Monday, February 27, 2006

Santorum's charity spends 60 percent on overhead, Santorum's Staff Personally Benefited!

Senator's charity spends 60 percent on overhead, some to campaign aides: "Senator's charity spends 60 percent on overhead, some to campaign aides

WASHINGTON A charity run by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is supposed to promote "compassionate conservatism" by giving grants to small non-profit groups, including religious groups.

But the charity has actually donated just 40 percent of the one and a-quarter (m) million dollars it spent during a four-year period. The rest went for overhead. And some of that overhead money went to Santorum campaign aides who were on the charity's payroll.

The 40-percent donation rate is well below the standards of the Better Business Bureau, which advises giving to charitable organizations that spend at least 65 percent of their total expenses on program activities.

The treasurer for Operation Good Neighbor defends its spending practices. She says the charity doesn't have the same ability as the Salvation Army or the Red Cross "to raise money without spending much money to do so."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Casey Could Defeat Santorum in Pennsylvania: Angus Reid Consultants

Casey Could Defeat Santorum in Pennsylvania: Angus Reid Consultants: "Angus Reid Global Scan : Polls & Research
Casey Could Defeat Santorum in Pennsylvania
February 16, 2006
(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey maintains the upper hand in the United States Senate election, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 51 per cent of respondents in the Keystone State would support the Democrat in a head-to-head contest against Republican incumbent Rick Santorum.

Casey has been Pennsylvania’s state treasurer since January 2005, and previously served as the state auditor general for eight years. Casey is the son of former Keystone State governor Robert P. Casey, and lost the 2002 Democratic primary to current governor Ed Rendell.

Santorum was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, and earned a second term in 2000, defeating Democrat Ron Klink with 53 per cent of all cast ballots. He had previously served for two consecutive terms in the House of Representatives.

Support for Casey fell by one point since October, while backing for Santorum increased by two points to 36 per cent. The U.S. Senate election is scheduled for Nov. 7.

In a state in which one in five residents is over 60 years old, Medicare is expected to become a major campaign issue. Virginia Davis, a spokesman for Santorum’s office, said in a statement to that "it is senator Santorum’s priority that Pennsylvania’s seniors have access to quality, affordable prescription drugs."

Polling Data

If the 2006 election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Bob Casey Jr. the Democrat and Rick Santorum the Republican for whom would you vote?

Feb. 2006
Oct. 2005
Jul. 2005

Bob Casey Jr. (D)

Rick Santorum (R)

Someone else

Would not vote

Not sure

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 1,661 Pennsylvania voters, conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 2006. Margin of error is 2.4 per cent."

Santorum wants to have his cake and eat it, too. - Christianity Today Magazine

How Not to Influence People - Christianity Today Magazine: "Home > Christianity Today Magazine > Culture & Technology > Books

Christianity Today, February 2006

How Not to Influence People
Rick Santorum's It Takes a Family is an example of how not to fight the culture wars.
by John Wilson | posted 02/16/2006 09:15 a.m.

Conservatism and
the Common Good
by Rick Santorum
464 pp.; $25

Every Christian on the front lines of the culture wars should read this book—as an example of how not to go about it. Santorum, a two-term Republican senator from Pennsylvania currently engaged in a tough battle for reelection, is a devout Roman Catholic who was named by Time magazine as one of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America." As one of the strongest conservative voices in the Senate, he has taken leadership on a number of key issues, including abortion.

We urgently need leaders who unapologetically defend traditional family values in the context of the common good. At times, It Takes a Family achieves this goal, with well-reasoned policy recommendations and telling anecdotes. But from the start, this book has a divided heart. Santorum's contemptuous references to "liberals," "village elders," and "the Bigs" (this from a candidate who boasts Wal-Mart as a major donor) are pitched to the right-wing choir. One moment sneering in full talk-radio mode, the next moment sanctimoniously quoting Tocqueville, Santorum wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

It didn't surprise me when (on page 296) Santorum came to the obligatory reference to Andres Serrano's Piss Christ—"a piece of 'artwork,' funded by the National Endowment of the Arts"—that he referred to Serrano as "José." Santorum and his researchers can't even be bothered to get the name of one of their favorite villains right. We expect more than this from one who styles himself a champion of the common good.

Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
February 2006, Vol. 50, No. 2, Page 99"

Santorum's Goons Use Dirty Politics to Attack Casey

Casey's Abramoff-linked donations draw flak from GOP, Santorum: "Casey's Abramoff-linked donations draw flak from GOP, Santorum
Thursday, February 16, 2006

By Maeve Reston, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- Republican officials and Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign yesterday accused Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate candidate, state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., of hypocrisy because Mr. Casey's campaign does not plan to return contributions from two former associates of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The controversy is part of the struggle between Washington's Democrats and Republicans to avoid the taint of the Abramoff scandal after the ex-lobbyist pleaded guilty last month to tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy to bribe public officials resulting from a federal investigation into his activities promoting Indian tribes.

As Democrats have tried to brand the GOP as a corrupt party because of Mr. Abramoff's dealings with prominent Republicans including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Republicans have retaliated by scouring Federal Election Commission records to find contributions to Democrats from Mr. Abramoff's associates or the tribes for which he lobbied.

That exercise this week has turned up two contributions to Mr. Casey from lobbyists who worked closely with Mr. Abramoff while he was at the firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP. Officials of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and at Mr. Santorum's campaign are making an issue of $5,500 that the Democratic challenger received last year from two former employees of that law firm: Michael Smith and Edward Ayoob.

Even though the contributions by both men were made more than a year after Mr. Abramoff was pressured to resign by Greenberg Traurig and at a time when both were working for new firms, the Republican campaign committee and Mr. Santorum's campaign yesterday said Mr. Casey was applying a double standard for contributions to his campaign and those to the senator's.

Earlier this year, Mr. Casey's campaign pounded Mr. Santorum for not immediately returning contributions from several of Mr. Abramoff's tribal clients. Within the week of Mr. Abramoff's guilty plea, Mr. Santorum decided that he would donate the tribal contributions to charity because his campaign said it was virtually impossible to determine whether the money was related to Mr. Abramoff's lobbying activities.

"[Mr. Casey] is basically saying one thing and doing another," said Santorum campaign spokeswoman Virginia Davis. "Both of these gentlemen were part of Abramoff's team, and there are reports of their close connections with Abramoff. ... For Casey to not contribute these contributions to charity or return them is completely hypocritical."

Mr. Smith, who gave Mr. Casey $4,000 last June and is now a lobbyist at Cornerstone Government Affairs, declined to comment yesterday.

Mr. Ayoob also declined to comment, other than to say he was frustrated that contributions he made more than a year after he last spoke with Mr. Abramoff were being used for what he views as obvious political purposes. Mr. Ayoob, who donated a total of $1,500 on June 29 and Sept. 19 of last year, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Duquesne University law school who worked with Mr. Abramoff after his time as a senior aide for current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Mr. Ayoob now works for the firm of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

Mr. Casey?s spokesman Larry Smar emphasized that neither Mr. Ayoob or Mr. Smith had been accused of wrongdoing and said the back and forth was "nothing more than a smokescreen by Santorum to try to cover up his ethical problems with the K Street project and his weekly meetings with lobbyists."

(Maeve Reston can be reached at 202-488-3479"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Patriot-News: Casey adds to lead over Santorum, poll shows - Santorum Tanking

Casey adds to lead over Santorum, poll shows: "Casey adds to lead over Santorum, poll shows
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Of The Patriot-News
WASHINGTON - A new poll could diminish Republicans' confidence that the U.S. Senate election is narrowing.

Democrat Robert P. Casey Jr. widened his lead over U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., by 3 percentage points, to 51 percent to 36 percent, over the last two months, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday.

The poll of 1,661 Pennsylvania voters shows that one Republican in five labels Santorum's views "extreme," and the same proportion says that he does not deserve to be re-elected.

"Sen. Santorum opens the election year a solid 15 points behind Bob Casey and facing serious opposition from a significant number of members of his own party," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 31 through Feb. 6 and has a 2.4-percentage- point margin of error. A Patriot-News/WGAL-TV Keystone Poll released last week that was conducted over nearly the same period showed Casey leading Santorum by 11 points.

Forty-three percent of voters approve of Santorum's job performance, but 42 percent disapprove. Only 15 percent said they don't know enough.

While Casey's unfavorable ratings are at 6 percent, 38 percent say they don't know enough about the state treasurer to make up their mind, more than those who have a favorable opinion (34 percent).

The bottom line for Santorum is that 44 percent still say he does not deserve to be re-elected, compared with 41 percent who say he does.

Casey, who is expected to win the Democratic nomination, is favored by 70 percent of Democratic voters surveyed.

BRETT LIEBERMAN: (202) 383-7833 or"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/13/2006 | Casey Raising More Money Than Anticipated - Santorum Losing "Incumbent's Edge"

Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/13/2006 | For Santorum and Casey, fund-raising is constant: "Posted on Mon, Feb. 13, 2006
For Santorum and Casey, fund-raising is constant Each must juggle his duties with the scramble for money in what analysts consider the year's premier Senate race.By Carrie BudoffInquirer Staff WriterIn December, State Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. went into the office just seven days.
With a crucial fund-raising deadline looming, the Democratic Senate candidate swept through Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis and spent as many days in Philadelphia - raising money and working on his campaign - as he did in the treasurer's office in Harrisburg.
Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum stayed closer to home, attending 11 fund-raisers in 15 days across Pennsylvania and in New York and Washington. After missing four votes, and the possibility of a fifth on the Patriot Act, Santorum cut short a trip to Texas and Arizona.
That December snapshot highlights the intense pace of fund-raising in what political analysts consider this year's premier U.S. Senate race. With the candidates preparing to battle not only each other but special-interest groups, the need to bank millions of dollars won't relent until Election Day.
Santorum is the Senate Republicans' No. 3 leader, but he is the Democrats' No. 1 target - for his conservative politics as much as for his Senate leadership position and his potential presidential aspirations. Democrats, hungry for a high-profile win, have funneled $6 million to Casey. Republicans have countered with $10 million for Santorum in the last year.
The money pressures have led Casey to spend the majority of his time on 91.5 of 211 workdays on his campaign from March through December, according to an abridged schedule provided by the treasurer's office. Casey, who entered the Senate race six weeks after being sworn in as treasurer, spent more than half of June, September and December out of the office. The common thread: Each month preceded a quarterly fund-raising deadline, a pivotal benchmark that shapes perceptions about a candidate's ability to win.
Santorum did make 96 percent of his Senate votes between March and December - the key indicator for determining a senator's whereabouts. But that tells only part of the story.
Santorum spent a portion of 97 of 211 work days at fund-raisers, weaving 154 events throughout his Senate schedule, routinely juggling floor votes with donor luncheons at Washington restaurants, according to a list provided by his campaign. The mixing of public business and fund-raising has come under scrutiny since lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty plea in a bribery investigation that magnified the clubby relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists.
Although much attention is paid to the amount that candidates raise, less is known about the methods and time that fund-raising demands. The schedules, which are not public records, were provided at The Inquirer's request, offering a more complex view of fund-raising in a cash-infused race.
Santorum and Casey say their official duties remain their priority; fund-raising is secondary.
Still, Barry Kauffman, executive director of Pennsylvania Common Cause, a government watchdog group, called the campaign interference "a huge, huge problem."
"When public officials are distracted from their jobs because they have to raise enormous amounts of money, and they spend four or five hours a day dialing for dollars with wealthy people, they don't have time to talk to the regular people," Kauffman said.
"It all comes down to, Who is going to own the election?"
By all accounts, Casey had never thought much about the Senate. The governorship was his ambition.
That all changed when he won the treasurer's office in 2004 with more votes than any other candidate in any race in state history, and in areas where Democrats usually fared poorly. The national party came calling.
When Casey entered the Senate race on March 4, political observers asked: Would the party's big liberal funders invest heavily in this antiabortion, anti-gun-control Democrat?
Eleven months later, Casey has overcome much of the skepticism by crisscrossing the state and the nation, making contacts and collecting checks - mostly behind closed doors.
Casey left the East Coast for the first time to raise money in June. But his first stop wasn't a liberal money capital like Los Angeles or San Francisco.
It was Dallas.
After flying on a private jet owned by the law firm of Baron & Budd, Casey dined with donors at the Crescent Club, a private club at a five-star hotel. He also was host at a cocktail reception for younger professionals in the Uptown district.
"He hasn't been a national politician," said Frederick M. Baron, a prominent Dallas lawyer who served as chairman of Democrat John Kerry's joint fund-raising committee for his presidential campaign in 2004. "It was really important for him to go around and start introducing himself and start networking."
Baron said he met Casey through Austin, Texas, native Paul Begala, an adviser to former President Bill Clinton who helped propel Casey's father into the Pennsylvania governor's office in the late '80s.
As a past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Baron said, he has since asked his national network of lawyers to raise money for Casey, which they have done in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. For them, Santorum's defeat ranks at the top of the political to-do list.
Unlike Casey, Santorum favors limiting jury awards in malpractice cases and establishing a federal asbestos trust fund. In a 2002 interview with the Financial Times of London, Baron vowed a "jihad" against lawmakers who worked to restrict tort cases.
Casey flew out of Dallas with more than $71,000, including $28,000 from Baron & Budd employees.
He returned to Texas in September as part of a money-raising sprint that kept him from the office on 16 of 21 workdays.
For the month, he cleared $1.5 million, or roughly $50,000 a day, exceeding analysts' expectations. The month's highlights: Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) helped raise $500,000 at a Philadelphia luncheon, and a former ambassador to Portugal, Elizabeth F. Bagley, feted the state treasurer in her Georgetown home in Washington.
The demands of a statewide campaign - this is Casey's third in four years - have not gone unnoticed in Harrisburg.
Within days of Casey's entering the race, Republicans sensed a political soft spot. They began portraying him as a political opportunist, flitting from office to office and using his family name to advance.
At a budget hearing in March, Casey told state lawmakers he could handle the dual responsibility. "I am confident in the system we have in place and the team we have in place."
The treasurer, who earns $134,140 a year, serves as custodian of $100 billion in state-agency and public-pension funds. The office cuts checks, audits spending, administers the state's college savings plan, and oversees $12 billion in investments.
While he might be out of the office, Casey remains in "constant contact," Treasury spokeswoman Karen Walsh said.
She said he has gone beyond his job description by creating new loan programs - $20 million for energy loans to homeowners, and $50 million for hospital improvements. He performed a "top-to-bottom review" of state Treasury contracts for cost savings, expanded fraud investigations, and hired Moody's to rate the college savings plan for the first time to encourage more investment, Walsh said.
"I can't stress enough that he is running this department," Walsh said.
The pressure to raise mounds of cash stems, in large part, from Santorum.
The two-term senator estimated a year ago that he would collect $25 million, or an average of $1 million a month, putting him on track to break the Senate record in Pennsylvania of $21 million, set by Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004.
Observers didn't question the goal. Santorum, who earns $162,000 a year, has established himself as a prolific fund-raiser.
His schedule reflects that reality. He has traveled to more than a dozen states, once holding five events between Georgia and Texas in one day.
A Georgia fund-raiser netted $12,750 from 15 doctors with Resurgens, an orthopedic practice. Workers and executives of Alcon Laboratories, a Texas eye-products company, poured $17,600 into his campaign.
A July weekend trip to Colorado coincided with more than $25,000 in contributions from prominent conservatives, such as billionaire financier Philip Anschutz and retired cable executive John V. Saeman Jr., who said he supports Santorum's "pro-family, pro-life values." Like Casey on his Texas trip, Santorum got there by corporate jet - this one from BellSouth.
"We all recognize that Rick is a marked man," said Saeman, who, along with his wife, gave the maximum donation of $4,200. "The Republicans were able to unseat Tom Daschle, and this is the Democrats' hot-button designated seat for payback."
Consider Santorum's long Veterans' Day weekend.
On Nov. 10, a Thursday, he attended two fund-raisers and cast two votes in Washington. Later that day, he traveled to Ohio for a third fund-raiser, missing three votes. Over the next three days, he jumped from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, delivering speeches and federal funds for local programs. He was back in Philadelphia that Monday, leading a town-hall meeting and hitting two more fund-raisers before a 5:25 p.m. vote in Washington.
"There is a real incumbent advantage, because the line between campaigning and Senate duties is very thin," said Larry Noble, president of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.
Nowhere is this more apparent than Washington.
Santorum has held more than a third of his fund-raisers there, more than in any other city and, on several occasions, has held as many as three in a day.
Moving among votes, hearings and constituent meetings, Santorum drops by a donor breakfast or luncheon, typically for half an hour. The events are built around his official duties, said Virginia Davis, his campaign spokeswoman.
"Sen. Santorum is committed to carrying out the responsibilities associated with his official role as a U.S. senator," Davis said. "His remaining time is balanced with the priorities of his family and the challenge of running statewide."
Those commitments "often limit his ability to travel outside of D.C. for fund-raising," she added.
Newt Gingrich, the Republican former House speaker, has called it unnecessary. "Too many politicians are scheduling the people's business around their fund-raising opportunities," Gingrich, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, said in a commentary last month on National Public Radio. "There is no good reason to raise money in Washington, D.C., and this practice should be banned. Period."
Unlikely to happen, political observers say. For Santorum and Casey, the amount of money from Washington area donors is second only to that from Pennsylvanians.
"The members can't afford it," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "The people who are most interested in their campaigns are people with interests in Washington."

Contact staff writer Carrie Budoff at 610-313-8211 or
How this article was reported
Work schedules are not covered by Pennsylvania's public-records law, but the state Treasury Department provided an abridged version of Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr.'s whereabouts on workdays at the Inquirer's request.
It included city location by date and whether the Democratic candidate spent the majority of the day on Treasury business or on his campaign - a determination made by the Treasury's communications director. The schedule did not detail his daily meetings or activities after work hours or on the weekends.
His work schedule was then matched against his campaign-finance reports to determine where he was and from whom he raised money as he traveled. The Casey campaign would not provide a list of his fund-raisers by date and city.
Republican Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign did provide a list telling where and when he held fund-raisers.
Santorum's schedule was initially pieced together through his roll-call votes, public events, and a review of his campaign-finance filings. The fund-raising list compiled by his campaign, which detailed the number of events he held in each city, filled in the gaps.
The review covered 10 months last year, from March 1 through Dec. 31. Casey entered the race March 4, and Dec. 31 was the end of the most recent campaign reporting cycle.

Carrie Budoff"

Friday, February 10, 2006

Analysts ponder dynamics of campaign teams

Analysts ponder dynamics of campaign teams: "
Analysts ponder dynamics of campaign teams
Friday, February 10, 2006
Of Our Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - There's East vs. West, Democrat vs. Republican, Black vs. White. And, of course, Steelers fans vs. Eagles fans.

But the Republican Party's expected endorsement of Lynn Swann for governor tomorrow morning sets the stage for what might prove to be one of the most interesting pairings in state politics.

The teaming of Swann and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., against Gov. Ed Rendell and state Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Santorum's expected opponent, creates a match-up of big names with big regional bases that might prove key to their running mates.

If Swann, who is black, can draw support from black voters who have traditionally eluded Republican candidates, it could be the edge Santorum needs to nick away at Casey.

"I don't know about the political dynamics of those things," Santorum said.

"But I do think we make a good team, we've got a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm," he said. "I think we'd make a pretty good quarterback, wide receiver pair. I've been working on my arm. I figure I might have to throw some long passes to him."

Or Casey, who is running much stronger than Rendell in parts of the state such as Allegheny County, could help the governor overcome his administration's inability to win over voters west of Valley Forge.

"There are certain positions and values that Bob Casey has stated that definitely appeal to the West," said Penny Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a Rendell confidante.

It remains uncertain, however, how helpful Swann and Santorum will be for each other -- or Rendell and Casey, whose different positions on abortion and gun control might lead to a lot of ticket splitting.

"I don't think this election hinges on a coalition ticket being able to ratchet up the vote for both partners," said pollster G. Terry Madonna of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Republicans, however, are hoping to turn conventional wisdom on its head.

By reaching out to black candidates such as Swann, they hope to draw more support from minorities. Santorum has had some success drawing support from Philadelphia blacks by aggressively reaching out to them since his 1994 election, but the impact has mostly been marginal, party leaders said.

They hope Swann can deliver a few more black votes for Republicans, including Santorum.

History is against them.

"We've yet to see an African-American Republican candidate take a whole lot more of the African-American vote than they would normally get. It just doesn't happen that way," said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Cook Political Report, a respected non-partisan publication that tracks elections across the country.

"I'm not a believer that Lynn Swann will be able to attract those votes, and then I don't believe there will be any tangential effect of Rick Santorum being able to attract those votes," agreed one Republican operative.

But some good news for Santorum in the latest Keystone Poll is that he is running close to Casey in southeastern Pennsylvania, where both have struggled to attract support from moderate voters who frequently support abortion rights and gun control.

Even if he doesn't turn out black voters for Republicans, Swann could energize Republicans, particularly if they sense a tight race against Rendell as the latest Patriot-News/WGAL-TV Keystone Poll suggests.

Swann might also bring in casual voters, said Ray Zaborney, Swann's campaign manager.

BRETT LIEBERMAN: (202) 383-7833 or"

American Prospect Online - The Keystone Race

American Prospect Online - The Keystone Race: "The Keystone Race
The Pennsylvania Senate race could again pave the way for a Clinton presidency.
By Terence Samuel
Web Exclusive: 02.10.06

Anger management consultant Ken Mehlman, who moonlights as chairman of the Republican National Committee, was in Southeastern Pennsylvania Wednesday talking about how frustrated some African Americans with being taken for granted by Democrats, and how much Hispanics wanted the country to deal with immigration issue.

He hung out at Lincoln University, the historically black university which counts among its alumni, Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall and Kwame Nkrumah. Then Mehlman did an event in Kennett Square described by one reporter as a pep rally with Hispanic leaders. Both events were in Chester County, in Philadelphia’s western suburbs, which has seen a boom in its immigrant population partly to retain its title as "mushroom capital of the world." “One thing I hear a lot from people is that a lot of folks think that Democrats take the African-American vote for granted,” Mehlman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Ben Lowe. The chairman also allowed this observation: “What I picked up at the Latino event is that people recognize the importance and need of fixing the immigration system.”

But Mehlman, who earlier in the week had described Hillary Clinton as too angry to be elected president, may be having a little emotional crisis of his own. His mere presence was a huge show of anxiety about what will happen in November, because the real reason Mehlman was in the Brandywine Valley is what Republicans are picking up in the polls. In the particular case of Pennsylvania, their two-term incumbent senator and onetime wunderkind, Rick Santorum, is trailing badly in the polls, down by a double-digit margin to State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr., whose fervent pro-life position dismays a lot of Democrats, but completely robs Santorum of the issue he has used most often to separate himself from the opposition.

Elected to the Senate in 1994 at age 34, Santorum is the absolute embodiment of the modern conservative movement and its hold on the GOP. Casey is the son of the late governor, Bob Casey Sr., whose anti-abortion stand is often blamed for the controversial decision by Bill Clinton to deny him a speaking role at the 1992 Democratic convention. And even now the younger Casey is likely to take as much heat from some in his own party as he does from the GOP, but the great debate about where Casey fits in as a Democrat, is the essential interior debate that Democrats are having with themselves these days.

What all of this adds up to, is that the Pennsylvania Senate race will headline the contest for control of the Senate this fall, and for now, Mehlman can’t like what he’s picking up there, or anywhere else for that matter: In the three big three industrial swing states --Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- GOP incumbents are trailing or in tight races, suffering at the hands of poor approval ratings for their president.

But Pennsylvania is a special problem because over the last four presidential elections it has become increasingly Democratic, which will make it difficult for Santorum to rely on President Bush to help get him over the top. Mehlman says that the RNC will have 20 full-time staff in the state working on the Santorum race and the contest for governor, which is shaping up as a face-off between former Pittsburgh Steeler wide-receiver Lynn Swann and the incumbent Democrat, and former DNC chair, Ed Rendell.

For Republicans to have any chance of winning statewide in Pennsylvania, they have to offset the huge deficit they face in Philadelphia. Bush lost Pennsylvania in 2004 by 144,000 votes out of 5.7 million cast. He lost Philadelphia by 412,000.

The way Republicans have traditionally offset the Philadelphia Effect is to focus on the Philly suburbs, particularly the Republican strongholds like Chester and Bucks counties. The problem is that a lot of the GOP’s suburban support was driven by an anti-Philadelphia grievance that is no longer as intense as it once was.

Rendell was so popular as a reform mayor of Philadelphia, even in the ‘burbs, that he managed to overcome the intense statewide antipathy to the big, troubled city to win the governor’s race in 2002, one of the only things Democrats had to cheer about that year. So having Rendell on the ballot this November, even though he’s been in trouble with voters for some tax initiatives, is not going to aid the GOP strategy in the western suburbs. Which means Santorum is running uphill the whole way, and that is hard to do from behind.

And the last time a Republican senate candidate faced such restless electorate in Pennsylvania was in 1991, when President George H.W. Bush’s attorney general, Dick Thornburgh, resigned the Justice post to take on Senator Harris Wofford, appointed by the elder Casey after the death of John Heinz.

Wofford talked about healthcare as his main issue and thumped the better-known Thornburgh. And many believe, set the stage for the Clinton win over Bush 1992, if only because James Carville and Paul Begala managed that campaign.

What if another GOP Senate loss in Pennsylvania paves the way for yet another Clinton presidency? Angry will probably not even begin to describe Mehlman then.

Terence Samuel is a political writer in Washington, D.C.

© 2006 by The American Prospect, Inc."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

York Dispatch - Liberal Republican Bemoan Scranton's Withdrawl

York Dispatch - York Today: "Article Last Updated: 02/08/2006 11:05:00 AM

Swann stands alone
Scranton ends his campaign for governor

Bill Scranton dropped out of the governor's race yesterday, four days before state Republican leaders were expected to endorse former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann in the GOP primary.
In a statement, Scranton said he determined his chances of success were minimal.

"While I am confident in our hopeful message of reform and renewal, I am less convinced in our ability to win with the all-important precinct-by-precinct battles against the operational resources of the state party," he said. "Our campaign is
strong, but not strong enough to defeat a candidate who has received the near unanimous backing of state and national party leaders."

Scranton also said he is committed to support the nominee who emerges in the May 16 primary.

"I think that I'm not surprised," said Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township. "I thought (Scranton's withdrawal) would happen when the Republican committee decided on the endorsement. I think this is good because it would unify the party behind Lynn Swann.

"Now we can get behind one dynamic candidate instead of trying to decide between two dynamic can-didates."

Scranton's exit leaves Swann uncontested for the Republican State Committee's endorsement. Another Republican candidate, Jim Panyard, is not competing for the party's backing. Also seeking the governorship is York attorney and Green Party candidate Marakay Rogers.

Disappointment: Rep. Ron Miller, R-Jacobus, said he is more disappointed in Scranton's withdrawal than surprised. Though it was clear that Swann would get the endorsement, he said, Scranton's campaign could have helped keep the Republican candidates' names in the forefront.

"Whenever you're trying to garner a race against an incumbent, you need to get name recognition," Miller said. "Having a primary race would have helped the challenger keep his name in front of the voters. It gives more reason for the media to cover them.

"(Swann) will have to work harder to get his message out there."

However, Rep. Bev Mackereth, R-Spring Grove, said she did not expect Scranton to call it quits. She said the last she heard was that Scranton wouldn't end his campaign.

"I thought he was a very good candidate," she said. "He's a very bright man, and he does know the issues. With property tax reform, he knows how it affects different regions and what's needed to be done to correct it. He also knew about the business climate and the economy."

Rep. Keith Gillespie said he didn't recall that Scranton or Swann had presented a solution to property tax issues. However, he said Scranton was an articulate candidate who was abreast of some of the issues.

"I guess maybe he thought it wasn't his time," Gillespie said. "It sounds like the table has been set for Mr. Swann. This would be an opportunity for him to unite all the committee people and move forward."

Formidable: Scranton would have been a "very formidable opponent" for incumbent Gov. Ed Rendell, said Rep. Steve Stetler, D-York City. He said he was surprised that Scranton quit, considering the Republican candidate's political history.

Scranton, the son of a former state governor, served two terms as Gov. Dick Thornburgh's lieutenant governor, from 1979 to 1986.

"He's a moderate Republican, and I truly believe that the Republicans need some moderates," Stetler said. "He brings a lot of experience and talent. I think that any challenger to the governor has an uphill battle."

Last month, Scranton held a town hall meeting in Dallastown, where he discussed his "Road to Reform" policy agenda, including his plans for property taxes, economic and small business growth, and education reform.

The event marked the beginning of Scranton's campaign's statewide town hall meeting tour.

Campaign trouble: His campaign ran into trouble two weeks ago when he fired his campaign manager for saying Swann is "the rich white guy in this campaign."

Scranton, who is white, fired James Seif -- an old friend who was a member of former Gov. Tom Ridge's cabinet -- shortly after Seif made the comment on a televised call-in show.

Scranton has tremendous courage and clarity of convictions, two qualities needed for running for statewide office, said Republican State Committee Chair Eileen Melvin in a news release.

"His dedication to the people of Pennsylvania and his commitment to improving life in this state were beyond reproach," she said.

Scranton is an honorable man who ran an admirable campaign, said U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in a news release.

"I believe that his message of reform not only resonated with many Pennsylvanians, but will also have a positive impact on our state for many years to come," he said.

Santorum also said he looks forward to campaigning with Swann.

The state representatives said they are eager to hear more from Swann about his plans for the state.

Saylor said Swann -- who was criticized by Scranton for declining to participate in a debate prior to the Republican endorsement meeting Saturday -- now has an opportunity to develop his policy initiatives on various legislative issues. Both Gillespie and Mackereth said they're interested in Swann's ideas for property tax reform.

"We hope to work with him and educate him about the issues affecting our area, York County," Mackereth said. "He's from Allegheny County, and different areas are affected in different ways."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 854-1575 or

The Associated Press con tributed to this report."

Santorum's US Senate staff mucking with Wikipedia entries | Betterhumans > News

US Senate staff mucking with Wikipedia entries | Betterhumans > News: "US Senate staff mucking with Wikipedia entries
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Print 02.08.2006 @01:37 PM
Contributed by Simon
Edited by Simon

US Senate staff members have edited Wikipedia entries, including removing facts, according to a Wikinews-led investigation examining IP addresses.

Wikinews reports:

Using the public history of edits on Wikipedia, Wikinews reporters collected every Senate IP which had ever edited on Wikipedia as of February 3 and examined where the IPs came from, what they edited, and of what those edits consisted. IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses are unique numbers electronic devices use to communicate with each other on an individual basis.

The Wikinews report examines several instances where Senate staff appeared to have painted Senators in a more favorable light. It notes:

Wikinews reporters also discovered that a handful of miscellaneous vandalism edits had been made to some Senators' articles. Vandalized articles included those of Tom Coburn and Harry Reid. The edits to Reid's were made three times, while the Coburn vandalism was made two times, after it had been restored to a prior version. An edit to an article about a controversy over Senator Rick Santorum's statements about Constitutional rights to privacy with regards to sexual acts, seemingly coming from Rick Santorum's staff members, removed a reference to an effort to redefine Santorum's last name as a neologism meaning "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.""

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Swann Close to GOP Endorsement for Gov. - Yahoo! News

Swann Close to GOP Endorsement for Gov. - Yahoo! News: "Swann Close to GOP Endorsement for Gov. By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press Writer
Wed Feb 1, 10:39 AM ET

MONROEVILLE, Pa. - Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann appears to have locked up enough support to win the Republican Party nomination for Pennsylvania governor.

In the last regional GOP meeting before state Republicans meet to endorse a candidate, the NFL Hall of Famer on Tuesday picked up 33 unofficial commitments from party representatives. If they all follow through, he will have just over the 180 votes needed to win the party's official endorsement on Feb. 11.

Swann, 53, is seeking to become Pennsylvania's first black governor. Though he has revealed little about his political philosophy, he has said the Democratic Party has "taken the African-American vote for granted."

Supporters say his high profile and charisma make him the best candidate to take on Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who is expected to seek a second term.

Swann's leading opponent for the GOP nomination, former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton, 58, has sharply criticized Swann's qualifications and promised to stay in the race through the May 16 primary with or without the party's backing.

Scranton's deputy campaign manager, Mike DeVanney, sought to downplay the significance of the straw voting Tuesday. "This was a divided caucus. There's not clear support for Lynn Swann's candidacy," he said.

Swann was a wide receiver for the Steelers from 1974-83 and led his team to four Super Bowl victories. After retiring from football, he worked as a commentator for ABC Sports."