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Holy crap, how did I miss this yesterday?!?

Rep. Allyson Schwartz has decided to run for governor of Pennsylvania, joining a developing field of Democratic candidates who believe they can beat Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.

Emboldened by a private primary poll commissioned by EMILY’s List, Schwartz has hired Obama campaign veteran Reesa Kossoff as communications director for her political operation and plans to open a state-level campaign account early next month, a source close to the five-term congresswoman said.

The EMILY’s List survey, conducted by veteran pollsters Jefrey Pollock and Joe Hickerson, tested Schwartz in a three-way primary against state Treasurer Rob McCord and former Rendell administration official Tom Wolf, in a nine-way contest headlined by 2010 Democratic Senate nominee Joe Sestak, and in an eight-way field that does not include Sestak.

In the latter survey, Schwartz led Sestak 18 percent to 15 percent with all other candidates finishing in single digits, according to a memo obtained by POLITICO that includes top-line results but not all of the data collected. - Politic, 3/28/13

Here's the poll they're referring to:

A few months ago, Schwartz hired Aubrey Montgomery, the juggernaut finance director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  Schwartz now has a strong new member on her team in Reesa Kossoff as her new communications director.  Kossoff ran regional press in Ohio for the Obama campaign, where she pushed the president’s bailout of the auto industry.  Schwartz's candidacy has me excited because she has been hitting Corbett hard on the economy, mandatory ultra-sounds and Corbett's refusal to expand Medicaid in the state of Pennsylvania as part of the Affordable Health Care Act.  Corbett's lowest approval ratings are with female voters and Schwartz has been proven by the Democratic Governors Association, EMILY's List and PPP to be a strong candidate who beats Corbett from 5 to 11 points.  Schwartz could very well be the first female Governor of Pennsylvania and make Corbett the first incumbent to lose re-election since 1968.

Now, there are other big names like Treasurer Rob McCord and 2010 Senate candidate, Joe Sestak (D), who are also looking at the race but Schwartz has a big cash advantage.  However, Sestak's op-ed piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette bashing Tea Party Senator Pat Toomey's (R. PA) remarks about welfare programs to me sounds like he wants revenge against the man who very narrowly beat him in 2010:

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., recently commented on "the negative, unintended consequences" of welfare initiatives that he called "transfer-payment programs." He said, "We've had huge increases in funding for these programs, and the net effect now is that there are people who discover that the government will provide food, shelter, health care, education, transportation, cash, a very long list of all the things you need, as long as you don't work very much, you don't make very much." The Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Sen. Toomey's comments came months after former Gov. Mitt Romney's famous remarks about the "47 percent" of Americans "who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

Yet from 1979 to 2007, the top 1 percent of households received a 300 percent increase in government benefits; those of the poorest 20 percent decreased by a quarter. It is doubtful that the wealthy were less incentivized to work because of their three-fold increase in governmental assistance; why are less fortunate Americans viewed differently?

Leaders must address our debt and must reduce spending to make our future fiscally sustainable. But what we need is pragmatic discussion grounded on facts, not stereotyped characterizations of what drives different sets of Americans. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/26/13

Here's what Toomey said earlier this month:
Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) took aim at federal spending Thursday, at one point singling out welfare programs he said had grown so generous that some Americans find they benefit from government aid "as long as you don't work very much."

"We all want to have a safety net that works for the people who need us, but we've had a huge proliferation of these programs, we've had huge expansions in eligibility for these programs.

"We've had huge increases in funding for these programs, and the net effect now is that there are people who discover that the government will provide food, shelter, health care, education, transportation, cash, a very long list of all the things you need, as long as you don't work very much, you don't make very much," Toomey said. "It creates a huge economic disincentive."

The comments come months after the GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, saw his campaign derailed by his own taped words about the "47 percent" of Americans "who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

Toomey, a leading voice among fiscal conservatives, acknowledged that he was treading on a politically sensitive topic, one he said was prone to distortion. But he said government aid had grown so generous that beneficiaries have to increase their income "enormously to offset what you're going to lose in these benefits." - Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/6/13

Schwartz is legally allowed to transfer her $3 million of campaign funds as DCCC finance chairwoman to her campaign for Governor.  Pennsylvania Democrats are hoping to avoid a crowded and expensive primary because they are going to need all the resources they can get to beat Corbett.  

Schwartz is socially liberal, a strong supporter of gay rights, gun control, the environment and abortion rights.  She is also fiscally moderate and has a great ranking from the AFL-CIO.  You can read about Schwartz here:

Schwartz's connections the DCCC could help us pick up some seats in gerrymandered Pennsylvania and could help us win back some seats in the State Senate.  I am very excited about this race and I hope we can avoid a nasty primary because Corbett is probably the worst Governor in Pennsylvania history and is a puppet for the Koch Brothers.  Last year we made history by electing Kathleen Kane, the first Democrat and woman to the Pennsylvania Attorney General position and I want us to make history next year by electing Schwartz the first female Governor of the Keystone State.  I'll have more on this race as more news develop.

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania, In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Pittsburgh Area Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  from philly, with love... my prediction (10+ / 0-)

    she's gonna whup corbutt's ... butt!

    and i will do whatever it takes
    to make sure that happens.


    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:18:32 PM PDT

  •  this is very exciting news! (6+ / 0-)

    Rep. Schwartz sounds like she deserves all the support we can  give her and kossacks do that like no others. :)

    Thank you so much

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:20:07 PM PDT

  •  Great news for a state that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, Bronx59, JBraden, Lujane

    has seen it's fair share of crazy repukes!
    Peace and Blessings!

    United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

    by Penny GC on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:25:57 PM PDT

  •  Excellent! (12+ / 0-)

    I hope Joe Sestak keeps his powder dry for a takedown of Toomey in 2016.

  •  Cautiously optimistic... (6+ / 0-)

    I was fully behind Sestak, and would love to see him take down Toomey next cycle.

    I'm personally excited about Schwartz, but a good moderate Dem friend of mine questions her ability to take the state.

    I'd say he's left of the typical white, middle class PA voter, but he does seem to have a better hand on the pulse of how PA candidates will fare in down-ballot tickets than I do. However, I do get the sense that Corbett won mainly because of  Dem apathy, and he's managed to p*ss off a lot of people in his term.

    So, here's hoping his skepticism is wrong. I'm all in for Schwartz!

    •  Dem apathy...yeah, I think so. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, Alma

      Interim election, plus the crazies were all roiled up by the Teahadists in oppositiion to the black Muslim from Kenya.

      I don't know WHAT they put in their coffee, I really don't.

      Anyway, that's how he and Ptooey both got elected, I think: their side was energized by hatred and ours was too complacent.  (I voted...but at my polling place, way too many people just stayed home.)

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:59:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  She's a cochair of Third Way. Aside from that blot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, Odysseus, Lujane

    on her record, she sounds ok, I guess. But she's no Bernie Sanders.

  •  POLITICO's Already Reporting Sparks In The Dem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    camp between Schwartz and McCord spokespeople.

    Nevins went on at some length about Schwartz’s vulnerabilities as a challenger for Republican Gov. Tom Corbett: “I also tell people that I think we’re a stronger general election candidate, partly because I think Republicans will use Congresswoman Schwartz’s profile against her in very predictable ways.”

    Alluding to two failed Democratic congressional candidates who were tarred as overly liberal, Nevins continued: “I think they’ll do to her what they did to Kathy Boockvar last year and Lois Murphy before that. I think Democrats have a great shot to beat Corbett, but I don’t think Congresswoman Schwartz gives us the best chance to do that. And based on the conversations I’ve had with people, I’m not the only one who thinks that way.

    I'm not from PA, what'd they do to Boockvar and Murphy?
  •  I'm in! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, afisher

    I’m excited to see Allyson get in the field to take down Corbett.  I’d like the following things to happen:

    1)    Clear the field and unify: Joe Sestak, even though I had the honor of voting for him in 3 elections, needs to ramp up his media profile for taking out Toomey in 2016. Rob McCord needs to keep doing a good job using his office to point out a lot of the illegal garbage being done by Corbett such as the unilateral lottery privatization. Kathleen Kane needs to complete the Sandusky review and release the findings mid-September 2014 for maximum electoral impact. Keep Ed Rendell’s mouth shut in public, but have him fundraise like a demon for Allyson both in-state and on a national stage.
    2)    Have Schwartz campaign from the left and stay to the left: Corbett’s dirty (from pollution and campaign contributions) natural gas giveaway, politics first scope and timetable of the Sandusky crimes, revenue losing privatization plans for alcohol and the lottery, and nuclear attacks on schools and school budgets are mostly all wildly unpopular or can be made to be unpopular.

    3)    Make the election a full on anti-Corbett referendum: The PA House of Representatives is “swing-ish” and can be retaken even with the uncertain full status of the newest Republican Gerrymander. The PA Senate is 27-23 Republican, but hasn’t swung much. This could also change. Also, a big anti-Corbett statewide turnout could help out in several key US House districts where there really should be a Democrat in office.

    On a side note:  This is a personal issue, before I give Schwartz any money I need to hear a few things about her education policies and advisors.  The use of standardized test scores to evaluate schools and individual teachers needs to be greatly reduced or totally ended.  We need an aggressive return to the more equitable levels of state funding for all of the state’s school districts devised, but only partly implemented, by the Rendell administration.  Even though I work in a locally run and non-profit charter school, our statewide system of charter funding and oversight hurts schools, hurt kids, hurts teachers, but benefits CEOs of for-profit charters.  There is clearly a way to do a progressive version of school choice.

  •  Great to hear this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hope Joe Sestak runs for Senate again to fix any damage done by the half-wit Toomey, and Allyson Schwartz becomes our new governor.

    I'm pro-choice, I vote, and I will vote accordingly.

    Tom Corbett is one of those governors that blathers on about the dangers of "soshulism" but then once Royal Dutch Shell, based in the Netherlands where they have 'soshulist medicine', is so innovative and productive they can trick the dumber than dirt capitalists into shooting themselves in the foot and offering tax breaks to RDShell et al to pollute the state.

    It's unfortunate to have to watch the governors and states of PA, OH, WV, and NY work so hard against their own interests to benefit a billion dollar foreign corporation.

    Forget Occam's Razor, try hitting them with Darwin's Hammer!

    by Munynn on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:55:38 AM PDT

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