Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 5:35 PM

WASHINGTON – Sarah Palin has endorsed Steve Lonegan in a heated South Jersey Republican Congressional primary.

"Steve is the type of conservative leader we need. He believes in the free market principles this country was founded on because he has seen first hand how they can lead to success," Palin wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday. "He will be a dedicated fighter for lower taxes, balanced budgets, and lessening the burdens of regulation on small businesses."

In backing Lonegan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate added her name to a fierce Republican fight playing out in a moderate district with an open seat. Palin also endorsed Lonegan last year in his unsuccessful Senate campaign against Democrat Cory Booker.

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 4:32 PM

WASHINGTON – When the voting stopped Tuesday, Montgomery County was left on the outside looking in.

The third most populous county in Pennsylvania is facing the prospect of having no member of Congress from within its borders. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz – a MontCo resident – chose to run for governor, and in the Democratic primary to replace her, three county residents were left in the dust by Northeast Philadelphia’s Brendan Boyle.

MontCo still has a shot in the fall -- Boyle will face Republican Dee Adcock in November – but it would take a huge upset for Adcock to win in the heavily Democratic district.

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 11:00 AM

WASHINGTON – Aimee Belgard, a South Jersey Democrat running for Congress, called Thursday for U.S. Veteran Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki to resign in the wake of a scandal showing long delays in providing medical care to veterans.

Many Republicans have also called for Shinseki’s the resignation – including South Jersey U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo – but Belgard is one of very few Democrats to go that far.

"What happened in Phoenix is deplorable and unethical. Those responsible must be held accountable, including Secretary Shinseki. It is beyond me how this could occur under the radar of the Department of Veterans Affairs." Belgard, a Burlington County freeholder, said in a news release. "I'm extremely disheartened by how long it took the Obama Administration to investigate this situation.”

News reports have shown that a Phoenix VA hid delays even as some veterans died while awaiting care.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 12:15 PM

Five thoughts on Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary results:

-- It was a bad night for Montgomery County
When the jockeying began, Allyson Schwartz was supposed to be the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for governor. Marjorie Margolies, a former Congresswoman who is mother-in-law to Chelsea Clinton and had Bill and Hillary in her corner, was supposed to be the favorite to replace Schwartz in Congress. But both lost – Schwartz to Tom Wolf, Margolies to Philadelphia’s Brendan Boyle – and neither race was very close.

MontCo, the third most populous county in the state and second richest, now faces the prospect of going into 2014 without any home turf representation in Congress or on top of the gubernatorial ticket.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6:20 PM
At Rider College, Steve Lonegan speaks at a political forum on Sept. 24, 2013. ( APRIL SAUL / Staff )

WASHINGTON – An already fierce Republican primary in South Jersey has now picked up allegations of defamation (by one candidate), accusations of bullying (by another) and fake campaign Web sites that disparage one another.

The latest round of back-and-forth began with businessman and former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur suing his opponent, Steve Lonegan, for defamation in response to information on one of the sites. Lonegan reacted Tuesday with a Trenton press conference in which he called MacArthur a bully.

“It's this kind of bullying and strong-arming of people that's downright despicable and has no place in this race,” said a Lonegan press release tied to the event.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 12:16 PM

WASHINGTON – The federal government has asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by Chaka Fattah Jr., the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), arguing that the claims arrived too late and are based on inference, not proven fact.

The filing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania takes a dismissive approach to Fattah Jr.’s suit seeking nearly $10 million in damages for claims against the IRS, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and United States of America, all of which are named as defendants.

“Plaintiff’s amended complaint grasps at various legal theories, but they all fall short of what is required to bring a claim in federal court,” says a Department of Justice filing dated Monday. “Plaintiff’s claims are insufficiently supported by factual allegations.”

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 4:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Ed Rendell endorsed Shaughnessy Naughton heading into the final stretch of a tough Democratic Congressional primary in Bucks County.

The primary "has two excellent candidates" Rendell said in a statement, "However, I believe that Shaughnessy Naughton is the most qualified candidate and has the best chance to unseat Republican Mike Fitzpatrick in the fall."

Naughton's campaign released the statement in a fund-raising e-mail to supporters Wednesday. There was no formal press release or event.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 2:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a Republican whose pending retirement has set off a heated GOP primary in South Jersey, endorsed Tom MacArthur as his replacement Tuesday.

As Runyan praised the former Randolph mayor, he warned that MacArthur's primary opponent, Steve Lonegan, could cost Republicans the seat if the outspoken conservative wins the nomination.

"Tom was a strong conservative as a Mayor, and his track record of building a business, creating jobs and understanding how to grow the economy is tremendously impressive," Runyan said in a statement released by the MacArthur campaign. "I strongly believe that if Steve Lonegan is our nominee, Republicans will lose this seat in November."  

About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

Reach Jonathan at jtamari@phillynews.com.

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