Sunday, July 09, 2006

Can you make the connections?

...I can...

Below is an excerpt from a local news article that reports on several items of political significance in Pennsylvania. Although it is all very revealing, there were two sections of particular interest to me.

Here's just a few of the things that we learn from this article:

One: FOX News is spending the money to have one of their main political reporters get his feet on the ground in the Keystone state. Their coverage on this state will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks and months.

Two: One of the three Congressional seats that have been targeted by the RNC - if I'm not much mistaken - belongs to one John Murtha.

Three: If you go to the website and read the article, you'll learn more about the unsettled political climate in PA (The Democrats are in just as dire straights as the Republicans, if not worse.) What is not said is just as important as what is said.

Four: State GOP leaders are now openly involved in Irey's campaign, which means that the RNC will also be more involved.

...and that's just a start on assessing this year's campaigns in PA.

Quick snapshot: Watch this state closely this year. We will see a pattern emerge that will be seen more and more across the nation over the next few years. I would also expect some tough races - with this caveat: No matter which party they belong to, watch the politician who runs a clean, honest campaign win the election. The mudslinging that we saw two and four years ago is passé these days. However, expect the blogosphere and the internet to pick up the slack on mudslinging to some extent - until they, too, finally realize its ineffectiveness and self-defeating nature.

In your area or state - in general - the Achilles heel for your local Republican will be a weak stand on illegal immigration. For your local Democrat it will be the War on Terror and Homeland Security.
TEMPORARY ROOTS. Fox News political reporter Carl Cameron, known since the 2000 presidential primaries as "Campaign Carl" for his nonstop national political coverage, made Pennsylvania his stomping ground during Independence Day week.

Pennsylvania is seen as one of the top battleground states in the country, with three of the top 20 targeted congressional seats here, as well as U.S. Senate and governor's seats up for grabs.

Lynn Swann, GOP gubernatorial candidate; Gov. Ed Rendell, the Democrat seeking another term; state Treasurer Bob Casey, Democrat U.S. Senate candidate; and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, incumbent GOP candidate, were all on national display last week as we inch closer to Labor Day, the unofficial beginning of the final stretch.


PARTISAN. Speaking of in-party squabbles, Westmoreland County GOP Chairman Perry Christopher is the target of barbs by fellow Republican Harry Smail, who wants Christopher's job.

Smail, who has unsuccessfully sought the county chairman's seat several times, complained that Christopher's recent volunteer training session at Westmoreland County Community College was nothing more than lobbying for the top slot by the chief. Smail also griped that he wasn't given proper notice.
Christopher said all county committee members were given notice via bulk mail, or e-mail where possible, and notice of the meeting was posted on the county GOP Web site for weeks beforehand.

Christopher said the training had nothing to do with lobbying for the chairman's slot. "That meeting was run by state GOP leaders. ... I only spoke for about two seconds, and sat down and listened. The purpose of that meeting was to try to get Santorum, Swann, (U.S. Rep. hopeful) Diana Irey and (U.S. Rep.) Tim Murphy elected this fall," Christopher said.

The county GOP convention will be held at 7 p.m. July 25 at the Greensburg Salem High School auditorium.