More great Republican campaigning

We have written previously about the increasingly extreme tactics of Republicans desperate to hold on to Congress.

Another such incident is an astonishing outburst from Curt Weldon, the incumbent in the Pennsylvania 7th district, but under strong challenge from Democrat Joe Sestak, who combined a highly decorated naval career with getting a PhD from Harvard in his spare time.

Weldon has attacked Sestak for having his five year old daughter treated – for a malignant brain tumour – in a Washington hospital rather than back in Pennsylvania.

Weldon is obviously a man who knows a thing or two about family – all three of his children have ended up earning money out of his campaign contributors or major corporate contacts – including his daughter’s lobbying on behalf of associates of Slobodan Milosevic.

Weldon also enjoys spending money – “campaign” expenditure has so far included landscaping for his garden and $80,000 on restaurant meals, including several not only outside the district but not even in America. His attorney told the press that “you may think it’s a big loophole, but he’s allowed to spend money that way.”

Weldon is also obsessed with spies. He wrote a book accusing the CIA, DIA and NSA of ignoring “intelligence” that he has acquired from a secret source which could stop a future terrorist attack on America.

The same source led him to declare that Usama Bin Laden was dead in March, only for Bin Laden to issue a tape only weeks later. American Prospect magazine has since thoroughly debunked his claims.

More recently exposed was Weldon’s secret plan to travel to Iraq and personally discover Saddam’s hidden WMDs. Tipped off by an ex-military investigator who wanted to pressure the Pentagon to check the sites, Weldon decided instead to go to Iraq on the pretext of visiting troops, then locate the WMDs himself and take the glory. If there was nothing there, he would pretend it hadn’t happened.

Weldon is angling to be the next Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee if he is re-elected, but Rothenburg this week put PA-7 in the ten closest races. The Daily tips this as one to watch.

5 Responses to More great Republican campaigning

  1. Al says:

    Not a suprise; Weldon is like that.
    As to how vunerable he his… no one is really sure. The general feeling seems to be that he should get re-elected (even if by a vastly reduced margin) but some Philly-area Republicans are apparently feeling very worried about this race; in contrast to PA-6 (where Gerlach has been running an excellent campaign by all accounts. If any doomed GOP Rep survives, it’ll probably be him), Weldon hasn’t really been bothering with electioneering until very recently and his campaign is still a little creaky.
    Historical note: PA-7 went Democratic in the last two House Democratic “wave elections” (1974, 1982).

  2. Last time I looked, Weldon was still 10 points ahead while Gerlach was neck and neck, but Weldon is fairly mad and Gerlach’s pretty moderate. A 10-point lead is way down on his victory margin and the above incidents are in play.

    I reckon the Dems have a decent chance of capturing both if there is a national swing. Either way, Weldon promises to provide some entertainment!

    Pennsylvania is going to be an interesting state, with both these districts, plus Santorum and Rendell (he should be safe though) up for grabs – and in a good year for the Dems maybe the 8th and 10th as well.

  3. It’s great to see Weldon’s sleaziness, and basically complete craziness exposed. The Republicans in the PA-7 are basically corrupt all the way through. We’ve seen the same sleazy attack tactics even in the state rep races this year. 28-year Republicans incumbent State Representative Tom Gannon has been attacking Democrat Bryan Lentz, a decorated Iraq war veteran and former Philadelphia prosecutor, of being a soft on crime lawyer who defends violent criminals and child molestors. Just like his buddy Weldon, Gannon–a state representative–has spent campaign money in Las Vegas, Palm Beach and Mexico.

    People in the PA-7 are mad this year at bad government and Republican rule. We can win the PA-7, but we need to be able to expose sleazy and corrupt Republican tactics first.

  4. Al says:

    Both were partisan polls (so read with care), but Weldon isn’t, generally, thought of as a likely-doomed incumbent.

  5. I don’t think Weldon can lose except by a combination of a general swing to the Dems combined with a poor campaign, but it’s not implausible. I’ve cited Rothenburg above, but CQ list PA-7 only as “leans Republican” which puts him in the top thirty most vulnerable Republicans.

    Of course, less than thirty seats have changed hands in recent elections so it would take a national wave for a shift of that kind to occur. Without that, the Dems can only really gain a dozen at best, though PA-6 is one.

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