Way back when I interviewed Joe Hoeffel, I had a feeling he wouldn't be posting very often and it's turned out to be true. He posted today with his seventh post in nine weeks. I'd comment more over there more, but it's annoying to have comments posted on an approval-by-webmaster basis. So, I post this here.
Bob [Casey Jr.] spoke today at an event at my law firm...I don't have a problem with Casey Jr. speaking at a law firm. But it seems that it's stops like this that are the only ones he's making and I think that's shitty. I haven't heard or read of a single account of him showing up at a grassroots event. A Meetup. A Drinking Liberally. A rally. There's nothing wrong with raising money. There is something wrong with not talking to the people.
In the interview Hoeffel said:
Voters are looking for candidates they know, trust and feel comfortable with who are speaking clearly and sensibly about things the voters care about. Left, right or center, Kerry didn't meet those standards and neither does Santorum, for different reasons. Casey does.Damn straight Kerry didn't meet those standards, he still doesn't. But I haven't seen Casey Jr. speak clearly on a lot of issues. Say the Iraq war. The slow-moving Casey campaign still hasn't reacted to Rep. Murtha's call for withdrawal. Chuck Pennacchio didn't see the Iraq war as the right move and has been calling for troop withdrawal for ages.
It annoys me that people agree with Chuck Pennacchio's stance on the issues but give money to Casey Jr. It really annoys me that Rendell-Reid-Schumer made the PA Senate race what it now is.
Some HUGE reasons I'm a Pennacchio supporter are for his stances on the issus of choice, embryonic stem cell research and the morning after pill. Pennacchio is pro-choice, pro expansion of embryonic stem cell research and for unfettered access to the morning after pill. Casey Jr. is anti-choice, against the expansion of embryonic stem cell research and doesn't have a problem with pharmacists witholding access to the morning after pill. I dug up this post from the old Young Philly Politics blogspot hosted site, a post by Dan. He discusses an article in the Inky about the PA Senate race. In part:
I couldn't agree more. Casey Jr. is off base on the issue of choice.
But, and this is a big but, his aim to straddle the line with abortion gets him in big trouble. Because, apparently to Casey, the abortion issue is not about his religious beliefs, but about "biology," because he says "there's a life there." While this may be Casey's way of moderating his pro-life stance, he ruins it with this:"Casey said he would, as a senator, avoid a litmus test on any issue in voting on judicial nominees. He would oppose expanding federally supported embryonic stem-cell research beyond 2001 levels. He would not require pharmacists to go against personal beliefs and fill prescriptions for emergency contraceptives, which prevent a fertilized egg from implanting."
Science, eh? So you know no life is started for a few days after people have sex, right? Then why would you have problems with the morning-after pill, which simply prevents pregnancy from taking place? Pure, pure hypocrisy.
Furthermore, the idea that a pharmacist can refuse to fill a goddamned medical prescription is ridiculous. If they can refuse to fill a prescription for emergency contraception, can they refuse to fill it for normal contraception? Reeeee-diculous, and really scary. It should tell you something when Rick Santorum is the co-sponsor of the bill (with JOHN KERRY).
Casey wins by talking about compassion, about a return of poverty alleviation as a Democratic principal. He loses when he tries to skirt this line on choice. Especially when he tries to make this something it is not. This is about his religion, fine. But lets not pretend otherwise, because it only hurts him in the long run....
The article then finishes with a rundown of where Santorum, Casey and yes, Pennacchio, stand on many of these specifics. And while it was not included in the article, here is what Pennacchio apparently said to Budoff about abortion (from mydd):
"We can either choose to eliminate rights or improve lives, and I choose to improve lives. Nobody wants to see another abortion, but what we need to do is make our society a stronger, more supportive environment, in which women will have a real choice."
"The most critical question, the common ground question, is how do we reduce the abortion rate without criminalizing women and doctors? What we need to address, all of us, is how to give women a real choice by providing life affirming support in the form pre-natal care, post-natal care, and economic opportunity."
I include those last few quotes, because, more than anything else, that is the exact, exact right way that Democrats should be talking about choice.
It's still very true today several months later. Casey Jr. is pretty ghostly, said to have shown up here and there at big money bashes, but never at the no money bashes. Once again, I gotta say that there isn't anything wrong with raising money, it's ignoring the rest of us that has me pissed off.
You know what? Not so fast, John.
There's a better option for Pennsylvania Democrats, for all Pennsylvanians: Chuck Pennacchio, a declared and very active candidate seeking the party’s nomination to take on Sen. Tweedledum.
I recently had the honor and pleasure of meeting Pennacchio for a second time, to hear him speak passionately about the future of this country and make his very strong case that despite considerable odds he can win both the primary and the general election.
Rarely have I been so impressed by a candidate for public office. Pennacchio's principles and strategy are not unlike those of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, and if that's all you learn from me today my work will be done, at least for now.
Maybe instead of contributing to the Casey campaign, which at this point in the race, given Casey's unwillingness to talk to anyone outside the party hierarchy, is like giving money to a ghost, Democrats could spend a little time learning more about Pennacchio, because, really, there is a choice, and no one, not even Sen. Kerry, can take that away from you.
In the interview Joe said:
I am frustrated by low voter turnouts in this country. Mostly I blame politicians for running uninteresting campaigns...I find Casey Jr. uninteresting and I find his campaign uninteresting. I find Chuck Pennacchio to be enthusiastic and insightful. I find Chuck Pennacchio's campaign to be enthusiastic and insightful. Vote for Chuck Pennacchio in the May 2006 primary.
Update: There's a fundraiser on December the 8th for Chuck Pennacchio in Philadephia. I'd love to see some fellow Boo-sters there!
Front paged at BooMan, cool.