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    Thinking pink

    The Human Rights Campaign has endorsed Arlen Specter’s Democratic opponent in the contest for his Senate seat, IGF reports. I’ve never been all that hot on Specter, who’s very much a finger-to-the-wind Washington operator. When his breaking ranks with the Republicans is motivated by principled disagreement is hard to get a handle on.

    But come on. If the HRC is going to play single-issue politics–and being a single-issue lobby, it has no reason not to–not endorsing Specter strikes me as plain dumb in strategic terms. It’s possible that Joseph Hoeffel supports a few more HRC wish list items, certainly, but Specter is a four-term senator with connections everywhere. A lot of hard-right types don’t like him (my Representative, Pat Toomey, was his challenger in the primary), but he still has credibility as a pro-gay centrist that most Democrats lack.

    BTW, I’ve been kind of lazy about reading up on Hoeffel as a candidate. His homepage as a Representative is about what you’d expect:

    Now in his third term, Joe has worked hard on promoting fiscal restraint, balancing the federal budget, paying down our national debt, reforming education, improving international relations, protecting the environment and expanding health care.

    I bet he thinks puppies are adorable, too.

    Naturally, his vague desire to balance the federal budget should not obscure his specific accomplishments, which mostly involve making sure that Northeast Philadelphia gets as much of that lovely pork and gravy as possible:

    Joe has worked hard to bring federal money back to Montgomery County, including over $50 million in his first term alone. He brought a public health center to Norristown; secured millions of dollars in SEPTA funding; brought $2 million to regional private colleges to establish a program to train public school teachers; helped establish the Center for Sustainable Development at Temple University-Ambler with a federal grant of $2 million; and helped restore $3 million in Title I education funds to Montgomery County school districts.

    In the most recent appropriations cycle, Joe secured funds for the Schuylkill Valley Metro, development of the Delaware River waterfront in Northeast Philadelphia, Montgomery County Community College, Manor College and the Abington Art Center among others.

    (Slight pause while I suppress my gorge at the casual mention of such a thing as “the most recent appropriations cycle,” in which federal money is poured into waterfront development. Glp. There. We’re good.) Being such a friend of gays and lesbians that it’s worth throwing over one of our strategic Senate allies for him, couldn’t he have worked in a new LGBTXYZPDQ community center complex somewhere in there? Exposed brick, atrium, and restful orchid garden would be welcome features, but I’d settle for the atrium. After all, we’re trying to practice fiscal restraint here.

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