Time For Weak Fundraisers to Start Dropping Out of the #PAGov Primary

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The big fundraising story of the day is that Allyson Schwartz raised $6.5 million in 2013, $3 million of which was transferred from her Congressional campaign account. We don’t know how much of that’s been spent yet, though that’s not the point. The Schwartz campaign is pushing this number as a show of strength in the Democratic primary.

What we know is that Schwartz will have the money to compete in the primary and the general election. We know that Tom Wolf has pledged to use $10 million of his own money to be competitive in the primary and the general election. We can infer from John Hanger’s pleading for mercy spending restraint from the other candidates that he will not have enough money to compete in the primary or the general election.

We do not yet know what the other candidates raised. But when we find out, we will begin loudly and doggedly calling for the worst-funded candidates to begin dropping out of the contest early, rather than hanging on past their welcome.

This needs to become a 2 or 3 candidate race very soon, much earlier than the close of the next fundraising quarter in late March. We do not want our Democratic nominee to win the primary with less than 50% of the vote, and enter the general election in a position of weakness. The primary needs to end earlier than the actual vote is taken, to give our nominee a running start against Tom Corbett.

This entry was posted in Governor.

119 Responses to Time For Weak Fundraisers to Start Dropping Out of the #PAGov Primary

  1. Jeff Klinger says:

    Because only people with lots and lots of money should be serious contenders in elections.

    Someone please explain to me how anyone can think the American system is democratic in any way?

    • Ryan says:

      It’s the system we’re living in. We want/need campaign finance reform (badly), but until then, we have to use what we’re given. Candidates with no money cannot be serious contenders in today’s political environment — and we actually need progressive candidates to get into office to fix problems like campaign finance.

      A candidate with no money — regardless of their positions — will not beat Corbett, regardless of how weak he is.

      • In my ever-so-humble opinion, that’s a load of crap. Anyone can beat Corbett, especially someone like John Hanger who has developed a following that is spreading the message for him, without BUYING the election.

        • Ryan says:

          An “anyone can beat Corbett” mentality is probably literally the worst mindset Democrats can have right now. And, while I have nothing against John Hanger, he was also the only candidate to lose head-to-head with Corbett in the most recent poll.

          • Lee R. says:

            Hanger beat Corbett with better numbers than the other candidates!!!! Yes? Whatever—-I do love all our prognostications 5 months before the campaign has begun. Are we all stupid? Could be. Let’s all watch the Eagles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Marian Keegan says:

        “It’s the system we’re living in” is precisely the reason the fracking industry got a hold in Pennsylvania so quickly. PA environmental groups figured they couldn’t fight the inevitable, so caved on strong regulations to get the fast money. I’m happy to support a candidate willing to smartly navigate the difficult issues, which includes running a campaign on a “little” money.

    • Lee R. says:

      John Hanger just won the Keystone Progress “poll” with 64% of the vote. Except for Max Myers, the other candidates got 4% or less out of the 648 “votes” cast. That indicates Keystone Progress responders want a true progressive. And, John can win the primary and easily beat Corbett.

  2. Western Democrat says:

    I’d say a 4 person race (Schwartz, McCord, Wolf, and McGinty). Yes, totally agree Jon, everyone else should drop or run for LG.

    • So, we don’t care about the fact that none of them can do as good of a job as John Hanger?

      We don’t care that none of them have any idea about the real needs for Marijuana Reform?

  3. NM says:

    Maybe pick the candidate by voting..

    • Ryan says:

      Do you want the Democratic candidate to win with 15-20% of the vote in the primary? That will make it much easier for Corbett come the fall.

  4. Roger Cohen says:

    You infer wrongly, Mr. Geeting. John Hanger will have quite enough money to compete. His call is to stop the corrupt sale of the Governor’s office to the highest bidder. There is a name for those who do that: they’re called Republicans.

    • Sean Kitchen says:

      Agreed. Hanger should stick in the race so he can pull some of the frontrunners to the left.

      • Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

        John is the frontrunner !

      • Jon Geeting says:

        He’s already basically succeeded in doing that. Everybody already sounds like Hanger on environmental issues, and the viable candidates have probably gone about as far as they’ll go toward Hanger’s education and marijuana positions, which aren’t sufficiently popular with the general electorate to be worth the risk. Marijuana will take a few more election cycles, and nobody else wants to alienate black and Latino voters with anti-charter positions.

        • John Hanger says:

          Our position is to hold all schools accountable. We want a longer school day and year for public schools as well as more quailty early childhood educaiton. We support good performing charters and would increase funding for those that are successful. But we don’t apologize for opposing poor performing ones, such as most of the cyber schools that right now take from good neighborhood and charter schools $366 million per year and have terrible student performance.

        • Talk about alienating blacks… none of the candidates except for JOHN HANGER even brought up the fact that the war on marijuana is a racially discriminated attack on blacks.

          Blacks are 5 TIMES as often arrested for Marijuana.

          John Hanger was endorsed by NORML PAC for his commitment to Marijuana Reform and Civil Rights leader John Churchville said yesterday, Jan 2, 2014,

          “John Hanger is not connected to Wall Street—something that not every other candidate for Governor can truthfully claim.”

          http://progressiveparising.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/civil-rights-leader-john-churchville-dares-us-to-elect-the-next-pa-governor-points-to-the-john-hanger-campaign/

    • Jon Geeting says:

      You need to win under the old system first to create a new system. Is Hanger going to beg Tom Corbett not to spend his money too, in the 1% chance he wins the nomination?

      • Roger Cohen says:

        The point is to hold the $30 M for the general to beat Corbett. By what bizarre logic do you project fund-raising in the primary to indicate fund-raising in the general? It’s a preposterous fallacy. Whoever wins the primary will have the fundraising power to take Corbett on.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Fundraising prowess is one indicator of how viable the party electorate thinks candidates are for the general election. Good primary fundraisers also tend to be good general election fundraisers. Also, fundraising for the general election started months ago. If you’re starting your general fundraising in May, you’re behind. Corbett’s going to have a ton of money. Our nominee also needs a ton of money. Not an equal match, but enough to run serious field campaigns and advertising in the most expensive media markets.

          • John Hanger says:

            There is not one primary candidate who is doing fundraising for the general election now. Nobody is doing that. All the money raised now is going to be spent winning the primary. And I have pointed out that the only winner of that fact of political life is Tom Corbett. That is why Democrats should agree to a primary limit. And another fact of political life is that the winner will have no money left the night of the primary election, no matter who wins it. All the primary candidates will spend everything to win the primary. That’s not good and I have proposed avoiding that result.

      • Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

        1% lol , you better get out more .

  5. domo says:

    Who the hell are you to tell someone to get out of a race?

    Here’s an idea: if you are a two-bit reporter on a little know blog with less than 1,000 weekly views, quit writing and get a real job.

  6. John Hanger says:

    The primary will be a battle for the Democratic Party’s soul and at the heart of that battle has always been campaign finance reform. Message will count powerfully with the 1 million primary voters.

    Progressive Democrats want a candidate that will fight for campaign finance reform and are sick of Democrats selling themselves to Wall Street and the Big Money that gets rich from policies that create rising inequality.

    Our campaign is a People’s Campaign that has a message worth more than Tom Wolf’s $12.9 million. Jobs, Not Jails. Schools, Not Jails. Regulate and tax marijuana to provide property tax relief.

    Our message is resonating and we will have plenty of money to compete. We are going to shock the elites that have made a mess of Pennsylvania.

    • Ryan says:

      You’d be hard pressed to find a progressive who doesn’t agree with you that we badly need campaign finance reform — but the fact remains that in today’s current system, you need lots of money to compete. And will need lots of money to beat Governor Corbett, and if you don’t have it — you will not beat him.

      • John Hanger says:

        All the Democratic candidates will have precisely the same amount of money on the night of the primary–Zero. Lots of money will flow to the winner and some donors are saying now that they will wait until the primary is over. The primary winner will have lots of work to do but also lots of help. Thank goodness.

      • Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

        Corbett can double what he plans on spending and it still won’t matter , he will lose to John Hanger.

  7. Lori Elias says:

    Well, I have a different take on this than you, the author, obviously does. What this tells me is that John Hanger knows the value of a dollar, and isn’t that what we need in a Governor? So what are the others going to do with all those campaign funds…frivolously throw them to the winds by way of nasty, negative campaign ads on TV, which, quite frankly, people are sick and tired of? I find it unique and refreshing that a gubernatorial candidate would rather spend campaign funds on traveling to places most of the other candidates have never heard of, without first checking to see if the audience, large or small, will be comprised of possible contributors with deep pockets. I have invited Allyson Schwartz to our county for 4 events. Not only did she not attend, she didn’t have the decency to answer with a “thanks, but no thanks.” John Hanger doesn’t need that kind of money to run a “People’s Campaign”, because he is attracting the sort of people who are willing to WORK to get him elected, and we are a formidable team with a deep conviction to his causes, his policies, and an admiration for a candidate that in all likelihood, is absent from the campaigns of his peers. We have heart!

  8. Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

    The thing is ,Schwartz is going to need to spend more money because John Hanger has so much momentum it will be hard to overcome . Mr Geeting how did that keystone poll work out?
    There is a reason John Hanger continues to dominate every single online poll just as he will dominate the election . He won’t need to spend a fraction of what the other candidates spend to win this election . We can ad you to the list of the shocked when it’s all said and done !

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I have no doubt that John has a lot of fans online, but it’s simply a mistake to draw the conclusion that this reflects widespread support in the actual electorate. The Democratic Party’s real base is not white online progressives, it’s working class people of color, disproportionately women- a group of people that does not spend much time worrying about swarming online polls.

      • John has more than a lot of fans online. John has a grass roots campaign statewide unlike any PA has seen. He was easily out in front long before all other candidates developing policy and energizing his base. True progressives need look no further than John Hanger for the next best Governor of PA. And to quote John, “Karl Rove proved in 2012 you can spend $300 million and win nothing.” The voting public in this state is sick over the money spent in politics, so please DO keep spreading the word over the ridiculous amount of money pouring into their campaigns, money that buys how they behave in office. Those of us on the ground will also keep reminding the voters at every single doorstep.

      • Lori Elias says:

        Jon, it is true that John Hanger has a lot of online “fans”, but we ARE real people, and we DO vote. Not only that, but we are only a small representation of the people who WILL vote for John. The reason you see so much online support for him is because he is running a very organized, efficient campaign. THAT is the reason he can win this without “big money”.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Of course you are real people, but it would be a mistake to extrapolate that you are *representative* of the broader electorate. Online progressives are much whiter and richer than the real Democratic base. The polls aren’t wrong. People have about as much support as the polls say they do, and John Hanger is consistently not in the top tier.

          • John Hanger says:

            Jon, the last primary poll was done by PPP about 6 weeks ago. We were statistically tied with McCord and McGinty. And we had risen more than any other candidate since the Spring. Interestingly, Wolf was really below 2% and he spent a lot in 2013. Polling will be interesting in the next few months.

          • John Hanger says:

            FYI: We are recently doing much better with African-American and minority voters who embrace our Jobs, Not Jails, Schools, Not Jails message and know that African Americans are arrested at 5 times the rate of whites for marijuana possession.

  9. Patte says:

    Money isn’t the most important thing here. What is important is what that person can do for us as citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I’m tired of big money candidates that only have one thing in mind, themselves. John Hanger is a candidate for the people – he’s a candidate for us regular folks that have regular everyday lives. His people’s campaign is just that. For the people! It’s not about the money, it’s about the message! John Hanger actually has a real platform, unlike the other candidates who talk out of both sides of their mouths and spout fluff and nonsense. John Hanger has a plan to educate our children by reinstating Corbutts cuts to education. We are the only state that doesn’t tax the gas companies for fracking, John Hanger will fix that! He will also fix the disparaging inequality in our state and recognize gay marriages. Big money politics is just that. Big Money. We don’t want someone with a large campaign wallet, we want someone who cares about us and *our* wallets. And that candidate is John Hanger!

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I completely agree that big money shouldn’t determine elections, but again, you have to win under the old system to change campaign finance. It’s not enough to ask other people not to spend the money they’ve raised. Non-viable candidates have been doing that for decades and they always get crushed at the polls. Candidates who care about this issue and don’t take the money race seriously do their cause a disservice.

      • Jon, you can quote that tired expression all you want, but the truth is that the people have the ability to change this by simply stepping into the voting booth. If we speak of the money as you have done and we will continue to do, ON THE GROUND, hopefully we can sicken the potential primary voters just as much as we have become sickened by this display of politics as usual. To quote THE BEST writer of Pennsylvania politics, the late Pete DeCoursey, may his soul rest in peace, “…what we have is former DEP Secretary John Hanger running for governor of Pennsylvania and a horde running for Prom Queen or King…it isn’t like the big four have nothing to say, or no idea what to say. All four are deep into raising funds and wooing key constituencies and donors.”

        • That’s pretty much what we saw at the Philadelphia Candidates Forum:

          2 candidates reading from cards…

          2 candidates using showmanship and dramatic presentation strategies to warm up the crowd…

          1 candidate, John Hanger, speaking non-stop through his 3-minutes about situations, problems, and solutions, jam-packed with facts, passion and hands-on experience. There was NO doubt about his ability to lead our state.

          The worst thing that can happen to PA right now is to lose John Hanger from this race. He’s tough enough, smart enough, and experienced enough to fight corruption and provide a fair life for all in PA. Let’s vote him in.

          Look at all the positive comments on about John Hanger in the Forum Reviews:
          http://www.politicspa.com/dems-jockey-for-liberal-votes-at-philly-forum/53179/

          Watch the Forum, here & decide for yourself! Hear the candidates with your own ears, not what someone else TELLS you about the candidates:
          http://www.politicspa.com/dems-jockey-for-liberal-votes-at-philly-forum/53179/

  10. Robert G. says:

    Are you kidding Geeting? Last time I checked we live in a Democracy, not a Plutocracy.

    Money should NOT determine a political race, and to suggest that if candidates can’t kiss enough hind-end to get those fat cat donors to throw them thousands, they should drop out of the race undermines your website and mission. The power money has in politics is both a corrupting and disgusting element that must be reformed. The beauty of this country is that our form of government allows ANYONE to vote and to run for office regardless of class, financial means, educational achievement, gender or race.

    By making statements like this you are discrediting yourself and those who write for you. Shame, shame on you.

    I hope ALL of these candidates stay in regardless of money because Dems have a chance to nominate a great candidate this year, not simply one who can raise money and get 50%+1 of the vote to beat Corbett. Maybe for once we will show that money won’t determine a race, what will determine it is knowledge, determination, goals– something that your “common man candidate” has, but those white washed politicos like Schwartz and McCord lack because of their insider status.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      We live in a representative democracy with a first-past-the-post electoral system where two political parties compete to offer the most competitive standard-bearers to the voters. A big part of being competitive is raising enough money to run ads in some very expensive media markets, and run expensive field campaigns to turn out voters. I personally would prefer a public financing system to help “common man candidates” compete with professional politicians, but we’ll never get that unless the people who care about campaign finance reform actually try to compete under the system we have and win some elections. Wishing this weren’t so doesn’t change the fact that the best funded candidates often do win our elections, and if campaign finance reformers want to change that, they’ll have to play the game first.

      • Robert G. says:

        Well, thank you for explaining to me how political campaigns work. Had no idea…..

        If you actually think that monied candidates will get in there and reform how campaigns and campaign finance work you are more delusional than I thought. They are beholden to the big-money and the big-money wouldn’t want to lose their ability to unduly influence candidates with their money. We need someone to get elected who isn’t beholden to the money to actually change it!

        Hanger is a good example– as someone pointed out, he is using his money and campaigning like he should! He is talking to people, going anywhere he is invited, pressing the flesh. Not sitting on his duff, calling for dollars and having aids craft mailers and tv commercials which will prove to be the only way people will know him. NO, he is meeting with them face-to-face. Schwarts isn’t, and if she or McCord are the nominee I’m going to have a hard time voting for them because they make me feel dirty. But, I think Hanger will shock the elites and boy do I hope he does!

        • Jon Geeting says:

          What we need is for some people who care about this issue and don’t care about getting reelected to raise a crap ton of money to win election, change the campaign finance laws, and then potentially get voted out for pissing off their donors. There’s a reason campaigns do mailers and ads and campaign in strategically important areas – that’s what works! If you just go wherever you’re invited regardless of its strategic importance, you’re wasting your time and your supporters’ money.

  11. philaken says:

    So are we supposed to only have candidates who receive backing from corporations, hedge fund manager, and the Chamber of Commerce?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Nope, plenty of Democratic small donors out there to power viable political campaigns. They just aren’t opening their wallet for some of the long-shot candidates still polluting the field.

      • Robert G. says:

        “Polluting the field”? I think you just lost me as a follower.

        The more candidates the merrier in my opinion! Gives people who care about their government options, not the same old big-money-beholden trash that DOES pollute and damage our political system by getting elected year after year after year.

        Bravo to Hanger and the others who may lack the money but are FAR superior candidates than Schwartz or McCord.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          I completely disagree about “the more the merrier.” More candidates doesn’t equal more meaningful choices, it actually increases the likelihood that a bad candidate will sneak through with a super low percentage of the vote. There just aren’t that many different perspectives on the issues that we need this many candidates. We’ve got a centrist (Schwartz), a progressive environmentalist (McGinty), a progressive technocrat (McCord), and a self-funding businessman (Wolf). That about captures the range of Democratic positions out there. Really, McGinty and McCord are similar enough that one of them could drop out, and if Wolf isn’t polling better in a month he shouldn’t waste his money either. We can have a meaningful choice election between Schwartz and McGinty and McCord.

          • Domo says:

            So you are inferring that Hanger is a bad candidate? I think Schwartz’s non-electability against Drillbett (misspellling intentional) makes her a bad candidate. I will agree with you on Litz, Pawlowsky and Meyers being bad candidates, but Mr. Hanger is a different story. Viable? he’s holding his own against the prom kings and queens.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            Hanger’s not a different story. He’s polling around 7%, has no name recognition, no money, and weirdly high unfavorables among those who have heard of him. Again, I don’t dislike Hanger or most of his ideas. I think he’s played a useful role in pulling the viable candidates to the left. But the writing is on the wall, and it’s time for him to drop out.

          • John Hanger says:

            Jon, the last primary poll was PPP (not Harper) and it showed McCord 10%, McGinty 9%, Hanger 8%, Wolf 2%. That’s pretty competitive. I would bet that the Harper poll also over polled by a great deal those over 60 and under polled minorities and those without cell phones and young. Again the polling in the next few months will be interesting.

  12. Dan says:

    This is exactly the attitude that needs to change! Keep the corrupting influence of money out of politics! #iwontvoteforbigmoney

  13. Nick says:

    There’s a party that would welcome your philosophy. It’s called Republican.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      This is just basic political party theory.

      • Nick says:

        Rather than attacking a candidate that you disagree with… why don’t you stop attacking Mr. Hanger, and go work for the person who wants you to write about her… Allyson Schwartz!

        • Jon Geeting says:

          I don’t actually disagree with John Hanger on many things, it’s just clear that he’s not raising enough money to improve his position in the polls. If you’ve been reading the blog it should be clear I’m not a huge Schwartz fan, but I’d support her as the nominee if she wins.

  14. The Domonator says:

    After reading your comments back to the posters, some with excellent counterarguements to your post, it is quite apparent you are a self-righteous snob. If you were a true progressive, you would be supporting Hanger’s position on money in politics. I don’t agree with everything Hanger is supporting, but I do appreciate his populist following. Sometimes David beats Goliath with an inexpensive rock over a forged steel sword paid for by corporate donations expecting favors when the battle is through.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Not a snob at all, I just don’t think I’ve heard any good arguments against my point that a too-big field is bad for Democrats, and the people who haven’t attracted enough support at this point should do what’s best for the party and drop out sooner rather than later. Of course I agree that campaign finance reform is important. I’m a huge supporter of public financing. But to win that you need to get elected rather than just whine about it. And John can’t get elected Governor with this poor of fundraising.

      • Nick says:

        Well… first off thanks for blocking me from commenting…. however the message your sending to people is that if you don’t have the money don’t run… I hope a lot of local candidates don’t read your posts… I know I won’t!

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Who blocked you? I approved everything you submitted. My message is to raise money, and donate to candidates you like. And if you haven’t raised significant money this close to an election in a hotly contested primary, you should take that as a sign the voters just aren’t that into you.

        • dOminator says:

          HE blocked me too

      • Domonator says:

        And you know how much Mr. Hanger raised? I don’t believe I have seen any finance reporting as of yet. Are you privy to some inside info on that fact?. Why is it best for “the Party” for him to drop out? Fuck the Party. It’s about people, their choice, and not a bunch of self-important party political hacks who think they have control over the electorate.

        The more you dig your heels into this arguement, the more I am inclined to send him cash just to give a better chance. If fact, I am going to do that right now.

        Thank you Geeting for getting me off the fence. I hope to see you eat your words. Don’t take the thank you seriously, I still think you’re a pompous ass.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Good! You should donate to the candidates you want to win in the primary. I don’t have the goods on the campaign report yet because Hanger hasn’t released it, but I think it’s clear from his statements begging others not to outspend him that he hasn’t raised enough to warrant staying in the race.

          It’s best for the Party – defined broadly as the activists, registered voters, aligned advocacy and interest groups, and donors – because the more support the general election candidate has from Democratic voters coming out of the primary, the less attention they’ll have to spend building a base of support within the Democratic Party during the general election campaign season.

          • Robert G. says:

            Maybe he is asking the other candidates not to spend because is a sensible, frugal candidate who believes that voters/REAL PEOPLE matter far more than big donors.

          • Domonator says:

            So you ASSUMED he doesn’t have any money. We all know what happens when you assume. How much money is enough to run a campaign? half a mil? One Mill? Five? Fill us in with your oh-so infinite knowledge, Grand Poobah of the blogs.

            There is already a base of support in the democratic party. Its called Beat Corbett. Every interest group ins going to be behind whomever wins. Your arguement is pointless.

            Damn, I just sent Hanger another C-Note. Damn you Geeting!

  15. Charles says:

    If big fundraising is all that matters in winning a general election than why can’t these supposed “frontrunners” such as Schwartz and McCord close the deal in the primary with all their big bucks? Hanger is essentially tied with McGinty for third place in the polls so I don’t see why he should bow out while Tom Wolf with all his millions (and who is still trailing far behind everyone else) should stay in. This logic makes no sense for Hanger to drop out. He is still the toughest candidate on charter schools and fracking, not to mention he is STILL the only one discussing the huge mess that marijuana criminalization is wreaking on the Commonwealth. His voice still stands out from all the other candidates and deserves to be heard.

  16. Tsuyoshi says:

    The delusion in so many of the comments here is pretty impressive. You could call it the Tinkerbell Theory of Campaign Finance: the existing system (spending thousands of hours on the phone to beg for money to buy advertising) is bad, therefore if we really believe, money will stop being important in winning elections. Unfortunately, unilateral disarmament doesn’t work in elections, folks… Pennsylvania has a lot of voters, and you need a lot of money to get those people to vote for you. You don’t need to have the most money to win an election, but there’s a certain minimum threshold, under which you can’t possibly win.

    And fundraising prowess in the primary definitely translates to fundraising prowess in the general. If there is a magic pool of Democratic donors that automatically donates to whoever wins the primary, it’s pretty small.

    That said, I’m not too convinced of the premise of the original post here. For example, in 2008, did Kucinich, who never had a prayer of winning the nomination, harm Obama’s chances in the general? Not really. If Hanger dropped out of the Democratic primary and ran as an independent, that would be harmful (see for example the election between Corzine and Christie in 2009, which had a significant independent spoiler), but I don’t think a competitive primary is necessarily a bad thing.

  17. Girondin says:

    Money winning elections is FAR from a recent development. And it’s far from a recent talking point. I have zero faith that someone who would prove to be an effective fundraiser (suck up to all the right oligarchs), on par with Corbett, would find it within themselves to then change the system so that some “common man candidate” could actually have a shot against them come re-election time. I agree that someone with money will be winning in november, but saying that it’s so that person can then change the game is a big fat friggin’ lie.

  18. Girondin says:

    Also…

    “Always stand on principle….even if you stand alone.” — John Adams

    Go get ‘em, John Hanger!

    • steventodd says:

      Amen. John should campaign for what he believes in for as long as he can afford to. So should every one else who wishes to, in any party.

  19. Tim Kearney says:

    John Hanger on his worst day is ten times better than any other candidate on their best day. John is the only single payer, universal, comprehensive, high quality health care candidate, which is long over due for those who want it. Take it from someone who suffered under Allyson Schwartz’ “representation” for years. She never met a war nor defense budget she did not like (vote for). She supported the bankruptcy bill that consumer lawyers from legal services opposed and said was horrible. She took the side of the building trades in attempts to destroy Burholme Park, when numerous good alternatives existed. Raising $6.5 million means you are owned, like Corbett, like Rendell, .like………

    John Hanger should stay in the race to the primary and beyond. I will vote to make it so.

  20. So, your idea is to keep only the wealthy, big-money-backed candidates in this race to govern our state?

    After researching the candidates thoroughly, most common sense citizens in Pennsylvania who want to protect their families, children, health, natural surroundings, water, education, jobs, etc from destruction by political corruption will see that John Hanger is the best candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania.

    Not only is he more qualified, but he’s the only one making real changes by fighting to protect people who would otherwise have no voice at all: water supplies from fracking damage, marriage equality, marijuana reform (crucial! – and if you don’t know why, ask instead of relying on 1930’s propaganda.)

    read for yourself, John Hanger’s clear stance on all the issues, here: http://www.hangerforgovernor.com/?recruiter_id=1350

  21. steventodd says:

    We Democrats need what they Republicans and every other party member and independent needs but seldom gets: the best candidate. The only way to get that is vigorous debate and airing of positions. The Political Class has keeping our choices insignificant and keeping dissent locked out down to a science, party aside. They do it by following the program Geeting outlines here: by allowing The Political Class – a small and shrinking group of largely non-constituents – to pick all candidates for all offices. This is why We The People have zero confidence in either broken party, and why our economy is crumbling under the dead weight of de-facto quid pro quo. John is a breath of fresh air on this, and he has my vote for many reasons. But everyone who wishes to run for any office should do so, to ensure the widest field from which each person casts one vote.

    • Roger Cohen says:

      Amen, steventodd.

      • steventodd says:

        Thanks. Campaign finance reform has been my #1 issue for years. For-profit financing of our public servants has rendered them impotent, and I don’t think any other significant reform is possible without improving that situation.

  22. Frederick Smith says:

    Isnt this the same site that John Hanger won that poll on by a landslide? It sounds to me that maybe big money is afraid of John Hanger and they have every reason to be. Put it this way….I NEVER have voted before and will be voting for the first time because I feel Johns actually WORTH voting for. I know plenty of other folks that have never voted and are registered to vote in the primary as well. Its time to give PA back to the people and catch us up with the rest of the country. VOTE FOR JOHN HANGER and give the PEOPLE a voice!!!

  23. adrienne buka says:

    Recommending that lesser funded candidates, i.e. John Hanger, drop out of the race is flat out un-American! It’s this kind of corruption of the democratic process that hurts us all. I predict that in this election, there will be a backlash against kowtowing to “politics as usual”. People are sick of it!

    • Jon Geeting says:

      How can recommending a politician drop out of an election be Unamerican?

      • adrienne says:

        Recommending a politician drop out of a race alone is not, but recommending that a politician drop out based on your reasoning is. It goes against the ideals that America was founded upon, i.e.- equal opportunity.

  24. Lee R. says:

    I thought Keystone Progress was a principled, progressive organization–actually I knew better. John Hanger just won the poll at Keystone asking: Who Should Progressives Support (John got 64% of the responses/votes). Obviously, Keystone “Progress” thinks all Dems are alike, even the Blue Dogs. Not a very progressive organization. I won’t be voting for any Blue Dogs. We already have one in Corbett. And Schwartz is another. We’ll let the leaders of Keystone Regress keep disregarding their alleged philosophy and they will become just another top-down labor union with little concern for anything but their paid staff and the political games that staff constantly plays.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      This is a principled progressive blog that cares about beating Tom Corbett and electing the strongest possible Democratic nominee to do it. The Democrats’ efforts to beat Corbett and take the state senate are harmed by a crowded field. If 20% is all a candidate ends up needing to win, a very weak candidate like John Hanger or Max Myers could sneak through. We want the bar to be pretty high, to get the strongest possible nominee.

      • Domonator says:

        C’mon Jon! Meyers is going to get less than 2% of the vote, if he is lucky. Chocolate covered Litz may even get more votes than Meyers, from Hershey workers. You can’t even begin to put Meyers on the same field as Hanger.

        You keep stating that Dem efforts will be harmed by a crowded field, yet you fail to make an adequate argument.

      • Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

        Stop calling John a weak candidate

  25. Lee R. says:

    Sorry–I must correct myself. I read this too quickly and thought Keystone Politics was Keystone Progress. My bad! Who cares what Keystone Politics says.

  26. Ed Boito says:

    Mr. Geeting,

    I am the field director for John Hanger. On a daily basis, we field anywhere from 50-75 calls, e-mails or facebook requests from people accross the state who either want to register to vote for the first time or change their party affiliation to democrat in order to vote for John. Interestingly, young people are the ones who are looking to register for the first time, and the majority of the people looking to change party registration (mainly Republican) are older, the majority of which would like to be able to use medicinal marijuana for an ailment from which they are suffering.

    And remember, those 50-75 people interact with and may influence up to 5-10 other people come May 20.

    You may be correct that money is everything when it comes to politics, but there is a quiet, revolution building, one that is sick of politics and influence as usual. John’s campaign is providing substance to a previously disillusioned segment of the electorate to believe in, to work toward, and to vote on. In all the elections I have worked on, I have never witnessed anything like this.

    I look forward to your “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline on May 21.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Ed thanks for the comment. Again, I think John has been very helpful in putting important issue positions on the agenda, many of which I agree with. No disrespect intended here. I also respect that you have a job to do, as do I. Your job is to convince supporters that your candidate has momentum and pump people up to turn out to volunteer for him ahead of the primary.

      My job as a political writer is giving readers an accurate assessment of the state of the race, and the likelihood that certain candidates will prevail. I would fail at this job if I told people I thought John had a shot at the nomination or the Governor’s office. My other job as a partisan progressive advocate is to help do what is best for my party’s success in 2014, and help narrow the field so no weak candidates sneak through with 20% of the vote. Clearly our nominee will be stronger if s/he has to get 35-50% of the vote. That’s a higher bar to clear and it’s good for the party if that standard is pretty high. We need a consensus nominee to win and to have the funding and the coattails to take the state senate too.

  27. Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

    Jon what county do you live in ? I bet John Hanger has a fan page made by someone in your county already . Why do you think that John has so many fan pages like mine ? Almost 1 for every county , all made by different people in those counties . No other candidate has a following like John Hanger and neither does the governor . Do you honestly think his following will not grow ? When John says he is going to shock the elites he isn’t meaning he is going to shock them by winning , he is going to shock them by smashing them . Don’t underestimate us ! We have John’s back !

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Philadelphia County. I’m aware that there is a buzz of netroots support for John. I just simply deny that this is representative of where the actual Democratic primary electorate is at. Read the polls. Currently Allyson Schwartz is viewed as the most liberal candidate by Democratic voters. That’s what we’re dealing with. Not hyper-informed online whites.

      • Carl Dash says:

        I’m a black man from Philadelphia, and I REALLY wish you would stop implying only white people are “informed” in electoral participation. It’s quite sickening.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          I definitely didn’t mean that. Was just saying that the breakdown of who reads this blog and other daily political blogs online skews overwhelmingly white, male, and upper middle class. That doesn’t mean voters of color aren’t informed, they’re just not well-represented in online polls.

  28. Les Stark says:

    Asking John Hanger to drop out is like asking all of his supporters to drop out and will NOT and neither will John Hanger! If John Hanger does not win the Democratic nomination to go against Tom Corbett we will NOT support that nominee unless they support cannabis reform. There is NO WAY that we will vote for our jailers. Allyson Schwartz is rabidly against cannabis and does not support even the legalization of medical marijuana even though polls consistently show that 82% of Pennsylvanians support the issue. To me and many others, that shows that she simply does not care about us one way or the other. Why elect a person who is no more enlightened than Tom Corbett?

    I repeat, on the issue of cannabis reform there is ZERO difference between the major candidates from Tom Corbett. That might be okay with you but it is NOT okay with us. It is easy to consider the legalization of cannabis a marginal issue but it is NOT. For many of us it is a major issue. We MUST have a candidate represent us. If the Democratic party does not field a candidate that supports reform you can expect that many of us will take our votes to the Libertarian or Green parties.

    The money candidates have money working for them. John Hanger has dedicated human beings. We might lose but we are not simply going to roll over,and more importantly, we believe that we can actually WIN!

    Up to two million people in Pennsylvania smoke cannabis in any given year. We need about 300,000 of them to vote for John Hanger to win the primary and we are working hard to mobilize those voters. Despite your pleas, we will NOT give up!

    If you want to make a difference, plead and beg with the big money candidates to support cannabis and hemp law reform or drop out and be held in contempt by the people. I am sick to death of Democrats and republicans who can not support ending this cruel, inhumane, costly and destructive prohibition. It is time to stop destroying people’s lives over a plant. The scene unfolding in Colorado is so glaring and blatant of an example of what we could have in Pennsylvania and throughout our nation. Politicians who can not or refuse to see it are simply not worthy of our votes and should be held in contempt.

    Get on the right side of history. John Hanger is NOT dropping out. In fact, we are going to work harder than ever before.

  29. Girondin says:

    It seems that “strong candidate” means a democrat that conservatives would vote for, and that’s unacceptable in these polarized times. Schwartz voted AGAINST proposed legislation that would inhibit NSA surveillance, and all the info on McCord is solely about his business background and says nothing about his stance on issues like war or healthcare. True progressives are sick to death of voting for the lesser evil. Sick.

  30. John Foote says:

    John Hanger is the only Democratic candidate who is not in the pocket of big business. He will restore the $1,000,000,000 (that’s right 1 billion dollars) that Corbett took from education. He will also take the reins and stop the gas companies wild west mentality on fracking that is polluting the ground, streams and water wells of Pa. He also is for renewable energy such as wind and solar energy. Germany has already built a solar plant that has generated enough energy to meet one third of the countries energy need without pollution. Almost half of the country has already decriminalized Marijuana possession and it is about time Pa. gets on the bandwagon and stops spending so much money prosecuting and jailing people for smoking a useful herb. Colorado expects to take in $67 million in tax revenue this year plus adding to this will be tourism, jobs created, not having to build jails to house these “criminals”. In my opinion John Hanger is the only candidate that is good for the people and not so much for making the rich richer. So on May 20th vote for the best candidate not the one with the most money!!!!

    • Lee R. says:

      To: John Geating— Primary voters will decide– not you or me. Who are YOU to tell anyone who to vote for? I am personally glad you revealed YOUR bias. You are obviously for conservative, corporate Democrats—You know—the ones who talk liberal to get elected, then rule according to the triangulation theory of the centrist DLC. I guess Allyson and McGinty are right up there on your phony progressive list!! Alert: All Dems are not progressive! But, again, to fake progressives/liberals—like you, even Allyson is judged to be “liberal”. If you think she is liberal, well……..

      Anyway, Corbett will likely eat her alive—- Liberals won’t vote for her in the general because she, long ago, sold out. And Tea Party libertarian Republicans will have delirious fun with her history. In summary: so much for the authenticity of the “liberal source” of “news” from Keystone Politics! I am now off to watching the Eagles—-hope you or Keystone Politics did not suggest any team dropping out of these contests!

      • John Foote says:

        Back @ you Lee R.~I am sick and tired of our politicians being elected by how much money they have. The corporations are now buying our politicians and directing them like puppets once they’re elected. John Hanger is the one who is taking contributions from people (not corporations) and will in turn work for the people. If you actually think that Corbett is going to win against any of the Democrats running, you have got another thing coming. People are so sick of Corbett that he WILL be the first Governor of Pa. to NOT be reelected. Now you can go watch the Eagles lose too!!

      • Jon Geeting says:

        I am involved with a website debuting soon that recommends left primary challenges to Democrats who vote too conservative for their districts. I am not a conservative Democrat by any means. I am just practical about who is best positioned to beat Corbett and want others to be realistic about this. Complain about it all you want, but money matters.

  31. Patte says:

    Which employer would you pick? The larger corporation with the larger bottom line? Or the company that can offer you the best benefits? I dunno ’bout you, but I don’t care about how much money a corporation has, I’d choose the company that offers me the better benefits! While the other candidates may have a larger bottom line, John Hanger offers us better benefits, a real plan of action – not just lip service – and in my humble opinion, we’ll all be better off for making that choice.

  32. Jack says:

    Hanger should stay in.

  33. Michael Noda says:

    I don’t have a position in the PAGOV primary yet, but I hope for John Hanger’s sake that all of the pissed-off commenters above were motivated to break out their checkbooks and put some actions behind their strong words.

    (The meat of Geeting’s post here really is basic primary politics in an expensive, uncapped fundraising state like Pennsylvania. Actually saying all of this aloud, however, might have been a Kinsleyan Gaffe.)

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Totally, although it’s worth taking the heat because people need to understand how this works and I know other undecided Dems are reading beyond just the Hanger folks.

  34. Pingback: 1/6 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

  35. Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

    A new poll just came out , lets see what people are thinking and if John Hangers people campaign is building more momentum ! Could this be the first online poll John doesn’t win or will he dominate yet again ? http://www.phillyrecord.com/

  36. Pennsylvanians For John Hanger says:

    This is a new era , social media plays a vital role and although it’s true polls don’t mean anything on paper per say they do mean a lot in the way of free recognition . The number of facebook likes by Schwartz make it look like an open and closed case but the reason she and the others gets dominated in every single online poll is very simple , they use campaign ads disguised as anti Corbett ads that when people click on them they are liking their facebook pages . 80% of their likes are wasted dollars and will result in nothing and every Hanger like is genuine . If there were 5 “public” online polls so far and each poll was won by a different candidate I could understand it not being considered relevant but when 1 candidate is dominating every single poll over and over I think you can consider that somewhat relevant this early in the race .