Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Conference Call with Chuck Pennachio (ok, Pennacchio), Pennsylvania Senate Candidate

(This is written quickly, from the road. I thought I should get it out there, editing errors and all.

Second update- his name is spelled Pennacchio, not Pennachio. I will leave the misspelling alone, because a few people have been spelling it wrong and finding this post. So, from this they can learn.)

As expected, I participated in a conference call Thursday evening with Dr. Chuck Pennachio, a candidate to unseat Rick Santorum in 2006. From what I could tell, the conference call will actually be available at his website,, so, if you want to hear it, or just hear my sweet baritone in action, listen in.

I am not going to go deeply into a lot of his politics, per se, because you can get most of that off of the website. But, some of the things that I thought worthy of writing:

-What came off clear is that Pennachio is an old school, grassroots political organizer, with a history of a few notable successes under his belt. (For example, Tom Harkin's first Senate campaign in Iowa.) His goal is to run a campaign that merges his knowledge of the grassroots with a strong focus on the "netroots," as well. So, this is by no means going to be an internet only exercise, which was good to hear.

-As he pointed out, the PA Democratic party has lost in every Senate race for decades (with the exception of Harris Wofford for an abbreviated term after John Heinz died). He is, rather than starting as a hand-picked candidate who then tried to build an organization, is a organizer who will turn himself into the well-known candidate eventually. As he confidently stated, he will essentially be doing a huge service for the State party, given its generally failing history in so many races.

-Each of the three questions that were posted earlier were also answered:

1) Will he stay in the race if Rendell and Co. clear the field of established candidates? His answer, unsurprisingly, was that he was in the race all the way.

2) Gay marriage in a socially conservative state? He said he is for civil unions with full rights to gay couples, including full federal benefits.

3) How much money does he need, and how will he raise it? He said that he thinks 3 million dollars should be what he needs for the primary. In terms of how he does it his goal is to build a huge base, both locally and nationally of small donors. If possible, in fact, he wants build a base of hundreds of thousands of them pledging small amounts. (My take: The jury is certainly still out. Howard Dean's money machine proved it possible, but, lets see what happens in a state election. Many people will vie to emulate the Dean money machine. I hope he can do it.)

I will write more on the candidate soon, I just wanted to get this out there. Visit his website, and check him out. Above all else, he seemed like a confident, intelligent, humane person. He is certainly worthy of your attention (if not your support), and it will be great to see him in debates with others, getting his message out on a larger scale.


At 3:42 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Thanks Daniel.

I speak for the candidate when I say he appreciated your participation in the call. You are right, we will probably have the call on the website sometime on Monday or Tuesday (depending on the creation of the "hey hey, ho ho" ad.

I also wanted to let you know that we will take you up on the offer to participate in a Q&A with your readers.

I will keep on touch.


At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Dorian Dale said...

At Democracy for Long Island [DFA chapter] we are in the process of distilling the 3% Solution. This in response to given wisdom of a local Dem apparatchik: "97% of the time the candidate w/ th most money wins." Not, incidently, 97% of the time, the incumbent wins.

Pennachio states that his primary challenge will require $3M. That's a pretty conventional estimate and it begs the question of why a potential contributor would want to make such a speculative investment. Dr. Dean raised lots of money in unconventional ways then proceeded to expend it in very conventional ways providing paltry returns.

If you've got a candidate with his hand out all the time how can the elected official be expected to be tightfisted with taxpayer dollars? Campaign reform has proved the equal of tax reform. Law leads to loophole. Campaign integrity begins with self-imposed fiscal discipline. Maybe candidate Pennachio should develop a B-plan prioritizing objectives and applications so that when, inevitably, he is required to run his campaign on significantly less money than he projects, he will have realized the greatest return on his donars'investment.

Pennachio's commitment to building an organzation before else is right on the money. And if he succeeds on this score, the $2M he realizes in sweat equity can balance out the $1M he will be fortunate, indeed, to receive for his primary effort.

the best,
Dorian Dale
DFLI congressional coordinator 3CD/NY


At 12:08 AM, Blogger DLillian said...

I think Chuck Pennachio has a good chance of winning the primary vs Bob Casey Jr.

Daily Kos did a poll today to compare the two. Pennachio won it by a large margin.


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