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Union urges Democrats to switch parties

Posted on 03/24/2004 11:52:27 AM PST by kattracks

WASHINGTON (AP) — An international labor union is urging its Democratic members in Pennsylvania to switch their voter registration to Republican to vote for Sen. Arlen Specter in his tough primary fight against conservative Rep. Pat Toomey.

The registration push comes as national groups scramble to sign up voters for November's presidential race in Pennsylvania, a battleground state and the nation's fifth-largest electoral prize. Voters who don't switch back risk falling through the cracks during Democratic get-out-the-vote drives and other outreach efforts.

Specter, a political moderate who generally supports labor issues, is the only sitting senator in the nation to face a primary. He "needs as much support in the April 27 primary as possible," wrote Robert A. Scardelletti, president of the Transportation Communications International Union in a March 15 letter to Pennsylvania members.

"Enclosed is a voter registration card that you can use to register to vote in the Republican primary if you so choose," Scardelletti wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. "I realize that this is a somewhat unusual request, but I can assure you that it is vitally important.

While labor unions generally support Democrats, Scardelletti's letter was accompanied by instructions from the Specter campaign on how to register to vote. Scardelletti did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 445,000 voters in Pennsylvania. The state's primary voter registration deadline is March 29.

Pennsylvania, a political swing state that swung for Democrat Al Gore by a mere 204,000 votes in 2000, is on the national forefront of an intense push this year by both parties to recruit voters. Parties use registration rolls to target voters with campaign fliers and, in turn, push them to the polls.

Since many union members are expected to support Democratic presumptive presidential nominee John Kerry in November, "it's probably not necessary for them to switch back," said Norman Adler, a New York-based political consultant who advises unions.

Even so, "it's very hard" for union leaders to persuade their members to go through yet another registration switch so soon after the first, Adler said. He called the union's push to switch voter registration highly unusual in a U.S. Senate race.

Aides to Toomey, the conservative challenger, said the union support indicates a "late, frantic appeal" to Democrats by Specter.

"The fact that this appeal comes just days before the registration deadline illustrates that Arlen Specter is aware that he doesn't have sufficient support among Republicans to win this race," Toomey campaign spokesman Joe Sterns said.

But Specter campaign manager Christopher Nicholas said Specter would work with any group to try to boost the number of Republican voters in the state to help President Bush in November.

"And we are working with any group that wants to work with us," Nicholas said.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: dirtytricks; electionussenate; rinohunt; toomey; unions
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1 posted on 03/24/2004 11:52:27 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Here ya go, Pat. Can't get much more ammo than this.
2 posted on 03/24/2004 11:56:20 AM PST by Digger
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To: kattracks
Liberals are for SPECTER!

Conservatives - Where do you stand?
3 posted on 03/24/2004 11:56:24 AM PST by WOSG ( - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: kattracks

The honorable thing would be for Arlen Specter to change HIS registration to 'rat. ;) He ain't foolin' no one.
4 posted on 03/24/2004 11:57:07 AM PST by adam_az (Call your state Republican party office and VOLUNTEER FOR A CAMPAIGN!!!)
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To: kattracks
If he's such a hero to the Democrats, let THEM nominate him.
5 posted on 03/24/2004 11:57:53 AM PST by thoughtomator (Voting Bush because there is no reasonable alternative)
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But he is the creator of the "Magic Bullet Theory" he must be a genius!!!
6 posted on 03/24/2004 11:59:31 AM PST by Sabretooth (I'm not SabERtooth, Im SabREtooth.)
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To: kattracks
This is the fire under my butt. I'll be at the polls for the primary supporting Pat.
7 posted on 03/24/2004 12:03:12 PM PST by stevio (The early bird gets the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: joanie-f

More fodder for the cannon, Angel.

...the shameless RINO keeps strange company.

8 posted on 03/24/2004 12:04:03 PM PST by Landru (Indulgences: 2 for a buck.)
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To: kattracks
Is this allowed under Scottish Law?
9 posted on 03/24/2004 12:04:22 PM PST by CMailBag
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To: kattracks
strange days
10 posted on 03/24/2004 12:04:45 PM PST by Porterville (Did I spell something wrong? Does that make you mad? Poor baby.)
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To: kattracks
Liberals know their own.
11 posted on 03/24/2004 12:04:51 PM PST by workerbee
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To: kattracks
Specter campaign manager Christopher Nicholas said Specter would work with any group to try to boost the number of Republican voters in the state to help President Bush in November.

They're voting in the GOP Senate primary to support the liberal, but having done so is going to make them vote for the less liberal Presidential candidate in November? Transparent BS ... but par for the RINO course.

12 posted on 03/24/2004 12:08:17 PM PST by Sweet Land
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Pat Toomey is the only sane, rational choice on 4/27. I'll be there for him, and will be bringing several other Conservatives along to the voting booths.
13 posted on 03/24/2004 12:08:40 PM PST by 7.62 x 51mm (Dogs have masters; Cats have staff.)
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To: CMailBag
"is this allowed under Scottish Law"??

only if you show up at the polls bearing haggis.
14 posted on 03/24/2004 12:12:55 PM PST by rod1 (On the front line)
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To: kattracks
Good news on polls - Specter is panicking, looking for Dems to bail him out - conservatives are going to Toomey

National Review: The Specter of Defeat--Pennsylvania polls look promising for Toomey

By Jack Fowler


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The good news for those on the edge of their seats over the upcoming GOP Senate primary between Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey comes from last week's statewide voter poll by television stations KDKA (Pittsburgh) and WNEP (Wilkes-Barre), which shows Specter's once-comfortable lead over the conservative congressman shrinking to single digits among "certain" voters. With the momentum going Toomey's way, and with five weeks remaining before the April 27 primary, what was once inconceivable - Specter getting knocked off - is no longer.

This may explain why Specter is aggressively working to woo supporters amongst two groups for which he is no hero: conservatives and pro-lifers. For example, last week Specter and colleague Rick Santorum trumpeted the news that the Senate had passed their bill (Specter was the main sponsor) to rename the federal building in Harrisburg after none other than Ronald Reagan. That's right, Ronald Reagan - the same guy whose Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork, was defeated largely owing to Specter's efforts. He's also the fellow who Specter fought tooth and nail on tax cuts, and spending restraints, and a host of other reforms. ("I don't feel that I owe Reagan anything," Specter once said in a boast over his political independence in the Keystone State). Odd, isn't it, that the once-proud thorn in the Gipper's side wants to honor him with a building?

As for pro-lifers, Specter, a vigorous Roe defender (he cited abortion as a major reason for his ghastly 1996 presidential run), is doing his usual pre-primary kiss-up of the group he short-shrifts five out of every six years. (In the 1986 primary he weirdly countered his pro-abortion stand by urging voters to watch The Silent Scream, a pro-life film of a sonogram showing an actual abortion.) Mary Beliveau, head of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation PAC, says Specter is "feverishly courting pro-life audiences, using Christian radio in attempts to fool listeners into thinking he shares their values by touting support for abstinence programs and a partial-birth abortion ban." She's worried.

At first glance (at the KDKA/WNEP poll), you can't blame Beliveau for being nervous: Specter is indeed ahead of Toomey among self-described pro-lifers (41 percent to 39 percent) and conservatives (43 percent to 39 percent) who are "certain" to vote. Hence the head-scratching - shouldn't Toomey (a solid abortion foe) be obliterating Specter among these voters?

On primary day, that answer may very well prove to be yes. As for right now, the lead held by Specter - a mega-known quantity, after 24 years in the Senate, following a very public stint in the Philadelphia district attorney's office - among these groups is likely more an indication of Toomey's lesser-known name and position recognition than it is of any successful seduction by the incumbent.

For many people, Pat Toomey remains a question mark - he polls under 50 percent on name recognition. Come April 27, that won't be the case.

Indeed, the poll's internal breakdown should be encouraging to Toomey supporters. Here's why: Of the survey's 968 Republican respondents (the vast majority considered to be either "certain" or "likely" voters), 400 were self-described as "pro-choice," but significantly more - 520 - called themselves "pro-life." This is a large and prime group into which the Toomey campaign can make inroads, and maybe huge ones at that, thereby draining away current "pro-life" Specter supporters.

The same applies to conservative voters. Of the KDKA/WNEP poll's "certain" and "likely" respondents, 375 called themselves "moderate" and 56 "liberal" - Specter's natural allies. But 504 labeled themselves "conservative" - Toomey's natural allies. That's a significant difference, with the mother lode breaking conservative. That means there's plenty of upside for Toomey.

As the campaign rounds the turn and heads for the homestretch, Pat Toomey is well positioned. He has the reasonable potential to attract more pro-life and conservative Pennsylvania Republicans - voters who are his natural political allies, but who, for the time being - and for reasons that are likely due to name recognition - support the liberal, pro-abortion Specter, but probably tepidly so.

Over the next five weeks, that rumble you may hear from Pennsylvania could be Arlen Specter voters packing up and moving into Pat Toomey's home-sweet-ideological-home. For conservatives, that sound will be sweet music.

15 posted on 03/24/2004 12:16:42 PM PST by WOSG ( - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: stevio
"This is the fire under my butt. I'll be at the polls for the primary supporting Pat."

That is great!

It is worth 100 votes to stand outside the polling location and support your candidate. Just a thousand volunteers doing that and you can make up the 100,000 votes needed.

Make one sign - "Specter is a Liberal" - and that will tell 'em.

16 posted on 03/24/2004 12:19:25 PM PST by WOSG ( - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: 7.62 x 51mm
I am glad to hear that! I send Toomey $100 maybe he needs more...

Also, check this out - Specter is running a dishonest and desperate campaign:

Arlen Specter’s Dishonesty
Arlen Specter has been in office for over 23-years and has established one of the most liberal voting records of any Republican Senator. Instead of defending his record, Arlen Specter has decided to launch dishonest, negative attacks against Congressman Toomey. In addition to being dishonest in his advertising, Arlen Specter has also made dishonest statements to the press. Below are the dishonest attacks from Arlen Specter, followed by the truth about Congressman Toomey’s record. One misstatement maybe a mistake, two maybe acceptable, all of the following dishonest claims are unprecedented and unbecoming of a U.S. Senator.

Check back often as this section will be updated to debunk the dishonesty of Arlen Specter.

Specter’s Dishonest, Negative Attack Ads

Specter’s Dishonest Claim (Les Sheaffer) – “When I went to Pat Toomey’s office and I asked for help and I followed up with 3 phone calls after that meeting and I never even got a phone call back.”

Truth – Congressman Toomey and his offices have had a long and productive working relationship with Les Sheaffer dating back to the Congressman's first term. The Congressman and his staff have been helpful to Les on a number of occasions. The office is not aware of an instance when a request of Les's went unfulfilled. Les has been a supporter of Congressman Toomey, so the campaign was surprised and disappointed by this ad and its claims. This is another sad action on Arlen Specter’s part, exhibiting that he will stoop to using a family’s difficult situation for his own political purposes in an attempt to change the subject away from his embarrassingly liberal voting record.

Specter Dishonest Attack – “Toomey says he’s for safeguarding teens but voted against and ridiculed Abstinence Programs that teach teens to make smart choices.”

Truth “Congressman Toomey has never voted to cut abstinence funding, however, he has voted against bloated federal spending bills that contained abstinence funding. Congressman Toomey’s vote was for fiscal conservatism – not against abstinence funding. In addition, Congressman Toomey has never ridiculed abstinence programs. The article that the Specter campaign points to as its source is a quote by Congressman Toomey being critical of overall federal spending not of any program dealing with abstinence. Senator Specter is grasping at straws.”

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “I authorized this ad to give you the facts about my record as a fiscal conservative.”

Truth – Senator Specter has voted for 5 major tax increases, including 2 that were the largest in history at the time of their passage. In addition, he has been rated as the second worst Republican Senator by the fiscal watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Toomey says he is for protecting our children but voted against warning labels on violent and obscene records, movies and video games.”

Truth - In the wake of the Columbine tragedy in 1999, the House of Representatives considered a Juvenile Justice bill. During the consideration of this legislation an amendment was offered that would have required labels rating violence in movies, video games, music albums, etc. Although the intent of the amendment was well intentioned, it would have superceded labeling already in place, like the ratings done by the Motion Picture Association (G, PG, PG-13, R). The amendment would have only labeled for violent material not for sexual content, sexual scenes, obscene language, etc. So if the amendment would have gone into effect, it would have actually given parents less information and made it harder to protect their children from this material. In addition, Federal Bureaucrats would have been the final say on the ratings rather than a group of parents, industry representatives, community leaders and government officials.

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “I supported both of President Bush’s tax cuts”

Truth - Senator Specter did not support President Bush’s $1.6 billion tax cut and in fact, voted with Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle and Hillary Clinton to impede, reduce and undercut President Bush’s tax cuts.

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Pat Toomey says he’s for traditional moral values but voted for Internet gambling and failed to oppose thousands of slot machines across Pennsylvania.”

Truth: Congressman Toomey has supported curbing gambling over the Internet and has supported a bill, H.R. 2143, during this Congress that would institute necessary regulations to prohibit Americans from using their credit cards to gamble on the Internet.

In addition, the slot machine issue was debated by the State legislature, not federal legislators in Washington – Congressman Toomey has never had the opportunity to vote on slot machines in Pennsylvania.

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Toomey says he supports the military but voted against needed pay raises for the men and women fighting terrorism around the globe.”

Truth – Since his first term in 1999, Congressman Toomey voted for a pay raise every year he has been in Congress. (P.L. 106-65, P.L 106-398, P.L. 107-107, P.L. 107-314).
More importantly, Arlen Specter has voted against at least two pay increases for our military. He voted against the Defense Authorization bill in 1993 (P.L. 103-16) and again in 1996 (P.L. 104-201).

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Toomey was the only Republican Congressman in PA, the only one, to vote against an amendment allowing the military to be used to prevent terrorist from entering the US.”

Truth –Congressman Toomey has voted twice to allow our troops to be used on our borders to prevent terrorists from entering the country (5/10/02, Roll Call Vote 154 and 09/25/01, Roll Call Vote 356).

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Pat Toomey says he is effective but only passed two bills in Congress. One increased paperwork, the other renamed a building.”

Truth – Congressman Pat Toomey’s bill that became law that increased paperwork, was a law that requires all federal agencies to do financial audits of their books to give Congress oversight as to how agencies are spending tax dollars. Agencies such as the FCC, the SEC and the FEC did not have to account for how and where money was spent.

In addition, the Congressman has passed several bills in the House that died in the Senate, which included a bill to reign in HCFA, and another that would allow businesses to get interest on their business checking accounts. Also, the Congressman has had many legislative accomplishments outside of passing bills. He saved area hospitals over $8 million per year from Medicare cuts, he had language added to the Ex-Im Reauthorization which will help to stem the tide of foreign steel, he made the U.S. seek reimbursements from its allies for the war in Kosovo and was successful in getting the federal government to specifically pay down debt with surplus dollars. Lastly, the Congressman is a leader working against budget increases and over regulation.

Ironically, during Specter’s first six-years in office he was able to pass bills commemorating weeks and days, including – “Afghanistan Day”, “Lupus Awareness Week”, “National Birds of Prey Week”, “Greek Independence Day” Also, if you do a search of bills that have passed with Specter’s name as the lead sponsor, he has not passed a bill in the 107th or 108th Congress.

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “Pennsylvania Republicans are demanding Pat Toomey return more than $500,000 of campaign money taken under false pretenses.

Truth - The funds were given to Congressman Toomey for election to federal office. Senator Specter had over $2.6 million left over from his 1998 election that would be categorized in the same manner. The argument would cut both ways, if individuals gave to Specter in 1998 to beat a Democrat it does not mean that were giving it to be used in this primary.

Specter’s Dishonest Claim – “The Inquirer reported in a front-page expose that Toomey has been caught playing a game of quote ‘bait and switch’.”

Truth - The Inquirer did not say this was a bait and switch - Bob Holste of Congressman English’s office was quoted as saying this.

Specter’s Dishonest Statements in the Press

Specter’s Dishonest Claim
January 7, 2004, Specter stated he is "now, and always [has] been, for the death penalty for Saddam"

January 8, 2004, Specter spokesman Bill Reynolds stated, “Senator Specter has never voiced an opinion that Saddam Hussein should not face the death penalty. It's absolutely fallacious for them to say that.”

“I have been a very strong advocate of the death penalty as a deterrent for heinous criminals who commit outrageous crimes," [Specter] said. "Saddam certainly fits that bill, but I think that there is a little different dimension for Saddam Hussein. I think that if he were to rot in jail, tyrants would see that and it would be an ongoing example of the fact that you can't get away with it even if you are a head of a state." (The Daily American, Somerset, PA, December 16, 2003)
“If he's in jail for a long period of time, he'd be a constant reminder” to the world, said Specter. “We have a societal interest in exposing him." (Doylestown Intelligencer, December 18, 2003)
“I think that Hussein being imprisoned for decades would be very salutary for minor tyrants,” said Specter, the former Philadelphia district attorney who normally favors the death penalty for "heinous criminals and outrageous crimes.” “I think society's best interests are served by keeping him on display,” said Specter. (Times Herald, Norristown, PA, December 20, 2003)

“What seems to be absolutely fallacious is the denial that Specter in fact changed his mind.” (Doylestown Intelligencer, January 15, 2004)
17 posted on 03/24/2004 12:21:22 PM PST by WOSG ( - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: All
A political moderate? More like a political chameleon
18 posted on 03/24/2004 12:22:09 PM PST by Belisaurius ("Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Ted" - Joseph Kennedy 1958)
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To: kattracks

Arlen Specter has served for 23-years in the U.S. Senate. During that time, Arlen Specter has consistently been rated one of the most liberal Republican Senators. Don’t take our word for it, see how independent groups rate Arlen Specter’s performance.
National Journal
Ranks Arlen Specter the Second Most Liberal Republican Senator

American Conservative Union (America’s oldest conservative benchmark)
Arlen Specter lifetime rating 42%
Average Republican Senator 84%
Rick Santorum lifetime rating 87%
Congressman Pat Toomey 97%

National Taxpayers Union
Arlen Specter C-
Congressman Pat Toomey A

Family Research Council
Arlen Specter 43%
Congressman Pat Toomey 100%

Citizens Against Government Waste
Arlen Specter 52%
Congressman Pat Toomey 94%

19 posted on 03/24/2004 12:24:05 PM PST by WOSG ( - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: kattracks
Specter needs to go. A RINO if ever there was one.

(He's worse than McLame, if that's possible)

20 posted on 03/24/2004 12:26:01 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Space Available for Rent or Lease by the Day, Week, or Month. Reasonable Rates. Inquire within.)
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