Sunday, December 06, 2009

Murphy Endorses Onorato

On Saturday, Dec. 5th, Congressman Patrick J. Murphy (D-08) endorsed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato for governor. The announcement took place at the Teamsters Local 107 Hall in Philadelphia. Murphy thanked Bill Hamilton, president of Local 107 and international vice president for the Eastern region. He went on to say that he would “fight as hard for you as you fought for me.” He said that Onorato shared their values of faith and family and would work to bring green energy jobs to the state. Onorato, he said, was responsible for the Allegheny County region’s turnaround and that Onorato’s record is an inspiration.

Onorato took the microphone and said that the Teamsters had stood with him every step of the way. He pointed out that Pittsburgh’s unemployment is 2.5% lower than the national average and that we should not let anyone tell us we can’t turn this around. His #1 priority will be jobs, with a wage you can raise a family on. There are two steel plants being built in his region now. On economic policy he said government should clean and clear industrial sites so the “pads” are ready to go. When companies want the state’s support we can show them places throughout the state ready to go for industrial use but they must bring jobs to Pennsylvania.

In education he mentioned community colleges and trade schools and said they must provide technical support for jobs of the future.

Onorato believes that elected officials can make a different. He also said that Murphy’s endorsement is important. “If you support me I won’t forget it and will be back in Southeastern Pennsylvania.”

This is the press release from the Onorato campaign:

United States Congressman Patrick J. Murphy (PA-8) today announced his support for Dan Onorato’s gubernatorial bid during a 10:30 AM event at the Teamsters Hall in northeast Philadelphia. The endorsement of Congressman Murphy is the latest sign of growing strength for Onorato in Pennsylvania: last week, he picked up the backing of state Representative Mike Gerber, chair of the House Democratic Campaign Committee.

“I am supporting Dan Onorato for governor because our state faces significant challenges in the coming years, and there is no other candidate who has the experience to make the change Pennsylvania needs,” said the Congressman today. “His commitment to job creation – especially the creation of next generation ‘green energy’ jobs – and political reform make him the clear choice for anyone who wants to change how our government works and create great new jobs for our workforce.”

Congressman Murphy has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and new businesses to Bucks County, leading efforts to bring green energy companies to the 8th District and spur economic growth. He has worked to increase funding for flood relief and prevention along the Delaware River and for local first responders. In Washington, Congressman Murphy has made improving benefits for veterans and military families a top priority, and has championed fiscal responsibility and middle class tax cuts as a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

“I am extremely proud to receive the endorsement of my friend Patrick Murphy,” said Onorato today. “He has shown that being progressive on the issues and committed to being fiscally responsible are not just compatible, but a winning combination. I look forward to working with him to win in 2010 and to his leadership in Washington in 2011 as we make the change we need in Pennsylvania.”

PA2010 has a story on the endorsement, with video.

Personal observations: Onorato was sporting a blue and gold (yellow?) striped tie. His casual stance is hands in pockets. While he didn’t work the room he was approachable. A number of the Teamsters in the room went over to talk with him and he was very amenable to answering press questions and posing for photos. The room the announcement was held in was medium sized and full, mostly of men wearing Teamsters t-shirts and holding Onorato signs. I started to count the crowd but it was hard to do. I would guess about 60, but that is absolutely a guess. The endorsement was aimed at the immediate audience and the press; no other candidates or elected officials were introduced or readily apparent.

Full disclosure: I hold elective office in a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.