Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Barbara Hafer endorses Casey

In an email sent out yesterday, Barbara Hafer endorsed Bob Casey, Jr. in the US Senate race.

Since some you may not be able to get the email, and there is no link, I will post it whole:
Dear Supporter,

A few months ago, I made the decision not to run for the United States Senate. As many of you know, it was a difficult decision, but despite being very interested in serving the people of this Commonwealth again, I decided to step aside. Doing this was the right thing to bring the Democratic Party together, and the right thing for Pennsylvania.

If we are going to retire Rick Santorum, the Democratic Party must stand united in supporting a candidate that can score a win for Pennsylvania families.

That's why I'm glad to be joining Governor Rendell in supporting Bob Casey for the U.S. Senate.

My decision was made easier knowing that I'd be helping a good man. Bob Casey is an honorable and thoughtful public servant who has fought his entire career for those less fortunate. There could not be a greater contrast with Rick Santorum.

Like me, Bob Casey has a record of standing up for fiscal accountability in government. While Rick Santorum has helped drive up the deficit to record levels, I've seen firsthand how Bob Casey held state agencies accountable for spending tax dollars responsibly and with the public good in mind.

While Rick Santorum has tried to cut guaranteed Social Security benefits in order to pay for President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, Bob Casey stood up for our seniors as Auditor General and successfully fought to improve the Health Department's response to life-threatening nursing home complaints. No one has done more than Bob Casey to raise the quality of long-term care in Pennsylvania.

And while Rick Santorum actually justified a vote against child care funding saying, "Making people struggle a little bit is not necessarily the worst thing," Bob Casey led the fight to improve the quality of child care in Pennsylvania and make it more affordable for low-income working mothers.

We have to defeat Rick Santorum because the future of Pennsylvania's job base literally depends on it. As President Bush's leading supporter in the U.S. Senate, he's supporting trade laws that drive down wages here at home and abroad, which leads to even more outsourcing.

Whether it's taking scissors to the Social Security safety net ... turning a blind eye to a stagnant economy ... or leading the charge for the far right wing on Capitol Hill, Rick Santorum is working against the interests of Pennsylvania's families. It is essential that Rick Santorum be removed from office.

And Bob Casey can do it.

A great deal has been made of the issues where Bob Casey and I don't see eye to eye ... but that doesn't tell the whole story. I know that Bob is acutely aware of the pain that a lack of access to family planning can cause to women and families - it's why he supports public funding of these services and contraceptive equity in health insurance coverage. Bob is also a strong advocate of health care and nutrition programs for women and children.

In fact, on issue after issue of concern to women and families, Bob Casey has stood with us. You may not know that Bob worked in state government to support women who are victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. As a nurse and as the former Executive Director of the Center for Victims of Violent Crime in Allegheny County I've witnessed more than my share of pain and tragedy, that's why Bob's record in this area tells me a great deal about the kind of person he really is.

Bob Casey also shares my commitment to ensuring that America remains vigilant in the War on Terrorism. As the mother of a Navy SEAL, I know firsthand the sacrifices that American families are making to fight terrorism around the world. And like me, Bob knows that a strong Israel must always remain the cornerstone of our attempts to stabilize the Middle East. Bob Casey will fight in the U.S. Senate to keep our country both safe and strong.

Democrats are fortunate to have people like Bob in our party ... and we're fortunate he's running.

Because Bob Casey will win. For all of us.

Please join me in supporting this exceptional Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. And send a message that all of us as Democrats are united as one.

Help Bob show the strength of a united Democratic party and contribute $50 to his campaign.

With warmest regards and great appreciation for all you've done for me in the past.


Barbara Hafer

And then, the Chuck Pennacchio campaign responds:
BUCKS COUNTY, PA – I respect ex-Republican Barbara Hafer for her years of public service and her strong commitment to women's issues, but her decision to endorse Robert Casey Jr. is based on two seriously flawed assumptions.

First, Ms. Hafer claims that "there could not be a greater contrast" than the one between Rick Santorum and Robert Casey Jr. If that were true, I wouldn't be in this race to offer Pennsylvania voters a clear choice and a positive alternative. Unlike Barbara Hafer and myself, Robert Casey Jr. and Rick Santorum are both staunch opponents of a woman’s right to choose. On issue after issue Robert Casey Jr. stands with Rick Santorum and George Bush and against the basic values of most Pennsylvanians. For example, Mr. Casey stands with Santorum and Bush in opposing expanded stem cell research; opposing stronger gun violence prevention laws; and opposing equal rights for gays and lesbians. In addition, Mr. Casey has supported the badly flawed Bush/Santorum approach to Iraq; and also joined with them in endorsing congressional interference with the judiciary in the Terri Schiavo case. Mr. Casey and Mr. Santorum are also both career politicians who get major funding from special interest PAC money (which I will not accept).

Ms. Hafer’s second flawed assumption is that "If we are going to retire Rick Santorum, the Democratic Party must stand united." A vigorous Democratic primary will be healthy for democracy and the Democratic Party. In 2002 Ed Rendell won the governorship after a contested primary.

The April Quinnipiac poll showed that 82 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats don’t know that Robert Casey Jr. is a pro-life Democrat. By almost two to one (61 percent to 32 percent) Pennsylvania Democrats are pro-choice. I am confident that when Pennsylvanians understand the choice between me and Mr. Casey and Senator Santorum that our campaign will prevail. Democrats can defeat Rick Santorum without compromising our values on issues that are at the heart of what our party stands for.

Make of it what you will. But it is clear that any PA establishment types are going to line up behind Casey, Jr.


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