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Hoeffel, Onorato battling for progressive vote

There’s a lot of campaigning ahead of us, but in the early stages of the race for the the Democratic nomination for governor, it would seem that at least two of the campaigns are acknowledging that winning progressives is the key to winning the race.

Following Luke Ravenstahl’s infamous New Year’s Eve veto of the prevailing wage bill, Joe Hoeffel, Democrat from Montgomery County, issued a statement slamming the move and supporting the bill:

The bill had been passed unanimously by Pittsburgh’s city council and has received support from labor groups, environmental groups, and other progressives from across the City.

He went on to challenge Onorato and others to “stand up for economic justice and denounce the move.”

Onorato–who has the support of Luke Ravenstahl–failed to criticize the move or support the specific legislation on the table, but offered general support for prevailing wage legislation in principle.  In acknowledgement of the base that Onorato has no choice but to try to win, he went on to say,

“I think Mr. Hoeffel may be surprised by the support I have with progressives, including progressives in [southeastern Pennsylvania],”

This is an odd statement for those of us in Allegheny County who have some history with Dan.  For example, look back on this article written by Tim McNulty when he was a candidate for County Executive:

He says he’s against the living wage, a proposal pushed by organized labor, saying it is anti-business. He doesn’t have to mention it, but people there also know he is anti-abortion and pro-gun.

and maybe more interestingly,

[L]aw students were debating President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and proposals to prohibit burning the American flag, both of which were ultimately rejected.

Onorato, though, was in favor of both.

Meanwhile, from Hoeffel HQ:

“I’m thrilled to be endorsed by Philly for Change,” said Democrat Joe Hoeffel…

Philly For Change endorsed Hoeffel at its first monthly meet-up of the year on Wednesday night. With more than 4,000 members, Philly For Change is one of the largest progressive organizations in the greater Philadelphia area.

With a Democratic electorate that is desperate to be motivated by someone who has a record of standing up for environmental justice, economic justice, and the rights of women, working people, and the LGBT community, there should be a lot more coming on the race to secure the progressive base.

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  • Dan U-A

    This is my Philly perspective: Unlike the contentious relationship that I sense with Onarato, progressives in Philly (whomever they end up supporting) almost uniformly like and respect Hoeffel.

    He comes across as a progressive, smart, principled person. He would be a wonderful governor.

  • Gloria

    The only person putting Dan Onorato in the race for PA progressives’ votes, is Dan Onorato.

    Even a cursory look at his track record gives plenty of proof that that he never was & still is not a progressive.

  • Dylan

    By what definition is Dan Onorato a progressive? He is anti-choice. He is against marriage rights for all. He is against taxing the big corporations that rape the Marsellus Shale. He is against paying workers a prevailing wage!

    Comparing Onorato to Hoeffel on progressive issues is like, well, comparing Corbett to Hoeffel. Or comparing Bush to Obama. Or Toomey to, well, you get the idea. Dan Onorato a progressive? Maybe on the planet Nebular, but not in the real world.

  • Cindy Purvis

    Joe Hoeffel sat down and met with HealthCare4All PA, an organization supporting legislation to give comprehensive health care to every Pennsyvanian at a savings of $2.3 BILLION to the taxpayer of PA. http://www.healthcare4allpa.org. He understands the legislation, the need to take the monkey off the back of our businesses, the moral imperative to give health care to EVERONE, and the reason most governmental bodies are having difficulties balancing their budgets…out-of-control health care increases for employees.

    With the the challenges that Onorato’s administration has had in balancing the budget in Allegheny County one has to wonder why he has not turned to health care reform as an answer. Could it be that UPMC is too powerful?

    Pennsylvanians need a David not afraid to take on Goliath.

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