Off I Go to Hold My Nose


I’ve been happy with Corbett on the gun issue. If you look at his record, it’s about the only constituency he managed to please. On every other issue, I’m disappointed. He hasn’t really done anything to fix the state’s long term financial problems. The People of Wisconsin will be happy that Scott Walker made some hard decisions now. Even New Jersey is probably marginally better off for having Chris Christie. But Pennsylvania is probably doomed to a serious pension crisis in the not so distant future. Because of the intransigence of the Senate GOP leadership, we couldn’t even get liquor privatization done. But I will hold my nose and cast the vote for Corbett, pretty much solely on the gun issue. He signed enhanced castle doctrine and signed enhanced preemption. He came out after Sandy Hook and put the kibosh on gun control in Pennsylvania, which enabled us to focus federally. Every one of our neighboring states except Ohio and West Virginia suffered attacks and setbacks at the state level, and it was West Virginia’s senator trying to screw us federally. As Republicans go in this state, Corbett has been pretty good on guns. I can’t imagine Tom Ridge holding so firm after something like Sandy Hook.

I’m also very concerned Tom Wolf will be the Jerry Brown of Pennsylvania. At some point, fellow citizens, we need to stick it to the GOP leadership in this state. Pennsylvania has a moderate political tradition of centrist Democrats (except in the cities) and squishy Republicans, so it’s going to be a long road. Wolf wants to fix the state’s finances with more taxes, notably a progressive tax (which is unconstitutional, PA mandates a flat income tax). As a commenter mentioned earlier this morning, this place is going to start looking an awful lot like New York if the state GOP doesn’t start standing for something other than its own power and self-interest. If Wolf wins, the best case scenario is total gridlock, and all that while the clock will be ticking on the state’s pension problems.

In local races, my State Representative, Frank Farry, has been pretty solid on Second Amendment issues, so he gets my vote without question. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson, my State Senator, went without an endorsement for a while because he tried to screw us on Florida reciprocity. This year he’s got an endorsement again, because he voted with us on Castle Doctrine and enhanced preemption. I’ll vote for him, since his Democratic challenger, Kim Rose, didn’t even see fit to return a questionnaire.

I’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to hold my nose for Mike Fitzpatrick. He took an endorsement from Bloomberg’s outfit, and was one of the few Republicans to support the house equivalent of Manchin-Toomey. If I do, this will be the last year. If Fitzpatrick doesn’t step down in 2016, like he’s promised to do, and fails to draw a successful primary challenger, I’m done with voting for Fitzpatrick as long as he’s going to suck up to guys like Bloomberg. If I do end up pushing the button for Fitz, it’s not really for him so much as to keep the seat in GOP hands in the hopes he steps down like he promised, or draws a reasonable primary challenger. If that seat flips to the Dems, it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to get it back, which would suck if the GOP actually managed to find an acceptable candidate for 2016.

8 thoughts on “Off I Go to Hold My Nose”

  1. I held my nose as well, I’m not a big fan of Corbett but on gun issues there isn’t a whole lot you can complain about. While Wolf tried the folksy centrist approach during the primary and early in the run, he has now gone full-blown progressive with his courting of Michelle, Hillary, and now Obama, decrying “trickle-down economics”, and offering up more of his ridiculous pseudo-progressive income tax plan. It’s pretty obvious that even with a friendly legislature he wouldn’t lift a finger to alleviate the pension crisis, opting instead to come down hard on business and tax people even more to make up for it, accelerating PA’s entry into the failed northeastern state club. And on gun rights, well with the company he has been keeping and a hugely anti-gun response to CeasefirePA’s candidate survey, it’s pretty clear he’s in the same league as Cuomo.

    My state rep is Democrat Bill Kortz and despite falling in line with his party on most issues has been rock-solid on gun rights and was NRA-rated A+ this time around, so despite running unopposed I was still happy to support him. My congressional rep is Tim Murphy, another A+ incumbent running unopposed. Happy to be located in his district and not Mike Doyle’s.

  2. I assume our precinct is an anomaly, but, wow, were the Republicans out. Our precinct is heavily GOP, and the line has never been more than 15 feet out of the door of the actual voting room. Today, it was at least 40 feet out. (My approximate measures are based on the line at which they can start handing out campaign literature.)

    The heavily Democratic precinct normally has a line going back at least 100-200 feet. There was no line at the table to vote there. One Democratic poll stander tried pitching Tom Wolf to a woman who walked in as we were walking out, and she told him that she didn’t want to pay more state income taxes.

    I still think Corbett is probably toast because I doubt turnout will be so high in the parts of the state that we need to turn out for Republicans to win. I get the impression those voters are still upset over Penn State and those are the same folks who gladly voted in anti-gun Kathleen Kane for AG. It’s clear they think that one college football team is more important than the Second Amendment. If that’s the case, they probably think it’s more important than how much their family can afford to pay in taxes, too. However, today’s showing at our polls makes me wonder if he might end up doing much better than opinion polls have shown him doing in the last few months.

    1. There wasn’t a line at my polling place, but it felt rather busy for an off-year election. Most people in my area are R, so good turnout is a good sign. I think Corbett will do better than the polls have indicated, but he has a LOT of ground to make up.

    2. I’m hoping the polls have been overestimating turnout on the Dem side, so while I still think the chance of a Cortbett victory is remote I also don’t think Wolf will win by the double-digits they have been predicting.

      Romney carried my borough handily though I would have to bet there are more registered Dems than Reps, so that makes me worried. Word trickling in is that turnout is brisk here in Allegheny County but doesn’t specify whether it’s Pittsburgh or the more Republican-leaning suburbs. At my precinct it was pretty quiet first thing in the morning, I walked in when it opened with two other people and left with a few more in line.

      1. Keep in mind that with Obama motivating more non-voters to vote in two of the last three general elections, more people are likely considered “likely voters” in some polls even though they aren’t really likely voters.

        Again, it doesn’t mean that I think Corbett will win, but it may not be the beating the pundits believe it will be.

  3. I can understand your reticence voting between bad candidates. I know the Republican goal is to win control of the U.S. Senate, but here in Oregon their nomination went to Dr. Monica Wehby, who’s an establishment darling running on an entirely anti-Obamacare campaign. Given her locale (Portland, “gun control” central for Oregon), her professional background and endorsements (AMA and AAP, both known for “guns as a public health issue”), and her lack of any personal statements for or against private gun ownership, I can’t in good conscience cast my vote for her, GOP-controlled Senate or no. Not even holding my nose.

    It’s highly unlikely Wehby will win in any case; she doesn’t have the support of the grassroots conservative base – what little there is – and the GOP establishment’s efforts in her campaign have been anemic at best.

  4. Jerry Brown has a 58% approval rating and has been a pretty good governor for California. Most states would be lucky to get someone like him.

  5. Anti Gun Governors are going down, Hickenlooper still looks like he is going to lose. Malloy in Connecticut, Brown in Md, and Senator Hagen voted for Machin Toomey

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