The ballot access laws in Pennsylvania are notoriously tough for anyone who doesn’t have the nomination of a major political party, so it makes for big news when people qualify. In two local Congressional races, it’s likely to give us some very severe headaches in seats that are otherwise rated extremely competitive or complete toss-ups.
The most frustrating is the birther who plans to try and pull votes away from the pro-gun Republican nominee in PA-7, Pat Meehan, by claiming to be a Tea Party candidate backed by far left Democrats. (In reality, there was a Tea Party candidate in the race earlier this year, but he ran as a Republican in the primary and was defeated.) He’s pretending that he had no idea his most helpful supporters just happen to be officials with the Democratic Party, some of whom have been publicly recognized by the anti-gun Democratic campaign for their grassroots support. The Democrats aren’t even trying to deny what they did here, and they are eating it up. They don’t think their guy can win on a race based on issues, so they are instead trying to add fringe candidates to the right side in order to split off any votes they can.
What’s worse is that these same “grassroots supporters” for the birther also filed petition challenges in the primary campaign to pressure all of the Democrats not personally chosen by party leaders off of the ballot. They really are afraid of any competition at all and will use any tactic other than a clean campaign to get their way.
Here in our neck of the woods, there’s a new independent candidate in PA-8. By new, I mean just got on the ballot. Because he’s the kind of guy who runs for every office every election cycle. Oh, and he told Tea Party supporters at a forum that voters are all stupid because a) they vote, and b) don’t vote for him and his brand of crazy.
Tom debuted a brand new campaign strategy at tonightâ€™s forum: Tell voters how much they suck. They suck for being voters. They suck for possibly being Republicans. They suck because they donâ€™t vote for Tom. They suck for even turning out to such an event.
When not telling voters how much they suck, Tom indicated he may not honor treaties, and it didnâ€™t really sound like he would give much thought to helping out Israel should they get attacked.
He’s likely going to try and appeal to angry Republicans who can’t get over the fact that their favorite candidates didn’t survive the primary. That’s exactly what the Democrats would like to happen – at least by a cursory glance at the race. After all, this is a blue district that would really only go red with a Republican focused on economic issues – the message the party appears to try and focus on this year. In other words, this is the year the seat could go back, especially since the GOP nominee is a former Congressman who only lost by 1,500 votes last time he ran.
Except, oddly enough, it looks like the Democrats might be lining up to kick Angry Crazy Candidate Tom off the ballot. I suspect it’s because they would rather have disaffected Republicans vote Democrat to “send a message to the GOP” rather than voting third party. They may well need every vote they can get, even if it’s just a spiteful vote from some conservatives being pissy about things not going their way every single time.
Ultimately, this means we’re going to have to work even harder for pro-gun candidates to not only beat the competition from both sides – Democrat & Crazy – but also overcome the margin of
error fraud. I have a feeling that I’ll be hoarse come September with all of the phone calls I’ll be making and doors I’ll be knocking on.