The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, October 25, 2004  

Times Leader Endorses Democrat in U.S. Senate Race

The editors of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader yesterday endorsed Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) in his race for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Arlen Specter (R). The editors write, in their enthusiastic endorsement ("Joe Hoeffel's Strengths Outweigh Arlen Specter's"):

Experience is important, but not as critical as how it's used.

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter likes to ask people if they know how long it takes to get 24 years experience. Giggle if you want but Specter wants to be reelected because of federal money and projects that have come to Pennsylvania. Specter claims capability and influence because he's a moderate Republican and a deciding voter in a polarized Senate, and because of his connection to important senate committees.

In Specter's four terms, projects and money have come to Pennsylvania, although remember, that's taxpayer's money. Specter does deserve credit for being a moderating voice in the past. That has not been the case, however, in recent years, particularly during a bitter primary election battle that split conservatives from Specter's base and had the expedient senator at the side of President Bush.

The people of Pennsylvania have reason to question the independence of a senator who votes with the president almost 90 percent of the time. Congress was meant to be a check against presidential power, not a chum. Since Republicans took control of the Senate, Specter's moderation is a whistle lost on the wind.

Where was Specter's leadership and experience to question and temper America's rush to war? Because he's failed to be a check on the executive branch, he's failed Pennsylvania. For a fresh start and a strong and truly independent will in Washington, the Times Leader endorses Joe Hoeffel to be U.S. Senator. [...]

Specter suggests a change will mean fewer projects coming back to Pennsylvania. Lord knows he's been in Washington long enough to know the politics.

But if it's a choice between living with potholes and sending our sons and daughters to fight an unjustified, trumped-up conflict in Iraq that diverts resources from Afghanistan and the terrorists that attacked America, well, we think voters know the answer to that.

Today Hoeffel is appearing at the Kerry-Edwards rally in Philadelphia. Hoeffel's campaign this week will be joined by James Carville in Philadelphia, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in Bethlehem, Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) in Pittsburgh, and Sen. John Edwards in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (The campaign calendar can be viewed here.)

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