Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Return Of Blue Dog Chris Carney?


In the 2006 midterms Blue America made a ghastly mistake. We allowed ourselves be be taken in my a bold-faced liar and fast-talking charlatan running for Congress in northeast Pennsylvania. Although we were warned that Carney, a former employee of Douglas Feith in the Bush White House, was untrustworthy, we endorsed him and helped him raise money and develop strategies against against Republican incumbent Don Sherwood. (We did not know at the time that he had worked as an "interrogator" at Guantanamo.) During our endorsement interview he portrayed himself as a progressive and vowed that if he were elected he would vote for the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He was elected, immediately joined the reactionary Blue Dogs and started voting with the Republicans on one crucial roll call after another-- including the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. (Two years later he also voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, one of a small handful of Democrats who did.) Blue America apologized to our contributors, and asked Carney to refund the money our donors have given him. He started cursing at me. We started raising money to let PA-10 voters know what a fraud Carney is and in 2010 he was one of the dozens of Blue Dogs swept out of office. Republican Tom Marino beat him 109,603 (55%) to 89,170 (45%) and we hoped we'd never have to think about him again, except as an object lesson about how to deal with dishonest candidates.

Unfortunately, Carney is rearing his ugly head again, threatening to run against Joe Sestak in the 2016 Pennsylvania Senate primary. Anti-Choice, anti-gay, he's so right-wing he could easily switch to the Republican Party. But over the weekend he said he wants to run against Republican incumbent Pat Toomey as a Democrat.
"I have been encouraged by many folks who have approached me about running, and I've had many conversations with people across the commonwealth," Carney told National Journal. "I am taking it all in and weighing what's best for my family and the people of Pennsylvania."

The onetime congressman, who represented a district in the state's conservative northeast corner from 2007 to 2011, said he would decide about a campaign "fairly soon."

Carney's interest in the Senate comes as a surprise. For months, Democratic operatives keen to find an alternative to Sestak did not include Carney on their short-list of potential candidates, and he's been largely absent from public life since losing his House seat in 2010. Although affable and well-liked within the party, Carney is a former member of the Blue Dog Coalition who opposes abortion-rights and voted against "cap-and-trade" legislation in 2009—positions that would not endear him to a liberal Democratic primary electorate. In 2009, Republicans even tried to persuade him to switch parties.

But Carney's entrance would nonetheless give Sestak his first credible primary challenger, at a time when many Democratic operatives in the state had started to believe Sestak would run unopposed. Other would-be opponents, like outgoing state Treasurer Rob McCord, former Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and Rep. Matt Cartwright, have passed on a bid for Senate. And party insiders now believe another potential candidate, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, is no longer interested in a campaign after once considering it.

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At 6:24 AM, Blogger Harold Clark said...

As contributor to your pac thanks for your honesty. You can't get them all right. It's tough, I have customers that are Republicans and I hate to admit they are some of my best. They're in power part from force/$ and part from real persuasiveness, can't be denied. Dems are weak on both, especially the latter. OK to demand money back, but don't waste your energy expecting anything. He's laughing at us.


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