Biden, Pelosi Here Monday to Raise Cash for Lentz

A pair of Democratic heavy hitters will visit Philadelphia Monday to help congressional candidate Bryan Lentz in his bid to keep the Seventh Congressional District seat blue.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will headline a luncheon fundraiser at the Sheraton at 17th and Race Streets in Philadelphia at noon. It’s $1,000 to get in the door, and at least $5,000 if you want a chance to mingle with Biden and Pelosi. As many as 200 people are expected to attend, said Lentz campaign spokesman Vincent Rongione.

Lentz’s opponent, Patrick Meehan, is already using the event to tie Lentz to Pelosi, Washington, higher taxes, healthcare and basically all things voters love to hate right now. Meehan’s campaign ran an ad on AM radio (KYW 1060 and WPHT 1210) and some internet sites Thursday and Friday that features Pelosi in a ringleader hat. It is here:
“Haurry, haurry, haurry,” a man says over circus music at the start of the 60-second ad. “The Nancy Pelosi political circus is coming to town. Coming to our area to support “Phila-liberal Bryan Lentz.”
“And the ticket price is … HIGH.”
The ad tries to paint Lentz, a two-term state representative, as a tax and spend liberal and tie him to Pelosi, who gets strong negative ratings from Republican voters (a recent poll showed that 74 percent of Republicans strongly disapprove of her performance, according to the Washington Post).
While Meehan may make some ad hay from the Pelosi trip, Lentz aims to make money. Both Pelosi, and especially Biden, are strong fundraisers, said Randall Miller, a professor and political historian at St. Joseph’s University.
“This is, after all, the biggest thing: what Lentz needs right now is money,” Miller said.
Lentz and Meehan are locked in what is one of the closest watched Congressional races in nation this year. The seat is open after Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak left to run for U.S. Senate.
Meehan, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney, is well-known in Delaware County, where the district is centered. Lentz, a former Army ranger and assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, is the county’s strongest Democratic candidate (with the exception of Sestak).
Meehan will have his own national figure at a campaign event Monday evening when former New York City mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani drops by. The event is expected to involve a handful of people who will meet with Giuliani for dinner and a cigar smoke at the Union League on South Broad Street.