Additions are made to Pa. ballot for statewide races
Candidates from the Constitution, Libertarian and Green parties beat last week’s filing deadline to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot for several statewide races.
Joining President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on the presidential ballot will be the Constitution Party’s Virgil Goode, Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.
Goode is a former congressman from Virginia. He was first elected as a Democrat, switched to independent and later Republican. Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico. He sought the Republican presidential nomination but his campaign flopped and he dropped out before the Iowa caucus. Stein is a doctor from Massachusetts who vows to slash military spending by 30 percent to fund renewable energy jobs.
Libertarian Rayburn Smith will join U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and Republican Tom Smith on the ballot.
The race for state attorney general now includes Libertarian Marakay Rogers, in addition to Republican David Freed and Democrat Kathleen Kane.
The contest for auditor general will be a four-way fight among the Constitution Party’s Alan Goodrich, Libertarian Betsy Summers, Republican John Maher and Democrat Eugene DePasquale. The two major-party candidates are hedging their bets by also running for re-election to their seats in the state House of Representatives. In their House races, Maher is unopposed, and DePasquale has a Libertarian opponent.
The Constitution Party’s Donna Fike filed for state treasurer, joining incumbent Democrat Rob McCord and Republican Diana Irey Vaughan.
Al Taubenberger, the Republican challenger to state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.), held a fund-raiser last week at Cannstatter’s.
Guests included Republican City Committee chairman Vito Canuso and ward leaders Chris Vogler, Tom Matkowski, Walt Vogler, Marc Collazzo, Mike Cibik, Matt Wolfe and Joe DeFelice.
Taubenberger said he has been campaigning door-to-door for two months. He’s the longtime president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and last year was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to the Philadelphia Jobs Commission, an unpaid post.
The candidate — who in the last decade has lost bids for City Council, mayor and Congress — believes creating jobs is the top issue in the campaign. He also criticized the city for raising real estate taxes three years in a row and for twice appealing the contract awarded to firefighters in arbitration.
“Binding arbitration means binding arbitration,” Taubenberger said.
In other news, Collazzo said the GOP has not come up with a candidate to oppose Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.). The deadline is Aug. 23.
Realtor George Weiss filed to run, but dropped out right before the April primary, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and on his business.
At this point, it would probably be a waste of time for Republicans to field a candidate, who’d have less than three months to reach out to voters in a district that stretches from Lawndale to Somerton and includes portions of Montgomery County.
Republicans also aren’t bothering to challenge Reps. Mike McGeehan, John Sabatina Jr., Mark Cohen and Dwight Evans and have no candidate in the 179th Legislative District, where Democrat James “Scoot” Clay will be unopposed.
But the 170th is a district that Republicans Hank Salvatore and George Kenney held for 36 years and is the home to party boss Mike Meehan, a neighbor of Brendan Boyle’s in Somerton.
Boyle defeated Matt Taubenberger, Al’s son, in 2008 to win the seat and was re-elected in 2010 in a matchup with Collazzo, who recently replaced Kenney as Republican leader of the 58th Ward.
Meanwhile, Republicans will be back at Cannstatter’s on Sunday, Aug. 19 for the annual Billy Meehan Clambake.
Four years ago, the guest was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who at the time was a leading contender to be John McCain’s vice presidential running mate. The local GOP has not lined up a similar big name for this year’s clambake.
The campaign of state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) said it will review a request from Democratic opponent William Dunbar, who is calling for three debates between Sept. 10 and Oct. 26.
Dunbar sent a letter to Taylor, arguing that public debates are an essential part of elections. The challenger wants voters to know the issues and where the candidates stand.
“I look forward to addressing the important issues at stake in this election and engaging in a spirited debate with Rep. Taylor,” he said. “Debates are a time-honored tradition that create civic discussion and dialogue among the people of the district and help them to learn as much as possible about the candidates.”
Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has promised to support and co-sponsor an amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting congressional terms.
Smith, if elected, will support a limit of three two-year terms for members of the House of Representatives and two six-year terms for members of the Senate.
The term-limits amendment bills are sponsored by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, both Republicans.
To become law, they’d need two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate and ratification by 38 states.
Pennsylvania Cable Network will carry live the oral argument session on the state’s second legislative redistricting plan.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court session will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, in Room 456 of City Hall.
Observers will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the courtroom is full, those not admitted may wait in line to take a seat as those who were seated leave.
Tickets remain for the 22nd annual Stu Bykofsky Candidates’ Comedy Night on Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 8 to 10 p.m., at Finnigan’s Wake, at Third and Spring Garden streets.
The event will benefit Variety — The Children’s Charity.
Finnigan’s Wake owner Mike Driscoll will provide the third-floor banquet room for free.
The show will run from 8 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 7:30.
Bykofsky, a Philadelphia Daily News columnist, hosted his first comedy night in 1991, when the star attractions were mayoral candidates Frank L. Rizzo and Ed Rendell.
This year’s participants will include U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and his Republican opponent, Tom Smith; David Freed and Kathleen Kane, the candidates for state attorney general; U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and his Republican opponent, John Featherman; Robert Mansfield, the Republican candidate in the 2nd Congressional District; U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach and his Democratic opponent, Dr. Manan Trivedi; U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan and his Democratic opponent, George Badey; U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick and his Democratic challenger, Kathy Boockvar; and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz.
Tickets cost $75. Contact Eric Perry at 215-735-0803, Ext. 11 or firstname.lastname@example.org ••