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Inquirer Daily News

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."  

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 11:15 AM
Kevin Strouse (right) and Shaughnessy Naughton are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's Eighth Congressional District.

WASHINGTON – Shaughnessy Naughton has called on her Democratic primary opponent, Kevin Strouse, to explain a series of donations apparently exchanged between his parents and the parents of other Democratic Congressional candidates around the country, saying they violated the spirit of campaign finance laws, if not the laws themselves.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions here and I think we deserve answers,” Naughton said Wednesday morning in a conference call with reporters. “At best this is a bizarre scheme. At worst it was a coordinated effort to circumvent campaign finance limits – that should be troubling.”

Naughton, running against Strouse in a primary for a Bucks County-based seat, arranged the call in response to an Inquirer story Monday that showed that Strouse’s parents, after giving the maximum allowed to their son, then sent donations to eight other Democratic House candidates in states such as California, Colorado, Illinois and Florida.

POSTED: Thursday, May 8, 2014, 9:26 AM

Running updates on Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger are below. Updates are also on Twitter @JonathanTamari.

The hearing concluded just before 1:40 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- More than three hours in, we had the most unusual exchange of the day.

POSTED: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:08 AM

WASHINGTON – Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) urged Gov. Corbett to wave the white flag on Pennsylvania’s controversial Voter ID law Thursday, writing that the Republican administration should forego any further appeals after losing a court ruling Monday.

“At every turn Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has been rejected by the courts,” Casey wrote in a letter sent to Corbett’s office Thursday morning and obtained by the Inquirer. “Continuing this appeal will only continue to cast a cloud of uncertainty over residents who are rightly concerned that this law will prevent them from exercising their right to vote.”

Casey’s letter comes three days after a Commonwealth Court judge denied the Corbett administration's request to reconsider a ruling that blocked the voter identification law.  The Corbett administration has 30 days from Monday’s decision to file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Casey wrote that the law would "create a barrier that would prevent tens of thousands of Pennsylvania residents from exercising their right to vote."

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

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