Saturday, March 11, 2006

Slime Politics By Lambro the hack in The Washington Times, Rev Moon's Newspaper

Lead projected to slip for pro-life Democrat�-�Nation/Politics�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "Lead projected to slip for pro-life Democrat
By Donald Lambro
March 10, 2006

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Republican Party's most vulnerable incumbent, trails state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. by 10 to 15 percentage points, but the race will tighten when Democrats learn more about Mr. Casey's pro-life views, pollsters and campaign advisers said yesterday.
Mr. Casey's pro-life position has angered pro-choice Democratic activists and could bring into the race Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Should that happen, it would split the Democrats and turn the November election into a competitive contest, independent polls indicate.
"If there were a third-party candidate on the ballot who is pro-choice, that candidate could draw heavily from Casey backers among liberal Democrats, enough to make it a close race," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, whose surveys show that Mr. Casey is vulnerable on the abortion issue with pro-choice Democrats.
"If Michelman gets in, I think you would see Casey's support drop," Mr. Richards said.
Both Mr. Santorum and Mr. Casey are pro-life. The big difference is that the two-term senator receives strong support on his position from the Republican Party base, while Mr. Casey represents a party that is overwhelmingly pro-choice in a state that has some of the most conservative abortion laws in the nation.
An earlier Quinnipiac poll found that when voters were told about Mr. Casey's pro-life position, many Democrats reacted negatively to his candidacy. Such a development could spell trouble for Mr. Casey when the race heats up later this year.
"A significant number of Casey supporters still do not know that Casey is opposed to abortion. There are a significant number of pro-choice voters whose entire opinion swings on that one issue, and unlike other single-issue voters, they will use their vote on just that one issue, even it if hurts the candidate they are otherwise philosophically attuned with," Mr. Richards said.
Other developments angered pro-choice Democrats and complicated the party's campaign to unseat Mr. Santorum.
Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, pressured pro-choice candidate Barbara Hafer to drop out of the race to clear the way for Mr. Casey's nomination in the May 16 party primary.
Also, Mr. Casey said he would have voted to confirm Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s nomination to the Supreme Court. The announcement further alienated Democrats who opposed the pro-life jurist.
"For me and for many people across the country who care about women's rights, that was the straw that broke the camel's back," Ms. Michelman said, hinting that she may enter the contest. "I have become a vehicle for people who feel they have to take action at a time of crisis."
Until now, the Santorum campaign has been unable to draw out Mr. Casey on the issues in what Republicans call a Democratic "stealth campaign."
"When people start to find out what Casey believes, it will affect his support," said Santorum campaign spokeswoman Virginia Davis.
Casey campaign officials declined to talk about Democratic reaction to his pro-choice views or about Ms. Michelman's political aspirations. "I'll leave that to the pundits. We'll wait and see if she gets in the race," said Casey spokesman Larry Smar."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Sentinel Online - Editorial - Casey scores in pay grab lawsuit

The Sentinel Online - Editorial: "Casey scores in pay grab lawsuit

By The Sentinel, March 08, 2006

Nobody likes being sued. Anytime a person is called upon to respond to a lawsuit, he can be expected to file the most thorough argument he can muster in hopes the suit will be dismissed.

State Treasurer Bob Casey was named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by anti-pay grab activist Gene Stilp, who is trying to head off arguments of several state judges that the now-repealed pay grab bill must be reinstated. They argue the state’s constitution specifically prohibits the reduction of any judge’s pay while in office, and that means the pay raise can’t be repealed.

Casey’s response to the lawsuit was released this week — and it looked an awful lot like Stilp’s lawsuit. Casey’s brief asserted the Legislature “repeatedly violated Article III of the state Constitution” in passing the pay-grab bill, and since the bill was unconstitutional on its face, the judges’ salary raise never really existed.

And that neatly cuts the legs out from under the various judge-filed lawsuits to reinstate the pay grab — if the state Supreme Court concurs with that reasoning.

Now we happened to notice that there’s a U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania this year — and that Casey is the leading Democratic challenger in that race. So we’re alert to the notion that Casey responded when opportunity knocked.

Certainly this has occurred to Republicans, who claim Casey had plenty of time before this to register any objections he might have had to the pay grab.

That Casey has suddenly gotten religion as his Senate campaign ramps up is a point worthy of debate. He might have gotten away with simply ignoring the issue on the grounds that a court case was already proceeding.

But the need to file a response to Stilp’s lawsuit forced him to take a stand. He could have, like Gov. Ed Rendell did previously, simply assert that the constitutional violations took place outside his field of influence.

Instead, Casey took a course that puts him in opposition to the much-derided Legislature and in line with majority thought on the pay grab. And it puts him way out front of the guy he’s challenging, Sen. Rick Santorum, who previously asserted that statewide issues don’t affect his candidacy.

We’ll see if Santorum is eventually proved right. For now, Casey takes the point."