Today, I'm posting about several Republican congressional candidates in the critical state of Pennsylvania. My emphasis will be on Melissa Hart in the 4th district (western PA), who's running to regain her congressional seat, and on "new" candidates. They will include Marina Kats (see column and photo below) in the 13th district (northeast Philly and Montgomery County), Mike Livingston in the 2d district (Philadelphia), Tom Manion in the 8th district (Bucks County) and Toni Gilhooley in the 17th district (Harrisburg area). The focus will be on how these candidates "link up" with John McCain's efforts in the Keystone State. What happens in Pennsylvania in the 2008 election (and, frankly, in the 2010 mid-term election) will help determine the success of the McCain presidency. Yes, it's important that John McCain prevails in November, but it's vital that Republicans regain some of the House (and Senate) seats lost in 2006. No Republican or conservative wants to send John McCain to the White House and have him face a Congress opposed to all his key initiatives. The point is this: If you want to support McCain, please take the additional step of voting to send Republicans to Congress. There are 21 congressional seats in Pennsylvania, and it should be possible for Republicans -- over time -- to win at least 15 of them. When that occurs, Republicans nationally should be able to regain control of the House of Representatives.
Note: This column will differ somewhat from the one on my national blogs: http://stevemaloneygop.blogspot.com/ & http://camp2008victorya.blogspot.com/. As we get into May, this column will deal with subjects related to -- but different from -- the ones on my national sites.
Pennsylvania 2d (from The Almanac of American Politics): "[It] takes in much of the city of Philadelphia west of Broad Street, plus Cheltenham Township in suburban Montgomery County. It . . . includes most of the skyscrapers of Center City and well-heeled Rittenhouse Square, the Philadelphia Zoo . . . , the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and lush Fairmount Park . . . [and] climaxes at the grand Philadelphia Museum of Art [where Rocky ran up the steps]."
In Pennsylvania's 2d district, law professor Mike Livingston is running against seven-term congressman Chaka Fattah, ranked by National Journal as one of the most liberal members of the House. Currently (and it kills me to admit this), Fattah is probably unbeatable. However, there are ways Mike can make some serious inroads into Fattah's vote totals.
How? One way is to ask "What has Chaka Fattah done for you lately?" In fact, according to government statistics, one-in-four-reisidents of the 2d is living in poverty. The median income in the district is an anemic $30,600 -- more than $10,000 below the national average.
Of course, it's right of the people in the 2nd to keep sending Chakah Fattah to Congress (and by huge margins). But do they gain any benefit from doing so? It's a political version of the definitin of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again -- while hoping for different results."
In Fattah's past elections, the vote totals have been well below the Pennsylvania average. That means many people in the 2d have given up on the political process.
Obviously, there are opportunities for Mike Livingston to leverage in his district. If he run a strong, low-cost campaign, he has the opportunity to add tens of thousands of votes to past Republican totals.
One key for Mike is to ask every individual and group he meets to donate to his campaign. That's not something any candidate enjoys doing, but it's essential that he raise enough money to lead Fattah know he's in a fight. At a pizza party like the Manion gathering (below), the candidate should have a "bucket" for donations and give every attendee an envelope to use for contributions. Please go to Mike's site now (http://livingstonforcongress.com/) and give him a small donation.
Thank you all for signing up on the website’s mailing list. We would like to extend an invitation to a pizza party and a meet and greet with Tom. It will be held at the Bucks County GOP Headquarters 115 N Broad Street Doylestown PA, 18901 on Thursday May 1st from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. This is a chance to bring everyone together to discuss the state of our campaign, our future, and where everyone fits into our plan. Please RSVP to Krista.firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you as we make Tom Manion our next Congressman in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. Thank you and we appreciate your support.