Republicans Dealing With Ghosts
by: John Morgan
Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 09:57:25 AM EST
The ghost of late Senator Jim Rhoades filled the Hamburg Borough Hall last evening as Republicans gathered to hear from six potential candidates for the 29th Senatorial District. Sen. Rhoades was killed October 17th in an auto accident while on the campaign trail. A special election is being held to fill the seat and Democrats seem settled on Steve Lukach who ran this fall. Several Democratic County Committees have already met and voted for the Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts.
Six Republicans met and answered audience questions in Hamburg after former independent candidate Dennis Baylor filed a lawsuit preventing them from conducting the event at the Tilden Township Borough Hall. Attendees paid for us of the venue so I’m not sure what the basis of Dennis’ claim was and why he’d go to such lengths to interfere with an election process.
Jim Rhoades’ ghost seemed to be pulling the strings of his puppet Chris Hobbs and forcing him to repeat the same mantra over and over: as Rhoades’ son in law he’s entitled to the seat. The scent of nepotism filled the room all evening. Hobbs seemed unable to utter an original thought, a serious reason for his candidacy other than his familial relationship, or a grasp of the issues. It was as if Jim Rhoades was there pulling his strings and making him repeat, ad nauseum, that he has access to the Rhoades organization so everyone should support him for the seat.
John Morgan :: Republicans Dealing With Ghosts
The other five candidates were State Representative David Argall, attorney Gretchen Sterns, Joe Gattone, Ed Balkiewicz and Willard Dellicker. Gattone, Balkiewicz and Dellicker reminded me of the tin foil hat Green Party candidates I covered at their national convention in 2007. Not ready for prime time some simply kept agreeing with the serious candidates, couldn’t answer the questions or simply kept repeating idiotic GOP talking points.
Gattone actually said deregulation is so important he equated it with God deregulating the Ten Commandments. Cute method of bringing religion into the argument for deregulating all government oversight. The theme of deregulation permeated every question and answer throughout the evening. I had to wonder if any of these morons have been paying attention to the news lately.
Dave Argall said he was running because people asked him to do so. Wow, what a compelling reason to vote for someone! He also said he so-sponsored several reform bills in Harrisburg. That, of course, doesn’t stop him from using tax dollars to pay for his campaign breakfasts to which only his GOP supporters are invited.
Hobbs said he’s running to support his Party. He isn’t running to take care of the State or his constituents mind you, he’s putting his Republican Party first. Wow I knew Country First was a lie but at least you could pretend you’d put the Commonwealth first!
Sterns said she wants to restore the Party’s image and regain the taxpayer’s trust. She asked “why did this happen?” Her answer: we lost the middle class. No Gretchen you didn’t lose the middle class your Party tried to destroy the middle class. Understandably they got upset about that ideology and rebeled. You lost them because your Party adopted extreme social positions against minorities and women which most Americans and Pennsylvanians find repulsive. Gretchen Sterns, like the others, remains in denial about why their Party is losing elections.
Hobbs also made a critical fact failure when he accused Gov. Rendell of only helping Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and ignoring the rest of the state. In fact Rendell has set records for the amount of support he has shown across the state. Economic development funds have rescued every section of the state because he made the commitment to spread the funds equally. How does someone run for the State Senate when he doesn’t know such fundamental facts? Oh, because he wasn’t speaking it was actually Sen. Rhoades pulling his strings.
Bumbling moderator Royal Ferrer made his own fact challenged accusation. The Republican Committee man who is bound to get himself arrested at a polling place someday for his efforts at voter intimidation said that Democratic State Chair T.J. Rooney will appoint their candidate himself with no input from the County Committees. This flies in the face of the facts that several Democratic County Committees have already met and voted for a candidate. Of course it is easier for the Democrats since they had an established candidate who ran just two months ago. Since the GOP lost their man they have an open field of idiots and puppets vying for the nomination. I have emailed T.J. Rooney for comment and will update the article when he responds.
The ghost of Jim Rhoades was heavy last night amidst the scent of nepotism.