From the Pottsville Republican and Herald:
‘Clash of heavyweights': Sen. Argall considers run against Rep. Holden
By Ben Wolfgang
(STAFF WRITER–POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN AND HERALD)
TAMAQUA–A historic battle may be brewing.
State Sen. David Argall said Tuesday he is considering a run against U.S. Rep. Tim Holden in next year’s congressional election.
“It would be a clash of heavyweights, both of whom have long track records of winning elections,” Dr. G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, said Tuesday.
“It’s obvious the voters have a great deal of confidence in both of them.”
Argall, R-29, said he is “weighing the pros and cons” of a race against Holden, D-17.
He promised a decision in January.
“I really need a few more weeks” to decide, Argall said. “I need to know that I have at least a realistic chance of winning. He (Holden) would have a considerable advantage.”
Argall has been a mainstay in the state Legislature for 25 years, serving 24 years in the House before winning a special Senate election earlier this year. He now holds the seat formerly held by the late James J. Rhoades, who died in October 2008 following a car accident.
Holden, meanwhile, has represented Schuylkill County since 1993 when it was part of the 6th Congressional District. In 2002, he defeated U.S. Rep. George Gekas, R-17, after Schuylkill County was moved to the 17th district.
The 17th district now includes Schuylkill, Dauphin and Lebanon counties and parts of Perry and Berks counties.
Argall’s 29th district includes all of Schuylkill and parts of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton counties.
Schuylkill County GOP Chairman Bob Ames said Tuesday the political atmosphere in 2010 could give the GOP its best chance to oust Holden, who has handily won re-election in a Republican-leaning district.
“It would be very competitive,” Ames said Tuesday. “There’s a lot of unrest” in the country, which could mean danger for incumbents.
“This looks like the best (political) environment for David to do this,” Madonna said.
Despite Argall’s notoriety and record, Madonna said the race will be “at least 75 percent about Holden” and his voting record, as well as the political mood of the country when voters go to the polls on Nov. 2, 2010. While national issues will be on the forefront, Madonna said Argall’s record in the state Legislature would also come into play.
Voters could also be uneasy with Argall’s political moves over the past year, he said.
“What will voters think about, in a four-year period, jumping from the House to the Senate to the Congress?” Madonna said.
Argall won his seat in March. If he announces his candidacy in January 2010, he will have served only 10 months as a state senator.
“Serving less than a year (in the state Senate) is a big point” in the race, Madonna said.
As for his potential run, Argall admitted his attitude has changed in recent weeks. In early November, he told The Republican-Herald he was leaning against it.
“Please keep looking for another candidate,” Argall said Nov. 10.
Since then, he said he has been bombarded with phone calls and e-mails from supporters urging him to run.
A Web site, draftdaveargallforcongress.wordpress.com, was even set up.
“The last few weeks have been very unusual,” Argall said of public support for a congressional run. “Some (who asked him to run) were complete strangers.”
The groundswell of support for Argall has grown steadily. Ames said he has gotten phone calls from state and national GOP leaders pushing for an Argall vs. Holden battle.
Argall said he’s been invited to Washington, D.C., to personally meet with high-ranking Republican leaders, though he would not say who.
The political strategy of an Argall run, Madonna said, makes sense. Even though Schuylkill County leans Republican, Holden has historically blown out his opponent in the county. In 2008, he defeated Republican Toni Gilhooley by a more than three-to-one margin.
“Maybe the argument is you deny him (Holden) Schuylkill County,” Madonna said, adding a tight race in Schuylkill could, in theory, swing the race to Argall.
Argall said campaign financing will also come into play. He said he will be unable to use any political contributions amassed up to this point against Holden.
“I’d have to start from zero,” he said.
Holden, meanwhile, has already begun 2010 fundraising.
The money will be there . . . RUN DAVE, RUN!
Democrats have overwhelming, single-party control of elected government in Washington. They’re using their unprecedented level of power to reshape America in the form of socialism, and rolling up debt for our children and grandchildren that is $12 trillion and growing each second.
The road to putting adults in charge of the purse strings travels directly through the 17th Congressional District. State Senator Dave Argall is the only person who can defeat Tim Holden – a pawn of Nancy Pelosi – and help put America back on a path to economic and fiscal health. Run, Dave, Run!!
1. S.O.S. (SAVE OUR SEAT!)
Every 10 years, following the federal census, the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are re-allocated among the 50 states according to the population of each state. The larger a state’s population, the more seats it gets. The process is known is as “reapportionment.” Meanwhile, the boundary lines of each individual district are re-drawn; this process is known as “redistricting.”
Pennsylvania only a few decades ago had as many as 35 U.S. House seats. Today, we are down to 19. Because our population growth continues to be stagnant, we will lose another seat after the next reapportionment, which will happen in 2011, taking us down to 18.
As for the re-drawing of each district’ boundary lines (re-districting), this is a completely political process handled at the state level. In Pennsylvania, re-districting is controlled by a panel of political appointees selected by the majority party in the state House and Senate, respectively, and the Governor. Republicans control the state Senate and are expected to win the Governor’s race in 2010, giving them – at a minimum – decisive two-thirds control of the redistricting process. This is bad news for Schuylkill County; if our Congressman is a Democrat, i.e. Tim Holden, Schuylkill County will be split into pieces.
If, however, the 17th District is held by a Republican, i.e. Dave Argall, the Republican-controlled redistricting panel will be gracious and leave Schuylkill County “whole.”
Thus, it’s crucial for Schuylkill County that Tim Holden honor his support of term limits and pass the torch to Dave Argall. Run, Dave, Run!
2. NATIONAL DEBT: $110 TRILLION
Our national debt stands at a staggering $12 TRILLION. Why? After promising to bring “change” to Washington’s spending habits, President Obama ran up the largest deficit in history—four times bigger than George W. Bush’s largest! With an overpowering, partisan majority led by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Tim Holden, there is nothing to stop free-spending career politicians from mortgaging away our children’s future.
Here is the full, sobering reality: if you factor in to our national debt the unfunded liabilities in the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, our national debt is actually over $100 TRILLION. That’s $333,000 worth of debt repayment for every man, woman in child in America.
How much to blame is our supposedly “Blue Dog” (independent Democrat) Congressman Tim Holden? Consider:
3. TAXED TO DEATH
Some worry that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Holden will turn America into a socialist nation. The truth, sadly, is that we are already a socialized country. Consider: 40 percent of Americans pay ZERO federal income tax. That’s leaves hardworking Americans to pick up the rest of the load by paying, on average, one-third of their income to the federal government.
Tim Holden has voted for the largest tax increases in history enacted since he entered Congress in 1992. Holden even voted for the Clinton tax hike, which raise the tax on elderly Americans’ Social Security checks by a staggering 70 percent.
4. BARACK OBAMA
Barack Hussein Obama, for whom Tim Holden proudly voted, is the most liberal president in history. His ability to achieve his radical agenda for America hinges upon the political chemistry of the Congress. Right now, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Tim Holden are giving Barack Holden virtually a blank check to do as he wishes. And doing it he is.
5. NANCY PELOSI
Nancy Pelosi is the most liberal Speaker of the House in history. She represents San Francisco (need we say more?). She forms a triumvirate with Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada that collectively represents the most liberal ruling majority in American history. Though Tim Holden has long masqueraded as a “Blue Dog” (independent Democrat), he has voted with Pelosi more than 90 percent of the time. Consider:
Tim Holden voted for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House, and will continue to do so, ensuring a radical economic and social agenda for America.
6. “STIMULUS” AKA PORKULUS: 819 BILLION
Roughly 10 months after the passage of President Obama’s so-called “economic stimulus bill,” the national unemployment rate (10 percent) is even higher than President Obama predicted it would be had the Congress NOT passed his bill. The Administration’s much touted recovery.gov website (which cost $18 million to create) recently reported alleged “jobs” in congressional districts that don’t exist, and the website was even listing “stimulus success stories” from congressional districts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands – two U.S. territories that don’t have any congressional districts at all! Our faithful Blue Dog (independent Democrat) Congressman Tim Holden partnered yet again with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in voting for this near-trillion dollar boondoggle.
7. MORTGAGE CORPORATION BAILOUT: $300 BILLION
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were giant, private mortgage firms, with stockholders who garnered billions in profits over the years. Over the last two congressional cycles, Fannie and Freddie contributed a combined $1.85 million to candidates for federal office (source: Center for Responsive Politics). On July 23, 2008, the corporate lobbyists for Fannie and Freddie got their payback – BIG TIME – to the tune of a $300 BILLION bailout from the taxpayers. The vote was partisan, falling nearly along party lines. Our supposed “Blue Dog” (independent Democrat) Congressman, Tim Holden, voted with Nancy Pelosi for this monstrous corporate bailout.
8. TAXPAYER FUNDED VACATIONS
Tim Holden loves junkets, which are taxpayer-funded trips overseas. Taxpayers have even paid for Holden’s wife to tag along. In the last two years, the taxpayers have sent Holden to: Belgium, France, Spain, Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Belgium, Austria, Italy, and Germany.
The news media chastised Holden, noting: “It is difficult to tell precisely what lawmakers spend their time doing overseas and how much the trips cost taxpayers. House rules only require members to disclose what countries they visited and the cost for food and lodging.”
9. AUTO CORPORATION BAILOUT: $14 BILLION
Due to years of corporate mismanagement, Detroit’s “Big Three” – GM, Ford, and Chrysler – hit the rocks. Not to worry: Uncle Sam (Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) were more than happy to reach their hands into the taxpayers’ pockets and grab $14 billion for Big Auto.
The Big Auto corporate bailout served to protect Big Labor by preventing needed restructuring of a $73 per hour average wage, massive pension obligations, and “job banks,” a clever term for paying employees not to work.
Once again, our supposed Blue Dog (independent Democrat) Congressman, Tim Holden, voted with Nancy Pelosi for this corporate bailout.
10. TERM LIMITS HYPOCRISY
Congressman Tim Holden voted for term limits legislation that would limit the number of terms a U.S. Representative can serve to three. But apparently, Holden lives by the “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy; he is now seeking his tenth term.
Coming tomorrow: Reason #1 . . . .