The following bloggers participated and you can see their accounts of the call below:
The invitation to join the call came from Hilary Zwerdling of @DVOCACY, INC. I have no idea how bloggers were chosen to participate. Hilary moderated the call.
As is usual with all things political in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was over represented. I believe that I was the only participant from the WILD WILD WEST, but the sponsors of the call did say that they wanted participation from this neck of the woods, and of course, there's no saying how many people were actually invited vs. how many chose to join in.
Hopefully, everyone reading this post knows who Joe Hoeffel is as he ran against Arlen Specter for Senate in 2004. Certainly one of Hoeffel's problems in his campaign was lack of name recognition as well as the perception of Specter as one of the last moderate Republicans in the Senate.
I wholeheartedly supported Hoeffel against Specter in the election and met him several times while he was campaigning in these parts.
Hoeffel is a Progressive so I was terribly disappointed when he came out for Bob Casey, Jr. (anti-choice, antigay, anti-embryo stem cell research, etc.) recently.
I attended a PA Organizing Conference for Democracy for America in May and Hoeffel was the speaker at lunch. My understanding was that he was asked beforehand not to use the event to campaign on Casey's behalf but he took the opportunity to answer a question as to why he wasn't running against Santorum into a 10 minute plug for Casey. I was one of the attendees who could be heard grumbling loudly that, "I didn't come here for this crap." I had even avoided a fundraiser for Wayne Fontana that was only a couple of blocks from my house because Hoeffel was a guest and I thought that I might break out into a rant against Casey there.
So let's just say that I approached the call with some trepidation, but also with curiosity (Who was participating? Would this be another Casey ad? etc.). I didn't really venture any comments and the call lasted a half hour.
The main gist of the call was to inform the progressives about the site (interactive, blog, calendar, polls, resource for information). Hoeffel plans to blog there a few times week. Getting his perspective on things may prove interesting if he keeps it current and insider-enough.
Certainly we can use an alternative to the Right-minded Grassroots PA.
Above Average Jane has asked everyone to give Hoeffel three months to get the site together and help it to look good. Three months can be an eternity in politics but I'm not set to attack it at the outset.
Just one thing, Joe:
Please do not make it one long campaign ad for Casey.
I know you're for him. However, I also notice that I wasn't the only blogger on the call with a big fat free Pennacchio ad on my site.
Let's make this a site that will truly attract ALL Progressive Democrats.
NOTE: After the call, I was able to catch a forum of bloggers (Atrios, David Corn, MyDD, Afro-Netizen and others) on C-SPAN2's coverage of The Conference for America's Future. Jerome Armstrong from MyDD mentioned just how crappy a choice Casey is for any progressive voter. Great minds think alike...