Why Did DCCC Endorsement Slip Away From Kevin Strouse?

Former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse was named last May as the The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) “jumpstart candidate” to take on Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick in PA-8.

However, this month his name was absent from the DCCC biennial Red to Blue program highlighting the congressional districts they hope to pick up and naming the candidates they have recruited.


PA-8 Candidates: Democratic challengers Shaughnessy Naughton and Kevin Strouse and Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick.

Strouse’s campaign was dismissive of the importance of being dropped from the DCCC list. They told Philadelphia Jewish Voice that while the DCCC is not openly raising money for their campaign, they still “got a lot of support” in other ways. They suggested that staying on the list was an intricate process, and the campaign had concentrated instead on obtaining the signatures required to get on the ballot.

We have heard that the campaign needed to scramble to get sufficient signatures on time, since for most of the nomination period the Strouse campaign had circulated invalid petitions listing the address of Strouse’s future home in the district, which he is purchasing but in which he does not yet reside.

More after the jump.
Shaughnessy Naughton’s campaign manager, Josh Morrow, lamented Strouse’s unwillingness to engage with voters in the district on the issues.  

Naughton has offered to debate Strouse, but until recently he has been only willing to meet her at two forums under rules that not only forbid video and audio recordings, but also were closed to the press and to the general voting public. The only people who were permitted to attend were the Democratic Committee members.

Naughton’s campaign staff said that she and Strouse have agreed on a debate next month.

One of the criteria by which the DCCC judges the viability of a candidate is their ability of fundraising, through their connections and local appeal. The DCCC can help in fundraising, but it does not want to be “carrying all the water” for a candidate. On April 15, all congressional candidates will report their first quarter figures. Perhaps those figures will shed light on why the DCCC has retreated from its support of Strouse.

The Strouse campaign expressed their hope that the DCCC would endorse them when the list is updated in May. Meanwhile, Josh Morrow summarized the state of the race in his interview with Politics PA:

The only way to beat [Fitzpatrick] and put us back on the path to prosperity for the middle class is with a candidate who knows this district as well as he does, who understands the issues that Bucks and Montgomery County residents face, and who presents a real contrast on the issues… Only one candidate in this race has said we should never allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin and only one candidate in this race has articulated a plan to save social security. That candidate is Shaughnessy Naughton.


Michael Parrish

PA-6: Parrish “Takes One for the Team”

Malvern businessman Michael Parrish was tapped as the DCCC choice in PA-6 last January, after 6-term Republican congressmen Jim Gerlach unexpectedly decided to not seek reelection. But like Strouse, he was left out of the Red to Blue list.

Last week, Parrish announced that he pulled out of the race against Manan Trivedi:

An expensive and contentious Democratic primary fight would seriously risk our party’s ability to win this seat in November. I am therefore suspending my campaign in order to join with Manan Trivedi to help ensure that a Democrat is elected.

The Philadelphia Inquirer cited praise for Parrish’s decision:


Manan Trivedi

Trivedi said in a statement that he was “honored” to have Parrish’s support…

Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, of Bucks County, who knows Parrish through mutual military ties, said the former candidate made a “selfless” decision. “If we have a divisive primary, it’s going to hurt us in the fall,” said Murphy, a Democrat. “He thought he would take a step back and throw his support behind Manan.”

All of the other previous endorsed candidates remained on the DCCC list and they were joined by new endorsements. DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (Congressman NY-3) emphasized that for the first time in committee history, women make up more than 60% of the list. Locally, however, with Allyson Schwartz leaving Congress to run for Governor, Pennsylvania may have an all-male congressional delegation for the first time since 2001.  

Board of Election Tampers with Absentee Ballot Applications

Bucks County Board of Elections employees fixed incorrect and incomplete absentee ballot applications submitted by Republicans; Denied six Democratic applications for every one Republican – over 80%.

Stunning new evidence came to light this afternoon that the GOP-controlled Board of Elections tampered with Republican absentee ballot applications, altering and fixing those that were incorrect or incomplete to keep them from being rejected. At the same time, the Board has been rejecting hundreds of Democratic applications, often based on the same problems that they fixed on the Republican applications.

More after the jump.
The new revelations continue to demonstrate a deeply troubling pattern by Mike Fitzpatrick’s GOP allies to target Bucks County Democratic “>absentee ballot applications for rejection and suppressing the Democratic vote. Over 600 absentee ballot applications have been rejected by the GOP Board – over 80% of which were from Democratic voters. In other words, the partisan Board of Elections is rejected 6 Democratic applications for every 1 Republican.

Michelle Merrick, a registered Republican from Bensalem, submitted an application for an absentee ballot, which included incorrect and missing information. The Board of Elections actually corrected the application for her. Michelle registered to vote under her maiden name “Michelle Merrick,” but she filled out the application under her married name, “Michelle Rubin.” In an attempt to salvage the application, the Board of Elections altered the pplication to read “Michelle Rubin Merrick.”

Despite the Board of Elections’ blatant attempt to salvage this Republican’s absentee ballot application, she still failed to include her birthdate, which should have invalidated her application. It didn’t. Meanwhile, Democratic applications have been denied for innocuous mistakes relating to the date of birth, like filling in “today’s date” instead. But unlike Michelle, they will not have the opportunity to vote absentee or have their voice heard in Tuesday’s election – simply because of their political party.

Among the Democrats rejected was Wade Messer. In the space for birthdate, Wade made a mistake and wrote in the date that he filled out the application: 8/15/10. But Wade is a registered Democrat, and he didn’t get the same special treatment as Michelle. Wade’s ballot application was rejected.

Scott Leossy made the same mistake, putting the date he applied – 8/25/10 – on the line for the applicant’s date of birth. But Scott is a registered Democrat and he didn’t get the same special treatment as Michelle. Scott’s ballot application was rejected.

These facts add to the pattern of GOP voter fraud and partisan politics at the Republican-controlled Board of Elections, coming on the heels of revelations that GOP candidates Mike Fitzpatrick and Rob Ciervo sent a letter to Bucks County voters instructing parents on how to commit voter fraud on behalf of their kids.

Murphy Gets NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorsement

As Congressman, Mike Fitzpatrick supported abortion ban even in cases of rape and incest.
(Washington, DC)  – Patrick Murphy’s campaign continued to rack up endorsements on Friday, as Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that her organization is throwing its support behind Murphy in his race against anti-choice extremist Mike Fitzpatrick. Murphy narrowly defeated then-Congressman Fitzpatrick in 2006.

“If Fitzpatrick had his way, victims of rape would be forced to carry their pregnancies to term and women would be denied access to the birth-control pill,” Keenan said. “Fitzpatrick is far too extreme to represent Bucks County, and he should not be given another term in Congress to attack women’s freedom and privacy.”

While in Washington, Rep. Fitzpatrick co-sponsored the so-called “Right to Life Act” – legislation that would overturn Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion nationwide, without exceptions in the cases of rape and incest. The bill also would ban most common forms of birth control, like the pill, and stem-cell research.[1]

Keenan said her group has 1,565 member activists in the Bucks County-based 8th District.

Murphy thanked NARAL for the endorsement and reaffirmed his commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose, saying that such decisions should be made between a woman, her doctor, her family, and her faith.

“Mike Fitzpatrick’s extreme right positions on a woman’s right to choose and on birth control place him far outside the mainstream. It seems he’d be better suited as an Alabama Republican, not a Bucks County Republican,” said Tim Persico, Murphy’s campaign manager.