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.  

Rahm Emanuel sworn in

— by Jason Attermann

Rahm Emanuel was sworn in today as the first Jewish Mayor of Chicago. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Democratic leadership and as White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama.

Rahm Emanuel was born in Chicago, Illinois in November 1959. He received his Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and his Master’s degree in speech and communication from Northwestern University in 1985.

Emanuel’s political involvement began with David Robinson’s 1980 congressional campaign while he was still an undergraduate student. In 1984, he worked on Paul Simon’s U.S. senate campaign.

More after the jump.
Upon graduating from Northwestern, Emanuel worked for the public interest group Illinois Public Action. In 1988, he served as the national campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and in 1989 was a chief fundraiser and senior advisor for Richard M. Daley’s mayoral campaign.

In 1991, Emanuel volunteered with the Israeli Defense Force during the Gulf War as a civilian volunteer. Later that year, he joined President Bill Clinton’s presidential primary campaign as the finance director. Following Clinton’s victory in the general election, he named Emanuel as one of his senior advisors from 1993-1998. Among his many achievements in this role, Emanuel worked to plan the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat in the White House Rose Garden.

Taking a brief respite from politics, Emanuel joined the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella from 1998 until 2002. In 2002, he succeeded in his bid for the House of Representatives seat representing Illinois’ 5th district. He won re-election in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Following the death of DCCC Chair Bob Matsui in 2005, Emanuel was appointed as head of the DCCC by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. During his tenure, he orchestrated the large Democratic gains made in the 2006 midterm elections. He is credited by many for regaining a Democratic majority in the House for the first time since 1995. In 2007, the House Democratic Caucus elected Emanuel as Chairman for the 110th Congress.

After President Obama’s success in the 2008 presidential election, Emanuel accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff, and resigned his House seat. In a New York Times article, Emanuel was described as “perhaps the most influential White House chief of staff in a generation.” In September 2010, he announced his departure from his White House position in order to pursue the Mayor’s office in Chicago. Emanuel won the election in February 2011. By receiving 55% of the vote against 5 opponents, he avoided a run-off race in April.

Emanuel and his wife Amy Rule have three children, and currently reside in Chicago, Ill.