Republicans running for office have a major problem this year, and his name is Donald Trump. While Trump is popular, this is his first run for public office — and he’s not on the same page as the GOP in terms of messaging. Naturally, the press is grilling downballot Republicans about his comments.
One such Republican running for office is Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. He’s distanced himself a bit from Trump. He was a supporter of Marco Rubio, and voted for Ted Cruz in Pennsylvania’s April primary. He even penned an Inquirer op-ed giving Trump some unsolicited advice while saying he would vote for the party’s nominee.
“I hope to get to the point where I can enthusiastically support Donald Trump,” Toomey later said. “I’m not there right now and I hope we don’t get to a point where I decide I just can’t support him.”
It’s only June, but I can’t imagine anything tops the Pat Toomey–Katie McGinty Senate race in TV commercial quality. First, we had a Democratic PAC and its weird anti-Toomey ad featuring kittens and a litter box. Then, we had an anti-McGinty ad that featured some tremendous overacting and a horrible depiction of a cheesesteak.
Actually, minutes after the primary race ended, we had attack ads on both sides of the race. The McGinty and Toomey camps both slammed negative ads launched against their respective candidates, including one that featured a McGinty impersonator wearing a fur coat.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest lobbying group based on spending, yesterday released yet another ad. I have to admit, their commercials sure are eye-catching. Read more »
Both of Pennsylvania’s Senators took park in a marathon filibuster that called for gun limits yesterday.
Starting 11 a.m. yesterday through early this morning, Sen. Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut held the Senate floor to call for stricter gun control following the country’s worst ever mass shooting this past weekend in Orlando.
Pa. Senators Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, joined Murphy. All three live-tweeted the marathon, thanking the flood of supporters who reached out via social media, calls and emails.
By Wednesday night, #filibuster was trending on Twitter. The marathon ran for 15 hours.
It’s only June, but the airways are already full of ads in the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. Last week, we explored an anti-Pat Toomey ad that included shots of two kittens and a litter box.
This week, we have an even weirder ad, this one from a group supporting Toomey. The United States Chamber of Commerce, the largest lobbying group in the country, has begun running an ad titled “Cheesesteak” on local networks. It depicts a fake focus group.
The ad above was released late last month, but it’s now airing on Philadelphia-area TV stations. (I saw it yesterday during the Extra/Access Hollywood block on NBC 10.) It’s from the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group, and it compares Pat Toomey to a kitten.
Sen. Pat Toomey gets 45 percent of the vote in the new poll, while Katie McGinty gets 44 percent. Much like the poll Quinnipiac took of Trump/Clinton, men back the Republican candidate (53–36 percent), while women say they’re going to vote for McGinty (51-38). The pollsters interviewed 1,077 Pennsylvania voters and say the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Read more »
“I was born and raised Catholic. I am a practicing Catholic. We are active members of our church. Our kids attend Catholic school, so my faith is a part of who I am. What I have learned through faith helps inform my judgment on many, many issues. It’s hard to quantify, but my faith is an important source of informing my judgment.”
The preceding quote is one of Pat Toomey’s responses to a candidates’ questionnaire prepared by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Communications and and published in the Catholic Standard & Times October 28, 2010, edition, just prior to the election in which he eked out a victory over Admiral Joe Sestak to claim the U.S. Senate seat for Pennsylvania.
Truth is, no Catholic disputed his religious bona fides — he was outspoken about his pro-life views, and had long been a supporter of school choice and the vouchers that favor archdiocesan education. Since then he’s taken a number of stands that he (and other conservative Catholics) have characterized as safeguarding religious liberties and practice — including efforts to exempt religious employers from carrying insurance that covers birth control and opposing discrimination laws that include LGBTQ protections. He is not — by many Pennsylvania Catholics’ accounting — a “cafeteria Catholic,” that is, someone who has cherry-picked which issues to stand Catholic about.
It’s been just a week since the Pennsylvania primary election, but the general election is ramping into high gear — at least in the race for the state’s junior senate seat. Per the Associated Press, “tens of millions of dollars” are expected to be spent by outside groups in the race for the Pennsylvania Senate seat.
Katie McGinty, the Democratic establishment-backed candidate, easily bested Joe Sestak and John Fetterman for the Democratic nomination. Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey was unopposed in the Republican primary; he beat Sestak, 51-49 percent, in the 2010 Senate election. This race is also expected to be close.
The general election began even on primary election night, when Friends of Pat Toomey paid for a Snapchat filter attacking Katie McGinty at McGinty’s election-night party. Meanwhile, several outside groups have already begun airing attack ads.
The Club for Growth, a conservative group that pushes tax cuts and reduced government spending, is airing ads attacking McGinty. This one has been airing during Phillies games in the area. Toomey, a U.S. Congressman for three terms in the late ’90s and early 2000s, was president of the Club for Growth between 2005 and 2009.
McGinty has never held elected office. The ad, which helpfully notes it is an “actor portrayal” of McGinty, accuses her of funneling grants to her husband. The website Blue Nation Review calls the ad “sexist.”
McGinty’s camp has released a detailed response to the ad. The campaign says much of the work going to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (where Karl Hausker works as a consultant on several projects) began under Republican administrations. The campaign also says McGinty has never been a lobbyist, and that several newspaper editorials called the “largest tax increase” claim “deceptive.”
“McGinty’s fight for the middle class is resonating across the state and it’s no wonder that Pat Toomey’s allies are up with a baseless attack to distract from Toomey’s hurtful record against Pennsylvanians,” Sabrina Singh, McGinty’s communications director, said. “It is hard to take an ad like this seriously but what is serious is Pat Toomey’s commitment to putting Wall Street and special interests ahead of Pennsylvanians.”
Ah, yes, Wall Street. That’s the subject of an ad launched by the AFSCME PEOPLE Independent Expenditure, an arm of the union, against Toomey. It notes his long record as an investment banker and his support of loosening government restrictions that caused the financial crisis.
The Toomey camp responded with a long press release responding to the claims in the ad. The campaign says Toomey opposed the Wall Street bailout and has introduced legislation to end “too big to fail” banks. Toomey has also worked with Democratic senators to sponsor legislation ending subsidies for the sugar and corn industries, his campaign says.
“Pat Toomey is widely known for his longtime efforts to fight corporate cronyism and stop government handouts to special interest groups,” Toomey for Senate spokesman Ted Kwong said. “Katie McGinty has built her entire career on doing just the opposite, using her posts in government to enrich herself on corporate boards and her friends with taxpayer dollars.”
It’s only May. Get ready for more of this all the way to November.
Pat Toomey (left) says he’ll meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but he won’t vote to confirm him.
Pat Toomey has taken a beating in the wake of Merrick Garland‘s nomination to the Supreme Court. His Twitter mentions are a series of jabs from Democrats tweeting #DoYourJob. He’s taken almost a month of attacks from the three primary Democrats vying for his senate seat.
That’s because Toomey has been steadfast in his decision for the last month: He’s not going to vote for Garland, saying it should be up to the next president. After Garland was nominated, Toomey said he wouldn’t even meet with him. But, today, Toomey released a statement changing his mind: He would meet with Garland.
But don’t get too excited, Democrats. Toomey still isn’t voting for Garland’s confirmation. He said in a statement: Read more »
Casey, the son of Pennsylvania’s governor from 1987 to 1995, has been a senator since 2006. He is pretty popular: He knocked Rick Santorum out of office with 59 percent of the vote that year, and won re-election with 54 percent of the vote in 2014.
Casey’s endorsement cements McGinty as the establishment candidate this year. She has a long list of establishment backers, including former Philly mayor and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Gov. Tom Wolf. McGinty ran against Wolf in the gubernatorial primary two years ago and was later his chief-of-staff. Read more »