(I said I would take it easy on Warren a little while back, and I'll try to stick to that, but I can't promise anything.)
Who's the Opportunist?By the way, I should point out that Warren has definitely upgraded his web site, and it actually looks kind of sharp. However, it's a shame that you can only go back to the home page whenever you click on a hyperlink (sorry - my usability alter-ego coming through on that one).
Warren should choose his accusations more carefully.
There will be no shortage of political fireworks this election year, and the race in the 8 th Congressional District between Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick and an as yet unknown Democratic challenger should be especially interesting. As if to prime voters for the fall main event, the three Democrats vying for their party's nomination are getting in some sparring among themselves in the run-up to the May Primary.
The latest jab has been thrown by former Bucks County Republican Commissioner Andy Warren, who's trying to make an issue of opponent Patrick Murphy's so-called indecision about whether to run for Congress from the 8 th District or the neighboring 13th.
In 2004, Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, did a profile on Murphy, who at the time was an Army captain just back from a tour of duty in Iraq and working to drum up support among veterans for presidential hopeful John Kerry. In the article, Murphy said Democratic Party officials had approached him to run for Congress in one of the two districts depending on the outcome of the 2004 elections. Allyson Schwartz won in the 13 th, Murphy moved to New Hope and later to Bristol Township.
Warren sees a problem with that. About Murphy, Warren said, "He's been presenting himself as a longtime Bucks Countian…but that's opportunistic, because he's not…If he's just using Bucks County for his own political gain, then that's really unfortunate."
We see several problems with Warren's thinking. First, thought Murphy grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, that part of the city is included in the 8 th Congressional District. Second, Murphy says he spent a lot of time in Bucks as a kid playing sports and such. Third, his absence from the county during his military service can hardly be criticized by anyone.
Finally, Warren certainly knows something of which he speaks when he talks about political opportunism. It was Andy Warren, the longtime Republican, who last year switched political parties so he could run for Congress as a Democrat—there being virtually no chance of his running successfully as a FOP candidate. Changing parties to run for office is about as politically opportunistic as you can get.
The Bucks County Democratic Committee, which could hand out an endorsement this weekend, apparently is satisfied with Murphy's background and ties to the county. Fred Viskovich, who along with Warren and Murphy is hoping to get the Democratic nomination said where Murphy lived before and what he was thinking over a year ago about running is hardly a big deal and correctly pointed out that there are far more pressing matters confronting America.
Only Warren seems interested in creating an issue where there is none. We think it would be a good idea if he looked after handling his own political baggage, which in this case is weightier than anything Murphy is carrying.
I will merely provide a link to this excellent post from Above Average Jane (which also appears in the right column) which is a thorough listing of Warren's cantankerous behavior and evasions regarding his party affiliations (and I didn't know this, but I learned from Jane's post that Ginny Schrader had switched parties also).
I would only ask that Warren take what I would call the "Lynn Swann test" and see if he passes; by that I mean can he sit down and talk with families or small groups about what legislation he would promote or oppose to aid working men and women, children, and families on issue such as the environment, jobs, schools, taxes, and security against the threat of terrorism (being partly German, I'm really leery about using the word "homeland" in that context).
If Warren can only fall back on the usual tired bromides without anything thoughtful or interesting to say, then he should quit now. And the fact that he is dumping on Patrick Murphy on the supposed question of whether or not Murphy is a citizen of Bucks County and any possible discrepancies in Murphy's voting record (gee, how dare Patrick actually enlist in the Army to serve our country in Iraq...what was he thinking anyway?) gives me a hint that Warren's exit (with Ginny Schrader in tow) is coming sooner than later.
Update 3/2: The Bucks County Courier Times agreed with the Intelligencer in an editorial today. I'd try to link to what the paper said, but the web site of the Courier Times is misbehaving in an extreme way today.