Progressive Democrats endorse Joe Hoeffel for Governor in Democratic primary

by Randy Shannon

The Pennsylvania 4th Congressional District Chapter of PDA unamimously endorsed Joe Hoeffel for Governor. In a letter mailed to its members, Chapter Chairwoman Tina Shannon asked that members and friends work together for a Hoeffel victory.

Hoeffel is the only candidate in either party that is not owned by the wealthy elites in Pennsylvania. A Hoeffel victory will break the corrupt stranglehold of corporate money in Pennsylvania politics and set the state on a path of growth, justice, and equality for working people.

Hoeffel is the only progressive candidate running for any statewide office this year. He campaigned for President Obama in 2008. He deserves the undivided support of Pennsylvanians who want to continue to work for real change.

The PDA endorsement letter is on the following page.

Dear Progressive Democrats and friends,

            Many primary elections offer us few real choices. Its no wonder that turnout is often low. The candidates often soft-pedal the issues in a primary so as not to stir up opposition. And the same wealthy interests are sometimes backing two or more contestants.

Your Progressive Democrats of America chapter has endorsed Joe Hoeffel for Governor because he is not playing by these old rules. We believe Joe Hoeffel is the only progressive candidate running for governor in the May 18th Democratic primary election.

We know from experience that a candidate must be judged based not on what he or she says, but on who is paying for the campaign. We researched the campaign finance reports of Democrats Joe Hoeffel, Dan Onorato, and Jack Wagner, as well as Republican Tom Corbett.

The facts are that Onorato, Wagner, and Corbett are accepting millions of dollars from the same corporate executives in the legal, insurance, financial, health care, gas drilling, and other industries. This pile of cash far outweighs the contributions of unions, working folks, and small business owners. If either of these three wins, we lose.

Joe Hoeffel is accepting funds from only small donors. His campaign is a grassroots mostly volunteer campaign. His positions on the issues reflect his funding. He has promised to help put co-generation plant in Beaver County like the one installed in Montgomery County while he was a county commissioner.

Joe has actively called for safe drilling practices in the Marcellus shale and a gas extraction tax. The other candidates mention this also, but they are taking huge donations from the drillers while Joe is not indebted to them. Who do you think will protect our communities?

Joe wants labor and environmental standards placed on international trade agreements, because he believes the working people of Pennsylvania need jobs.

You may recall that Joe Hoeffel was a Congressman who resigned in 2004 to run against the Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Even though the AFL-CIO leadership endorsed Specter, Joe Hoeffel won Beaver County and narrowly lost to Specter. Joe was then re-elected as a county commissioner of Montgomery County.

Joe Hoeffel is running second in the polls with 55% undecided. We believe he has a good shot at winning the primary because a lot of Democrats are fed up with business as usual. Here in western Pennsylvania labor and Democratic Party officials are dividing up between Onorato and Wagner. In eastern Pennsylvania Joe Hoeffel has strong support across the board.

The endorsement and help of Progressive Democrats in Beaver County can be crucial to a victory for Joe Hoeffel and for our future. The Hoeffel campaign calculates that 8,000 votes from the western central counties will put him over the top.

Please help make a difference for Pennsylvania by electing a progressive governor. We need you to volunteer to phone bank to potential voters. Please give me a call if you want to help. Financial contributions are also welcome. We will be following up this letter with phone calls, so please think about how you might want to help out.

I look forward to working with you,

                                    Tina Shannon (724) 843 0545

Poll shows Onorato leading Democrats in governor race

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Associated Press

A new poll shows Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato slightly leading the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, although half of the likely voters remain undecided.

Six weeks before the May 18 primary, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning shows Mr. Onorato backed by 20 percent of likely voters, followed by former congressman Joe Hoeffel with 15 percent, state Auditor General Jack Wagner with 13 percent and state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams with 5 percent.

Forty-seven percent of the Democratic respondents said they remained undecided. Among those who had picked a candidate, 70 percent said they still might change their minds.

Fight against state tax on gas extraction gets expensive

By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette                                                                                                                                    

They also are laying the groundwork for future political battles. Range Resources Energy Independence PAC, for example, donated $5,000 each to Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett and to Democratic Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, both gubernatorial candidates, in the waning months of 2009.

Range Resources, with drilling rights to more than 1.4 million acres, is one of the biggest natural gas players in Pennsylvania, and is one of the most frequent campaign contributors as well. The company’s political arm gave to state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods; Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery; Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson; Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre; and Auditor General Jack Wagner, among others, in 2009.

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