Thursday, July 12, 2007

New PA Congressmen in the News

I've bookmarked a few articles and they seem to group together nicely, so here is a trio of views on the most recent Democratic Congressional representatives from our general area.

From Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "The Battle for Pennsylvania," (7/01). Excerpt:

So who's vulnerable?

Not Patrick Murphy. He probably has done the most to establish himself as a quality incumbent who deserves re-election -- certainly more so than the other three. From the work he has done pursuing a national veterans cemetery in Bucks County to securing $1.1 million for Delaware River flood prevention and repairs, he gets the importance of paying attention to local issues. The only veteran of the Iraq war serving in Congress, he also co-authored legislation for a 21st Century GI Bill of Rights.

Probably not Joe Sestak either. His seat in the southeast near Philadelphia has been held by a Democrat in the past and, based on the district's voting performance, likely will be very hard for the GOP to win back.

She thinks Chris Carney is the most endangered with Jason Altmire in the maybe category.

Next up, Chris Cillizza writing for the Washington Post's blog, The Fix, "The Line: GOP Hopes to 'ROMP' Its Way Back to House Majority" (6/29). Excerpt:

Pennsylvania's 10th District (D): U.S. Attorney Tom Marino's decision not to challenge freshman Rep. Chris Carney (D) robbed Republicans of their strongest potential candidate. But wealthy businessman Dan Meuser's (R) almost-certain candidacy means Republicans still plan to seriously contest this seat. By the numbers, it's a district Republicans should have never lost -- Bush won it with 60 percent of the vote in 2004. But former Rep. Don Sherwood's (R) personal problems dominated the '06 race, helping to hand Carney a victory. The freshman Democrat will face a much tougher race this time around.

Zito thinks Gerlach and Dent are on the Democratic hit list; Cillizza presents proof with both of them the ROMP list (seats the GOP has decided next extra help in campaigning)

And last but not least, from Greg Giroux at, "Freshmen, Southerners Among Leading House Dem Dissidents," (7/09), Democrats with the lowest party unity scores (thus able to present themselves as independents):

6. Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania’s 4th (75.7 percent). Altmire was an upset winner in 2006 over three-term Republican Rep. Melissa A. Hart, who has not ruled out a comeback attempt in 2008 in a district that includes suburbs of Pittsburgh and which is socially conservative and economically populist.

Also considering a House bid is Lynn Swann, the former Pittsburgh Steelers football great who was the Republican nominee for governor last year: Though Democratic Gov. Edward G. Rendell won an overall landslide, Swann finished narrowly ahead in the 4th District.

Ron Francis, a former county commissioner, already is running for the Republican nomination.


11. Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania’s 10th (81.4 percent). Carney has one of the more Republican-leaning districts among first-term Democrats, and was greatly aided in 2006 by the fact that Republican incumbent Don Sherwood was badly damaged by a sex scandal. There is a long list of potential GOP candidates, though Democrats took note recently that the Republican field will not include U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Marino — a top prospect who recently said that he will not challenge Carney.

then further down the list

14. Patrick Murphy, Pennsylvania’s 8th (83.2 percent). Murphy, an Iraq war veteran who ousted one-term Republican Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick in 2006, has been a vocal party loyalist in promoting a redeployment of U.S. troops from that conflict. He is somewhat less party-line on economic policy. His district, which is dominated by suburban Bucks County north of Philadelphia, is trending more Democratic than Republican.


phillydem said...

I don't think Altmire's that vulnerable. He's pretty much in step with this district. As for Ron Francis, he's probably banking on the local sports fan base to confuse him with former Pens center and newly elected Hockey hall-of-famer of the same name. I don't see Swann running especially after the thumping Rendell gave him; he's simply not a credible candidate even in football mad western PA.

AboveAvgJane said...

Swann's name has been mentioned in a few other places but I agree that he didn't seem quite ready for prime time in the governor's race.

looking italian said...

Post-Gazette sez it will be a rematch in PA-04.

Snyder hints that Torsella will be giving it a go in PA-06. Of course, wait a few more hours and s/he might scrub that tidbit from the site, too.

AboveAvgJane said...


I've heard the Torsella gossip, too. However that reference on PPA's "up & down" was pretty vague. The bit that got scrubbed was pretty specific. Or it could be a ploy to keep people checking in every few hours.....

looking italian said...

"Pretty specific" is one way to put it.

Some guidelines for Snyder to consider:

1) If GrassrootsPA runs away from a negative story on a Democrat, perhaps you should, too.

2) When suggesting Action A is unethical, do a little bit of research on the Action B which you position as an ethical contrast, but which, in reality, is more problematic than Action A.

AboveAvgJane said...


I would agree but you'll probably have better luck passing them on yourself. When I point typos, etc., they are still corrected but there haven't been friendly emails for some time now.