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The Gerlach Shuffle: One Thing I’m Not Hearing

I acknowledge depending on me for anecdotal evidence on what the hoi polloi think is generally a poor strategy.

But one thing I am NOT hearing regarding Jim Gerlach’s decision to finally settle, for now, on running for his old Congressional seat is this:

Oh, that’s great. I really wasn’t that crazy about any of the other candidates, and he’s a wonderful Congressman. This will ensure we win the seat, and that’s the most important thing.

This is pretty much Gerlach’s pitch, but I have heard it from exactly one person. And I have spoken to probably about fifteen committeepeople about this mess.

But, as everyone knows, I like Curt Schroder, and the people I talk to may not exactly be a representative sample. My biases– and identity– are as transparent as Marsh Creek ice. Unlike that of, say, some of our commenters. Anyone sensing a different pulse from the street than I am?

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January 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm
6 comments »
  • January 9, 2010 at 3:20 pmJohn Lewandowski

    I’ll just chime in to say that while this might be big news over in Western New Jersey, nobody cares about it in Pittsburgh. I didn’t even know, or care, that Gerlach was running for governor, nor do I care what he chooses to do now. I assume the same is true of the vast majority of people in and around the ‘Burgh, if they have even heard of the man at all.

    (Well, actually, I kinda do care about Gerlach’s congressional seat a little bit, as you can probably figure out if you know what my #1 political issue is, as anyone who knows anything about me does)

  • January 9, 2010 at 4:17 pmKarlBucus

    Well, I could understand a lack of interest over in Ohio. Or West Virginia.

    Seriously, though, the reason for everyone to care has to do with Harrisburg. All this wrangling is largely a product of alleged power-players trying to tinker with the system before committee people even get an endorsement vote, let alone actual voters get involved. Those people, essentially, drove Gerlach and Meehan prematurely out of the Governor’s race, which is creating havoc in our congressional races.

    Curt is an ally of yours when it comes to your no. 1 issue. I am, too, if you can work with Federalism.

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:05 pmB.

    I will say it.

    I’m glad Gerlach is running. I did not really care for any of the other candidates for Congress. I am a committeeperson with a vote.

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:39 pmKarlBucus

    Alright, B! What area are you in so my spreadsheet can be marked accordingly ;-)

  • January 11, 2010 at 8:07 amRobert B. Sklaroff, M.D.

    I have read all of these comments, as well as all postings on the other politically-oriented sites [GrassrootsPA, PoliticsPA, PAWatercooler, PA 2010]. I would like to suggest a consensus view [which I will also post wherever possible on each of these sites. Clearly, one–

    http://grassrootspa.com/2010/01/07/gerlach-withdr

    –has the bulk of colloquy and, thus, the reader is invited to fact-check and opinion-validate what is contained herein.
    *
    Previously, I wrote [to ensure fully-“informed consent”]:
    I like Jim; I contributed to his prior Congressional campaign, and I would want to support him to unseat Casey.
    BUT…
    If he were to renege on his decision to abandon his incumbency, he would be manifesting ego over honor; many GOP’ers would (somewhat reluctantly) mirror my conclusion, and he would damage the very party loyalty that has become profoundly lacking during recent years.
    *
    I would add that Jim could have announced he was competing for both the Gubernatorial and Congressional seats, but he did not. Therefore, to offer himself suddenly as an alternative in a crowded race would be construed as disingenuous at-best, notwithstanding whatever support he would anticipate receiving as an incumbent.
    *
    As is readily apparent, I have “max-ed out” for Curt, for he has demonstrated himself to be the true-conservative and 100%-gentleman one would wish all politicians to emulate. He has been a proven-leader for years, forthrightly asserting his beliefs AND “walking the talk” in cutting-edge situations (Card-Check, Med-Mal). Rather than “preaching to [those who should long ago have been] the converted,” I will wade into the current crisis.
    Those who are upset with Jim – including myself – would have anticipated his having “telegraphed” the capacity/intent to re-enter the 6th…rather than disrupting heartfelt efforts of his colleagues. Yes, this is part of the rough-and-tumble, but people/resources/$$$ are not to be placed at arm’s length by the power of incumbency.
    I note, for example, the “standing-ovation” received by Curt @ the Pennsylvania Conservative Caucus meeting @ Municipal Hall in West Chester, nine days ago. Curt covered all the substantive talking-points in a half-hour…plus the bonus-gate and Perzel-indictment issues…and wowed the (highly-critical, deeply-committed) crowd.
    *
    I have not discussed many of the issues upon which I might DISAGREE with Curt, with Curt, but this is a classic situation in which the integrity-factor must be factored-in when assessing both the candidate and the platform.
    Curt undoubtedly has delayed his decision because he is less concerned with making personal political calculations (as has Jim, noting multiple pre-candidacies in a brief time-period). This perception hurt Jon David Fox in 1992, it may be recalled, with MMM and the D’s [unfairly] portraying him as a rabbit who constantly was running for office. And, in the present situation, Curt must check-back with those who led him to his current level of achievement, prior to deciding what to do.
    Having garnered quality endorsements (all state-senators, 7/9 state-reps, Walker, multiple incumbents in Berks, etc.), he must feel a sense of loyalty to the trust they placed in him, and we will trust him to make the best quality decision.
    *
    Regarding the back-and-forth–and disregarding how people bring personalities/agendae into whatever they might write about a given issue–the fact remains that there is a natural deference that exists towards incumbency. One could conjure scenarios whereby Curt (whose independence is now ensconced within the Perzel-indictment) defers to Jim, and then is the recognized “heir-apparent” when/if (1)–Jim loses, or (2)–Jim wins and runs for Senate [when he cannot compete for two federal positions simultaneously]. One could also conjure scenarios whereby Curt is aggressively bypassed by those who would push a Welch (and “welch” on prior agreements) because he might be more apt to “reward” his benefactors.
    Thus, it may boil-down to this: Will Curt attempt to honor his principles and nascent constituency, or will he bide his time and draw-upon brief exposure to the national-spotlight to inform his efforts to maximize the productivity that should exist in Harrisburg?
    *
    In all probability, Curt will make his decision today. It will not be reflex/obsequious (Cohen/Zelov), it will not be self-serving/politicized, it will not be contingent upon what any of the others choose to do. I would invite serious-minded people to weigh-in via these blogs (publicly) and/or to contact Kyle Whatley (@ his campaign office 610-524-8100).
    This is serious business. I will not finance Jim, but I will support him if Curt withdraws. I suspect most others would reflect this sentiment. The GOP must remember that, corrupting Jack Kelly’s quote in Pogo of the 1960’s, “The enemy’s out there!” Anyone who has spoken with Curt for two minutes will have witnessed his open-minded smile, buttressed by adherence to Constitutional principles. At the end of the day, know that he will have made the correct decision for his supporters, constituents (current/future?), and America.

  • January 12, 2010 at 12:48 amRobert B. Sklaroff, M.D.

    Curt assembled a core-group of dedicated supporters who will remain on-tap, as he continues to pursue limited-government principles with perspicacity, alacrity and integrity.

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