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Republican Candidates Line Up To Whack Sen. Casey On PROTECT IP

By Ben Griffiths, Contributing Writer

Sen. Casey’s opponents jumped at the opportunity to criticize the incumbent Senator over his support of PIPA or the Protect IP Act.

The legislation was the target of a national protest by Internet advocates on Wednesday.

PIPA, which has a sister bill before the House called SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act is, according to supporters, intended to crack down on foreign sites that maliciously seek to share copyrighted content. But opponents to the bill claim that giving government the power to regulate Internet content can lead down a slippery slope.

First in line to criticize Casey was Steve Welch, an entrepreneur from Chester County and the nerdiest candidate in the GOP field.

“As someone who has been intimately involved in the startup of multiple web-based companies, this SOPA/PIPA legislation is the perfect example of how out–of-touch Washington is with the real world,” Welch said.

SOPA/PIPA goes beyond property rights, Welch reiterated.

“Senator Casey has no clue how damaging this type of legislation could be and how it would affect people in the real world.  This is just another example of how Senator Casey sees the federal government as the solution.”

Other GOP challengers echoed the criticism.

“Senator Casey has proven again he believes that it is the role of government to police the free-market, a philosophy that has continued to chase jobs out of our country,” said Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County.

The topic was ripe for challenger Marc Scaringi, who is running his campaign on the idea of a constitutionally limited government.

“I strongly oppose the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the U.S. House and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate, which U.S. Senator Robert Casey has co-sponsored, because these proposed bills pose grave constitutional problems concerning our right to free speech and due process of law,” said Scaringi.

“Dave Christian opposes both the PIPA and the SOPA as they threaten our right to privacy and free speech,” said campaign manager Skip Salveson. “He would vote against both bills. He asks Sen. Bob Casey to remove his co-sponsorship of the PIPA and vote against the PIPA.”

Tim Burns, a businessman and 2010 congressional candidate from Washington County, formed his own tech company as young man. His campaign did not respond to request for comment.

Pennsylvania’s other Senator, Sen. Toomey released the following statement on PIPA:

“Piracy of intellectual property is a legitimate concern that should be addressed. However, the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Internet Piracy Act are flawed, and I cannot support them in their current form. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this issue and finding a better legislative approach for tackling online piracy,” Sen. Toomey said.

Rep. Tim Holden felt heat from his constituents, so much so that the Congressman revoked his support of the SOPA bill on Wednesday.

However, despite the flack, Sen. Casey has thus far stuck by the PIPA bill, which is scheduled for its procedural vote on January 24th.

4 Responses

  1. I also wonder whether Welch, the pro-abortion guy, has made any further campaign donations to Obama and intends to again vote for him in the Fall.

  2. Thank goodness the author did not mention he-who-must-not-be-named, the candidate who does not play the game.

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