Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fast Ed on KBN: "She clocked everybody."

Much like an ancient spanking, if you know what I mean.
Gov. Rendell said Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll's runaway victory over three opponents in the Democratic primary for that office proved an absence of anti-incumbency sentiment in that race.

"Look at Catherine Baker Knoll," Rendell said at a stop in Bethlehem, Pa., yesterday. "She clocked everybody."
Valerie wasn't about a 'fresh face' either. She is way younger, but has been around the block from row office, to row office protection spokesperson, to city council with some failed budgets and school board member with huge divides among students.

Furthermore, voters in PA have a way of thinking one way when it comes to selecting individuals to serve on legislative bodies and another way when it comes to picking executives. Often, and this is my theory, the voters go to one way in one category and the other way in the other choice. For example, when Rendell was elected, same too were more Republicans put into the state house and senate.

So, if this holds true again, if Rendell gets elected with KBN -- and they 'clock' both challenging camps, then, I expect that a number of other Democrats will fall too.

That's balance.
Got Balance?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Voters start a seismic shift in Pa.

Reform will be easier and incumbents can expect a fight in Nov., experts

By Mario F. Cattabiani and Amy Worden

Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

Moments after forcing back tears in his concession speech, State Sen. Robert
C. Jubelirer, the longest serving president pro tempore in Pennsylvania
history, described Tuesday's primary election results as "a dramatic

Now, everyone in Harrisburg is wondering: What are the aftershocks?

Two things are clear: Many surviving incumbents will have tough races in the
general election, and the long-stalled legislative reform agenda might well
be infused with new life.

Jubelirer, his No. 2 in the Senate GOP leadership, Majority Leader David J.
Brightbill, and 15 sitting House members - all targets of anti-pay raise
anger - lost reelection bids to challengers from within their own party.

Of the 17 incumbents who lost, according to unofficial results, all but two
voted for the raises on July 7.

In a typical election year, two incumbents lose in the primary. The turnover
in this primary is the largest in at least 32 years. And, with 30
retirements, there could be more than 50 new lawmakers in the General
Assembly at the start of the new term in January.

The high number of incumbents knocked out is clear evidence, experts said,
that voters want change in the way business is done in Harrisburg.

"For the first time, reformers can really talk about such things as a
constitutional convention, term limits and reducing the size of the
legislature," said Mike Young, a political analyst and retired Pennsylvania
State University professor. "Before, they were fantasies. Now, they are
entering the realm of political possibilities."

Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause of Pennsylvania, a
government watchdog group, pointed to the victory speeches as an indication
reform is on the minds of the winners.

"Almost every candidate talked about cleaning up Harrisburg and about
transparency in government," he said. "They don't want to see things done
behind closed doors any more."

Seven of those who upset incumbents were backed by PACleanSweep, the
anti-pay raise group that recruited candidates to run for the legislature.

Jerry Kelley, the group's spokesman, said: "I think it's a new day in
Pennsylvania. This awakened folks.

"The pay raise is certainly the lightening rod and the galvanizing force
behind the anger, but I think it goes deeper than that. I think it's a
general dissatisfaction with lawmakers, and not just their salaries, but all
the perks that come with their office."

Although four of their own fell Tuesday night, Democrats were buoyant about
the results. Voters were clearly targeting incumbent Republicans - tossing
13 from office, they said.

"When Republican voters oust their own at this rate, it's more than just
anti-incumbency," said Rep. T.J. Rooney (D., Northampton), the state
Democratic Party chairman. "It's a paltry record of accomplishments coupled
by resentment for not getting things done when they had the power to do so."

Republican Party officials admitted the party took a hit from voter anger,
but said that anger was evident on the Democratic side, too.

"What we saw last night was voters were upset on both sides," said Scott
Migli, executive director of the Pennsylvania GOP. But, looking ahead to
November, he said, "we will unite as a Republican Party."

Gov. Rendell said Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll's runaway victory over
three opponents in the Democratic primary for that office proved an absence
of anti-incumbency sentiment in that race.

"Look at Catherine Baker Knoll," Rendell said at a stop in Bethlehem, Pa.,
yesterday. "She clocked everybody."

Most of the GOP members who were picked off come from conservative areas of
the state and Democrats are unlikely to pick up many of those seats in

But Democrats, who have been in the minority for more than a decade in both
chambers, could chip away at the GOP majority. Republicans control the
House, 109-94, and the Senate, 29-21.

At the very least, the election results will bring about a scramble for
leadership posts in the Senate after the November election. It's unclear at
this point who the leading candidates are to replace Jubelirer and
Brightbill, officials said.

Sen. Jeffrey Piccola of Dauphin County, who as majority whip is the highest
ranking Republican leader left in that chamber, positioned himself as a
voice for change.

Piccola issued a news release yesterday saying that government reform -
including passage of a lobbyist disclosure law - must be a Republican

"The Republican Party must earn again the reputation as the party of good
government," he said. "A legitimate government needs a legitimate and strong
lobbying reporting law. Other crucial reforms of the legislative, executive,
and judicial branches must follow."

Some say the shake-up will bring uncertainty to the Senate in the short run
and more partisanship over the long term, with hard-line conservatives
gaining a greater voice in the process.

There will be "a period of substantial uncertainty, both for the agenda and
who manages that agenda," said Stephen MacNett, chief counsel to Senate

The election results also gave a green light for Republican gubernatorial
hopeful Lynn Swann to attack Gov. Rendell on the pay-raise issue, said

"So far, Rendell has been the Teflon candidate on this issue," Young said.
"It just hasn't seemed to affect him. The opportunity is clearly there for
Swann to go after Rendell."

At a campaign stop in Philadelphia yesterday, Swann did just that, urging
voters to hold Rendell responsible for the pay raise.

"He offered the pay raise... . He signed it," Swann said.

Some observers say the primary results are indication that Republican voters
may be looking for more conservative representation in the General Assembly,
while Democrats counter that the results show Republicans are more at risk
in November.

But others say the primary race was less about partisan politics than it was
a referendum on the status quo.

"It was not Democrat vs. Republican or conservative vs. liberal," said
Matthew Brouillette, president of the conservative Commonwealth Foundation.
"It was us against them."

Voted Out

Republicans control the House, 109-94, and the Senate, 29-21.

Sixty-one legislative incumbents were in contested primaries on Tuesday. At
least 17 were defeated, and several races were too close to call.

Voters also chose Republican and Democratic nominees to compete for 30 open
seats resulting from incumbent retirements.

Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly who lost their primary
election, according to unofficial results:


. David J. Brightbill (R., Lebanon), majority leader

. Robert C. Jubelirer (R., Blair), president pro tempore


. Bob Allen (R., Berks)

. Gibson C. Armstrong (R., Lancaster)

. Roy E. Baldwin (R., Lancaster)

. Fred Belardi (D., Lackawanna)

. Susan Cornell (R., Montgomery)

. Patrick Fleagle (R., Franklin)

. Teresa Forcier (R., Crawford)

. Frank LaGrotta (D., Beaver)

. Dennis E. Leh (R., Berks)

. Stephen R. Maitland (R., Adams)

. Frank J. Pistella (D., Allegheny)

. Kenneth W. Ruffing (D., Allegheny)

. Paul W. Semmel (R., Lehigh)

. Thomas L. Stevenson (R., Allegheny)

. Peter J. Zug (R., Lebanon)

SOURCE: Inquirer, Associated Press