~ Herr & Pennacchio ~
STURLA MUST GO
Has Mike Sturla completely lost touch with reality? He really, really must go. Three months of house arrest for child porn? The sentence and Judge David Ashworth need to be reviewed. This is an absolute disgrace. The quote from this morning is by Justice Anthony Kennedy and is part of Terry Christopher’s speech before Representative Gib Armstrong and his Academic Freedom “investigation” at Millersville University. It is excellent and I will bring you his full speech later this week.
Today I am bringing you a press release from Lois Herr and an excellent newspaper article on Chuck Pennacchio. Both of these candidates are a critical choice for women. Tomorrow I will look at the article, “City officer charged with indecent assault.” A male poster on the date rape thread wrote this in huge print, “She said ‘No.’ He heard ‘No.’ It’s rape. What’s the question?” There is no question. And there is no question that this man should not be a police officer.
On March 10, the National Organization for Women (NOW) issued a letter of endorsement of Lois Herr, Democratic candidate for US Congress, acknowledging her enduring commitment to the concerns of women. The endorsement brings to the campaign the financial and volunteer support of NOW’s political action committee. Herr, former corporate executive, author, and current Scholar-in-Residence at Elizabethtown College, is running for the 16th District seat, encompassing all of Lancaster County, southwest Chester County, and a section of Berks connecting Lancaster County to Reading.
Herr credits her early upbringing for instilling the belief that “anything is possible” for her, and, in her successful professional career, she has often found herself a pioneer in a number of positions of responsibility. Within the Bell System, she joined forces with other women to work positively with corporate management to bring about policy changes mandated by the legal settlement between the EEOC and AT&T in 1973. Herr documented her experiences through this historic time in her 2003 book, Women, Power, and AT&T: Winning Rights in the Workplace, published by Northeastern University Press.
“We are gratified by NOW’s recognition of Lois’s achievements in opening up opportunities for women in the business world, and appreciate their support in getting her elected to Congress, where she will work hard to secure equal opportunity for all citizens,” said Greg Paulson, campaign manager for Herr for Congress.
PENNACCHIO FOR SENATE
U.S. Senate candidate sizes up identity crisis between parties
By Rebecca Berdar, Altoona Mirror, Monday, April 03, 2006
Some area Democrats are worried about the gap between their party’s values and those of Republicans.
They worry the gap isn’t wide enough.
“Some candidates are just a Republican in a donkey suit, as Al Sharpton likes to say,” said William Gough of Altoona.
“You need to stand for something and not ride the middle of the fence until you get chaffed,” he said.
Enter Democrat Chuck Pennacchio, a progressive who campaigned in Blair County over the weekend for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Republican Rick Santorum. The Bucks County resident and history professor will face off against Democrat Bob Casey Jr. in the May 16 primary election.
Democrats like Gough, who don’t recoil from the term “liberal” but embrace it, say Pennacchio is the perfect foil to Santorum, and doesn’t ride the party fence, taking pro stands on reproductive choice, universal health care, gun violence prevention and separation of church and state.
“His views reflect my views. If I were to vote for Casey, I’d have to hold my nose to do it,” Gough said of Pennacchio’s conservative rival.
“The term ‘liberal’ became a dirty word only when the right wing and the evangelists made it a dirty word,” he said.
Pennacchio, who met with Blair Young Democrats Sunday afternoon in Hollidaysburg, said the values gap started shrinking in the late 1980s and early ’90s when the party began pandering to corporate interests with the rise of the Democratic Leadership Council.
“The DLC is Republican on business issues. They are Wall Street Democrats and they follow the calculation that by taking money from corporate special interests and then voting for those special interests, they can win elections and take back majority control,” Pennacchio said.
The results? Loss of control, loss of confidence and identity crisis.
“By imitating Republicans, the Democrats aren’t themselves and aren’t true to their core values that speak to the interests of people,” he said.
Pennacchio, who said he refuses all PAC money, said these business issues have not swayed voters; they’ve being swayed by the right’s emotional ammo.
“It’s the cultural issues that galvanize people emotionally and allow them to forget they are living with poverty and urges them to vote Republican because they think it brings them closer to God.”
He calls Republican and conservative Democrat alliances with corporate interests “a deal with the devil.”
Pennacchio suggests that the Democratic party needs to not only stay true to itself, but drop the attitude he said is nourished by fear.
“The Democrats are so afraid to lose that they have forgotten how to win, and that kind of thinking almost naturally leads to the party anointing a conservative like Casey,” he said.
“Instead of ‘we can’t lose,’ we need to say ‘we must win, we can win and we will win,’” he said.
Liz Barr, who said she can’t in good conscience vote for a quasi-Democrat whose only appeal is not being Santorum, intends to support Pennacchio, not party favorite Casey.
“Why we would let someone do the same damage as a Republican, I don’t know. I don’t want those values representing Democrat values,” Barr said.
After attending several meetings over the weekend to hear Pennacchio speak, she said she saw “ A look of relief and people actually smiling when they saw a candidate who represents our values.”
Mirror Staff Writer Rebecca Berdar is at 946-7458.