote on whether to have any endorsements at all is “in order”.

    Can there be one blanket non-endorsement for the whole state ticket? Or does there have to be a separate “endorse no one vote” for each office?

    For offices with only one (so far) announced candidate (auditor, treasurer), is the party going to screw those candidates for the gamesmanship over AG and Senate (and the whim of the new Chair)?

    If there is a nearby vendor of pitchforks and burning torches, this might be a good investment opportunity.

  11. Attention State Committee Members force the endorsement votes. Don’t let them slither off into the night. If Groen had the votes for McGinty and Shapiro there would be an endorsement. He can’t get the votes Philadelphia doesn’t want Shapiro or McGinty. Fetterman BEWARE of Marcel Groen. ! There’s nothing he can ever give you he doesn’t control anything and never will.

  12. Groen does not what an endorsement vote because he knows McGinty can’t get the endorsement—in spite of the elitist insiders’ in the Party total support for the chosen one. Rank and file support Sestak—he earned their support—he’s been to every county zillions of times. Sestak’s hard work ethic and earned loyalty—is something worth supporting. Sestak deserves to be elected. McGinty needs to work harder and longer and run for a much lower office before assuming she can be a governor or U.S. senator. WORK your way up the ladder, please.

  13. DD…right, you have identified who he takes from Sestak. Who he takes from McGinty are quasi-establishment/organization people who would go with McGinty over Sestak, but who don’t really like her that much, or who think she isn’t a good candidate. In the west, I believe Fetterman takes slightly more from McGinty.

  14. Senator Rutherford B. Cattywampus-

    It would be interesting if Fetterman takes votes away from equally. I don’t know if that’s the case or not.

    I tend to think he takes more votes away from Sestak, as many Fetterman supporters (especially the environmental activists) would never consider voting for McGinty in the first place.

    He probably brings in a bunch of progressive voters who would sit at home before voting for Sestak or McGinty in a primary.

    He definitely takes male votes from Sestak.

    For regional voters, I would agree that the takes equally from both.

    Fetterman needs to blow past Sestak in some polls to be taken more seriously as a candidate, which will make him appear more viable to take on McGinty, which will turbo-charge his fundraising. This could create more momentum, if Sestak appears to collapse (which it might as information comes to light).

  15. Montco…I understand. But most people I know who are for Fetterman have McGinty as second choice, that’s all I’m saying.

  16. SenCat, until April it’s just all noise and I’m content to wait until then. But I’m right.

  17. Montco…guess what? A vote for Fetterman is also one that McGinty won’t get. Believe it or not, outside of la la land, Fetterman is taking votes pretty much equally from Sestak and McGinty.

  18. Not buying this from Marcel one bit. A vote for Fetterman in the primary is a vote that Sestak won’t get, and I believe Marcel really sees this primary as a Sestak-McGinty fight. And he wants no part of Sestak as the Dem candidate in November.

  19. Oh, if that’s what you meant, Your Holiness, I agree. Rambling paranoid conspiracy theorist, indeed.

  20. Reality check-

    87% didn’t win. So, does that mean that the long shots should try to help the favorites get the endorsement to hurt the chances of the favorites?

  21. Reality Check. Democrat State Committee endorsement means nothing. 87% of the endorsed candidates have lost!!! The State Party needs to do build a Team before they endorse.

  22. This pope smokes dope when he can’t see the black hand moving right in front of him.

  23. Oh I did not mean that there wasn’t some truth in it. Simply that it was presented in the voice of a rambling paranoid conspiracy theorist.

  24. Because of the past groundwork done by their expelled toady Jim Burn, the Bazzano-Zappala-Porter mafia may indeed win the Dem endorsement. Then the fun begins as the voters look at cash for kids, the Nepa airport lease and fix, the millions lost by schools and cities because of their investment arm swaps and the Leon Ford matter, where their true colors…anything but black, bring Chicken, Junior back home to roost in Fox Chapel because the sissy has already shone repeatedly that he can’t answer an honest question.

  25. Marcel the puppet is on his way to ruining the Democratic Party. His master, Gov. Wolf is going to back Shapiro and already backing McGinty and Marcel can’t get the two thirds delivered for either one of them for an endorsement. So he’s going to take his ball and go home. Jim Burn always ran a fair meeting, say what you will about him.

  26. “I think he’d be the toughest candidate in the general [election],”

    Very true. Katie doesn’t connect with people and neither does Joe. They can’t beat Toomey. Only hope is Fetterman.

  27. So lets get rid of state committee they are no longer needed.also this process is so unfair to candidates running unopposed jim burn please come back.

  28. So lets get rid of state committee they are no longer needed.also this process is so unfair to candidates running unopposed jim burn please come back.

  29. “Finally, the Chair revealed that he is working to make sure the party does not endorse anyone at their upcoming winter meeting in Hershey this month.”

    Translation: McGinty and Shapiro can’t get 2/3 votes for their respective endorsements (but Zapala might be able to get 2/3 for his AG endorsement).

    The party website has documents on how the whole endorsement proceeding is to operate, and forms for proxies:

    Knocking out the endorsements removes the motivations of many to attend.

    It seems to me that trying to yank the endorsement process this late is insufficient notice. If Marcel didn’t want endorsements, he should have put it on the agenda at least 30 days in advance and notified members in announcements and invitations.

    Even without an endorsement, the vote is a way to gauge party support for the candidates.

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