June 5, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's primary was notable for the number of Democratic female candidates for governor and Congress, including Allyson Schwartz, Katie McGinty, Val Arkoosh, Marjorie Margolies, and Shaughnessy Naughton. Every one of them lost. To argue that all five candidates are the same is to be reductive and wrong. Pennsylvania has never elected a woman governor, or senator, and, come January, it will be represented by 18 men in the U.S. House. (New Jersey appears primed to elect one woman to Congress.)
May 22, 2014 |
Despite an expensive gubernatorial campaign, two hotly contested congressional races, and beautiful weather, turnout for the Pennsylvania primary Tuesday was "superlight," in the words of one poll worker, and dismal, in the assessment of others. "This is a privilege, and it's sad," said Paula Michaud, an election clerk at Harriton High School in Lower Merion Township. "In the first 40 minutes, we had six people. " Across the region, the pace did not quicken before the polls closed.
May 20, 2014
THE PRIMARY for governor that ends tomorrow has been a mix of what we're used to and what we're not. It suggests evidence of political change, yet underscores political truisms. The first truism, of course, is money matters. Tom Wolf's $10 million put him where he stands today, which is poised to win the four-way Democratic race. But like other self-evident truths, this one carries a caveat: Money alone doesn't always do it. The National Institute on Money in State Politics has a decade's worth of data showing that among more than 6,000 self-funding candidates, only 11 percent won the offices they sought.
May 15, 2014
NOW FOR SOME snarky observations from the final debate in the Democratic primary for governor held Monday night at Drexel University. Candidates were seated and questioned in alphabetical order. This has been the pattern in dozens of forums/debates since January. It means Tom Wolf goes last. Maybe that helps explain why he's first in the polls. Maybe after voters hear Rob McCord, Katie McGinty and Allyson Schwartz, polished presenters of the sort of self-confident aggression, hype and enthusiasm common to politics, the soft-spoken, mild-mannered Wolf seems refreshing.
May 9, 2014 |
THE FOUR Democrats seeking to challenge Gov. Corbett 's bid for a second term entered the last two weeks of their primary race with goals well-defined. Tom Wolf wants to stay in character as the calm, confident, in-command front-runner. Allyson Schwartz seeks to reclaim her mantle as the liberal lioness leading the pack. Rob McCord strives to emphasize his endorsements while continuing as the troublemaker. And Katie McGinty hopes Schwartz and McCord do the job of tearing down Wolf while failing to elevate themselves.
May 6, 2014
BACKSTAGE before an education forum at the Free Library last week, Tom Wolf told me he was "still enjoying" his first run for public office. Because I've witnessed many such runs and own what I consider a healthy cynicism (others think it's not so healthy), I simply responded: "You'll learn. " Minutes later, Wolf got a sense of what I meant. That's when Rob McCord used his opening statement to head-butt Wolf, accusing the wealthy York County businessman of tolerating racism.
May 1, 2014 |
Rob McCord's personal narrative, as the child of a single mother, has played a starring role in his campaign for governor. Ditto fellow Democrat Katie McGinty's modest roots as one of 10 children sharing a one-bathroom home in Northeast Philadelphia. Allyson Schwartz was raised by an immigrant mother and a dentist father who served in Korea. Tom Wolf's commercials note that he lives in the small town where he grew up and drives an old Jeep. The Democrats vying to take on Gov. Corbett this fall have taken every chance to showcase their humble beginnings.
May 1, 2014
OK, DEMOCRATIC voters, here's a little heads-up. Your primary to pick a person to pummel Tom Corbett is entering a new phase. It's a phase that you (who believe that Tom Corbett will be pummeled) need to be aware of. For one thing, it's about to get more visible. You'll see more TV ads, polls and final debates. There's a debate focused on education this evening at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 6 to 8 p.m., carried live statewide on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
April 25, 2014 |
U . S. REP. ALLYSON Schwartz yesterday accused her fellow Democrats in the May 20 primary election for governor of being "vague" in support of the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare. Schwartz was mostly talking about front-runner Tom Wolf, a former state revenue secretary, who, like the other Democratic candidates, has publicly supported the law in his campaign. "Particularly, I think Tom Wolf has been evasive about expressing support for the law," said Schwartz, who this week started running a campaign ad on television, touting her role in helping to craft and pass the legislation.
April 24, 2014
I THINK I'VE FIGURED OUT what Allyson Schwartz needs. And I acknowledge being sexist by writing about her since she says female candidates are "constantly challenged by the sexism of the media and the political pundits. " Hmmm. Media and political pundits. That makes me two-times guilty. Be that as it may, I think I know what she needs as she struggles to regain her lost designation as Democratic front-runner for governor in the May 20 primary. It's more than being "the mother of CHIP" or the first lady of Obamacare - even if she had a hand in creating both.