Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website.  

NORTHEAST: Political Note #363 Tom Malinowski NJ 07 , Political Note #394 Susan Wild PA 07, Political Note #397, Eugene DePasquale PA 10

SOUTHEAST: Political Note #385 Carolyn Bordeaux, Political Note #388 Elaine Luria VA 02

MIDWEST: Political Note #376 Lauren Underwood IL 14, Political Note #378 Elissa Slotkin MI 08, Political Note #357 Haley Stevens MI 11, Political Note #355 Angie Craig MN 02  

SOUTHWEST: Political Note #389 Tom O’Halleran AZ 01, Political Note #375 Steven Horsford NV 04, Political Note #356 Susie Lee NV 03, Political Note #377 Lizzie Fletcher TX 07, Political Note #362 Vicente Gonzalez TX 15

WEST: Political Note #383 Harley Rouda CA 48, Political Note #384 Peter DeFazio OR 04.

SPECIAL ELECTIONS:  Political Note #364 Jana Lynne Sanchez TX 06, Political Note #382 Melanie Stansbury NM 01, Political Note #393 Allison Russo OH 15

July 12, 2021           Political Note #397 Eugene DePasquale PA 10

2022                          General Election

In 2020, Democrat Eugene DePasquale ran against Republican Scott Perry in the election for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District.  Eugene DePasquale had been Pennsylvania’s Auditor General after having served two terms in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives.  Scott Perry had been a Congressman for three terms when the two of them competed. Scott Perry retained his seat – defeating Eugene DePasquale 53.3-46.7, doing a little better than he had done in 2018 when Pennsylvania’s State Supreme Court ordered redistricting went into effect.

Both of the 2020 candidates were suited for this south-central Pennsylvania district that appreciates blue-collar characteristics and includes Harrisburg, the state capital, and the cities of Hershey, Mechanicsburg, and York.  Pennsylvania’s 10th is west of Lancaster and Lebanon, north of Gettysburg and Hanover, and well to the southeast of State College.  The district is 75% white, a little more than 10% African America, and a little less than 10% Hispanic.  The Median Household Income of $67,200 is more than thousand dollars below the national median of $68,700 and approaches $6,000 more than Pennsylvania’s median of $61,700.  Before the 2018 election, the Cook Index calculated the district as +6 for Republicans.  It turned out for Trump by 3 points – 50.7 to 47.8 in 2020.

To the extent that blue collar-ness is a value for this district, Perry has a slight edge. His mother and stepfather were truly poor.  For a time, they lived in a house without either electricity or running water.  From the age of 13, he worked tough jobs to help with family needs.  He graduated from a vocational high school and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard.  The military was Perry’s ticket to a more prosperous life.  So was Penn State, where, eleven years after graduating high school, Perry got his BA.  Twenty years after that, he earned a Master’s Degree from the US Army War College.  While in the National Guard, he had been deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovena; he commanded an aviation regiment in Iraq.  The regiment transported 3 million tons of cargo and 43,000 soldiers and civilians.  After Iraq, he served in Pennsylvania, eventually retiring as a Brigadier General.

After graduating from Penn State, Perry founded a business providing maintenance to water systems, maintaining meter calibration.  He made money from the business, but also got into trouble.  The Pennsylvania EPA accused the company of altering sewage monitoring reports.  He could have faced criminal charges. Instead, he and the company were required to complete a training program called a diversion program and the charges were dismissed.

Eugene DePasquale has his own blue-collar story.  His father, son of a Pittsburgh city councilman, had a pizza restaurant.  His youngest brother developed muscular dystrophy.  If there is no Congressional Caucus of Members whose attitude toward health care was shaped by their own illness or the illness of someone in their family, there should be.  The DePasquale’s insurance company rejected coverage for the younger brother claiming the muscular dystrophy was a preexisting condition.  The result was financial devastation.  The cost of medical care itself, the cost of a wheelchair, the cost of dealing with the illness was overwhelming.  More or better health might have extended young DePasquale’s life.

Eugene DePasquale’s father was a Vietnam veteran who ultimately went to jail. He returned from Vietnam either already dependent on pain killing drugs or primed to be.  His drug dependence played its way out to a bad end.  He was arrested for selling drugs.  Conviction and jail time was a blessing.  Eugene DePasquale’s dad returned to his family sober and with a will to work, a will to support himself.  He bought houses, repaired them, and resold them while the rest of the family continued to run the family-owned restaurant and pizza place he had started.

Eugene DePasquale worked in the family restaurant.  He took care of his siblings.  He played sports.   He played football at the College of Wooster, a small, competitive private college in Ohio. He returned home to the University of Pittsburg to get an MPA and then got a law degree at Widener University.

After graduating from law school, Eugene DePasquale took a job as Director of Economic Development for the City of York. He kept his political connections in York while serving for three years as Deputy Director of the State EPA.   He returned to York in 2007 to be elected state Rep.  In 2012, he was elected Pennsylvania’s State Auditor General.

Philadelphia Magazine has an archive of stories about Eugene DePasquale as Auditor General.  Those stories include Eugene DePasquale announcing that climate changes costs Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars, commenting that the debt accumulated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike is devastating, urging Pennsylvania to purchase voting machines that keep a paper record, and explaining that legalization of marijuana would bring revenue to the Commonwealth.

In 2020, Eugene DePasquale seemed a likely candidate to flip PA 10.  He couldn’t do it then.  Why should he be able to do it this time?  What has changed?  Some change occurred in 2020, but most was in 2021.  Sometimes with most of the other Republican Members of Congress, sometimes with just a few of them, sometimes entirely on his own, Scott Perry has left the American mainstream.

  • October, 2020 Perry voted against condemning QAnon’s conspiracy theories.  Only sixteen other Republicans joined him.
  • November, 2020 Perry began his claims of fraud in the presidential election
  • December, 2020 Perry joined in an amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit before the Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 election. In a show of courage, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas did not have standing.  125 other Members of Congress joined Perry in that effort.
  • January, 2021 Perry conspired with Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the acting head of the civil division in the Justice Department, to send letters to Georgia legislators threatening to investigate Georgia for voter fraud and to invalidate the state’s Electoral College votes.
  • January 6, 2021 Perry joined 138 other Republican House Members and 8 Senators opposing counting the Electoral College ballots to elect Joe Biden President.
  • January, 2021 Perry was not simply a joiner in these undemocratic activities. He introduced Jeffrey Bossert Clark to Donald Trump as a replacement for the acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen who was resisting challenging the 2020 election results.
  • February, 2021 Perry proposed an amendment to a pandemic relief bill that would have defunded Amtrak.
  • March, 2021 Perry, along with the rest of the House Republicans, voted to oppose the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
  • April, 2021 Perry echoed Tucker Carlson’s comments about real Americans being replaced, saying in Congress: “….we’re replacing national-born American—native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.”
  • June, 2021 Perry joined 20 other House Republicans voting against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the police who defended the US Capitol on January 6.
  • June, 2021 Perry spoke at the Pennsylvania Republicans Leadership Conference and said of Democrats: “They are not the loyal opposition.  They are the opposition to everything you love and believe in.” He compared Democrats and other who criticized Republicans to Nazis.  He insisted that Democrats were dangerous, disloyal, traitorous, and un-American, that they were intentionally wrecking the US economy, and were attempting to “destroy the country you grew up in.”

Scott Perry has become as dangerous as the Democrats he imagines.  It is a good thing he is a retired General of the Pennsylvania National Guard.  I would not and you should not be comfortable with him, in his current manifestation,  having military authority.  I do not and you almost certainly should not feel comfortable about him having a role in our national legislature.

In the 2022 campaign of Eugene DePasquale v Scott Perry, we should remind ourselves of the importance of having a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Equally important, we need to act to ensure that off-the-rails Scott Perry not have any political authority in the country. Support Eugene DePasquale because he is worthy and also because his opponent is dangerous.

So far, we haven’t looked at many Democrats challenging for Republican seats.  For most of those seats, I am reluctant to urge you to donate money to a candidate while there is a likelihood of a competitive Democratic primary. 

Candidates to flip Republican Seats

California 48             Harley Rouda

Ohio 15                     Allison Russo (Special election November, 2021.)

Pennsylvania 10     Eugene DePasquale

Below are vulnerable incumbent Democratic Members of Congress.  If you want to play some defense, and you should, choose a few of them to support.  If you want to learn about them, look at my Notes about them in the website. 

Members of Congress who won with less than 52% of the vote

 Georgia 07   Carolyn Bordeaux  Received 51.39% of the vote in 2020

Iowa 03          Cynthia Axne  Received 48.9% of the vote in 2020

Illinois 14      Lauren Underwood Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 08 Elissa Slotkin Received 50.88% of the vote in 2020

Michigan 11 Haley Stevens  Received 50.2% of the vote in 2020

Minnesota 02 Angie Craig Received 48.21% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 03 Susie Lee Received 48.75% of the vote in 2020

Nevada 04 Steve Horsford Received 50.67% of the vote in 2020

New Mexico 01 Tom O’Halloran  Received 51.61% of the vote in 2020

New Jersey 07 Tom Malinowski Received 50.61% of the vote in 2020

Oregon 04    Peter DeFazio  Received 51.26% of the vote in 2020

Pennsylvania 07 Susan Wild  Received 51.87% of the vote in 2020

Texas 07 Lizzie Fletcher Received 50.79% of the vote in 2020

Texas 15 Vicente Gonzalez Received 50.5% of the vote in 2020

Virginia 02 Elaine Luria Received 51.6% of the vote in 2020

Washington 08 Kim Schrier Received 51.79% of the vote in 2020

Organizations to support

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC).  The official organization of the Democratic Party.

Fair Fight Promotes fair elections around the country

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