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Casey Backed Pro-Iran Policies That Helped Fund Deadly Terror Attacks

The Biden administration expressed shock when Israel released proof that members of a UN organization receiving hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars participated in the Oct. 7 attack. But all they had to do was follow Dave McCormick on Twitter.

Back in December, the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate warned the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was doing the work of Hamas terrorists.

“UNRWA is currently using U.S. tax dollars to support educating the next generation of terrorists,” McCormick posted. “As a senator, I would vote to end that funding immediately. Bob Casey & Joe Biden made this mess. I’ll help fix it.”

The same when Iranian-backed militants launched a drone attack that killed three U.S. servicemembers and injured dozens more. McCormick has been warning for years that the policy of allowing millions of dollars to flow to Iran’s mullahs would lead to American deaths.

So, how did last weekend’s events happen if the danger was well known? Because of the policy decisions of Democrats like Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden — and backed by Senate Democrats like Pennsylvania’s own Bob Casey Jr.

When Biden took office, one of his first foreign policy moves was restoring taxpayer funding for UNRWA, which President Donald Trump had halted. At the time, critics pointed to evidence UNRWA was working with Hamas and distributing antisemitic propaganda in Gaza.

Biden ignored those reports. But on Jan. 26, he was forced to “temporarily pause additional funding for UNRWA” after evidence emerged that at least 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

“U.S. taxpayer dollars helped cover the paychecks for some of the perpetrators of the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” said David May with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “Support for terrorism among UNRWA employees isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.”

And then there’s Iran.

The drone attack that took American lives last weekend was hardly a surprise. While these were the first U.S. deaths in the region since the conflict began last autumn, American troops in Iraq and Syria have been targeted over 158 times since October, all carried out by groups sponsored by or affiliated with Iran.

And Casey has repeatedly backed Obama and Biden policies allowing cash to flow to Iran’s terror-sponsoring regime.

In 2015, he was part of the Democratic minority that saved Obama’s Iran deal. The Obama administration arranged for a plane to secretly deliver $400 million in cash to the Islamist regime.

Casey said at the time that the Iran deal “is the best option available to us” because it “will be in our national security interest.” He added that, while he didn’t trust Iran, he believed the agreement kept Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“Implementation of this agreement may be challenging, and we need to be prepared for the possibility that Iran will violate the agreement,” Casey posted on social media.

While Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal — over Casey’s public objections — Biden took office pledging to return to the Obama-era policy. He has allowed millions in sanctions relief to flow to the Islamic Republic over the past three years, money that made its way to the terrorist group that killed Americans last weekend.

Richard Goldberg, a defense expert and former U.S. National Security Council staffer, recently described the Biden Iran policy this way:

“Biden removed the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, rescinded the American snapback of U.N. sanctions at the Security Council, relaxed sanctions to free up cash for Iran to pay some debts and increase oil exports to China, pulled European allies back from censuring Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, and allowed Iran’s proxies in Iraq and Syria to attack U.S. forces with near impunity.”

All with Casey’s support.

But rather than slowing the flow of dollars to UNRWA or Iran, Casey has been an advocate. He has also declined to cosponsor the UNRWA Accountability and Transparency Act.

While Casey has remained silent on the UNRWA scandal, Republicans are speaking out.

“Today’s news further underscores that UNRWA is an irredeemable organization that plays a critical role in Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure,” Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) said. “Biden should have never reversed the Trump administration’s decision to cut off U.S. support of UNRWA.”

On Sunday, Casey on social media about the deadly Iran-backed attack:

“I’m praying for the families of the U.S. servicemembers killed and for those injured by the attacks in Jordan,” Casey said. “This is a troubling pattern of Iran-backed groups feeling emboldened, and we must hold all of those responsible accountable for attacks on the U.S. and our allies.”

But, Republicans like McCormick ask, will it be enough to finally get Casey to change his policy on Iran?

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Lancaster County’s Tomasetti To Take On McCormick in GOP Senate Primary

Lancaster County Republican Brandi Tomasetti is challenging Dave McCormick for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination and the chance to take on three-term U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) in November.

Tomasetti, the secretary-treasurer of Conestoga Township, announced her candidacy last week.

“I’m just a fed-up American,” she told DVJournal. “I’m not happy with the direction that the country is headed…It seemed like the best time, especially since the two people running have been lifetime politicians. And I don’t think that they’re good for the country.

“I don’t agree with them,” Tomasetti said. “And I think I can do a better job.”

McCormick lost the 2022 GOP Senate primary to TV Dr. Mehmet Oz, who then went on to defeat at the hands of Democrat John Fetterman. Many Pennsylvania Republicans expressed regret at not nominating McCormick, and he enjoys widespread support from the state GOP.

“We welcome [Tomasetti] to the race and look forward to winning the primary in April,” Elizabeth Gregory, McCormick’s communications director, told DVJournal. “Come November, Pennsylvanians will elect combat veteran, West Point graduate, and seventh-generation Pennsylvanian Dave McCormick to shake things up in Washington and put an end to Bob Casey’s ineffective 17-year career in the Senate.”

Tomasetti, who describes herself as an America First, anti-war advocate, is undettered by McCormick’s headstart.

In her campaign video, she accused McCormick of being a Republican in name only who is “unlikely to succeed” in Pennsylvania against Casey.

She took a shot at McCormick’s past as former CEO of Bridgewater by calling him “China Dave,” a line used by Oz during the 2022 primary.

Tomasetti said she didn’t know the ‘China Dave’ line came from Oz.

“He has been known to be a wealthy investor for China,” she said. “He’s also been quoted praising China, saying something along the lines of, ‘When China succeeds, the U.S. succeeds.’ I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement. I think it’s very clear what China is doing to the United States is wrong.

“Dave McCormick seems to be somebody who somewhat believes in a global economy,” she added. “I’m okay with a global economy to a certain extent, but I really support a strong localized American economy. And you go to the stores, and all of our stores are closing down. Everything’s cheaply made in China; you buy it online.”

McCormick has made confronting China a central part of his campaign. He has written a book (“Superpower in Peril”) laying out what he says is a strategy for American strength to confront China. And he has called China “the gravest threat” to U.S. security and well-being “since the end of World War II.”

Tomasetti’s complaints about McCormick extend beyond China. She took a page from Democratic attacks on McCormick’s residency. “He hasn’t been here. He doesn’t know what we’re going through here…I just really don’t respect the fact that he sells himself as a fifth-generation Pennsylvanian when he was just born here, and then his career took him elsewhere.”

McCormick has brushed aside previous residency criticisms by pointing out that he has a home in Pittsburgh and cast ballots in the Pittsburgh precinct in the 2022 primary and general elections.

He grew up in Bloomsburg, where his father was the former president of Bloomsburg University. After graduating from West Point and serving in the U.S. Army, McCormick started his financial career in Pittsburgh before joining President George W. Bush’s administration.

Tomasetti’s campaign video boasts of her Pennsylvania roots with a vow that she won’t leave.

Tomasetti said she cares deeply about healthcare reform and lowering costs. While pointing out that she doesn’t “believe in socialized medicine,” she argued that elected officials need to do something, including requiring cost transparency from doctors. “I have a feeling that the reason they’re not doing this is because they’re paid off.”

She advocated for more funding for the environment, saying America’s “water is toxic.

“There’s things in our water, there’s plastics in our water that are disruptive to women’s hormones,” Tomasetti said. “Women are having infertility problems because of all the chemicals in our environment. I just think that needs to be addressed, and I think we could do better.”

She donated to Donald Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020 and said last year she was invited to private campaign events in Philadelphia and at Mar-a-Lago. She also publicly endorsed Trump on social media.

Tomasetti, 32, also said she wants to see more young people in public office. “There are no term limits,” she said. “These people stay in there forever, and they refer to the people in our Senate as dinosaurs. So, I’d really like to get some a fresh perspective in there.”

The primary is set for April 23.

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Casey Outflanked by Local Democrat on Debate Over Penn President Magill and Antisemitism

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)

Although the 2024 elections are a full eleven months away, candidates — incumbent Democrats in particular — are having to navigate the current Israeli-Hamas war with voters in mind. And just as incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) was trying to maneuver against his likely Republican opponent on the issue as it heated to new levels, he may have been outflanked by a member of his own party.

The entire debate intensified earlier this week after Penn President Elizabeth “Liz” Magill’s testimony Tuesday to a Congressional committee, testimony that has drawn widespread criticism.

At the hearing, Magill and other university presidents were pressed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as to whether a student calling for Jewish genocide would be a violation of each university’s code of conduct.

More than once, Magill answered, “If the speech becomes conduct, it can be harassment, yes.”

Stefanik was incredulous. “Conduct, meaning committing the act of genocide?” Stefanik asked.

At 5:15 Wednesday evening, Casey posted on X, “President Magill’s comments yesterday were offensive, but equally offensive was what she didn’t say. The right to free speech is fundamental, but calling for the genocide of Jews is antisemitic and harassment, full stop.”

By 5:30, however, Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick called for Magill to step down.

Even before McCormick’s statement — and just one minute after Casey condemned Magill but stopped short of calling for her removal — State Senator Steve Santarsiero significantly raised the stakes. A Bucks County Democrat, Santarsiero also called for Magill’s resignation while adding, “I will not vote for any state funding for the university until she does so.”

Charlie Gerow, a longtime GOP consultant and pundit, said Santarsiero’s stance aligned more with McCormick, thereby painting Casey into a corner.

“At a time when strength is required and demanded, Casey has again been weak,” Gerow said.

“He hasn’t called out [U.S. Representative] Summer Lee, he’s taken a hesitant stand on Magill, and a member of his own party’s strong statement and strong position on the Penn president makes Casey’s position look even weaker,” Gerow summarized.

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for Sen. Casey pointed to a FOX News article she said represented his position.

“Like Governor Shapiro, Senator Casey wants UPenn’s board to meet and determine whether President Magill’s comments align with the university’s values,” the story noted, attributing the quote to a Casey spokesperson.

Magill’s testimony was so problematic that Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) and the White House have both condemned her testimony. Shapiro called the testimony “failed leadership.”

The political shockwaves were so heavy that Magill posted online a walk back of her testimony, and a day later Penn’s board hastily called an emergency meeting.

Santarsiero’s district makes his stance all the more important — purple-ish Bucks County, which has widely come to be viewed as a crucial swing county. And if Magill does in fact get removed or resigns, Santarsiero’s impact on the debate diminishes Casey’s role as the commonwealth’s senior Senator.

At the Congressional hearing, members of both parties demonstrated support for the protection of Jews; yet some representatives did break down along typical party lines with calls for more funding to solve the problem.

Some candidates are offering more public support than others, all of which will inevitably come to be weighed in future elections.

Rep. Summer Lee, a Pittsburgh Democrat whose district includes the Tree of Life Synagogue which was attacked five years ago, has faced substantial criticism at home. Lee was one of ten representatives (nine of them Democrats) who voted against a bipartisan resolution “standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

A local rabbi expressed his frustration.

“I am a little disappointed that she has not been more proactive in finding the right language and forum in which to speak to and support her Jewish constituents on Israel,” Rabbi Seth Adelson told the New York Times.

The paper said Adleson’s son “has been called to active duty in the Israel Defense Forces, and he added that the division in Ms. Lee’s district — racial, religious, ethnic — over Israel and Palestine ‘is not helpful.’”

Even before Magill testified on Capitol Hill, her management of the war’s politics had come under heavy criticism from wealthy alumni who were stopping or putting on hold their donations to the university.

Those alumni were upset that Penn’s administration failed to condemn a “Palestine Writes Literature Festival” that many said crossed the lines into overt antisemitism.

New Ad Targets Casey’s Vote to Send Billion to Iran

National Republicans are targeting Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey over his votes to prop up the Islamic government of Iran, which is widely believed to be a sponsor of terrorist groups, including Hamas.

“Senate Democrats sent our tax dollars to Iran, which used that money to bankroll terrorist groups like Hamas. As the nation witnesses the unfolding conflict in the Middle East, one thing is certain: these senators can’t be trusted to keep America safe,” said National Republican Senate Campaign spokesman Philip Letsou.

The ad references a 2015 vote cast by Casey to uphold the so-called “Iran Deal” brokered by President Barack Obama that sent billions of dollars to the terror-sponsoring nation. The results of the deal immediately benefited Tehran.

“The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane delivery of $400 million in cash on the same day Iran…formally implemented the nuclear deal,” CNN reported. “The money was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros, and other currencies.”

Casey, who is seeking reelection in 2024, said he has stiffened his stance toward Iran. He touts his reversal of support for President Joe Biden’s allowing $6 billion in funds to be released to Iran. Casey now wants the funding refrozen in light of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“These funds should remain frozen until we can determine whether Iran played a role in the attack and what the appropriate U.S. response should be,” Casey said.

 

 

For Republicans, it looks like politics at work, not a policy to contain Iran and its pro-terrorism policies.

Republican Dave McCormick, who is challenging the Pennsylvania Democrat in 2024, said on X, “The United States must work with our allies to use every tool at our disposal to constrain Iran’s ability to support its terrorist proxies.”

On Oct. 9, McCormick wrote a letter to Casey asking him to tell Biden to keep that $6 billion out of the hands of the Iranian regime.

“I call on you to join me in urging President Biden to block Iran’s access to $6 billion in recently unfrozen assets,” McCormick wrote to Casey. “And if President Biden will not do this, I call on you to introduce legislation to put a hold on these funds.”

In the same letter, McCormick asked Casey to help stop the flow of Iranian oil to China and others that provide “a lifeline to the regime,” allowing it to garner billions.

“The administration must fully implement U.S. sanctions on Iran, especially in the energy sector, to force Tehran to make difficult decisions about support to its terrorist proxies,” McCormick wrote.

According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Casey has a record of being soft on Iran.

That group said Casey “did not support legislation to impose sanctions on Iran and Hamas that would have stopped money from flowing into terrorist coffers. On three occasions in 2015, he voted to approve the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, lifting sanctions on Iran and giving it access to billions of dollars. Some of that money funded Hamas’ training and arming for last month’s attack.

“Mr. Casey did not support the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021, which would have imposed sanctions on Hamas. That bill would have denied terrorist groups access to loans or credit guaranteed by American financial institutions and penalized foreign countries that gave money to Hamas.

“In 2019, Mr. Casey criticized Israel for barring Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting. In addition, Mr. Casey failed to support the Combating BDS Acts of 2021 and 2023. These bills would have allowed state and local governments to divest from entities that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. The movement seeks to delegitimize Israel and destroy it through economic and diplomatic means,” the coalition said.

Another Potential Conflict of Interest Between Sen. Casey and His Lobbyist Relatives

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)

In May, Sen. Bob Casey celebrated $200,000 in grant funding to a health and human services nonprofit near Scranton — one that has used Casey’s brother-in-law as a state-based lobbyist.

While there’s no evidence that the relationships involved an improper quid pro quo, it’s yet another example of Casey’s family relationships intersecting with his regular business as a senator. It’s the kind of intersection that could be viewed as even the appearance of a conflict of interest, an appearance which most elected officials studiously strive to avoid.

The May celebration wasn’t Casey’s only interaction with the nonprofit, Maternal & Family Health Services.

In May 2022, Casey held a roundtable with MFHS to discuss the infant formula shortage that was causing concern at the time..

Pennsylvania lobbying records show Casey’s brother-in-law, Patrick Brier, signed on as a lobbyist for MFHS just six months before, in December of 2021.

Requests for comment to Casey’s Senate office, Brier, and a representative for Brier were not returned.

Brier’s registration is only to lobby at the state level, meaning he is not registered to lobby on federal issues.

Similar issues have arisen before with Brier.

Broad + Liberty reported in August that Brier works as a lobbyist for Keystone First, a Pennsylvania-based Medicaid managed-care company. He started work for that company just months before a federal audit was set to be released in 2021 — an audit begun after Casey called for an investigation into managed-care companies two years earlier in 2019.

With that story, a representative for Brier defended him, and the connection to Casey.

“Mr. Brier is not now and never has been engaged as a federal lobbyist on behalf of Keystone First,” said Scott Caulfield, a Harrisburg attorney.

“In fact, Mr. Brier does not engage in any federal lobbying work whatsoever. Mr. Brier does not receive any compensation from, or have any financial interest(s) relating to, any firm or other person that lobbies any member of the United States Congress, for any purpose,” Caulfield concluded.

Caulfield’s answer was not false, but he also did not try to deny that Brier was still in fact a registered lobbyist for a company being audited by a federal agency.

In 2002, the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader reported on another potential conflict of interest between Brier and Casey.

In this instance, Brier had worked for a law firm that helped a Luzerne County-based nursing home negotiate a settlement with the federal government after it was discovered that it had overcharged Medicare by $2 million.

Casey, not yet a senator and then running for governor, had been running ads at the time boasting about how he had cracked down on nursing home billing fraud while serving as  Pennsylvania’s auditor general.

The combination of circumstances caused some in the area to wonder why Casey hadn’t discovered the overbillings at the nursing home in question. And one local leader at the time “questioned whether the Democratic commissioners decided to hire a firm [Brier’s, for the settlement negotiations] with ties to Casey as a safeguard against a state audit,” the Times-Leader reported.

Other familial connections for Casey have popped up recently, outside of Brier.

In February, Politico reported that Casey’s brother, Patrick, had just recently filed to lobby at the federal level “on issues ranging from implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act to online travel policies last year, disclosures show.”

“While there is no statutory restriction governing contact between a member of Congress and an immediate family member who is a lobbyist, Senate ethics rules require that a lawmaker whose spouse or immediate family member is a lobbyist bars their staff from having any ‘lobbying’ contact with that person,” according to Politico.

The New York Post reported in August that “Sen. Bob Casey’s political campaign has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from his brother’s personal injury law firm over the past 15 years — and the lawmaker has tapped one of its partners to help him nominate federal judges.”

Casey’s other brother, Matt, works for that personal injury law firm.

Finally, Breitbart reported that Casey was months late in reporting on a 2018 stock sale by one of his children, a transaction that is required to be reported per Senate ethics rules.

Casey has never given an explanation for why the report of the stock sale was late, and ignored questions from Broad + Liberty in follow-up to the Breitbart report.

McCormick Blasts Casey’s Slow Response on Gaza Hospital Bombing

When it comes to standing with Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack, Sen. John Fetterman may be closer to Republican Dave McCormick than his fellow Democrat, Sen. Bob Casey.

“Innocent Israelis were the victims of a terrorist attack that resulted in the largest loss of Jewish lives since the Holocaust. Now we know that the tragedy at the Gaza hospital was not caused by Israel,” Fetterman posted on X.

“Now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire. We must support Israel in efforts to eliminate the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children. Hamas does not want peace; they want to destroy Israel. We can talk about a ceasefire after Hamas is neutralized.” Fetterman added.

McCormick, who is running against Casey, replied to Fetterman, “Thank you, Senator Fetterman, for your leadership on this. It’s a shame Pennsylvania’s other senator sits silent and won’t criticize his own party.”

McCormick, a West Point graduate, and Gulf War combat veteran, said on Fox Business Thursday, “We are at a critical moment of weakness, in terms of how the world sees us, and risk. We see it with China. We see it with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We see it with this horrible, barbaric invasion. This isn’t war. These were war crimes that were prosecuted against Israel.

“And it’s time for strength and resolve from our leadership,” McCormick added. “We need moral clarity. We, as Americans, need to stand by our closest ally, Israel, with all the military support and intelligence support they need to prosecute the war.

“We need to tighten the noose around Iran,” McCormick said. “If it was ever a question that Iran was a threat to America and a threat to Israel, that question has been resolved.”

Casey did not post his thoughts regarding the Palestinian Jihad missile strike on the Gaza hospital until 10 p.m. Wednesday.

“In the 11 days since Hamas brutally attacked Israel, we’ve seen abhorrent statements from college students to elected officials blaming Israel for the murderous actions of Hamas. The United States stands with Israel as it responds to this attack by working to destroy Hamas,” Casey tweeted. “We cannot ignore the massive and urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Millions of Palestinian civilians are going without water, medical supplies, or power, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

“In the coming days, the administration will request funding that will include resources for Israel to defend itself and destroy Hamas, as well as humanitarian aid to help civilians at risk. Congress has an obligation to pass this, and robust funding for Ukraine, immediately.”

Another Pennsylvania lawmaker, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pittsburgh), has joined a group of progressive lawmakers in calling for Congress to support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Lee is a co-sponsor of the Ceasefire Now Resolution that urges an “immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and ‘occupied’ Palestine.” Other sponsors include Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“We’re all being tested. We see our university presidents being tested, and many of them failing,” McCormick said. “We see members of Congress being tested, and many of them failing without moral clarity. And in this particular case, my opponent, Sen. Casey, has not demonstrated moral clarity, and I called him out on that because it’s important that our leaders stand up and make it clear that this was a barbaric act against Israel and we need to stand by our ally.”

A spokesperson for Casey did not respond to requests for comment.

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McCormick Touts Leadership, Offers Policy Views on DelVal Campaign Swing

Talking with Dave McCormick, you’d never know he’s a wealthy former CEO. McCormick is down-to-earth but also smart. He marries his background in the financial industry–he led Bridgewater, one of the largest hedge funds—with a commonsense approach to government.

On a campaign swing in the Delaware Valley, he held two very different events Wednesday, listening to the concerns of a small group of community leaders at a Black church in Philadelphia and then holding a rally for supporters in suburban Bridgeport.

Now in his second campaign for the U.S. Senate, McCormick fielded questions from a mostly African American group at First Immanuel Baptist Church in northwest Philadelphia. People wanted to know his positions on foreign affairs, the economy, energy, and education.

Calvin Tucker, deputy chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, introduced McCormick as “a thinker and a doer.”

Dave McCormick flanked by Calvin Tucker (left) and the Rev. Todd Johnson, pastor, First Immanuel Baptist Church.

“McCormick wrote a very instructional book, ‘Superpower in Peril.’ We can relate to that because last night was evidence of peril in this city,” said Tucker, referring to looters that recently hit the city. “We need leadership on those levels. And yes, I believe he will deal with the international crisis we’re facing. We need someone who can thoughtfully put together strategies.”

“I’m a guy who believes in America,” said McCormick. “It’s the greatest country in history.” While conceding there are “a lot of problems,” McCormick said things can be turned around with the right leadership. It has happened in the past.

“We see inflation is a 40-year high. The talking point coming out of the Biden administration is inflation has slowed down; it’s only growing at 3 percent. But prices are up 25 percent since President Biden took office…It really hurts working families, and it hurts elders.”

“We see it in the fentanyl crisis,” he said. “Which is a direct consequence of the bad border policy.” He visited the border during his last campaign and saw cartel members across the border and people streaming across.

“It’s a direct consequence of a lack of law and order, which is a huge problem; what we saw last night in Philadelphia is not an outlier. That is a consequence of philosophy. It’s not just DA Krasner, although he’s a manifestation of it. It’s a philosophy that we don’t ensure law and order. And that’s the death of communities. That’s the death of entrepreneurship. When you work all day to create a small business, and somebody throws a brick through the window, and you have a $5,000 bill that you can’t afford.”

“You can’t afford to have a business in a place where crime runs rampant,” said McCormick.

“We see it in our energy sector,” he said. “We went from being energy dominant, energy independent, and in three short years, we’re an energy importer. So, we’ve lost security in the world because we’re no longer dominant. We’ve lost economic opportunity because those great jobs (are in) Pennsylvania.”

McCormick visited areas where Pennsylvania natural gas is being extracted through fracking.

Dave McCormick speaks to supporters at a rally in Bridgeport

“In the southeast here, if we had a facility at the Philadelphia port, those great jobs and opportunities to export natural gas are restricted by the regulation and the blanket that’s come on top of it by the Biden administration,” he said.

“And when you think about what’s happening in our schools, essentially a war on culture, a war on the principles that made America great,” he said. “A meritocracy. The belief that America is a great country, with dark chapters, but a great country.”

“The progressive ideology that’s highjacked our schools is making it harder for our kids to get the education they need. And it’s showing up in statistics. We’re 27 in our high schools in the industrial world.”

Leadership was McCormick’s theme at the upbeat rally at Taproom 23 in Bridgeport, where about 200 enthusiastic supporters and party leaders cheered his remarks.

State GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas called on the party to unite.

“We’re united because we now see what happens when our party doesn’t work together,” said Tabas. “We’re lucky we have somebody like Dave McCormick…losing by a whisker in the (2022) primary. It would have been easy for him to say… ‘Goodbye, good luck’ to politics. But he didn’t.”

The crowd chanted, “Dave! Dave! Dave!” and cheered as McCormack came onstage. McCormick slammed  President Joe Biden and called his opponent, incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D), a “rubber stamp” for inflation-causing policies.

“We’ve got a southern border that’s open and too many factories that are closed,” said McCormick. “Crime is up. Does anyone have a doubt when they saw what happened in Center City Philadelphia, last night? And incomes are down. The price of food, rent, and gas is high, and confidence in our leaders is low.”

“We cannot accept the status quo,” he said. “We cannot lose our country. We cannot lose our culture. We have to have change,” said McCormick.

“I am Pennsylvania first. This is where I was born and raised… I’m a combat veteran. I’m a businessman. I’m a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian.”

Casey, who is running for his fourth term, “was born to run for political office. And I was born to shake things up.”

A West Point graduate, McCormick served in the Army in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War, receiving the bronze star.

His parents were educators, and he grew up in the Pittsburgh area and then moved with his family to Bloomsburg, where his father was president of Bloomsburg University and became chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The family grew Christmas trees on a farm that McCormick still owns.

McCormick, who holds a doctorate from Princeton, also worked as undersecretary of the treasury under President George W. Bush.

Montgomery County GOP Chairman Christian Nascimento called McCormick, “Just the person we need. He’s got the political ability to beat Casey, and he is the senator we need for Pennsylvania.”

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PA GOP Blasts AP Story Targeting McCormick’s Residency

Pennsylvania Republicans are rallying around potential 2024 U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick after an Associated Press article raised questions about the Pittsburgh native’s residency in the state.

“I’ve been to Dave McCormick’s house in Pittsburgh,” said Charlie Gerow, a Republican political consultant with Quantum Communications. “It sure looked ‘lived in’ to me.

The article, which claimed McCormick “lives in Connecticut,” echoed a political attack used by Democrats against GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz last year. Oz lost to John Fetterman, despite the Democrat suffering a debilitating stroke during the campaign and still struggling to communicate.

The AP report claimed that “while McCormick does own a home in Pittsburgh, a review of public records, real estate listings, and footage from recent interviews indicates he still lives on Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast,’ one of the densest concentrations of wealth in America.”

McCormick spokeswoman Elizabeth Gregory gave DVJournal a statement explaining that “he maintains a residence in Connecticut as his daughters finish high school.”

However, “Dave’s home is in Pittsburgh, and for the last 10 years he has owned a working farm in his hometown of Bloomsburg, which has been in the family for decades.”

“Dave has called Pennsylvania home for 30 years and served our country outside of Pennsylvania for an additional 13,” Gregory said. “It’s the place he mailed letters back to when he served in Iraq and where three of his daughters were born.”

McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, served in the first Gulf War, worked in the George W. Bush administration, and authored the book “Superpower in Peril.” He is widely viewed as a likely GOP challenger to Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, who is running for a fourth term in 2024.

During the 2022 GOP primary, McCormick told DVJournal he was inspired to run because of the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Seeing Afghanistan play out just grabbed our attention and just shook us,” said McCormick, who is married to Trump administration national security advisor Dina Powell. “My wife has done a lot of public service, too. She’s an immigrant to this country. We both lived the American Dream. And when we saw that playing out — the humiliation, the embarrassment, and the lack of accountability — it just shook me.”

Pennsylvania Republicans rushed to McCormick’s defense.

Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik called the premise of the AP article, that McCormick does not live in the commonwealth, “ridiculous.”

“Dave lives in Pennsylvania. Graduating from West Point, leading FreeMarkets in a key era for Pittsburgh, advising the president on key economic and national security policies — Dave’s leadership inside and outside Pennsylvania is what would make him such a great senator, and that’s not something to be belittled.”

GOP strategist Christopher Nicholas with Eagle Consulting Group took a swipe at Sen. John Fetterman, saying, “Democrats seem fascinated by geography rather than competency or qualifications.”

“McCormick grew up here, graduated from high school here, earned his West Point appointment here, was a cutting-edge job creator in Pittsburgh, and pays property taxes here,” said Nicholas.

“I think these are not real stories,” said Sam DeMarco, chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Caucus. “I think these things are just planted to try to give Casey, the Democrat, an avenue to attack somebody who’s been wildly successful at everything he’s ever done in life.”

He contrasted McCormick’s record to Casey’s.

“I don’t know where Bob Casey stays in Washington, D.C.,” DeMarco continued. Many people have more than one house, he said. Sometimes in Florida, at the shore, in the mountains. “This is just where our politics are today. (They) try to attack someone for their success.”

If you need a lawyer or a doctor, “you want the best,” said DeMarco. “So, why wouldn’t we want the very best candidate we can find?”

“Bob Casey has been in the Senate for (almost) 18 years,” DeMarco said. “And can you name a single piece of legislation with his name on it?”

Gerow said Democrats are just pulling pages out of last year’s playbook, but McCormick isn’t Dr. Oz.

“Dave McCormick has deep Pennsylvania roots and a story built on that foundation. The left may try — once again — to portray him as something else. It won’t work.”

 

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Casey, Fetterman Back Federal Override of PA Election Laws

Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman are among the Democrats who are sponsoring the re-introduction of the so-called “Freedom to Vote Act,” a sweeping federal law that would override the Keystone State’s election rules. From requiring early voting to preventing voter ID mandates, the Casey-backed bill would impose federal requirements on locally-run elections, substituting national rules for those enacted by Pennsylvania lawmakers.

“I don’t have to tell you how transformational our legislation is,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a Capitol Hill press conference last week. “The Freedom to Vote Act would fundamentally right size our democracy, advancing access to the ballot, ending the scourge of concentrated money in our politics, and giving voice to everyday Americans.”

The act is the U.S. Senate’s version of the “For The People Act,” also known as H.R.1, passed by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic-controlled House in 2021. The bill was approved without any GOP votes while having the support of every Pennsylvania Democrat. Now Democrats in both chambers are backing the Senate’s version of the bill expanding federal control over state election laws.

Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Philadelphia/Delaware) declined to respond to questions about their support for the bill. A spokeswoman for Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Berks/Chester) said she supports it but did not join the effort as a cosponsor because it is not “bipartisan.”

When the House passed its version of the bill in 2021, Scanlon made it clear she wanted the federal government to override elected legislators in Harrisburg.

“The Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act protects our democracy by preventing state legislatures, like the Pennsylvania General Assembly, from making it harder for Americans to vote. This bill sets minimum standards which the states must meet — because so many have not.”

And Casey was particularly outspoken when the bill failed in the Senate, suggesting opponents were protecting “white supremacy.” In a 2021 interview, Casey said election reforms in states like Georgia’s were “voter suppression bills.”

“At its core, we should just be blunt about this; these voter suppression bills are about white supremacy,” Casey said.

(Georgia set a voter turnout record in 2022 under the new laws Democrats opposed, and Black voters told pollsters their voting experience was overwhelmingly positive.)

Opponents of the bill say states should control elections as outlined in the Constitution. They also argue that some of the requirements of the federal proposal are unpopular with voters. Among the bill’s mandates:

— Require Pennsylvania to have at least 13 days of early voting, including weekends, and to count ballots that come in late;

— Give millions of public dollars to political candidates to use on campaign staff, TV ads, attack mailers, etc.

–Allow felons to vote. Voting Rights Restoration for “Returning Citizens;” Restores the right to vote in federal elections for people who have served their time for felony convictions after being released from prison.

The bill’s advocates acknowledge it would require states like Pennsylvania to have both online voter registration and same-day voter registration, all without voter ID. Instead of proof of identification, the voting bill says state election officials “shall treat an individual desiring to vote in person in an election for Federal office as meeting such voter identification requirement if the individual presents the appropriate State or local election official with a sworn written statement, signed in the presence of the official by an adult who has known the individual for at least six months under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identity.”

Critics say that allowing voters without identification to simply present a signed document from someone who claims to know them would not inspire confidence in ballot integrity.

“This legislation eviscerates voter ID, opens the door for non-citizens to vote, and makes voting less transparent. Polling shows that Americans don’t want far left Democrats like John Fetterman and Bob Casey to seize control of local elections, and that’s why the ‘Freedom to Cheat Act’ will fail again,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Gates McGavick.

According to a Gallup poll taken last year, 79 percent of Americans support requiring a photo ID in order to vote.

 

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Mastriano Bows Out of Senate Race, Opening Door for McCormick

State Sen. Doug Mastriano announced on Facebook Thursday evening that he will not run for the U.S. Senate next year.

His announcement opens the door for Dave McCormick, who said he is seriously considering running for the Senate again. Although he has not yet announced a bid against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D), many in the Republican Party are urging him to do so. Casey is seeking a fourth term.

McCormick narrowly lost the GOP U.S. Senate primary last year to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who former President Donald Trump endorsed. Oz went on to lose to Democrat John Fetterman.

“Wow,” said GOP strategist and former candidates Charlie Gerow to the news Mastriano’s out. “I’m sure many are breathing a sigh of relief that the road is now cleared for a challenger who can beat Bob Casey. Winning the Senate seat is a top priority for 2024.”

Mastriano said he prayed before making the decision. And he told supporters watching him on Facebook that their Walk as Free People movement is not over. Mastriano and his wife Rebbie promised to hold a conference in the fall to help train future leaders.

And what may be more important, they promised to support the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat.

“We want to be sure we’re supporting that 80 percent person,” said Rebbie Mastriano, echoing remarks by former President Ronald Reagan regarding supporting fellow Republicans. “Somebody does not have to be perfect to have our support,” she said.

“Like Ronald Reagan, we believe our best days are still ahead,” Doug Mastriano said.

Many in the party had asked Mastriano not to run for the U.S., while many of his supporters asked him to.

Mastriano was the Republican nominee for governor in 2022. He lost by 15 percent to now-Gov. Josh Shapiro, whose campaign funding dwarfed Mastriano’s. Shapiro could afford to run relentless advertising dwelling on Mastriano’s strong pro-life views, painting him as a danger to Pennsylvania women.

State Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) tweeted: “Today I’m calling on all level-headed P.A. Republicans to join me in requesting that Doug Mastriano abandon any plans he may have to run for U.S. Senate in 2024. 1/14.”

Many others active in the GOP feared that while Mastriano might once again win a primary, he would hand the Democrats an easy victory in 2024 since he is perceived as out of step with the mainstream, especially on abortion. And with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats have used abortion to beat Republicans, even in races like the recent 163rd state representative seat in Delaware County, where the GOP candidate was pro-choice.

Guy Ciarrocchi, who ran for Congress last year and is now a writer and political strategist, was optimistic.

“Now is the time for Republicans to unite,” said Ciarrocchi. “To find a candidate who will defeat Sen. Casey and be a voice for common sense and focus on the actual problems that affect us every day, that we talk about at the kitchen table. Unify and invite independents and Democrats to join with us for a better future.”

Many believe that candidate is McCormick.

“I thank Doug for his years of military and public service and his dedication to Pennsylvania,” McCormick said when asked to comment Thursday evening. Mastriano spent 30 years in the military, retiring as a colonel.

Dave McCormick

“I am seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate because (Sen.) Bob Casey has consistently made life worse for Pennsylvania families over the past 18 years, and our state deserves better. Casey votes for Biden’s liberal agenda 98 percent of the time; he is openly hostile to our state’s energy industry, endorses dangerous criminals walking freely on our streets, and is enabling open borders, leading to a terrifying rise in fentanyl deaths in Pennsylvania,” McCormick said.

“Throughout my life, I have had the honor to serve and lead, including as a paratrooper in the first Gulf War and later while creating hundreds of jobs in Western Pennsylvania. We need a Republican nominee who can build a broad coalition of Pennsylvanians to defeat Bob Casey and improve the lives of Pennsylvania families,” McCormick added.

McCormick recently published a book, “Superpower in Peril,” and has been traveling the state discussing it.