What Schroder Can Do That Other PA6 Candidates Can’t

The Schroder campaign has its official kick-off event last night at the Ludwig’s Corner firehouse. By all estimates it was a great success.

There were, easily, two hundred people there. Perhaps even more. I would wager virtually all of them were actual voters in the sixth congressional district. This certainly appeared to exceed expectations. They had to roll out about three times the initial number of tables, and the hall was still standing room only.

Introducing Curt were a number of area luminaries. Not exactly household names– except perhaps for former Congressman Bob Walker– but people very well known to those who vote in GOP primaries: Berks Commissioner Christain Leinbach, former Chesco Commissioner Colin Hanna, former State Rep. Carol Rubley, and others.

And this is what indicates what the Schroder campaign can do that no other candidate for this office can pull off. Heck, you could probably count on one hand the number of politicians NATIONALLY that can pull this off:

For this office he has already lined up a range of endorsements that no other candidate can even come within the same universe of matching. At the same time, Schroder offers a message as a legitimate Republican outsider. Congressman Walker, while introducing him, lambasted current national GOP leadership And last night Rep. Schroder talked about introducing legislative reforms opposed by leaders in both parties, standing against recently indicted former GOP speaker Perzel, auditing the Fed, taking on the trial lawyer lobby, and supporting the rights of property-owners against gas line companies.

So Schroder has a very solid record as a man willing to make tough votes against his own party. This is why folks in both the Tea Party movement and those coming from the Ron Paul end of the party tend to support him. And yet, at the same time, he actually has a mainstream conservative legislative track record and is supported by office-holders all over the Republican party, if not, perhaps, by those leading the GOP committee.

The size and enthusiasm of the crowd last night confirmed that Schroder is able to thread this needle. Anyone who thinks the size of someone else’s wallet makes that person a front-runner simply isn’t paying attention to actual voters.

Oh, and for the record: He didn’t once mention primary opponent Steve Welch’s address, or the fact he was a registered Democrat last year. So our friend at may want to revise and extend his remarks that he expected Rep. Schroder to “make an issue” of these things.

Frankly, though, this is a GOP primary. Is the Schroder campaign supposed to pretend they aren’t running against a former Democrat?

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December 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm Comments (0)

My Note to Steve Welch re. His Announcement to Run in the Sixth Congressional District

(This has been edited a little bit)

Candidate Welch:

I probably should have waited to call you, and I was a little nonplussed on the phone just now. If you genuinely think being a political outsider is a good thing, and really think candidates that would be strong fiscal conservatives in Washington, DC are what we need, then we are absolutely on the same page.

Which is why I find it so disappointing you have made the decision you have. By your own admission when we met at Irish Joe’s, you said Pat Meehan absolutely had a lot to learn from you on such matters. Pat Meehan, furthermore, is a consummate political insider. So, really, the argument you have made just doesn’t scan for me. But that could be because I know less about the seventh than I do about the sixth.

As for the polling I asked you about, like I said: The only thing that would persuade me is clear polling evidence that the race in the sixth is unwinnable for Rep. Schroder. Such evidence, I suspect, will be thin on the ground. But feel free to try and prove me wrong. I am pretty analytical as well.

You mentioned you don’t think you will get the party endorsement in your upcoming primary. Don’t write yourself off! I suspect you will have an ally in the current Chester County GOP chairman. He has, after all, been begging us committeepeople to wait to make our decisions on who to support. I don’t think he was saying that to wait for the PA 157 race to flesh out. At the same time, he has been begging us to help the party avoid a primary. Sounds to me like a pattern that works in your favor. You may not be as much a political outsider as you think, anymore.

Just so there is no confusion, I do think you are exactly the sort of candidate the GOP generally needs…in the seventh district. I was, you will recall, one of your first online advocates. I reached out to you moments after you announced, offering my help.

I am as annoyed as anyone by the selective “wait your turn” mentality in the Republican party. But at the same time being independently wealthy ought not be a requirement for public service, either. The alternative for excellent candidates unable to self-finance is climbing up the ladder. Nobody deserves a clear path to an office, of course. But if anyone does, it is highly competent, experienced, dedicated, and popular mainstream conservative public servants that work their way up, winning elections along the way. Not people who, while certainly an upgrade to a irresponsibly liberal Democrat, haven’t competed in elections, campaigned much, have political connections, and need to study on the area’s most important issues.

It is to your credit you called me to talk about it. I should have responded with more grace, and for that I apologize. [ed. I really wasn’t all that awful. Just terse.] In all seriousness, though, this series of developments is causing me to rethink why I am involved at all. I became a committeeman three years ago to help make the party better. You may be certain this is a decision entirely driven by your priorities and choices. And I’m sure you’re correct. But the way events tracked also matches precisely what the influential members of the GOP wanted. The same ones that have created the mess we’re in now, and don’t even have election victories to show for it.

But for all I know, Rep. Schroder will decide he doesn’t want the hassle, and stay put. Which, frankly, I would advise him to do at this point. He’s gotten a kick to the groin he absolutely didn’t deserve. Regular voters who know and like him– and there are a lot of them– will feel disappointed, and you would have to work your butt off to earn their trust. But Rep. Schroder does valuable work in Harrisburg and it would be a shame to lose him. The risk isn’t worth it, I think. If things go down that way, you will be seeing a lot of me in your Phoenixville office.

If they don’t, I will help Curt. And, perhaps, encourage you to let me be your campaign manager for the PA 157 seat in 2012. We can run that race old-school, and grassroots. Save your money, and win at the same time.

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September 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm Comments (0)