Sound and fury in Pa 13th Congressional race


    It’s worth listening to the sharp exchanges in the audio above among the four Democrats battling to succeed U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in Pennsyvlania’s 13th Congressional district in Montgomery County and northeast Philadelphia. This was recorded at the candidates’ final debate in the auditorium at Upper Moreland High School, moderated by Larry Kane.

    The first segment is an exchange between State Sen. Daylin Leach and physician Valerie Arkoosh over radio ads touting Arkoosh being paid for by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, followed by former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies and State Rep. Brendan Boyle going at it over Margolies’ past willingness to consider cuts in social security.

    The second segment has the closing statements in the debate, which begins with a nasty exchange over who should go first.

    Down the stretch

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    It was an eventful final week in the campaign, beginning with Leach amending his complaint that the Margolies has violated federal election law by spending money available only for the general election on her primary campaign. The argument here is a little technical, but Leach and his attorney Adam Bonin made a pretty convincing case based on Margolies’ own campaign finance reports.

    And until last Monday, the Margolies campaign hadn’t given a detailed response to the complaint. They finally came up with an explanation – that $78,000 paid to Margolies’ media consultant and parked in an account for future media buys is legally the same as money in Margolies’ campaign fund. Sounds strange to me, but the Margolies campaign attorney, Karl Sandstrom, a former vice chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said it’s an accepted practice and that’s the case he’ll make to the FEC when they eventually take up the case.

    You can read Leach’s material supporting his claim here. The material the Margolies campaign on the FEC complaint is part of this press release.

    In the middle of the week, Margolies fired the Bubba Gun, putting up a TV ad with a personal pitch from Bill Clinton, and on Friday Arkoosh took the big prize of the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsement. I’m told the Inky editorial board interviewed all four candidates together (must have been fun), and I’m sure Arkoosh wishes they’d made their pick sooner. She did manage to get an on-screen mention of the nod in the TV ad in which she appears in an operating room.

    Meanwhile the independent expenditure groups kept firing away. The most powerful was the newly-formed Super PAC “Building a Better Pa” which has put up a put six-figure media buy on behalf of Boyle.

    Should be an interesting election evening.


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