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Welch Website Knocks Former Dem Smith

Steve Welch is taking a swing at GOP Senate rival Tom Smith over a weakness they both share: a past as registered Democrats. Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, was a Dem from 1969 to 2011.

The site,, criticizes Smith for that as well as his contribution of $2,400 to Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Allegheny) in 2009.

“Not only has Tom Smith voted for Democrats in at least 19 Democratic primaries, but he also supported the liberal candidate in one of the closest elections in 2010,” said Welch campaign manager Peter Towey. “Republican voters should be alarmed that in a year of Republican resurgence, Tom Smith gave a maximum donation to a liberal candidate.”

It continues a push that Welch began during last week’s debate in Philadelphia among the five Republicans seeking to unseat Sen. Bob Casey.

Smith is Welch’s top target in the nomination battle. Driven by significant television advertising since December, Smith has risen to the top of the polls in the U.S. Senate primary.

One can understand their frustration.

Welch has been dogged the entire primary by his 2008 primary vote for Barack Obama, but has gone almost out of his way to explain it (as a regrettable, but temporary, apostasy). He also gave $300 to Joe Sestak’s congressional campaign in 2006.

Smith campaign manager Jim Conroy noted both when asked to respond to the new website.

This is a desperate and disingenuous attack in a failed attempt to distract voters from Steve Welch’s liberal past that includes voting for Barack Obama and campaigning for Joe Sestak.  Voters know that Tom Smith is a lifelong conservative who has always stood and fought for conservative Republican values,” he said.”

Smith, meanwhile, has avoided similar scrutiny simply by saying he’s forgotten who he voted for in the 19 Democratic primaries where he’s cast a ballot, and never giving a specific name.

Hence the Welch camp’s effort to pin him down to Lyndon Larouche or Bill Bradley (see below).

The other candidates are David Christian, a businessman and veterans advocate from Bucks County; Sam Rohrer, a former State Rep. from Berks County; and Marc Scaringi, an attorney from Cumberland County.

24 Responses

  1. I just read the link. Frankly, I am shocked. This is disillusioning. Maybe his flirtation with Democrats had another purpose than his state reason of disenchantment with BushSantorum spending, debt and deficit policies.

    I had thought Steve Welch to be a Limited Government, Free Market Economic Freedom guy and it turns out he takes $642, 177 in a taxpayer subsidized loan from the big government PIDA.

    I had thought, despite Party Establishment backing, Steve Welch would be a good candidate. It seems that Steve Welch wants the government to give him taxpayer money, too. Like the Democrats.

    Very disillusioning.

    Welch Phoenixville LLC, beneficial-owner of biotechnology companies
    Mitos Technologies, Mito Molding and Mitos BioSystems, will receive a
    $642,177 PIDA loan for enhancements to a new facility in Upper Providence
    Township. The organizations will occupy half of the 40,000-square-foot
    building, which is currently under construction. All 24 existing employees
    will be transferred to the new site and 47 new jobs will be created. The
    Montgomery County Industrial Development Corporation is sponsoring this
    $2.1 million project.

  2. Sam Rohrer and Dave Christian have the problem plaguing so many Tea Party candidates. The Tea Party activists can’t or won’t write checks to support their candidates.

    When someone like Tom Smith comes along, he should be embraced because he writes checks to support Tea Party principles.

  3. Of course, BrabenderCox and Brian Nutt go negative. It’s what they do best.

    Steve Welch’s Negative – Endorsed by Harrisburg Establishment Insider Network of Rob Gleason, getting rich from government.

    I have the spread sheet. Tom Smith has contributed over HALF MILLION dollars to Constitutional Limited Government Economic Freedom organizations and candidates and has gotten nothing back personally. and done it with no fanfare. Tom Smith real deal; Welch-State GOP, opportunistic, self-serving frauds and phonies pretending to be our representatives.

    What has Steve Welch or even State Committee done for Constitutional Limited Government candidates like Sam Rohrer, Dave Christian, Tom Smith. State Committee takes….while Tom Smith gives.

    Negative; it’s what people without a positive record do because it is all they can do.

    The fact that Tom Smith was a Democrat makes him more attractive in General Election to those who will see him as someone who understands, even if he does not agree with, Reagan Democrats.

  4. Julian,
    Seems like Tom Smith’s success in the private sector and ability to properly fund a campaign is an ongoing source of frustration for Rohrer’s backers; especially given that it appears Sam’s sole source of income is the Unconstitutional pension he voted himself. No point in responding to everything you’ve posted, but regarding Tom Smith’s bus: it is 16 years old and worth maybe 5% of your estimate. Regardless, he is independently wealthy and spending his own money on this campaign (and only a fraction of it) so he is certainly entitled to do so as he sees fit. Sam is a career politician and a vote for him is just a vote for more of the same from our Government.

  5. CCP- Read “The Second American Revolution” by John Whitehead that deals specifically with how the Courts have changed the Constitution. Also read “Who Killed the Constitution” by Thomas Woods.

    There is a bit of subjectivity involved in “never voted for anything unconstitutional”. If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is constitutional, all those who voted for it can say “I never voted for anything unconstitutional”. Then think about the Patriot Act.. Two examples to ponder about “constitutional claims”.

    Now look at the (short version) history of the pay raise. Justice Cappy framed the bill to correct a legitimate issue. The executive and legislative branches were piggybacked into it. Groups claimed that the raise violated six provisions of the PA Constitution. The history is there to be read and a judgement made. Did the ruling make it constitutional anymore than Roe or the Patriot Act?
    Or has the issue become how the branches have become so collegial that they no longer provide checks and balances, eviscerating the Constitution?

    If one runs on their vote and the decision of the Court as the sole definition of what is constitutional then they are defining constitutional and the constitution as a “living and breathing” document and as a justification for their vote. Once that argument is made, walk away.

  6. David Christian is an outstanding candidate. Voters should not forget that Welch tried to have Dave Christian thrown off the ballot using legal manuevers he hid by having the State Party do the dirty work. Fortunately Christian prevailed and voters have a choice of four conservatives Christian, Scaringi, Smith, & Rohrer. Obama Welch is also on the ballot for those that still like Arlen Specter

  7. Wow… Isn’t this special, two R.I.N.O’s fighting over the same watering hole. One, a lifelong Democrat that switches parties to throw his money around to buy a seat and the other, who cannot make up his mind whether he is a Democrat, a Republican oh, wait a moment, I am supposed to be a Republican for this race [Welch] and works some yet unknown weasel deal to get the endorsement. I say let the two losers fight it out, Pennsylvanian’s have a good memory regarding our famous RINO, Spector, we will not fall for this a second time. To be, it is like watching two rats fighting over a discarded chicken bone. These two RINO’s are simply using their money to try and buy a seat in the US Senate. Is that not what Rod Blagojevich tried to sell and now he is doing 15 years in federal prison. Why are we giving these two a free ride. Out of the five candidates, there is only one candidate that has been a loyal Republican, has actually been able to get legislation passed, even when he was not an elected official. Roher was an elected representative for 18 years, he never got ONE bill passed. The only thing he did was vote himself and the rest of his pals a pay raise. My vote is for David Christian, the rest of them are not even fit to shine his [Christian’s] shoes. We need change and we need it now. Christian represents that change. He is a true, loyal Republican with Republican values, not a Republican when it is convenient.

  8. Where the jobs are today either during or after his involvement would be interesting. China, India, cheap labor South? Afterall Obama Welch did apply or get an Obama/Rendell handout/stimulus/TARP grant or loan so to speak.

  9. Committee person do your homework–or read the Constitution. 2005 Pay raise was a vote meant to give the judicial branch a long overdue pay increase. Pay raise vote was NOT unconstitutional. Unvouchered expenses was the vote that was unconstitutional. Sam voted AGAINST unvouchered expenses. Sam doesn’t have an unconstitutional vote. THAT’S A FACT.

    Sam was not content to work with Perzel. Didn’t have a choice. Vet before you repeat lest we hold suspect the validity of all your facts. Knowledge is power.

  10. He wanted to go to China but I think he said that if he did that the locals would just set up a plant next door and steal his ideas. And the government there encourages it because they do buy local.
    I don’t know if the company was ultimately successful in relocating before or after his involvement. But, he wanted to cut costs.

  11. Thanks County Committee
    The sandwich was to continue and say
    Obama Welch took $600K handout from the Democrats (Rendell) Where does Obama Welch manufacture his stuff India? China? Just curious. Smith & Christian employ Pennsylvanians. Did Welch? or did he outsource overseas for manufacturing?

  12. Anybody want to bet that the entire General Fund budget of Plumcreek Township in the late 70’s was close or only slightly larger than the $600K handout Obama Welch got from the D (Rendell)

  13. “Freindly Fire: Despite the fact that Corbett has consistently campaigned on conservative principles, some Tea Partiers and other conservatives are backing Rohrer because of his conservative credentials. Yet Rohrer voted for the infamous unconstitutional payraise in 2005 — when legislators pocketed the money in that term — and voted to increase his pension by 50%. Do you think some conservatives are giving him a free pass on these issues? Why?

    Mike O’Connell: Here we get to the politics of style versus substance.

    For anyone familiar with Harrisburg, the notion that an eighteen-year-legislator, who cast the votes you just mentioned, and who was content to work with House leaders—including former Speaker John Perzel, bravely demonized by many on the Right now that he is no longer in power—is now somehow an outsider and political rebel is just silly.

    That’s the substance.

    The style is different: what the “tea party” movement sees is a graduate of Bob Jones University—which it must be said is a pretty good first step in establishing one to be, or at least to have been at age eighteen, out of the political mainstream—who avers that he is an outsider is taken at face value by those who value outsider-ness . . . and to the degree the movement prides itself on not knowing what state government does, ignoring actual votes cast by a flesh-and-blood legislator is not only convenient but can be a badge of honor.”

  14. Hey Jim Conroy! Hoe does it feel to have the tables turned after that hit piece you guys mailed out on Sam Rohrer that was filled with lies and half truths just like you are now being exposed of by Welch? Bet you don’t like it do you?

    Here is an idea. How about you post the list of all the Democrats that Smith supported in his last 19 years of primary votes. Prove he is not just another Arlen Specter decepti-CON.

    Based on your TV ads, I am assuming you are relying uneducated voters to sweep you to victory. Smarter people that have seen you just mimic the message of the only REAL conservative in the race, Sam Rohrer, know better. You see, unlike you and Welch, Sam has a voting record and he gets a near 100% rating from all conservative rating agencies. All we have from you is talk at this point and boy is that talk expensive based on the number of TV ads you are running.

  15. Tom Smith’s brand new luxury tour bus? $500,000
    MPG? 1
    Cost per Gallon? $4.50
    Tom Smith’s concept of fiscal conservatism? PRICELESS!!!!

  16. No turncoats allowed in this race. You are doing an outstanding job Mr.Gibson – I found the integrity of your coverage for Politics PA to be an excellent standard for media coverage– keep up the good work. I don’t think voters want an untrustworthy Democrat as their Senator just like Huntsman for president – they got rid of him in a hurry . . .

  17. BraebenderCox can’t make money off of a Superpac, but they can off of this.
    I agree it is ill advised…especially with his history of supporting Obama and Sestak.
    It’s also pathetic he couldn’t find anyone to set up a superpac for him.
    $s doesn’t equal brains. Or character.

  18. I thought Welch was supposed to be smart?
    Isn’t this the kind of stuff SuperPACs were made for?

    There must not be anyone who likes him enough to run one, so he’s got to do it himself. Telling.

  19. Of course Welch and the Democratic Party are attacking the front runner and the one whom the Democrats fear most.

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