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Pennsylvania state executive candidates shift gears post-primary

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May 4, 2012

Pennsylvania

By Maresa Strano

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: The dust from the April 24 primaries has barely settled in the Keystone state, but the party-approved candidates for attorney general and auditor cannot afford to pause and revel in their victories. Republican candidate for attorney general David Freed and Democratic candidate for auditor general Eugene DePasquale skated through uncontested primary races. They spent months anticipating and contingency planning before discovering the identities of their general election opponents, and are poised for battle.[1]

DePasquale, the Democratic nominee for auditor, jabbed at his general election opponent John Maher (R) by recommending voters to consider that as auditor general Maher would be beholden to Governor Tom Corbett, who was the top donor for Maher's campaign in the first quarter.[2] Maher, who is running on his ample experience as a career CPA, retaliated by saying that the governor is not personally involved in most of the transactions the auditor oversees, and that he "would hope for a better understanding of the office by someone who seeks it."[3]

Also poised for a fight are the special interest groups. The Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee, which encompasses, among other powerful interest groups, the Republican Attorneys General Association, recently launched a smear campaign online against Democratic nominee for attorney general Kathleen Kane, who eked out a victory over primary opponent Patrick Murphy last month with the help of Bill Clinton's endorsement. The website is called "wrong for Pennsylvania" asks visitors to pledge to not support Kane. It features links to articles which point to the former Lackawanna prosecutor's largely self-financed campaign and her campaign's use of language allegedly designed to artificially inflate perceptions about her trial record.[4]

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