Monday, September 17, 2012

Republicans Seek To Primary Corbett In 2014

It is no secret that Gov. Corbett has dismal approval ratings among Democrats and Independents but what is now clearly evident is that many REPUBLICANS really don't like the Governor either.  The great unreported story is how Corbett is virtually trashed by GOP party officials, campaign operatives,  legislators and grassroots Tea Party people too at almost every gathering. In fact, complaining about Corbett has been so routine at meetings that the typical conversation starts like this:

"Hey, how about that weather."  GOPer 1

"Yeah, it's horrible...and speaking of horrible, Gov. Corbett is really blowing it. " GOPer 2

"Oh, I know it. That's all I hear."  GOPer 1

And because of this very problem, now you are starting to see Republicans actively and openly criticize Gov. Corbett.  Just last week a major GOP donor excoriated Corbett in a email claiming he hasn't led on issues like Labor Reform, Selling The State Booze Operation and many other issues. This is a common gripe that is only getting louder and now as a result has people seriously discussing a well funded primary challenger to Corbett in 2014.

Corbett's lack of legislative accomplishment as compared to Govs. Christie, Daniels, Walker, and Haley, the poor messaging coming out of the Gov. mansion and his whole team's absolute ineptness in trying to pass their agenda has conservatives and many rank-and-file Republicans seriously considering another alternative in 2014.

They just don't see his weak leadership skills when it comes to governing and his incompetent staff being enough to pull him out of his dismal political standing he has with the the voters now.

 Also, adding motivation to a possible primary run is the fact that Corbett badly handled 2012 primaries.  By forcing the weakest US Senate candidate, Steve Welch, who eventually got crushed by Tom Smith,  down the throats of state committee, Corbett alienated many others who are now open to supporting a Corbett  primary challenger.  Then, if you add how he handled the row office endorsements and the fact his flawed Attorney General candidate Dave Freed is likely to go down in defeat with the rest of the row office candidates, Corbett is going to become even more persona non grata with the rank-and-file GOP members.

So, who in the GOP would dare challenge a sitting GOP Governor?

Well, some of the early names that are floating around in the rumor mill as a possible GOP primary challenger are Scott Wagner of York, the wealthy Penn Waste CEO who has massive self-funding capabilities and was the one who blasted Corbett in that email referenced above about his lack of leadership; Glen Meakem of Pittsburgh, the multi-millionaire businessman who also has self-funding means and political ambitions but has kept a much lower profile and is said to testing the waters discreetly; and Bruce Castor, the perpetual rival of Tom Corbett from the 04 AG primary who lacks self-funding ability but has a huge geographical base in the Southeast to start from.  Word is he sees a possible opportunity to enter and it is well known he desperately wants out of the Montco Courthouse scene.

And the Democrats know that Corbett is becoming increasingly vulnerable to a primary challenger from  his own party that is why the Democrat Chairman Jim Burn told party big wigs at a gathering in Charlotte that hoped to avoid a primary of their own and select a single consensus candidate like they did in 2006 when party people cleared the field for Casey to go against Santorum without facing another top tier Democrat in the primary.

Could a Republican challenger to Corbett prevail? Sure, BUT it probably will take $7 million to take oust a sitting Governor.

However, even if a Republican challenges Corbett and doesn't prevail, he or she will most likely have done irreparable harm that a politically damaged Corbett is almost assured to lose to the Democrat in the General Election.

And that has many Republicans saying "We don't care because Corbett is doing absolutely nothing so we aren't losing anything if he loses."

Yup, Corbett is in trouble but the only people who don't seem to think so are Tom Corbett himself and his entire politically tone deaf team.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Could Dave Argall's Past Dealings Be A Campaign Issue For The Democrats?

Wow, the response from my first post about the McNally race was overwhelmingly positive and productive.  I have received tons of emails about other topics wanting me to blog about all type of corruption issues and inside baseball.   However, like I said, I have to research and contact my sources to any leads to make sure they are legit.  We do not post anything here unless we have decent sources.

One topic that I did get scores of emails about was the cesspool that is good olde 'Skook County'

So, upon further investigating and research this week and keeping with the Pennsylvania Senate side, I thought it was appropriate to showcase one of the greatest frauds and phonies in Harrisburg.

Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) is probably the least respected person on either side of the aisle. Just ask any legislator for confirmation.  The 26-year career politician was not liked in the House and the Pennsylvania Senate leaders barely tolerate him.  They now own him having had to bail him out of his brutal primary run this past Spring where he almost lost because his horrible 26 year left-wing, self serving record was finally presented to the voters.

So, it is no wonder that there is new information about a possible criminal investigation into Argall's Veon like activities swirling around his non-profit, which was exposed by the Pa Independent earlier this year.   

Whispers on 3rd and State Streets say the federal grand jury that was impaneled up in Williamsport to look into the Harrisburg mess is also looking into this mess in the Skook because of the bank account Mayor Reed supposedly set up to siphon money away to a Pottsville bank account.  Why did he select Pottsville to set up a bank account? Great question many want to know.

And since it is well known that Argall and his cronies, like Former Democrat Jerry Knowles, have a long history of cutting deals with  Democrats to protect each other and enrich themselves, nobody is surprised in the least if his 'Non-Profit' dealings blew up in conjunction with this Mayor Reed investigation.  When you follow the money in these things, who knows where it could lead to.

Tim Seip, Argall's Democrat opponent in the Fall will likely make political hay over this and why not?  After a bruising primary, Argall's reputation had to take a huge hit as he was bloodied in the process. Thus leaving him vulnerable for Seip to maybe pull an upset.

And if this 'Non-Profit' thing explodes again between now and Election Day, things could get real interesting.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Will the Harrisburg Financial Debacle Cost the GOP a State Senate Seat?

We thought it was appropriate that the Swamp Fox's maiden post deal with the issue that wreaks with all the rotten components of politics, (Greed, Bribery, Corruption, Lawyers, Pay-to Play, Conflict of Interest)

As most of you know, the Harrisburg financial debacle has all of it.

And what is more exciting is that maverick Senator John Eichelberger will be leading the hearings about this and that has a lot of politicos shaking in their boots.

As you recall, when the then receiver of the City of Harrisburg David Unkovic abruptly resigned, he called out many people in both parties and institutions for being responsible for ripping off the city and even asked for an investigation.

This not only causes a problem for the people who could be caught up in this, like Sen. Jeff Piccola, Dauphin Commissioner Jeff Haste, Former Mayor Steve Reed, Former Board Member of the Harrisburg Authority, Freddie Clark.   But one name that is continuing to surface and now has GOP establishment figures nervous is that of Mr. Stanley Rapp.

Rapp is an uber-lobbyist who has had a history of being entangled with the Dauphin politics.
He also is probably one of the best fundraisers for the Dauphin GOP politicians. And it has paid off in big lobbying contracts for him and his firm.

And this year, the man running to be Jeff Piccola's successor is former Dauphin County Chairman John McNally.  Now anybody who is familiar with McNally the last few years, knows he is basically attached to Stan Rapp at the hip.  Rapp helped raise tons of money for McNally's GOP over the years and Rapp was vital in raising McNally over six figures for his Primary fight.  And naturally Rapp is working hard to raise tons of cash for McNally's General Election battle which he will need.

Stan Rapp is the embodiment of what the public HATES about politics.  Big money, pay to play questions surrounding government contracts, secrecy, operating on the edge. You can fill in the blank.

This reputation can not help McNally as he tries to convince people he is "for them." Rapp's close association with McNally then and now make his candidacy for Senate as a "Reformer" as credible as Syrian President Assad trying to convince people he is a pacifist.

And now John McNally and the Senate GOP may have to deal with a much larger problem with Rapp.

With Rapp now coming under more scrutiny because Harrisburg's Enron like accounting practices, he could become a HUGE liability for John McNally in the Fall the same way Jack Abramoff, the now disgraced convicted lobbyist, did for Republicans in 2006.  In fact, The Democrats were very successful in tying many House GOP to Abramoff which help sealed their political defeat as a result of making that link. Just ask Former Sen. Santorum's friend Ex-US Rep. Tom Feeney.

Could this happen to McNally when the Senate Committee hearings ramp up and if it reveals Rapp's deep involvement in this scandal?  What happens if Eichelberger's committee starts getting "too close" to stuff, will the Senate GOP leaders  try to reign him in or undermine his efforts in order to retain a Senate seat that is very much in the toss up category?  Are the Senate GOP leaders boxed in?

It's too early to tell but these are some of the big issues the GOP will be watching and thinking about but would never admit publicly.

This could get interesting.....