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The skunk in our garage
Primaries and general elections often turn nasty at the last minute, because desperate, unethical candidates tend to save their nastiest, least legitimate slurs for the end. This just happened in the Democratic primary for State Representative from the 177th District.
Four “Democrats” qualified for the May 15th ballot. One has been invisible outside his neighborhood. Two have spoken to the two issues that currently most distinguish Progressive Democrats from the Republicans that dominate our state legislature: gerrymandering and the Republican assault on women’s choice on abortion.
Then there’s this fourth guy. He is running his whole campaign as a Political Action Committee (PAC). Why would that be? There is only one conceivable reason: he doesn’t want Democratic voters to know who is paying for the campaign. The Republican majority of the US Supreme Court handed this desperado a huge gift by ruling that rich corporate interests can make unlimited contributions to PACs and never have to disclose the donation. So, what we have here is in a Democratic primary, of all things, is two viable Democrats running against a PAC.
The PAC’s latest ploy is to denounce the two, real Democrats for actually having some experience – because the name that the PAC is promoting means nothing; he is a guy with nothing much to say for himself.
The mailer that the PAC put out most recently accuses one of the actual living, breathing Democrats in the primary of being a lobbyist. She is accused of three specific things: she is “employed by a lobbying firm that defended polluters”, she registered a lobbying firm using her home address, and she is “funded by banks and lobbyists.”
The anonymous sources campaigning as a PAC also attack Joe Hohenstein because he’s a lawyer. He defended clients who were accused of crimes.
This mudslinging sounds just like Trump, or Joe McCarthy, the Republican zealot who persecuted people for their associations in the 1950s. It has no place in a Democratic primary.
It is important for Democrats in the 177th to reject this Trumpist abuse of the political process. Please come out on May 15th and vote for Joe Hohenstein, who is truly the candidate who knows how to do what is needed in Harrisburg. Or if you have something against Joe, vote for the lobbyist. Don’t let anonymous interests put an empty set of coveralls in our legislative seat.
Are we suckers in the 177th District? I think not. Every Democrat that I know hereabouts is furious about Trumpery: lies, slander, misogyny, national anti-intellectualism, anti-science ignorance, global warming denial, sympathy with foreign tyrants. Not one of these perils is just a national issue. Nominate this PAC’s stand in and we are likely to have a weak reed to resist all of that – because we don’t know who is paying the bills.
John V. Buffington
Angry Democratic Voter