Archive | October 2014

Previewing each local race as Election Day draws near

Election Day is nearly one week away. The Daily Times has begun rolling out preview stories for each local race. Here’s a recap of what’s run.

First Congressional District: Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, of Philadelphia, is being challenged by Philly Republican Megan Rath, a health care professional.

Seventh Congressional District: Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, of Upper Darby, seeks to secure his third term in Washington in a race against Democratic challenger Mary Ellen Balchunis, a political science professor.

161st Legislative District: State Rep. Joe Hackett, a Republican from Ridley Township, seeks to a protect his seat from Democratic challenger Leanne Krueger-Braneky, a businesswoman from Swarthmore.

164th Legislative District: State Rep. Margo Davidson, a Democrat from Upper Darby, hopes to win a third term in a race against Republican challenger Saud Siddiqui, the president of the Upper Darby Caring Foundation.

166th Legislative District: Longtime state Rep. Greg Vitali, a Democrat from Haverford, is being challenged by Republican Sarah Armstrong.

More election preview stories will continue to be published this week.


Rendell criticizes campaign ad in 26th Senatorial District race

Former Gov. Ed Rendell jumped into the fray of the 26th Senatorial District race this morning, reiterating Democratic and union criticism regarding a Tom McGarrigle campaign ad that negatively portrayed his Democratic opponent, John Kane, as a union boss.

Union leaders from the Philadelphia Building Trades Council blasted McGarrigle and Delaware County Republicans last week for airing the ad, which they called a smear campaign for portraying Kane as sympathetic to intimidation tactics.

Kane, the business manager of Plumbers Union Local 690, accepted $7,500 from Ironworkers Local 401 last year. Ten union members, including business manager Joe Doughtery, were indicted in February for allegedly using violent intimidation tactics to force construction contractors to hire union ironworkers.

McGarrigle, the Republican chairman of Delaware County Council, accepted a $500 contribution from Local 401 in 2009, but donated the money to charity after learning of the indictments.

Speaking at a press conference organized by Katie McGinty, chairwoman of Tom Wolf’s Campaign for a Fresh Start, Rendell restated the stance of the union leaders — that the donation is on behalf of the union’s entire membership, not an indicted leader.

Here is a video snippet of his remarks:

Union leaders threatened to cease funding future Delco Republican candidates, saying it was hypocritical of Republicans to accept union contributions and then attempt to tarnish Kane’s reputation as a union leader.

The McGarrigle campaign is standing behind the ad, saying last week that it is “truthful and obviously effective.” The campaign criticized Kane for failing to condemn the violent actions of indicted ironworkers.

The Delaware County Daily Times covered the union criticism and the McGarrigle campaign’s response at length last week.

ICYMI: A brief recap of the week in Delaware County politics

A Haverford native was selected today to become the new head of the Secret Service.

Joseph Clancy, 59, was tapped by President Barack Obama to replace Julia Pierson, who resigned as director Wednesday as criticism mounted regarding multiple security breaches. The most prominent breach occurred Sept. 19, when a knife-wielding man scaled the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue and made it into the executive mansion before being stopped. Revelations also surfaced this week that Obama had shared an Atlanta elevator with an armed guard who was not authorized to be around him.

More on Clancy’s selection here.

Of course, election season is in full swing and there’s been a plethora of election news over the last couple days. I’ve spent much of that time in training sessions for a new computer program we’re using, but here’s a recap of what’s gone on:

Delco Republican Party Chairman Andy Reilly and Delco Democratic Party Chairman David Landau joined Daily Times editor Phil Heron last night for Live From the Newsroom, where they broke down the general election. Catch a replay of it here.

State Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, hosted a panel discussion on college affordability Wednesday at Villanova University. Education is among the hottest issues this election season and has been a major talking point in Adolph’s re-election bid against Democrat Chuck Hadley. More on the panel discussion here.

The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee filed a complaint against state Senate candidate Tom McGarrigle regarding his campaign magnets. The SDCC claimed the McGarrigle campaign violated election code by distributing magnets that did not include fine print noting who had financed or authorized them. More on that here.

Gov. Tom Corbett and his Democratic challenger, Tom Wolf, squared off in their second debate yesterday morning. Once again, education was a key subject. Corbett also addressed the pornographic videos and images his employees allegedly exchanged while he was the state attorney general. Details here.

Lastly, a Republican candidate for the open 28th Senatorial District wants state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, out as majority leader. That news is here. Meanwhile, Pileggi told a Delco business group that a bill eliminating property taxes is unlikely to become law and also appeared alongside Corbett to praise the passage of David’s Law, which seeks to combat heroin overdoses.