Fitzpatrick refuses to denounce disputed Abu-Jamal attack on opponent

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick
Posted: October 05, 2012

REPUBLICAN U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick has refused to denounce his party's widely disputed attempt to link his opponent to convicted Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

"Others talk about whatever issues you want - I'm focused on jobs and the economy," the Bucks County Republican said in an interview Thursday.

Asked repeatedly whether he would prefer that the attack be withdrawn so that the race could focus on "jobs and the economy," Fitzpatrick simply repeated his original statement.

Democrat Kathy Boockvar, a Doylestown lawyer challenging Fitzpatrick in the 8th District, has never met, spoken with or legally represented Abu-Jamal. But you wouldn't know that from a blog created by the House GOP caucus' campaign organization that says "Radical Kathy" has "troubling connections" to the controversial figure.

The connection is that her husband, lawyer Jordan Yeager, represented a witness in the case who, years later, recanted her testimony. He also did legal work for a protester who was arrested at a "Free Mumia" event.

Media outlets, fact-checkers and former Gov. Ed Rendell - prosecutor for part of the Abu-Jamal case - have vocally criticized the guilt-by-association attacks as misleading and racially charged.

The blog is wallpapered with random photos of protesters looting buildings, brandishing guns and holding signs with slogans like "EAT THE RICH" - not exactly what you'd expect to have seen at Boockvar and Yeager's suburban law practice.

The National Republican Congressional Committee pays for the site and made thousands of robo-calls to district residents about the Abu-Jamal connection.

"All the research is well-documented and speaks for itself," NRCC spokesman Nat Sillin said.


Contact Walsh at 215-854-5745 or walshse@phillynews.com.

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