Primary day approaches. Here are my picks and analysis

Wow — look at the calendar (providing you haven’t been blinded by the fakakta eclipse).

L-r: Bob Casey for Senate, Jared Solomon for attorney general, Ray Bizzarro for state treasurer

It’s almost Pennsylvania primary day, Tuesday, April 23, when we begin the process of choosing politicians we hope won’t disappoint us.

Starting with President, where our primary choice is between two elderly white men whom the majority of Americans want as much as scabbies.

“What a country!” as comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to say. (Did you know the Russian immigrant earned a master’s degree in psychology from Penn?) 

Since I am a (disloyal) Democrat, I get the Democratic ballot and  will only give my opinions on the Democrats. As always, I am not telling you who to vote for. I am only saying who I plan to vote for. 

(Someone named Dean Phillips is on the ballot running against Joe Biden, but Phillips dropped out and endorsed Biden.)

Since Biden’s nomination for President is assured, as a protest against his various ditherings, I will write in my own name. In November, I will vote for Biden, against Trump.

For U.S. Senate, Bob Casey is running unopposed. So he’s got my vote by default.

For Auditor General we have Philadelphia state rep Malcolm Kenyatta and Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley. Kenyatta has no experience in finance, so I go with Pinsley. 

For State Treasurer we get a choice of westerners — Erie’s Ryan Bizzarro, and Allegheny’s Erin McClelland. How can I not vote for someone named Bizzarro? Just think of the crap he’s had to put up with his whole life and the courage he has to not change his name.

There are five candidates for Attorney General, considered a stepping stone to the governor’s chair. Ask Josh Shapiro. Ask Tom Corbett.

I went to their campaign websites to learn about them and came away unsatisfied. 

If you have the time and interest, you can play reporter and check their websites yourself. As they are listed on the ballot: Delaware County D.A. Jack Stollsteimer. Allegheny County’s Eugene DePasquale. Bucks County’s Joe Khan. Philadelphia’s Keir Bradford-Grey. Philadelphia’s Jared Solomon. 

Most websites were brief, a few with very little detail. Most talked about protecting the little guy, being for voting rights and abortion reproduction freedom, protecting the environment and stopping gun crime. Not so much about stopping criminals.

No mention of sanctuary cities or illegal immigration, kind of strange in this election year when illegal immigration is a hot button.

Nor any mention of the still-controversial idea of “safe” injection sites, you know, where drug zombies go to shoot up. 

Those are two issues I care about and made a good faith effort to reach each candidate, to ask two questions, using email addresses on their website, or their place of employment:  Do you favor or oppose sanctuary cities, and do you favor or oppose so-called “safe” injection sites?

On “safe” injection sites, DePasquale replied the issue was personal to him because his father “was incarcerated as a result of addiction,” so his focus will be on getting treatment for addicts, as opposed to maintaining their addiction.

On immigration, he said his job as AG is to “enforce the law.” That sounds encouraging, if vague. 

He has no experience as a prosecutor, and neither does Jared Solomon, who sarcastically said he’d be for “safe” injection sites once they “try to open one in Rittenhouse Square.” 

As to sanctuary cities, he pointed out that the term means different things to different people. I made the question more pointed: Would you quickly turn over to ICE convicted foreign felons — which Philadelphia refused to do under Jim Kenney? He said he would. 

Stollsteimer, Khan, and Bradford-Grey did not respond to my emailed questions, but I know something about each.

Bradford-Grey is a public defender, and what we have learned from public-defender-turned-prosecutor Larry Krasner, is that we don’t want that again. She will garner some votes as the only woman and African-American candidate, but it won’t be enough.

Speaking of Krasner, when Khan — then living in Philadelphia — ran against Krasner for D.A. in 2017 he actually tried to get to Krasner’s left.

Khan stated his support for Philadelphia as a sanctuary city, and challenged his political rivals to do the same.

In that connection, Khan said his father was a Muslim immigrant, implying his father entered illegally. But he did not. His father, Zia, came here legally, obeyed the law, and had no need of a sanctuary city. 

Stollsteimer did not just blow me off, he failed to fill out a questionnaire from the reputable Ballotpedia website. Sorry, I can’t go for any public servant who thinks he doesn’t have to answer questions.

Political analysis

The Philadelphia Inquirer has endorsed DePasquale, but that’s not what clears his path to election. 

Here’s what does — the other four candidates are from the Philadelphia area, and Philadelphia is hated by voters across the state.

There are some exceptions, to be sure. Philadelphian Ed Rendell was twice elected governor.

The western part of the state has both a cultural identity and an inferiority complex (except for the Steelers). Philadelphia is the only Class 1 city in the state, and has the history, art, culture, dining, tourism, etc. 

The biggest city yonder is Pittsburgh, with a population of 302,898. Philly is five times as large. 

The combination of cultural identity and inferiority breeds a cohesion that Democrats in the eastern part of the state can’t match.

What makes DePasquale a likely winner is that the four other candidates come from the Delaware Valley and will split the potentially large Democratic vote total in the five-county area. Solomon was first up with TV ads, and he’s got deep pockets. “You don’t know Jack” Stollsteimer followed on TV. I haven’t seen any from Khan and Bradford-Grey.

What I see happening — as happened in the Philly mayoral race when Allan Domb and Jeff Brown canceled each other — is that Solomon and Stollsmeister will knock each other out, the eastern vote further diluted by Khan and Bradford-Grey, allowing DePasquale to win.

Pennsylvania is purple — sometimes blue, sometimes red — which is one reason it is a battleground state. It elects both Republicans and Democrats as governor, but whichever it is, he (so far) tends to be moderate.

Remember the great James Carville line —   Pennsylvania is anchored by two great cities with Alabama in the middle.

Not quite true, but close enough.

I think DePasquale is more moderate than the other four, but I’m going to take a chance with Solomon.

Those are my choices. Figure out who are yours, and comment if you like.

12 thoughts on “Primary day approaches. Here are my picks and analysis”

  1. In November there will be an important election for President. During that election we will get to match the two former presidents and their accomplishments to pick an experienced president to serve our country for the next four years. Hopefully the voters will make the best choice. I am going to vote for the past president that keep us out of war, kept inflation under control and allowed drilling. A president that respected law and order and respected Life. After I thought it over there is only one clear choice. And so do you.

    1. Allowed drilling? Under Biden more oil & gas is being produced now than ever. Trump didn’t respect law, order & police on Jan. 6, 2021, and in abortion he has flip-flopped all over the issue. And Trump kept us in Iraq & Afghanistan. You tell almost as many lies as Trump does!

  2. The presidential primary is inconsequential at this point. We’re going to get a race between two men, both of whom are too old to govern, both with high unfavorable ratings, one that no one really wants. Out of 335 million people, this is the best we can do? As for the local stuff, I found it interesting to read your logic on who to support. Now that I live here in Texas, I do the same, even checking out candidates websites for the most moderate position and emailing them a question or two. Rarely do I get a response though.

  3. After the way the Democrats have gone completely to the left and out of their minds, I have taken a sacred vow to not vote for one, no matter who it is, until and unless they come to their senses.
    Even so, in a presidential race between two men that nobody wants, we can all see the stark differences in the way both have actually governed.
    The Democrats continually accuse Trump of being the fascist dictator who will get us into war. But who is indicting his political opponent to keep him off the ballot? Who was the president as Ukraine and Israel were attacked? And I’m sick and tired of paying $350 for non-perishable groceries each month. I remember three years ago, when that amount included meat, produce, dairy and some treats.
    Sorry, but all things being equal, Trump is the better choice.

  4. Auditor General doesn’t have to be a CPA, they oversee state audits and department of revenue. They also can order full audits that may have not been done in years. I do like Malcolm Kenyatta and I trust him to do the right thing. With the large field in AG race, it brings to mind that PA should have a runoff system in place for primaries. A wide open large field brought us Larry Krasner. Cherelle Parker may or may not have won a runoff but we should’ve had that option.

    1. To each his own. Malcolm’s degrees are in communications and he seems to be a perennial candidate.
      As to runoff — not a bad idea, but when Krasner first ran, ALL the Dems were as left wing as he. One of those opponents, is Joe Khan, now running for AG.

      1. As bad as Joe Khan is, if rather have him than Let’em Loose Larry Krasner. The guy who really screwed us was my friend Seth Williams. An effective DA but he screwed up royally.

  5. American should hang its head in shame, that these are the choices we, the people, are given to lead our nation. I can’t vote for Biden because of what he is doing to the nation with his open-borders commitment, hatred of the unborn, and destruction of the dollar; and I can’t vote for Trump because if he wins there will be riots in the streets, owing to the far left’s utter hatred for the man and for those who vote for him. Plus, I think he has a screw or two loose.

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