Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Let's Hope Doug Pike Doesn't Screw Up The Dems' Best Shot In Pennsylvania With Sleazy Campaign Tactics


Conventional wisdom has it that the best shot at a Democratic pick-up in Pennsylvania is the suburban district west of Philly made up of parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties. One of Pennsylvania's wealthiest areas, and once a dependably Republican redoubt, PA-06 has been trending bluer and bluer. Where Gore only managed to beat Bush by the tiniest handful of votes, Kerry took the district 52-48 and Obama knocked it out of the ballpark, 58-41. The Republican incumbent, who has never managed to get more than 52% of the vote, is leaving the seat in pursuit of higher office, a longshot race for the governorship.

There are several Democrats hoping to get the nomination and, from the outside at least, it looks like Doug Pike is the frontrunner. Although his Act Blue account only shows 5 donors and $850-- while he rival Manan Trivedi's shows 366 donors and $92,725-- Pike is way out ahead in terms of overall money raised. He's at $902,927 with $745,681 cash on hand (although $621,778-- 69%-- is self-financing). Meanwhile Trivedi's raised $127,295 and has $121,943; Republicans Curt Schroder, Ryan Costello and Howard Cohen have raised, respectively, $108,600, $30,671 and less than $5,000. Pike has a great deal of name recognition and he seems to be the favorite of the DCCC Recruitment Committee which includes two Blue Dogs, Mike Ross and Patrick Murphy, and Murphy has already formally endorsed Pike.

Generally Blue America stays out of primaries unless one candidate is a reactionay Blue Dog and the other is a sterling progressive. An example like that this year would be in Florida's Polk County (FL-12) where grassroots progressive is battling a very conservative Blue Dog-backed Lori Edwards. But in PA-06... we figured both candidates look pretty good without a big enough disparity to make us jump in one way or the other. Yesterday, though, I got an e-mail from the Pike campaign that really stunk to high Heaven. It starts out just fine: Bart Stupak Is Wrong and is a solid defense of women's choice. Suddenly, though, Pike veered off course and attacked Trivedi, lumping the pro-choice Democrat in with 3 reactionary Republicans:
Today, I am asking for help. Please take a moment to contact each of the other candidates in the 6th District race and encourage them to state their position on a woman’s right to choose and the Stupak Amendment that passed the House. Tell Manan Trivedi, Steven Welch, Curt Schroder, Ryan Costello and Howard Cohen to tell you where they stand.

Pike comes out of this looking like an ass and smelling like one too. covered the spat by revealing that in 1990 Pike wrote an OpEd for The Inquirer supporting an anti-choice fanatic.
“I support a woman’s right to an abortion-- and the re-election of a zealous opponent of abortion.”

“[Former state Representative Stephen] Freind’s leadership and independence on other issues are more important than his crusade against the right to an abortion,” Pike wrote at the time.

Trivedi's own press release pointed out Pike's revisionist history and negative campaign tactics.
“We expect better from a journalist like Doug Pike,” said Trivedi spokesperson Daren Berringer. “We always thought that journalists asked questions first and gathered some facts before formulating an opinion about someone. What we are learning is that Doug Pike and his campaign like to base their positions solely on their own dreams and wishes. But now that they have finally asked, even if it was indirectly through a press release, Manan Trivedi does not support the Stupak Amendment. He has never supported it.”
The Trivedi campaign also took issue with the dubious accusation that they have taken on a negative campaign tactic. Every statement that the Trivedi for Congress campaign has made has been factual and well documented. As the Trivedi campaign pointed out, it has been the Pike campaign that was first caught in a national online blogging scandal called “sock-puppeting” where by which someone creates anonymous accounts on a blog and then posts comments to attack an opposing candidate with the hopes of going undetected.
It was first reported on September 30, 2009 on the national blogs, Swing State Project and DailyKos that Doug Pike’s campaign manager had repeatedly been caught in clandestine campaign efforts. The guilty campaign manager posted comments that were critical of Dr. Trivedi in an attempt to make it appear as though actual activists were involved. Pike’s campaign and his manager were exposed, given an opportunity to apologize and have remained silent.
“We were glad to respond to Mr. Pike’s request about Manan’s position on the Stupak Amendment,” Berringer continued. “And now it is Pike’s turn. When are you going to apologize to the entire grassroots and netroots communities for allowing your campaign to conduct itself in such a less than respectful manner? It has now been 61 days since the incident and you have failed to utter a single word. As an Iraq War veteran and a physician, Manan Trivedi has always taken ‘responsibility’ seriously. Mr. Pike, when are you going to apologize and finally take responsibility for your campaign?
“Manan will be happy to have a ‘reasonable discussion’, Mr. Pike. Just let us know when your campaign decides to be reasonable,” Berringer concluded.

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At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Lee said...

Doug Pike was here in my living room less than 2 months ago for our monthly DFA meeting.Trivedi will be here next month. Even though most of our group doesn't come from PA 6, we always help out. We helped elect Sestak, raised $$$$ for Patrick Murphy when no one even heard of him.

Doug Pike...a Blue Dog in training.
You should have heard his response to my questioning him about health care. His non response had to do with triggers and coops and I couldn't figure out where he stood.
He's another go with the flow guy that will stand for what ever the conventional wisdom is.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Thank you for covering this!! Not even the Philly papers are covering the two primaries. Since this is my district, I didn't have a clue on who to support. It looks more and more like Pike isn't the one. And you are right about Gerlach. He got poor numbers against a lousy candidate(twice), and a guy no one knew anything about(2008). PA-06 deserves better.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Do you live in Chester County? If so, send Howie an email and mention my name. And I'll get your email from him. If you allow.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Lee said...


I'm in Montgomery County...and oops Trivedi is at my house THIS Thursday..8:30PM (regular meeting starts at 7:30 PM)

Thursday, Dec 3
7:30 pm
Lee's house:
1207 Claridge Rd
Wyndmoor, PA 19038

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

You didn't have to post that. Anyway, it's funny cause I got the email yesterday. I don't know if I can make it because I have a middle afternoon class and I take the train into Philly.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does this make Doug Pike a blue dog in training?

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

I think this whole blog post was a bit of an overreaction. 99% of voters won't know/care about the sockpuppet incident and Pike claiming to be the only pro-choice candidate in the field is just politics. Did this really warrant an angry blog post?

At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Lee said...

In answer to 2 questions...

Doug Pike..a blue dog in training.Blue Dogs are go along get along kind of politicians. What they stand for shifts depending on who gives them money. And they don't represent their constituents well.
As far as warranting an angry blog post?? Hell yes...especially in PA 06.Lois Murphy never should of lost to Gerlach.And I partly blame Rahm Emmanuel for the blue dog/brain dead advice that she listened to.Advice that both Joe Sestak and Patrick Murphy refused...

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a moment. Do you know the makeup of the 6th? I don't think it's this progressive fairlyland you think it is. Certainly its a liberal place (mostly) but do you expect Pike to run a single payer campaign? NO! He has taken LGBT stands, DOMA, DADT, and now pro-choice. Trivedi was forced to take a stand on pro-choice and still has no LGBT issues. I think you're all overreacting.

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous laptop tamiri said...

How does this make Doug Pike a blue dog in training?


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