Tomorrow Is Election Day In Pennsylvania
Easily, tomorrow's most important race, at least for progressives, is the primary in the heavily blue new 17th congressional district in the northeastern part of the state that pits progressive Matt Cartwright against the Machine-backed corrupt Blue Dog Tim Holden, who represented the old-- relatively red-- 17th district south and west of the new district. We've been making the case for Cartwright and why Holden is too corrupt and too conservative to be given another term in Congress. But for anyone who lives in the area-- or who has friends or relatives who live in the area-- I want to ask you to remember one final thought before voting. and it isn't even my own. This thought comes from Eugene Kiely and Ben Finley of FactCheck.org who make the point that Tim Holden is a lying sack of shit who, in his desperation, has resorted to smearing Matt Cartwright with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate bribes being sent his way by Democratic congressional corruptionist-in-chief Steny Hoyer. Their startling and horrifying report:
Rep. Tim Holden falsely claimed in a recent TV ad that his opponent won a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in exchange for campaign contributions to a corrupt judge. In fact, a jury-- not the judge-- awarded $3 million to lawyer Matt Cartwright’s client in that case. The Holden campaign told us it had no evidence to prove the donation had any influence over the judge during that trial. The campaign pulled the ad after just one day on the air.
This is not the first time that the veteran Democratic congressman has accused his primary opponent, Cartwright, of making improper campaign contributions. In an earlier TV ad, Holden sought to link Cartwright to the infamous “kids-for-cash” scandal that sent two Pennsylvania judges to prison. In that ad, Holden criticized Cartwright for contributions he and his law firm made to judges who accepted kickbacks for sending juveniles to for-profit juvenile detention facilities. Again, the campaign contributions from Cartwright and his law firm were unrelated to the corruption case. It was merely a case of guilt by association.
In their own words, Holden's smear campaign against Cartwright-- who has tried to run a strictly positive campaign based on the issues and on what he can offer to Democrats in northeastern Pennsylvania-- "is the most savage example of what has been a bruising primary."
If Cartwright wins tomorrow-- and a third poll was completed last week showing him 6 points ahead among likely voters-- it will be a huge victory for grassroots Democrats sick and tired of the corruption and lying in Washington. It's time to take our party back. There's already one party dedicated to the conservatism and sleazy corrupt practices of people like Tim Holden-- we can't let them own both.
Yesterday the biggest newspaper in the district, the Scranton Times-Tribune endorsed Matt Cartwright against the supposed incumbent. ("Supposed" because Holden never represented anyone in Lackawanna, Monroe, Luzerne, Nothampton or Carbon counties.)
The Times-Tribune editorial board usually does not endorse in primary elections. But because the Democratic primary will pick the ultimate winners in several races, the board has decided to endorse in those races.
17th Congressional District: Matt Cartwright
Due to egregious gerrymandering, the 17th Congressional District has been redrawn along a convoluted route that includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Easton and Pottsville.
The 10-term incumbent is Rep. Tim Holden of Schuylkill County, dean of the state congressional delegation. But Mr. Holden never has represented more than 70 percent of the people in the redrawn district. It is clear from his record, and from his astonishingly dirty campaign, that he is out of step with the redrawn district.
The editorial board endorses Scranton lawyer Matt Cartwright.
Mr. Holden has voted against progressive initiatives such as the most sweeping housing finance reforms, greater consumer protections, energy reform and health care reform.
In an interview, Mr. Holden declared that he always had heeded the advice of the late Rep. John Murtha, who had told him to keep his mouth shut and make friends. In keeping with that approach, Mr. Holden refused to debate Mr. Cartwright while visiting county Democratic committees in search of endorsements.
Mr. Holden's campaign was an affront to voters. Some of his ads attempted to tie Mr. Cartwright to judicial corruption, in the process smearing jurors and a woman who had suffered due to an incorrect cancer diagnosis.
There were negative elements to Mr. Cartwright's campaign, but they focused on Mr. Holden's record rather than his personal integrity.
Overall, Mr. Cartwright focused on tax reform, health care and education reforms.
Mr. Cartwright would be a vocal and active representative. He needs to temper his lawyer's adversarial mind-set, however, to recognize that progress in Washington requires compromise.
Cartwright spent the weekend barnstorming up and down the large, sprawling district, including appearances with former Congressman Joe Sestak, who endorsed him last week. The biggest newspaper in Luzerne County, the Citizens Voice, endorsed him over the weekend, stating bluntly that "Judging by Cartwright’s campaign and Holden’s record, Cartwright would be a stronger advocate for working families in our region." Highly respected Wilkes-Barre columnist and ex-state Rep., Kevin Blaum ("The Arena"), writing for the Times Leader explained on Sunday why he's voting for Cartwright tomorrow, in what he recognizes as "this year’s most important congressional primary in Pennsylvania."
Lately we seem to be awash in officials who labor strenuously at elevating ineffectiveness to an art form capable even of bringing about their re-elections.
They and the party leaders with whom they cavort have gone out of their way to support Cartwright’s opponent, who so often follows his finger headlong into every-which-way the wind blows.
Cartwright’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, voted against the 2010 health insurance reform law, its coverage of pre-existing conditions and its provision extending coverage to your son or daughter in their early 20s unable to find affordable health insurance on their own.
Cartwright’s opponent also voted to exempt natural gas drillers from the Safe Drinking Water Act requirement that they list those chemicals forced underground in the drilling process. This travesty, known as the “Halliburton Loophole,” is now in our national Safe Drinking Water Act.
What has become of the Congress when elected representatives go out of their way to oppose common-sense insurance reforms while voting to keep under wraps the dangerous chemicals that gas drillers pump underground?
Can’t you just hear the crisp snap of insurance industry fingers and the crackle of chemical drillers as congressmen pop out of their seats to do their bidding?
Matt Cartwright wants to put a stop to such behavior and go to Washington to re-establish a strong voice for Northeastern Pennsylvania within the halls of Congress.
It is a daunting task for sure, but Cartwright possesses the necessary skill set to lead the way and make a difference.
...When the new 17th Congressional District was drawn by the cartographers in Harrisburg so as to weaken Northeastern Pennsylvania by dividing our population centers and diluting our influence, Matt Cartwright leaped into the race to unite and strengthen the entire region.
Throughout this campaign Matt Cartwright has demonstrated an extraordinary energy, intelligence and the natural leadership that the job requires and that the Pennsylvania congressional delegation so desperately needs.
Cartwright has all the tools. He is the most promising congressional candidate I’ve seen from this region in more than three decades.
On Tuesday vote Matt Cartwright for Congress …. and for Northeastern Pennsylvania.