Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bob Casey Calls

Earlier this week the phone rang and when I answered a nice recorded voice invited me to join a call in progress with Sen. Bob Casey, sponsored by his campaign.  Here are my notes from that call.  I was working off the back of an envelope so my notes are sketchier than usual.  It was a campaign call so there were several reminders of how to donate to the campaign.

Larry Smar, Casey's campaign manager was talking when I joined the call.  He said Tom Smith, Casey's Republican challenger wants to join the Tea Party Caucus. 

Sen. Casey came on the phone.  He said polls showed him ahead but he is running as if it were a tight race.  In the Sept. 30th campaign finance reports he said Smith put $10 Million of his own money into the campaign and Smith may be the largest self-funder in the country.  Casey wants to protect the Medicare guarantee and he differs from Smith on Medicare, Social Security and tax policy.

Q:  high accomplishments on infrastructure
BC:  Great suggestions.  The Tea Party Caucus prevented us from doing more, the Recovery Act included infrastructure.  We also need new infrastructure -- broadband, etc.  Last year the Infrastructure Bank didn't pass although it had bipartisan support; it didn't get enough votes.

Q:  Sustainablility of social security, raising the cap from $110K or raising the age
BC:  Make sure we keep economy moving forward, adding jobs and payroll revenue.  Be affirmative but stop extreme views, remember the Republicans wanted to privatize social security in 2005.  There are many bipartisan ways we can come together.  The extremists want to take it way the guaranteed benefit and use the money for a tax cut for the wealthy.

Q:  How to refute Smith's claims that Casey raised taxes
BC:  I've got a record in the last 5 1/2 years.  It is fighting to protect tax cuts for middle in come families [Smar comes in to give examples.]

Q:  Worried about Medicare vouchers.  How could Romney do away with Planned Parenthood?
BC:  This is also on Tom Smith's agenda.  They are not kidding about this.  They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program.  Even many Republicans think this is a radical idea.

Q:  Who is telling the truth about Medicare?
BC:  On March 28th Paul Van de Water released a report from the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities.  It said vouchers would purchase less coverage with each passing year.

Q:  Why doesn't the Democratic Party take a more aggressive stance in saying there is an economic slow down all over the world.
BC:  The impediment is the Tea Party.  The block all attempts to get the economy going.

Q:  The Democrats need to stop being so gentlemanly and mention the 47%.
BC:  Good advice.

Q:  Misleading radio ads on voter id
BC:  I've seen the television version of that.  Our party made a tremendous effort to be ready for Voter ID.

[Casey leaves the call and Smar starts answering questions]

Q:  Economists should focus on the labor markets and higher education. 
LS:  Good idea, need everyone to come together to help create jobs.

Q:  How will the state combat a mixed message on Voter ID
LS:  It will take a big effort.

Q:  Distinction between Casey and Smith on women's health?
LS:  Tom Smith wants to end funding for family planning.

The call ended with another note on donating.

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