Pennsylvania election coverage; Catherine Baker Knoll; Valerie McDonald Roberts; pay raise issues
I intend to live-blog the election coverage from the Pennsylvania primary this evening. Check this post for updates.
There are two issues of interest in today's primary:
(1) Last July, I predicted that the Democrats would trot out a leftist replacement to oppose incumbent Democrat Catherine Baker Knoll in the race for Lieutenant Governor. Knoll received much deserved scorn for crashing a military funeral and speaking out against the war while in attendance. Leftists oppose Knoll (and allowed this story to see the light of day) because Knoll also happens to be pro-life - and not because of her myriad faults. As I wrote in July:
Look for the Dems to trot out a new, more reliably leftist candidate next spring for Lt. Governor. Assuming that Rendell wins in the fall, that new candidate will then be groomed to replace Rendell or Arlen Specter in 2010.
It appears that the Democrats now have several choices opposing Knoll:
Many point to Valerie McDonald Roberts, 50, Allegheny County's recorder of deeds, as Knoll's biggest challenger in the Democratic primary.source - Harrisburg "Patriot"-News, May 11, 2006
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the League of Young Voters, Philly for Change and Planned Parenthood all have endorsed Roberts over Knoll.
Of course, the Harrisburg "Patriot"-News, in true MSM/DNC fashion, mistates one of the key reasons for disatisfaction with Knoll:
Knoll's missteps include showing up, uninvited, at a Marine reservist's funeral last summer, to the dismay of some family members.
In fact, the outrage over the funeral stems from Knoll's anti-war statements, not her mere attendance.
Governor of Pennsylvania??
I also learned from the "Patriot"-News article about another Knoll gaffe, in which she publicly (and presumably mistakenly) referred to Governor Ed Rendell as "Edward G. Robinson."
We will learn tonight whether Knoll will remain in office, while the reasons for the outcome will remain in more doubt the longer the MSM/DNC mouthpieces keep talking.
(2) Last summer, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted a large surprise pay raise for itself as a hidden part of an unrelated bill in the middle of the night. The pay raise created a furor on talk radio throughout Pennsylvania, and it was repealed in the fall. I wrote about the effects of the pay raise on last fall's judicial races:
Democrat Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro has last lost his bid for retention. This is the first time a Supreme Court Justice has lost a retention vote in Pennsylvania. Credit for the defeat is widely attributed to the legislative pay raise that also included appellate judges.[edited for typo]
Today is the first time that legislative candidates will be up for reelection since the pay raise was enacted. Organized groups are attempting to oppose all or many incumbents on the basis of this issue.
If we can endure and ignore the MSM/DNC spin, tonight's results may tell us much about the voters' memories in this new media age.
update - Blonde Sagacity provides her own perspective on the pay raise issue and her own coverage. Turnout appears to be light in the Philadelphia area.
Update - 10:20 P.M.
Senator Brightbill from Lebanon County has conceded defeat in the Republican primary. Brightbill is a Senate leader who backed the notorious pay raise. Brightbill apparently has lost despite a bitter primary battle in which advertising focused on other issues. The pay raise apparently is trumping other issues.
11:00 P.M. Update
The Brightbill race was not close.
WHTM is reporting that Senator Jubilirer of Altoona has conceded his race also. Jubilirer and Brightbill were the top Republicans in the PA Senate. This primary election is the equivalent of an earthquake in Pennsylvania politics.
Catherine Baker Knoll is apparently coasting to reelection as Democratic Lieutenant Governor, despite opposition from more liberal opponents.
The Republican primary results indicate that grassroots conservatism is energized. If this primary is indicative of a national trend, Republican moderates should be wary. Maybe these moderates in particular . . . .