Earlier this week Blue America made Congressman Tim Holden (PA-17) uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. And he's going to remain uncomfortable until his primary contest with progressive Matt Cartwright on April 24th.
Everywhere he turns he, and all of his potential constituents, will be seeing this:
It will pop up all over the district on freeways and thoroughfares and rural highways. All his neighbors and potential voters will know just how friendly old Tim is with the fracking industry.
Let's just say he isn't happy. According to Politics PA Holden's campaign issued a press release calling Blue America a "Super PAC" (which is just hilarious.)
Holden’s campaign blasted the Blue America PAC as an outside group trying to meddle in the 17th district, and noted that Holden is taking heat from interest groups on both sides of the aisle.
“Throughout his career, Tim Holden has legislated from the political center, which is where most of America and the 17th district find themselves,” said campaign manager Eric Nagy. “Now he is getting hit from the right by Texas oil baron billionaires with the Primary Accountability PAC and from the left by a Hollywood record company executive with Blue America PAC. It’s clear that no matter where your political ideology falls, you run the risk of offending one of these groups.”
Nagy took a swipe at Cartwright, too.
“What we have here is a case of the rich helping the rich – billionaires and millionaires coming to the rescue of fellow millionaire Matt Cartwright.”
The PAC’s press release highlighted this article from Republic Report, a watchdog website that features writings from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Cartwright echoed their criticism of Holden.
“I am thrilled by Blue America’s endorsement. The people of Northeastern PA need to know Tim Holden’s record over the past 19 years that he is trying to hide,” he said. “It is not just the Halliburton loophole, but his vote against health care reform, his opposition to legislation that would have made it harder for banks to foreclose on struggling families at the height of the recession, and the fact that he voted with George W. Bush 60% of the time.”
Yes, there's another group coming at Holden from the right. Seems a Blue Dog just can't get a break these days.
There has been a flurry of press in Pennsylvania, from PoliticsPA to the Scranton Times-Tribune and The Pocono-Record, among others. Progressive blogs in the area such as NEPArtisan are all over it. Holden is clearly rattled.
And for Howie, it's now personal:
I don't write a lot about my days in the music business here at DWT but then I've never been attacked-- not even by a Republican-- for being in the music business before. Yesterday was the first time and it was in a press release from corrupt Blue Dog, Tim Holden. Reacting to the billboards Blue America put up revealing his shady role in the fracking industry he decided to ignore the substance and attack our PAC and my old job instead. Holden sent out a press release calling Blue America a SuperPAC-- our average contribution is $45-- and whining he's being attacked "from the left by a Hollywood record company executive with Blue America PAC."
I retired from my job at Warner Bros almost a decade ago and work full time running by blog, DownWithTyranny, exposing corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle, like Holden. But, for Holden's sake, I'll give a brief run-down of my experience as "a Hollywood record company executive." I started a small, independent label called 415 in San Francisco in 1978, on of the country's first "alternative rock" labels. It was funny when I heard from Borys Krawczeniuk at the Scranton Times-Tribune yesterday morning. He asked me if I was the same Howie Klein he used to chat with about SVT and Romeo Void when he was music director at WRKC (88.5 fm) at King's College in Wilkes-Barre. What a hoot; we hadn't talked in 30 years!!! Funny how music brings people together!
A small indie label with absolutely no capital-- I lived in a $90/month apartment in the Mission District and often had to decide if I wanted to put $2 of gas in my car or eat a meal-- 415 thrived and eventually attracted the attention of the major labels. CBS bought the label and my life changed, although I keep my old Fairlane and stayed in my old Mission District apartment. But I could at least afford health care for the people working at 415. I ran the label for CBS for a few years and then went to work for Warner Bros, as general manager of Sire Records, where I helped guide the careers of the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, k.d. lang, The Pretenders, The Smiths, Morrissey, Ice-T, Ministry, Tommy Page and dozens of other musicians who have probably had more of a positive impact on people's lives than a hack politician in Washington. And speaking of Tommy Page, he was just a teenager when Seymour Stein signed him to the label and we released the #1 worldwide smash hit "I'll Be Your Everything".
But the career of a teen idol doesn't usually last forever. When Tommy came to me and told me he had decided to go back to college and get a degree he asked me if I would give him a job at the label when he graduated. Four years later he was back and he started at the bottom of the ladder-- a promotion department assistant, where his hard work and dedication earned him promotion after promotion until he was an A& R man and then a senior vice president of promotion. Around that time I had bought an old house in gorgeous Monroe County in what is now the 17th CD. Many of my music business friends, hearing from me how beautiful the Poconos are, also bought homes there. One was Tommy and his growing family. Tommy still calls Stroudsburg home-- and now he's the publisher of Billboard Magazine.
Read on for the full screed. It's priceless.
We'd like to keep the pressure on Holden all the way through the primary. If you can help with a few bucks we'd really appreciate it. This is a newly drawn Democratic district --- no Republican can win it. So, it's a race between a progressive Democrat and a corrupt, conservative Democrat who half the district has never heard of. Holden's so desperate that he's bringing in Steny Hoyer to prop him up. And he's clearly nervous about Cartwright's excellent fundraising and support. These billboards are sending him over the edge.
Holden is a plodding Beta Blue Dog foot soldier who does whatever he's told by the people who run him. He's a super social conservative, anti-choice, anti-gay rights and a guy that Steny can always count on to vote on behalf of the 1%. He has no business representing working families. And he's beatable.
If you can help, please send a couple of bucks to our Fracking Holden campaign. Let's make him lose some sleep before he loses his seat.
You can also follow this campaign at Facebook.com/FrackersHeartHolden