Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Strange Coincidence

Regarding my recent post about Pennacchio and Sandals splitting the progressive vote in the Democratic primary, some one named "rebecca" commented:
[I]f the goal is to get rid of Santorum while remaining true to Democratic values, then Alan Sandals is the candidate to do it. His appeal is broader than Chuck's and will not alienate moderate Republicans and Independents, whose votes any Democratic candidate will need in order to beat Santorum in November.
This was written well before the NOW PAC endorsement went public. I responded:
On what EXACTLY are you basing your statement that Sandals' "appeal is broader than Chuck's and will not alienate moderate Republicans and Independents?" I have seen no polling indicative of this viewpoint. I'm curious to hear your evidence.

I agree that the goal is to remove Santorum from office. In fact, I would certainly choose Sandals over Santorum in an election. However, I have to respectfully disagree with you rationale. Pennacchio and Sandals have very similar positions on most issues. What precisely is so much more radical about Pennacchio than Sandals?

If attracting moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats is the goal, then we should be supporting Casey. If we are trying to fire up the base, then Pennacchio is the answer, because he already seems to have a stronger grassroots following than Sandals. Like I said, I have nothing AGAINST Sandals, I just BELIEVE in Pennacchio.
At the time hers was a peculiar statement, and she is yet to refute my criticism. I didn't really think about it again until Sandals' webmaster responded to my letter. Her name is "Rebecca Cesarz." Isn't it a strange coincidence that a random Sandals supporter who wrote an unfounded argument in the comments has the same first name as Sandals' webmaster? These could very well be two different people. I guess it's not really a big deal, but it just strikes me as interesting.


At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Tom Ford said...

Also an interesting coincidence -- after the NOW PAC announced an endorsement, I submitted comments to the Sandals site which asked what changes he made to his position on parental consent for minors seeking abortion in order to secure the NOW PAC money, and if he would release the position questionnaire that the NOW PAC had him fill out.

Today, not only were my comments not posted, but my access to the Sandals site was removed.

Another coincidence?

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Shlomo Boudreaux said...

I sure hope so. How strikingly undemocratic, otherwise.

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing about Sandal's campaign is that everyone working on it (as far as I can tell) is a paid staffer. Most of Sandal's money comes from Sandals.

Compare that to Chuck Pennacchio's campaign, where we have over 5,000 volunteers. Not a single paid staffer. That's the difference. Pennacchio's supporters actually believe in him and we gladly give our free time because we want him to be our Senator. So it is a bit misleading when papers report Chuck has only raised a little over 100,000. He's a grassroots candidate and doesn't need as much to win the primary.

However, there are a few issues on which Sandals is more conservative. One is living wage; Sandals supports Rendell's idea to bring the min. wage to about $7. Chuck wants a true living wage, that would bring all workers out of poverty (about 9.20/hr.) Sandals thinks we should delay withdrawing troops from Iraq for another year / really has no exit strategy. Another is taxation. In the top marginal income tax rate Chuck thinks it should be 50%; Sandals said it should be 39%. So basically Sandals thinks he can appeal better to Bill Gates and Paris Hilton.

Dave De Vetter

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous tom ford said...

Another "coincidence". The page from Sandals' web site that posted his interview, last August, in which he endorsed parental consent for minors, has been removed.

See this cached page:

And the current page:

Not to beat up on the guy, but if he switched positions for the money, he ought to at least own up to it.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Shlomo Boudreaux said...

tom ford:

You're right, that google cache link does bring up a copy of the politics philly interview that seems to have been deleted from the original "node/163" page.

However, I snooped around on and found the interview posted here:

I found it on page three of the "newsroom" section of Sandals' website. Do you know where "node/163" was originally on his website? For example, was it a link deleted from the front page?

If Sandals' was trying to scrub this interview from the web, he did a pretty shoddy job.

Please fill me in...

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Tom Ford said...

It was from a link, but I don't believe it was from the front page. Their are other changes to his website, so you are probably correct that the absence of the interview from where it was last time was the result of some shuffling of the web pages.

BTW, take a look at today's Inquirer's article on the debates. It looks like they spoke with Sandals who says that he is now against ANY parental notification:

Guess he gave them an answer he didn't want to give to you.

He would have come off a whole lot better if he had just come out and said that the NOW folk convinced him that their approach was the better one, instead of simply ignoring the shift as if it never happened.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Shlomo Boudreaux said...

Amazing...I read the Inquirer article earlier today. At least Chuck and Alan are finally starting to get some press.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger philliesfan said...

This may be a little premature, but if the election were tomorrow, all 3 Dems running for Senate would beat Santorum. So, just for arguments sake, let's take that part of the formula out of the "who should the Dems run" out of the equation.

We are left with determining who will best represent Pennsylvania and who will help put balance back into the Federal government?

Under this premise, it's pretty clear that Casey is not our man. So between Pennacchio and Sandals, it's pretty close. I think it's just about a tie when it comes to representing PA.

So, focusing on what they can/will do on Capital Hill...Just hearing those words lately makes me think of the alleged corruption going on and lack of balance between the branches of government. These two issues, particularly the latter, requires a deep understanding of the Constitution, and for that reason alone, I would prefer PA elect a lawyer.

Forget all of the stereotypes surrounding lawyers, look what has happened over the past 6 years with a failed businessman in the White House and a medical doctor holding the leadership post on Capital Hill. They have no regard, and thus no respect for the Constitution. Their policies have almost admitted as such.

At this stage of the race, I cannot, nor would I want to, say anything negative about Chuck Pennacchio. But I feel more comfortable with someone who's spent the past twenty years in law over someone who's spent the past twenty years in politics.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Shlomo Boudreaux said...


I agree with you that Casey is not our man. However, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment that a lawyer makes a competent Senator--all lawyer jokes aside. Despite Bill Frist, the majority of Senators are, in fact, lawyers. No offense to your chosen profession, but perhaps fewer lawyers in the Senate would improve the situation. Furthermore, I believe Bob Casey Jr. is a lawyer as well, and we agree on his "qualifications."

Secondly, Alan Sandals does not study Constitutional law; he practices pension and medical benefits law. Sure, Sandals might be valuable to a discussion of Social Security and Medicare, but what makes him more qualified than Chuck Pennacchio to talk about terrorism, the Dubai Ports deal or anything else?

Thirdly, while Chuck Pennacchio has been involved in the successful campaigns of several Senators (e.g. Tom Harkin, Tim Wirth, and Paul Simon--he knows how to win--he is not a politician. Pennacchio is the director of the history program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has spent the past several decades studying American and European diplomacy. Frankly--even if all other things were equal--I'd prefer a Senator with years of experience in diplomacy and national defense who can bring a sorely needed historical perspective to the Senate.


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