Progressive group whacks Schwartz

    The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has attacked Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz over an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal written by two leaders of the non-profit group The Third Way, which Schwartz is an honorary co-chair of.

    “Third Way — a Wall Street-funded group that poses as a ‘progressive’ think tank — blasted [Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and her bold economic agenda yesterday in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal,” an email from the PCCC wrote. “…Shockingly, Rep. Allyson Schwartz is Honorary Co-Chair of this group that’s attacking Elizabeth Warren!”

    The Third Way is a think tank which says it represents the “vital center” of American politics, favoring pragmatic solutions, moderate policy  and principled compromise.

    Mark Bergman, a spokesman for Schwartz said she disagrees with the Wall Street Journal piece, which argues that the “economic populism” of Warren and New York Mayor-elect Bill deBlasio would be a “disastrous” platform for Democrats heading into 2016. The piece specifically attacks the idea that Social Security and Medicare benefits can be expanded.

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    Bergman said that Schwartz has been an outspoken defender of Social Security and Medicare in Congress. Asked about the PCCC’s characterization of The Third Way as a “Wall Street front group,” Bergman said “we’re not going to get into the back and forth between PCCC and Third way…she’s an honorary co-chair. She’s not involved with what they write. They don’t run it past her, and she disagrees with this.”

    Why Schwartz, why now?

    Schwartz is one of 12 members of Congress listed as honorary co-chairs on The Third Way website. I asked PCCC spokesman Matt Wall if the group was attacking all of them over the op-ed piece, or just Schwartz.

    “She is the first, but not the last one we’ll ask to resign as a co-chairs of The Third Way,” Wall said. “Right now she’s in a contested election in which voters deserve to hear whether she stands with them on these issues.”

    Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former state environmental secretary John Hanger, joined in the PCCC critique, urging Schwartz in a statement to “strongly disavow and rebuke this right wing attack on Senator Warren, Mayor-elect DeBlasio, and progressive policies.”

    The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says it has 29,000 members in Pennsylvania.



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