February 18, 2010

Mary Beth Buchanan Makes It Official

From the P-G:
The worst kept secret in local politics is out: Former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan is officially running for Congress, and two-term U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, may face a tough re-election bid this year.
And of course the spinning is just beginning. Here's a statement from the NRCC:
Jason Altmire's record has drastically missed the mark on job creation. But his real trouble is his failure to do all that he can to stop President Obama's plans to host terror trials in the U.S. and possibly in Western Pennsylvania. His flip-flopping on the 9/11 trials has shown voters the real Jason Altmire - a politician who doesn't stand on principle but instead stands on whatever path he thinks can save his political career. It's too late. Pennsylvanians don't want to take chances when it comes to their safety and national security. - Tory Mazzola, NRCC Spokesman
No fan of Altmire, I. but this is a bit much, doncha think? Here's Altmire's statement on the possibility of having the trial in Pittsburgh:
This is exactly why I repeatedly voted against bringing these war criminals to the U.S. for trial in the first place. I will strongly and actively oppose any effort to move this trial to western Pennsylvania, which could result in an increased security risk for our region. I am working with our Senators and western Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to prevent these terrorists from being brought to our region.
Of course there's not a reason in the world to trust a politicians own word parsing, so here's KDKA instead:
Congressman Altmire says he voted several times to block detainees from being held in civilian trials anywhere in the United States as well as to place restrictions on detainee transfers or releases anywhere in the U.S.

He also co-sponsored a bill that states Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's trial should not be held in the United States nor should any of the terror trials.
Or Politico:
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they don’t point at western Pennsylvania as a possible venue,” said Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.). “We are all united, going to voice our opinion, both at the state level and at the congressional level.”

Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) is also opposed to having the trials in Pennsylvania and “has made that sentiment known to the Justice Department,” spokesman Larry Smar said. Pennsylvania has been among the regions floated for such trials because Flight 93 on 9/11 went down in the western part of the state.

Altmire, who occupies a swing district and has bucked his party on key votes like healthcare, is already facing Republican attacks on the issue. The National Republican Campaign Committee accused Altmire of backing the civilian trials, even though he voted for an amendment that would have stripped the Justice Department of the money it needs to hold the trials.
So you get the idea of where Buchanan and the RNCC are going with this.


Clyde Wynant said...

So, it gets down to a choice between a health industry lobbyist and a lawyer who's been sucking on the governmental teat her entire life. Wow. Nothing to see here, please move along...

I will go out on a limb and say that Altmire is going to lose. He's lost the support he had from Independents and from the "anyone but Bush" crowd, he's completely alienated liberal Democrats and he's really accomplished nothing.

The Dems can try to slam MBB over the Wecht trial, but I think that's inside baseball. At a time when people are struggling like they are, the ill-conceived prosecution of Wecht is just too arcane. Also, Wecht isn't exactly some cuddly Pittsburgh icon like Mr. Rogers or Bob Dog...

On the other side, MBB can certainly tap into the tea-baggers and others who continue to be disgruntled with DC. She'll have plenty of money and will be able to pull together a strong team. And she has pretty good name recognition right from the outset.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad that I don't live in Altmire's district anymore so I don't have to hold my nose and vote for him or write in a protest vote. I can't believe that I spent so much time and money campaigning for someone in '06 who turned into such a wienie. The man sat in a friend's living room and told me and my wife to our faces that he was in favor of single payer healthcare but then did his best to sabotage the limited reform bill that we did get.

Blue Number 2 said...

These Americans love their country so much but they are afraid first of our legal system's ability to dispatch this evil person and secondly our ability to handle the trial securely and efficiently? We will not be more at risk. It's a continuation of these vile scare tactics.

And I'm not really happy with Jason's position on this either.

Stand up and be Americans! Be proud of who we are and how we handle difficult situations. This type of stance is beneath us. When will someone demonstrate some leadership and stop following the scared sheep on this??

Clyde Wynant said...

Blue -


The problem is that pols spend almost all of their time avoiding controversy, afraid that, if "something happens," they'll lose their jobs.

The difference I see today vs 30 years ago, is the rise of the consultant class and the insane amount of television coverage, and commercials, which dominate our political discourse.

All pols know that if they make one little false step, even something that ISN'T a false step, it will be used against them in the next round of negative TV spots.....

So...people like Jason just do whatever they can to steer clear on stuff like this. As noted, it does not speak well for our culture...

Blue Number 2 said...

You are correct Clyde. Because they view this as their job...their employment. Not public service. Once elected, politicians stop at nothing to keep their positions. God forbid they would have to work in the private sector.

I have to tell you, years ago I was adamantly opposed to term limits. I felt that every election was a form of term limit. Not any more. Bring on term limits for all elected officials. Maybe that will keep them from spending every hour of every day raising money for their next election from some special interest group.

It's time we start electing people willing to take a stand on issues and worry about our welfare more than their "jobs".