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McCormick Defends Girls’ Sports, Confronts ‘Woke’ Education at Moms for Liberty Event

During a recent “fireside chat” with the Northhampton County chapter of Moms for Liberty, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick spoke as a dad about public policy issues like protecting girls-only sports and spaces in public schools.

“As the father of six daughters, this resonates with me so much. The very idea of allowing  biological males to compete with biological females is fundamentally unfair.

“It guts women’s sports,” McCormick went on. While Title IX protects girls and women’s sports and education, adding biological males “is part of a broader ideological shift.”

McCormick added that, as a parent, he’s concerned about content on topics like sex and gender being introduced to children too young to process it.

“Our schools are introducing transgender ideology to young children before they are old enough to form their own views as adults. And so I think it’s deeply troubling. It’s something that I would be completely opposed to as a senator…We need to get commonsense back.”

The Republican candidate also slammed his opponent, three-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr., for a letter Casey wrote last year claiming concerns about transgender athletes competing in college and high school sports are “overgeneralized.”

Also at the event was Betsy DeVos, who served as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education.

“This is an issue very timely because the rule the Biden administration has put forward that would extend the definition of gender to include gender identity, the downstream ramifications of that you can’t begin to really articulate all the different ways in which it would negatively impact everything in our culture which already has lots of challenges,” DeVos said.

She called the change, which is set to take effect in August, “fundamentally unfair” and urged people to contact their members of Congress to oppose this rule.

“Bob Casey had a chance to do the right thing and to vote against this,” said DeVos. “And to dismiss it and say it’s not a real problem is absolutely false.”

McCormick said decried the nation’s academic achievement gap compared to other advanced nations.

“We have lost progress and that’s while spending a trillion dollars over the last 50 years on the Department of Education,” he said.

Meanwhile, America is losing a generation to “woke” ideology.

“Just turn on the television and see those kids marching on campuses. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. It’s not just antisemitism. It’s anti-Americanism. Only about a third of (college students) believe America is exceptional.”

“And my recollection of the history that I was taught is that by any measure, analytically, America has been an extraordinary success…liberating the world from the Nazis, winning the Cold War,” said McCormick. “And it’s had some dark chapters, dark chapters that we’ve overcome and we’re still overcoming. It’s imperfect. But it’s a great source of liberty and wealth for the world. That’s the history that’s unfortunately not being taught. It shows up in our recruiting numbers. It shows up on our campuses. And it’s because of, among other things, this ideology.”

McCormick, who grew up in Bloomsburg, noted that both his parents were teachers, that he went to public schools and that teachers and coaches were the most important influences on his life. A high school wrestler, he went to West Point, became an 82nd Airborne paratrooper, was a successful Pittsburgh businessman and a hedge fund CEO, before entering politics.

“If you have a generation that doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism, who don’t understand our history, who don’t have the skills, the capabilities to take on this generation of challenges,” McCormick said.  “We are in a complicated world.  The rest of the world is not standing idle.  They’re moving forward.”

One “blessing” of COVID was that parents saw what their schools were teaching their kids and got more involved, he said. McCormick supports school choice.

“That opportunity will create better educational outcomes, that competition will create better opportunity, that competition will create more honesty.  That competition is the pathway to creating equal opportunity for all,” he said.

For DeVos, the big-picture problem is the power of government schools and teachers unions. “The system to which most kids are subjected to today is essentially a monopoly. Unless you have the resources to do something different, your children are headed by a monopolistic structure, and we see from the very top of it, which is the teachers’ union, the AFT and, the NEA, and all the allied organizations, have continued to influence down to the lowest level everything that has gone on in the system.”

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Muhlenberg College Poll Shows Trump Ahead in PA, McCormick Gaining on Casey

As the clock ticks down to the 2024 election, a new Muhlenberg College poll has former President Donald Trump with a narrow three-point edge over President Joe Biden, 44 to 41 percent. But the poll found that if independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on the ballot, he takes 18 percent of the vote, leaving Trump and Biden tied at 35 percent.

The same poll of 417 registered voters conducted between April 15 and 25 shows three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) at 45 percent to Republican challenger Dave McCormick’s 41 percent.

The poll is the second within the past month to show McCormick is closing the gap against Casey, after Emerson College’s April survey found Casey’s lead had narrowed to just four points.

Political observers say both Biden and Trump are well-known to the public and it’s unlikely that many voters will shift their views in the remaining six months until November.

“I imagine we will see little ebbs and flows between Biden and Trump’s poll numbers over the next six months, but I would be surprised by any major shifts given how cemented the candidates are in most voters’ minds. Just like 2016 and 2020, the race in Pennsylvania is likely to be very close,” said Muhlenberg political science Professor Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

Quantum Communications CEO Charlie Gerow said, “This poll confirms that Donald Trump leads in Pennsylvania by an increasingly significant margin. That’s not surprising. The Biden economy is hurting ordinary Pennsylvanians, and they are going to vote against him in November.”

“Biden’s approval ratings continue to sink as Americans and Pennsylvanians in particular see someone who simply doesn’t have the capacity to lead,’ Gerow added.

The poll also found that Biden’s 2024 campaign to win Pennsylvania, a key swing state, is being undermined by poor job approval ratings (35 percent). And, only 33 percent of voters believe that Biden deserves a second term.

However, Biden and Trump both must contend with high unfavorable ratings among Pennsylvania voters. Some 57 percent disapprove of Biden and 55 percent hold similar negative views of Trump.

“The Presidential race will have an impact on the Senate race in terms of keeping the Senate votes fairly close to the presidential results, but by no means determine the winner. There is room for both Casey and McCormick to build enough separation from their presidential candidates that they can find a path to victory even if their party loses the presidential race,” Borick said. “A significant portion of voters either haven’t heard of McCormick, or have no opinion about him, so both his and Casey’s campaign will be active in defining him for that audience.”

Gerow said, “The poll also shows that Dave McCormick has an excellent shot at defeating Bob Casey. Casey’s lackluster record will be contrasted by McCormick’s service in the military,  as a job creator and as someone who has accomplished a great deal.”

“Bob Casey has spent his entire adult life in politics pushing the Democrat party line while his family got rich off his Senate office—that’s why he’s in the race of his life against Dave McCormick. Pennsylvanians need a senator who will put them first, not a career politician like Bob Casey,” said National Republican Senate Committee Spokesman Philip Letsou.

An election survey of Pennsylvania voters ages 50 and older conducted by Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research on behalf of AARP was also released this week. Not surprisingly, those voters are concerned about Social Security, Medicare and the cost of prescription medications.

In the 2020 elections, older voters accounted for 55 percent of all Pennsylvania voters and in the 2022 mid-terms, they comprised 62 percent of the state’s voters. Eighty-five percent of voters ages 50 and older say they are “extremely motivated” to vote in this election.

Among these older voters, Trump leads Biden by 52 percent to 42 percent. Casey leads McCormick 48 percent to 44 percent.

Elizabeth Gregory, a spokeswoman for McCormick, said, “Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth are joining Dave’s movement to send a 7th-generation Pennsylvanian, combat veteran, and PA job creator to the Senate to deliver new leadership and fresh ideas. From day one of this campaign, Dave has been laser-focused on uniting the party and training our fire on career politician Bob Casey, who has voted for Joe Biden’s failing agenda 98 percent of the time, fueling a border crisis that has killed over 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl, violent crime, record inflation and regulations that are killing the commonwealth’s energy sector. On November 5, Pennsylvania will retire empty suit Bob Casey and send Dave McCormick to the Senate.”

The Casey campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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McCormick Checks In at Geno’s, McCormick and Casey Rake in Campaign Cash

If you’re running for office in Pennsylvania, you need to stop in South Philadelphia for a cheesesteak and to schmooze with the locals.

Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick checked that box last week when he visited Geno’s Steaks accompanied by some Republican heavyweights.

In addition to talking with supporters, McCormick put on an apron and fried some steak.

“This campaign is all about connecting with Pennsylvanians in every corner of our great commonwealth. Our stop at Geno’s, a Philadelphia institution that makes a great cheesesteak, was a fun opportunity to meet with voters and even hop behind the counter to test our skills on the grill. I’m grateful for the support of two great public servants, former Sens. Pat Toomey and Rick Santorum, who understand what it takes to deliver results for Pennsylvania,” said McCormick.

McCormick had his cheesesteak “wiz wit.”

Dave McCormick (right) with former Sen. Pat Toomey (center) and a supporter.

Earlier Wednesday, McCormick held a rally in Shavertown, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre area with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Santorum. Then, they hopped on McCormick’s campaign bus and headed to Philadelphia, where Toomey joined them.

Daines chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

House Republicans have also been jumping on the McCormick bandwagon, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who, like McCormick, is a former wrestler. Jordan told Punchbowl News, “McCormick’s a great candidate and a wrestling guy. We want to do some things with the wrestling community in Pennsylvania because it’s so strong. It’s the biggest wrestling state in the country.”

Jordan plans to hold a fundraiser for McCormick later this month.

McCormick said previously he is “honored to receive the endorsement of fellow former wrestler Jim Jordan. Jim is a fearless leader in Congress, and I’m grateful for his support.” He also referenced “the toughness, resilience, and leadership [they all] learned on the mat… I’m proud to share a common bond and passion for our sport.”

McCormick wrestled in high school in Bloomsburg and in college at West Point. He’s even airing a commercial about it.

Both Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), McCormick’s general election opponent, and McCormick have full campaign coffers. McCormick’s campaign posted $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, including $1 million of his own money. Prior to entering politics, McCormick was a successful businessman.

“Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth are joining the movement to elect Dave McCormick, a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian, combat veteran, and Pennsylvania job creator who will bring new leadership and fresh ideas to the Senate. Career politician Bob Casey has voted for Joe Biden’s failing agenda 98 percent of the time, fueling a border crisis that has killed over 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl, violent crime, record inflation, and regulations that are killing the commonwealth’s energy sector,” said McCormick communications director Elizabeth Gregory. “Dave is exactly the kind of candidate who can beat Bob Casey, secure a Senate majority, and get this country back on track.”

Casey, who has also released campaign ads, raised $5.6 million in the first quarter. The Democrat is running for his fourth term.

“Our record-breaking fundraising reflects the momentum and motivation behind Senator Casey’s re-election campaign,” said Tiernan Donohue, campaign manager for Bob Casey for Senate. “Sen. Casey’s supporters across the commonwealth know he is facing the most competitive and expensive race of his career, and they are standing together to make sure we have the resources we need to keep this seat.”

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Weeks Before Primaries, McCormick, Casey Air General Election Campaign Ads

Three weeks before their party’s primaries even pick the nominees, the leading candidates for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania are already running TV ads targeting their November opponents.

Republican Dave McCormick’s campaign is airing an ad called “Wrestling.”

The ad highlights the Republican’s time on the Bloomsburg Area High School wrestling team. He was co-captain when the Columbia County team came in fourth place in the state and was a PIAA District 4 champion. He went on to wrestle at West Point, where he was co-captain of the Army Wrestling Team, and twice qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament.

“Pennsylvania wrestling taught me to do the hard thing. Hard work. Hard choices. The Pennsylvania way. That’s not what we get from Washington. The career politicians don’t do the hard work. They’re selfish and soft,” McCormick says into the camera.

 

 

McCormick’s all-but-certain opponent, three-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr., has an ad called “Stench.” It talks about veterans who were exposed to burn pits, mainly in Afghanistan and Iraq,  and may have developed health problems from them. Casey helped pass the bipartisan Burn Pits Bill to make the Veterans Administration pay for their care.

He followed that up with “Fleeced,” which blames big corporations for “greedflation.” In the ad, Casey says he plans to give the Federal Trade Commission “the power to punish corporate price-gouging.” He also wants to “roll back their huge corporate tax breaks, putting money in your pocket instead.”

 

Casey is a native of Scranton (like fellow Democrat Joe Biden) and the son of a former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr.

Casey ran for treasurer in 2004, then used the statewide office as a platform to defeat incumbent Republican Rick Santorum in 2006. He’s the first Pennsylvania Democrat to win three terms in the U.S. Senate.

Casey chairs the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, as well as serving on the Finance, Intelligence and HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) committees.

McCormick served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was deployed to the Middle East during the First Gulf War and received the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq before retiring as a captain. After leaving the Army, McCormick, 58, earned a Ph.D. in international affairs at Princeton. He then joined and led a successful tech business in Pittsburgh before taking positions in the George W. Bush administration.

He served as the U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, on the National Security Council, and in the Department of Commerce. McCormick was CEO and president of two publicly traded software companies and a consultant at McKinsey & Co.

He was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, before jumping into politics in 2022. At that time, he told DVJournal that he was inspired to run for office after President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, where 13 service members and numerous Afghan people lost their lives.

He ran for Senate and lost the primary by fewer than 1,000 votes to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who went on to lose to now-Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.)

 

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McCormick Slams Casey Over Stance on Illegal Immigrants

Republican Dave McCormick, a successful businessman running against Sen. Bob Casey Jr., called out the three-term senator for his votes on illegal immigration.

“Last night, while most were asleep, Bob Casey voted to allow Pennsylvania’s taxpayer dollars to fund illegal aliens’ flights into our country. This disaster is leading to the fentanyl deaths of 4,000 Pennsylvanians a year. A failure of leadership of disastrous proportions,” McCormick posted to social media after Casey voted for the $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Pennsylvania has been the destination for “ghost flights,” bringing hundreds of illegal immigrants here, often in the dead of night. And President Joe Biden’s policy of flying “paroled” illegals from Venezuela and Haiti into the U.S. is also under fire.

Casey also voted against the Laken Riley Act amendment to that spending bill. Riley, a young Georgia college student, was brutally killed while out on a run across campus, allegedly by an illegal immigrant. The bill would require that any illegal immigrant who committed burglary, larceny, shoplifting, or theft be detained.

McCormick also criticized his Democratic opponent for that vote.

“Laken Riley would still be alive if Jose Ibarra — an illegal immigrant — was deported after breaking our laws in the first place. Bob Casey just voted against making it easier to deport criminals like Ibarra. PA needs a senator who will fight evil, not enable it,” McCormick posted to X.

In September, Danelo Cavalcante, an illegal immigrant who escaped from the Chester County prison, kept police, state police and the U.S. Border Patrol busy as he evaded capture for 14 days. Cavalcante had been convicted of murder for the stabbing death of his girlfriend in August and was awaiting sentencing when he crab-walked between two walls to a roof and fled the jail. The manhunt led to fear and inconvenience for Delaware Valley residents, especially after he stole a rifle.

Casey also voted to give undocumented immigrants federal benefits, opposed border security measures, and voted to keep counting illegal immigrants in the U.S. Census.

He voted three times to keep giving federal money to sanctuary cities and opposed an executive order from former President Donald Trump to rein in sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities, including Philadelphia, don’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Casey also voted against Kate’s Law, which would have set mandatory minimums for deported felons who reenter the U.S. illegally.

Some illegal immigrants who’ve been flooding across the southern border are believed to be drug mules, bringing deadly fentanyl and other drugs into the U.S. The number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania grew by 19.5 percent from 2019 (4,479) to 2021 (5,356). And 78.4 percent of all overdose deaths in Pennsylvania involved fentanyl in 2022.

The Casey campaign did not respond to requests for comment. However, a Casey spokesperson told another news outlet he opposes sanctuary  cities.  

But a new Cygnal poll commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee showed Pennsylvania voters are most concerned about inflation (32 percent) and immigration/border security (28 percent). The poll was taken March 10 through 12.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou said, “Just one month after Laken Riley was murdered, Bob Casey voted to allow illegal immigrants to be released into the country, fund flights for illegals throughout the country, and continue funding sanctuary cities. Casey refuses to stand up to his party, and the Democrats’ radical agenda is making our country less safe.”

“Putting every Pennsylvanian at risk, Bob Casey is in lockstep with Joe Biden’s deadly, pro-criminal agenda. Casey has recklessly prioritized sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants over the safety of Keystone State families, who will reject his failures and vote Republican this November,” added Rachel Lee, Republican National Committee spokesperson.

 

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After Casey Meets With Anti-Cop Group, Delco FOP Endorses McCormick

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey appeared at a campaign event Tuesday with Indivisible Philadelphia, an organization that wants police funding “allocated to better-qualified resources that will actually help people and take police knees off the necks of Black and Brown communities.”

On Wednesday, the 1,300-member Delaware County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27 returned the favor by endorsing Casey’s Republican opponent, Dave McCormick.

“Last night, our current senator, Bob Casey, attended an event with an anti-police organization, Indivisible Philadelphia. Subsequent to that event last night Indivisible Pennsylvania announced they’ve endorsed Sen. Bob Casey,” said FOP President Chris Eiserman.

 

 

“This is a group that said. ‘We won’t stop until they defund the police,’” said  Eiserman. It wants “fewer officers on the street. They have advocated to end cash bail.  This is a group responsible for bailing out some of the most violent offenders Pennsylvania has to offer.

“At a time when there were four shootings in four days on our local public transit system, law enforcement across the commonwealth is understaffed,” he said. “Casey’s decision to align himself with these defund the police activists is alarming and extremely dangerous. Pennsylvanians deserve better.”

Eiserman serves as deputy chief for Folcroft Borough. He was joined Wednesday by Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman, who was shot seven times on June 24, 2016.

“It was a 911 call about a suspicious person smoking and selling marijuana,” said Dorman, 33. “We located them in the area.” The suspect fired at Dorman, hitting him in the face, chest, hand, back, and both legs, Dorman told DVJournal. Yet he continues to serve.

Polls show Casey and McCormick locked in a single-digit race. Those same polls show former President Donald Trump with a narrow but consistent lead over President Joe Biden in the presidential race. A strong showing by Trump is likely to boost McCormick’s campaign, and Trump has made law and order a central issue in his reelection bid.

In Delaware County, Eiserman called out Casey for not backing the call to strip power from prosecutors who are not enforcing the law.

“We all know that [Philadelphia District Attorney] Larry Krasner’s progressive approach of letting criminals back on the street isn’t working. And yet Bob Casey supports Soros-funded prosecutors in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, who have let crime get completely out of control,” said Eiserman. “Casey voted against $300 million to anti-narcotics and opioid (funds) for customs and border protection. He voted against Kate’s Law twice, which would have set a mandatory minimum for deported felons who illegally reenter the U.S.”

Kate’s Law was named for Kate Steinle who was killed in 2015 by an illegal immigrant later acquitted of murder by a San Francisco jury after claiming the gun fired accidentally. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reintroduced Kate’s Law last year.

“Casey says there’s systemic racism in our police,” said Eiserman. “He thinks we are the problem, not the violent criminals making Pennsylvanians less safe.”

Casey co-sponsored a bill that would end qualified immunity for police officers, a policy that protects cops from being sued for actions “taken in the line of duty,” said Eiserman. “His bill would also defund local police departments from federal grants if they don’t implement the Biden administration’s preferred policing policies.”

“Thankfully, Pennsylvania has a law-and-order Senate candidate who will work with the police and not against us: Dave McCormick,” said Eiserman. “Dave’s a combat veteran who takes threats to Pennsylvanians’ safety seriously.”

“Dave knows it’s time to respect law enforcement and keep violent criminals off our streets,” said Eiserman. McCormick would also work to secure the southern border and keep “dangerous drugs like fentanyl and crime from destroying Pennsylvania families.”

Forty-seven sheriffs have endorsed McCormick, said Eiserman.

Afterward, Eiserman told DVJournal, “We need a senator that’s going to support law enforcement. There were over 370 officers shot in the line of duty last year.” And “right now, we’re at 70 this year.”

“The FOP is trying to pass the Protect and Serve Act (HB2743), which makes it a federal crime to attack a police officer,” said Eiserman. The group tried to meet with Casey about it, but he was unavailable to see him. They met instead with a staffer who would not tell them the senator’s position on the bill. He noted, however, that Casey supported bills to protect journalists and poll workers.

“Look at the numbers,” he said. “In the last two months, we had two officers in East Lansdowne shot, and one in Chester City shot.”

Casey’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

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AFP PAC Boosts McCormick With Million-Dollar Ad Buy

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick got good news when the group Americans for Prosperity Action announced it is spending “seven figures” to air ads in Pennsylvania and Nevada for U.S. Senate candidates. The spots began on Monday.

In Pennsylvania, the ads tout McCormick, 58, who is challenging Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) as “A leader we can trust.” Another ad hits Casey, saying, “Bob Casey failed Pennsylvania” and “He deserves a pink slip, not another term.”

“Pennsylvanians need a new leader in the Senate. Dave McCormick understands where inflation comes from runaway government spending. He’s ready to be part of the solution by putting an end to Washington waste,” said Ashley Klingensmith, AFP Action senior advisor for Pennsylvania.

The $1 million ad buy to benefit McCormick includes spots on connected TV (streaming) and the internet, including on sites like YouTube, said Christine Ravold, AFP Action spokeswoman.

Casey, 63, is already fundraising off the ads. In a fundraising email, he asks donors to send him money because billionaire Charles Koch funds AFP Action.

Asked about that, Ravold acknowledged her organization was funded by Charles and his late brother, David Koch.

“However, we receive donations from many individuals across the country who are committed to reigniting the American Dream,” she said.

McCormick is an Army veteran who attended West Point after graduating high school in Bloomsburg and served in the 82nd Airborne Division. He owns the family Christmas tree farm there and lives in Pittsburgh, where he spent his younger childhood. McCormick, who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton, was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under President George W. Bush.

He is also a successful businessman. Before leaving for a political career, he was CEO of Bridgewater, a hedge fund.

Casey is the son of the late Bob Casey Sr., who was governor of Pennsylvania. A Scranton native, Casey was the state’s auditor general and treasurer. After graduating from Holy Cross College, he earned a Catholic University of America law degree.

 

In 2022, McCormick ran in the Republican U.S. Senate primary but narrowly lost to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Democrat John Fetterman easily defeated Oz in the general election.

“Sen. Casey is hoping that his terrible record of representing Pennsylvania voters will go unnoticed, but the fact is Pennsylvanians are reminded every day at the grocery store and the gas pump,” said Klingensmith. “The Keystone State is full of economic potential, but the American Dream is out of reach for so many because Casey continues to vote against the interests of Pennsylvanians. Dave McCormick’s experience positions him to better advance economic opportunity for Pennsylvanians from Pitt to Philly and everywhere in between.”

In Nevada, AFP Action is supporting Republican Sam Brown for the Senate. Brown is challenging incumbent Jacky Rosen.

Republicans hope to retake control of the Senate this year. Democrats must defend 23 seats, including in states that are Republican or lean Republican, like Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia, where Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced he won’t be seeking another term.

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Casey Breaks With Biden, Angers Environmentalists With Support for LNG Exports

What a difference an election year makes.

Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr. has been an outspoken advocate of climate policies designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. In 2022, he praised President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, saying the $369 billion in green spending “may have been the last chance” for federal action on climate change. Casey voted against a 2021 amendment to reverse Biden’s shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he’s even floated bringing back the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps to promote “climate change mitigation.”

But with a competitive general election looming in November and a well-funded GOP challenger, Casey signed a letter last week announcing his opposition to the Biden administration’s decision to pause liquid natural gas (LNG) exports.

“Pennsylvania is an energy state,” Casey and fellow Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John Fetterman wrote. “As the second largest natural gas-producing state, this industry has created good-paying energy jobs in towns and communities across the commonwealth and has played a critical role in promoting U.S. energy independence.”

Fetterman and Casey worry the LNG pause might impact “thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.” They vowed to push the administration to reverse the decision if it “puts Pennsylvania energy jobs at risk.”

It’s surprisingly strong language for Casey, who voted for Biden’s agenda 99.3 percent of the time last year, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Environmental groups were not pleased with the two Democrats’ statement.

“They are being hypocritical, and also they are sticking their head in the ground by ignoring/denying the climate impacts that are being caused by LNG exports and the fracking that fuels it,” said Tracy Carluccio of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) “They are also acting unproductively oppositional to President Biden who also said this pause will examine the community and economic impacts of these DOE authorizations for LNG export and that is inexcusable.”

Only one other Senate Democrat, green activist bête noire Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), openly criticized the Biden policy. Manchin chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and vowed to do everything possible to “end this pause immediately” if it’s proven the Biden administration was pandering to “keep-it-in-the-ground climate activists.”

Manchin isn’t seeking reelection, and there’s been talk that he may run for president as a centrist third-party candidate.

It’s a much different scenario for Casey, who is up for reelection this fall. His likely Republican opponent, Dave McCormick, wasted no time decrying Biden’s LNG pause.

“America and PA lead the world in Liquified Natural Gas, creating jobs for our people & allies for our country,” McCormick posted on social media hours after Biden’s announced the LNG pause last month. “Why is Bob Casey standing with [Biden] on this?”

Almost a week later, Casey announced his opposition.

Fetterman’s commitment to green energy shifted further. After twice signing the No Fossil Fuel Pledge, the alleged progressive said in 2022 that he supports fracking “as long as it’s done environmentally sound.” His Senate campaign claimed he never “supported a fracking ban” and wanted to “preserve the union way of life” for natural gas workers. However, Fetterman said in 2018, “I don’t support fracking.”

Environmental groups, including Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, Sierra Club of Pennsylvania, and PennFuture, declined to comment about the pro-fossil-fuel stance of their political allies. Instead,  Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Director Tom Schuster said he was confident the federal review would prove LNG projects don’t “serve the public interest and will cancel them.” PennFuture said the pause was “a win for Philadelphia and Chester.”

Energy groups praised Casey and Fetterman for their willingness to break with Biden.

“The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association agrees with the criticism by Sens. Casey and Fetterman of the effect on Pennsylvania jobs of President Bidens’s LNG export pause,” Kevin Moody, PIOGA General Counsel, told DVJournal. “But just as significant, and perhaps even more so, are the adverse effects on our national security and our ability to provide Europe and Asia with the LNG they need and will get from somewhere else.”

Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association President and CEO David Taylor called it electoral politics.

“I think the Biden administration just took a position so extreme that people had to protect their backsides and jump up and say, ‘No, I’m not, I’m not in favor of that,’” he told DVJournal.

Taylor still wondered if Casey’s recent public stance was sincere, given his record.

“[He] worked closely with Joe Biden …certainly in the Democrat primary in 2019 and 2020 [he] was all in for Joe Biden,” Taylor said. “If he’s looking to differentiate himself from [Biden], that may be an exceedingly difficult challenge.”

Carluccio suspects the move could hurt Casey at the ballot box this fall, particularly among environmentally conscious voters in the Delaware Valley.

“Those folks vote,” she said. “More and more people, as they become convinced that fracking is not what it’s made out to be…are going to speak through their vote.”

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on Biden’s LNG export pause.

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DelVal Dems Back Behemoth Border Bill; GOP Balks

President Joe Biden supports the mammoth $118 billion border and foreign aid deal released by the U.S. Senate Sunday night. And despite complaints from some progressives that it’s “a new version of a failed Trump-era immigration policy,” Delaware Valley Democrats say they’re on board, too.

“Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it,” Biden said in a statement.

The bill, which approves $60 billion in aid for Ukraine and another $14 billion for Israel, is poised for its first vote in the Senate on Wednesday. On immigration, it would raise the standard for claiming asylum, end “catch and release,” and add money for 50,000 detention beds for migrants awaiting review.

It was negotiated by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.)

But in Pennsylvania, attitudes toward the legislation fall along partisan lines.

“The bipartisan bill released last night takes critical steps towards securing our border and stopping fentanyl while providing key assistance to Ukraine and Israel,” said Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) via social media. “It’s time to put politics aside and get this done.”

His likely Republican opponent, Dave McCormick, posted his opposition. “This is not a compromise; it’s a capitulation. This bill does not secure the border — it allows 4,000 migrants to cross illegally every. single. day.”

McCormick was referencing a provision in the legislation that mandates the Department of Homeland Security turn away all would-be migrants at the border if encounters reach a weekly average of 5,000 per day. The bill also grants the president the authority to invoke that measure at 4,000 encounters per day.

Like many of his fellow Republicans, McCormick argues there’s no reason to allow that level of undocumented migration — about 1.4 million per year — before shutting down the border.

“To protect Americans and fight the scourge of fentanyl, we need to CLOSE the border to illegal immigration. I oppose this deal,” McCormick wrote.

Progressive Sen. John Fetterman posted on social media that he had former Republican Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson as a professor.

“Back in 1998, Sen. Simpson said that we’ll never have any meaningful immigration legislation because it will forever be a useful political weapon. Here we are more than a quarter century later. I hope my Senate Republican colleagues don’t prove him right. Let’s PASS THIS BILL.”

The three Democrats in the Delaware Valley federal delegation also support the package.

“Our border and immigration system is dysfunctional and has been under both parties,” Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery/Berks) posted on social media. “It’s time to start talking solutions. So far, House Republicans are unwilling. I pray they change their minds soon — for the sake of our communities and for the sake of those seeking refuge.”

Republican David Winkler, who is running against Dean, said he is “deeply disappointed” in the “lack of seriousness” from Democrats on the border, and he cites the lack of a border wall mandate in the bill.

“We should propose a bill that focuses on strengthening border security by implementing physical security measures, utilizing advanced technology, and increasing staffing.”

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks) supports the bill. She visited the border last Thursday and Friday. Houlahan also penned a letter asking her colleagues to send more aid to Ukraine.

“I’m calling on Speaker [Mike] Johnson to change his deeply cynical position that “now is not the time” for immigration reform—I couldn’t disagree more. Most people in communities across America couldn’t disagree more. No solution will be perfect, but we cannot let that keep us from making progress for both the American people and those who seek refuge here,” Houlahan said in an op-ed in Newsweek on Monday.

Her request is falling on deaf ears. Speaker Johnson and other key House leaders signed a letter Monday declaring the bill dead on arrival in the House.

“It fails in every policy area needed to secure our border and would actually incentivize more illegal immigration,” they wrote. “The so-called ‘shutdown’ authority in the bill is anything but, riddled with loopholes that grant far too much discretionary authority to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas – who has proven he will exploit every measure possible, in defiance of the law, to keep the border open.”

Neil Young, the Republican running against Houlahan, said he agrees with Johnson.

“Senate Republicans who voted in favor of this bill should be made to account for their vote and primaried if necessary. The American people do not want a quota system on how many people should be allowed into this country illegally.

“We deserve leaders who will vote to protect our borders from all threats, be they drug, crime, or illegal immigrant-related,” said Young. “In addition, for them to also tie this nonsense to yet another $60 billion foreign aid handout to Ukraine is doubly insulting. Last year’s HB2, which Speaker Johnson passed, was the blueprint for how to handle this, and the Senate still failed to deliver meaningful border security. The American people are smart enough to know that this current administration is responsible for our crisis at the border, and no amount of media spin can change that.”

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks/Montgomery) did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Ashley Ehasz, the Democrat making her second attempt to unseat him.

F&M Poll Shows Casey Ahead, Biden And Trump Virtually Tied

A new Franklin & Marshall College poll shows there hasn’t been much change since October in voters’ attitudes about the race between Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and Republican challenger Dave McCormick.

Casey leads McCormick 47 percent to 35 percent in a head-to-head match-up for U.S. Senate. In October, the F & M poll showed Casey at 46 percent to McCormick’s 39 percent.

Another poll, the Susquehanna P & R,  conducted on Jan. 15 and 21, was closer. It had Casey at 45.9 percent and McCormick at 42.1 percent. That poll has a plus or minus 3.7 accuracy rate.

“There really isn’t that much difference between the polls–the numbers for Casey are virtually identical and Susquehanna has McCormick a tad higher than us. Could be the result of sampling variation, could be the result of question wording or order. What’s probably more important for McCormick is that 55 percent of voters said they didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion. He’ll definitely need to change that to be competitive,” said Berwood Yost, director of the Floyd Institute of Public Policy Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College,

President Joe Biden is barely ahead of former President Donald Trump in the presidential race, 43 to 42 percent, virtually a tie. Biden has a larger lead of 42 percent to 37 percent if a third-party candidate is added.

The poll claimed that more voters think Biden has better judgment than Trump, is more trustworthy and shares views closer to their own. But more voters believe that Trump can better handle the economy and serve as commander-in-chief.

And 43 percent think both Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, are too old to be president. One in five voters has an unfavorable opinion of both men.

Most Democrats, at 64 percent, think Biden is doing a good job. Only 8 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Independents believe that. Biden is also viewed more unfavorably by 57 percent of Pennsylvania voters than favorably by 41 percent of voters.

“The bad news for President Biden is that his numbers on handling of the economy and overall approval are dreadful and would normally spell doom for an incumbent,” said Vince Galko, a Republican strategist.  “The good news for Biden is that he is running against Donald Trump.  Former President Trump’s legal problems and his lack of support from Independents and suburban voters level the playing field and will make this a real dogfight.  This election may not be about who is best to lead our nation, but rather who is least objectionable.”

Charlie Gerow, CEO of Quantum Communications, said, “The F&M poll shows the presidential race within the margin of error, which is not surprising. There are other recent polls that give President Trump a lead in Pennsylvania greater than the 1 percent margin in the F&M poll. While there are lingering questions about the sampling by F&M, one thing is clear: Pennsylvania is still up for grabs, and both teams have a lot of work to do.”

The survey also found that voters were “generally pessimistic” about the economy, although to a lesser extent than in October. Some 48 percent think things in the state are on the wrong track, but 55 percent believed that in October. And 47 percent believe they are worse off than they were a year ago, with 38 percent naming inflation as the cause and 19 percent saying the general cost of living. Some 7 percent listed the cost of food, and 7 percent said stagnant wages were the main reasons they feel worse off, the poll stated.

The Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College conducted the poll from Jan. 17 to 28. The responses included 1,006 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 450 Democrats, 414 Republicans, and 142 Independents. The sample error for this survey is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.