Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Critical Congressional Races in Pennsylvania

Note: Today on my Pennsylvania site I've posted 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), Mike Livingston in the 2d (Philadelphia), 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 19 congressional seats in Pennsylvania, and it should be possible for Republicans -- over time -- to win at least 14 of them. When that occurs, Republicans nationally should be able to regain control of the House of Representatives.

If you'd like to support any (or all) of these exceptional candidates, please go to their web sites. Alternatively, you can contact me at, and I'll put you in touch with them.

Philadelphia Bulletin article on Marina Kats below:

Kats Will Take On Schwartz In Montco Congressional Race
By: Bradley Vasoli, The Bulletin

Marina Kats, an Abington attorney, became the sole Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District Monday evening.

Ms. Kats bested Upper Moreland Republican leader Lee Falgoust 178 to 81 at the Montgomery County Republican Committee's endorsement meeting. Mr. Falgoust responded by asking all county Republicans to support the endorsed candidate and withdrawing from the nomination contest, formally decided in the April 22 primary.

The presumptive nominee faces a formidable opponent in the incumbent Democrat. Mrs. Schwartz, a Jenkintown resident and former state senator, is running for a third term in the House of Representatives, having defeated real estate developer Raj Peter Bhakta in 2006 by 66 percent to 34 percent in a district that includes much of Montgomery County and most of Northeast Philadelphia. Her campaign now has roughly $1.6 million cash on hand.

Still, her opponent from Abington does not foresee a predictable Democratic victory. "I am very confident," Ms. Kats said. "We already know that money alone does not win the election." She cited Arizona Sen. John McCain's all-but-certain presidential primary victory over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as an example; Mr. McCain was out-raised manifold but still prevailed.

Ms. Kats also said that anti-incumbent impulses in America are currently strong and cut across party lines. In Maryland this year, she noted, Rep. Albert Wynn (D) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrist (R) both lost their respective primary battles. No congressperson from the state has lost a nomination contest since 1992.

"There's tremendous anti-incumbent sentiment right now," Ms. Kats said. "I think the fact that she's incumbent sort of goes against her not for her."The Republican has sought to distinguish herself from her opponent by speaking in favor of broad tax cuts and spending reductions. She also opposes amnesty for illegal aliens and describes herself as pro-Second Amendment on guns.

Ms. Kats differs with Mrs. Schwartz strongly on whether Washington should act presently to phase out the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. Speaking to The Bulletin from her law office in Feasterville, she described looking upon an American flag that was flown for a year and a half over the base of her colleague Christopher Hudock when he was called to active duty in Iraq. Upon returning, he gave Ms. Kats the flag to hang in her office. She describes it as a reminder of the imperative that America prevail."I am supporting the withdrawal of American troops as soon as possible, but only when it is safe to do it for us and our national security interests."

Schwartz spokesperson Rachel Magnuson said the congresswoman welcomes the opportunity to compare her own professional record with Ms. Kats's."Congresswoman Schwartz is a fighter on behalf of middle class families," Ms. Magnuson said. "The issues that they care about are health care, the economy and making sure the streets are safe from crime."

Mrs. Schwartz, she continued, should do well against someone "who has made her money being an immigration and criminal defense lawyer."

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