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Why I’m voting for Santorum (still) in PA, Chris Reilly for Congress this Tues. in PA

Don’t you just love it when you have several candidates in a primary all telling you that they are “The” true conservative?  Doesn’t it get more fascinating when they tell you why the OTHER fellow is not?

What is always amusing to me in such situations is when the candidate(s) who have the least chance of winning, the least number of volunteers and the least amount of money, are usually the ones telling you that you should never, ever compromise but should only vote for “principle.”

Amusing, since most often, it is precisely because they are the least likely candidate to earn a conservatives’ vote which is precisely WHY they have the least amount of donations, volunteers and support.

So, without reviewing those “principled” candidates who never had a chance but who are running for office either to push a particular point of view regardless of how little support that view has within the GOP or within the broader constituency of a general election, let me share my conclusions about this coming Tuesday’s GOP primary vote – noting that I reserve the right to change my mind about any (or all) of these.

I will vote for Rick Santorum because he has articulated my views as a Christian-conservative and has a track record that more closely matches his words than any other option I have next Tuesday.

While I have written about this more extensively in the past than I will do now, I must say that I respect Newt Gingrich’s choice to stay in the race, and I respect those who will vote for him on Tuesday.  If I thought there was any chance at all that he could defeat Mitt Romney on Tuesday then I’d have committed my vote for him as I did going into the South Carolina and Florida primaries when I said I’d have voted for him AT THAT TIME, if I lived there.

I have also noted that I own many of his books and CD’s, have been a longstanding admirer of his as well as a critic who has objected to some of those occasions when Newt Gingrich did not hew to the conservative line.

About Mitt Romney I have noted in the past that liberals, leftists and their allies within our ranks, argue the old George Wallace line, “not a dime’s worth of difference” between Mitt, Newt and Rick.  They’d have been saying that too, if Cain or Bachmann were in the finalist group.

To leftists, Obama is too moderate and all the Republicans (except Ron Paul who they often admire) are all too conservative, and all the same thing.  This is the only thing that in a way, I agree with them on – that is, I’d love for ANY of these three final conservative choices to replace Obama in the White House.

Both Newt and Rick are a more clear cut conservative alternative than Romney.  Neither looks like they have a chance of winning against Romney.

But I still have my vote, and it goes to Rick Santorum on Tuesday here in Pennsylvania.

For U.S. Senator it got a little bit more complex and not a perfect situation.

I’ll vote for Sam Rohrer, the overwhelming choice in the straw poll of conservatives at the PA Leadership Conference recently.  I have two reservations.

My first reservation about Sam is that he sounds like a liberal when it comes to foreign policy.  “Bring the boys home” was a fine mantra for the leftist candidate for President in 1972, George McGovern.

Demanding that every move a President makes should be approved by the Senate, will warm the hearts of all the leftists who aren’t ever going to vote for a conservative but, why should that excite the rest of us who vote in GOP primaries?

Sam Rohrer has two major problems for me, the first of which is that he sounds like a leftist when he speaks of foreign policy.

If President Ronald Reagan had to get permission first before sending fighter jets to surround and force to the ground the Abu Nidal terrorist gang escaping by airliner from the site of their crime we’d still be waiting for approval instead of celebrating their capture.

Perhaps Sam would have objected – as did the left – when President Reagan followed the advice of counter-terrorism director and National Security Agency staffer, Lt. Col. Oliver North, and sent fighter jets from one direction and fuel tankers from another for the long range sortie that captured the gang after they were forced down near Italy.

Perhaps today most do not recall that a wheelchair bound American, Leon Klinghoffer, was executed in front of his wife on the Greek cruise ship Achille Lauro.

Perhaps the Senate would have had a “short” debate, perhaps just a few weeks, and in the end approved the no-longer secret plan drawn up by Colonel North and approved by Ronald Reagan himself to go after what the FBI at the time called “the most dangerous terrorist gang in the world.”  Sure.  When pigs fly.

In the end, perhaps over the objection of Sam Rohrer and others who are part of our conservative cause today, then President Ronald Reagan said “you can run but you cannot hide” after the terrorists had been brought to justice.

And who lived through that period and can ever forget the allies of Fidel Castro who seized power in the island-nation of Grenada and were building an airstrip for a new fighter base for MIG-21 jets to be stationed just off America’s southern coast?

After another Oliver North plan was approved by Ronald Reagan and executed with success, the American hostages held captive by the Cuban trained and led revolutionaries in Grenada were freed and returned to America to kiss the ground as they came off the plane exclaiming for the live TV cameras “God bless America.”  There weren’t many dry eyed Americans that day.

And the liberal-left’s reaction was to demand the impeachment of President Reagan for not first getting U.S. Senate permission in advance – never mind stealth, secrecy and surprise in attacking the enemies of America.

The liberal left has always said the same thing – they don’t want American power ever used abroad, they always want the President to get permission first.

And until recently, conservatives have said that the Constitution is very clear that we have but one Commander in Chief, and if the Senate or House doesn’t like what he is doing they have the power to rein him in at any time they want, so put up, or shut up.

But this is one issue where reasonable conservatives take exception with Sam Rohrer.

The second exception I would take with Rohrer is simply this: he has a lousy track record of recruiting, organizing and creating a volunteer base and a base of conservative donors.

You cannot overcome the GOP regular machine – large sized donations and many donors, and many volunteers – with a small army of donors and volunteers.  You simply cannot be competitive, and those who support you are often just throwing away their time and their money if you don’t plan and recruit and build your own army.

I fear that once again, just as when he ran for Governor, the favorite of conservatives and despite my complaints, the favorite of the undersigned, has failed us on recruiting and building his own army.

No one else has emerged who speaks for me on as many issues as does Sam Rohrer in this U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania so reluctantly but without any further hesitation I’m voting for him, once again, as I voted for him for Governor in the past – both in the primary and as a write in November.

We have in Steve Welch a smooth talking product of the GOP party machine who will blow with the wind and very expertly say whatever is popular this week and in front of whichever audience he happens to be speaking at the moment.

Welch told one attendee at the candidate forum of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation (ACTION of PA) this past December that he’d not mentioned anything about his faith because he never speaks of his faith.

I reported here in recently how Steve Welch completely dodged the question about what he would do to defend against the Obama Administration’s recent assaults on religious liberty.

Welch instead defied the debate organizers at the PA Leadership Conference to tell us about his favorite American success story – his own – after they’d specifically said please answer the question we asked, not tell us about yourself which is in the literature they had given the attendees.

That was the debate after which the straw poll was announced showing a decisive win for Sam Rohrer at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

One of his opponents is running TV commercials to let us know that Steve Welch voted for Barack Obama just four years ago.

Well now.  I’d normally go along with a conservative friend of mine at ACTION of PA who asked, “but isn’t that what we want – Obama voters to come over to our side?”

It isn’t that which I would object to.  It is the opportunist I see that causes me the problem.

Steve Welch told people at the Dec. candidate forum that he was so upset with the Republicans a few years back that he defected from their ranks but today realized it was a mistake.

Let me ask you dear reader: have you ever heard of a conservative who was so mad at the Republican Party that he quit that party, changed his registration?

Sure we’ve all heard such stories.

But wait… have you ever heard of a conservative so upset with the Republicans for not being conservative enough, who changed his registration from Republican to Democrat and then voted for Barack Obama for President?

And lest there be any doubt about this, have you ever heard any explanation from Steve Welch about what issues had him so angry that he left the GOP?

Have you ever heard Steve Welch explain why, if the GOP wasn’t conservative enough for him – which is what he implies (but doesn’t state) – why would he then vote for the more liberal-leftist Barack Obama?

Did Steve Welch foolishly believe that former Saul Alinsky, radical-leftist Barack Obama was the more conservative choice versus Senator McCain and Sarah Palin?

What should we deduce from his mealy-mouthed explanation today, that he was so mad at the Republicans that he defected and left the GOP?

I’ll tell you what I conclude: the smooth talking Steve Welch isn’t telling us the whole story.  I believe he was a victim of the old “George Bush Derangement Syndrome” where the mere mention of the Bush name makes a leftist jump up and down in anger, totally out of control.

And of course, if anybody had any doubt about Steve Welch I trust you will recall that the same Republican Party State Central Committee that told us Arlen Specter was their ideal for a U.S. Senator – just before he thumbed his nose at them and switched to Democrat to help push through passage of ObamaCare – also more recently endorsed Steve Welch.

So if you liked Arlen Specter you’ll just love Steve Welch.  The PA GOP machine says so.

What possible reason in the world would a conservative want Steve Welch as your U.S. Senate nominee against a more conservative-sounding Democrat like Bob Casey?  Is this a joke?

I don’t think any of us should hold against each other differences in who we’d prefer for the GOP nominee for President but anybody who says he is a conservative and who supports Welsh is going to have serious credibility problems in the future among the rank and file of our movement, including the undersigned.

I’ll vote for Sam Rohrer but if on Tuesday I see a poll that shows ANY of the other candidates has the better chance to defeat Steve Welch and that Sam is out of reach of winning I will switch my vote to stop Steve Welch and not even blink or think twice about it.

In the 4th Congressional District we have an open seat with the pending retirement of 6-term Rep. Todd Platts.  We also have had the city of Harrisburg added to the congressional district and the loss of some Republican precincts.  That means a very red district has become a bit more of a battleground than in the past, and it is an open seat and hence more vulnerable.

So let me remind my RED STATE minded friends what that means: in the 4th district the issue is whether or not Nancy Pelosi gets this congressional seat to help put her back in power.  It isn’t just about the issues being battled out but also about that important question that is of serious concerne to many conservatives and to the undersigned.

We’ve had a number of debates in the district, which I have reported on.

One candidate who appears to the undersigned to be the most consistent conservative is Ted Waga.  Sadly, he has so little financial support that as of the final days before the end of this campaign he has yet to file a financial report with the Federal Election Commission – meaning less than $5,000.  He also scores less than 2 percent of the vote in the recently undertaken poll reported in the York Daily Record.

Some of the people who are pushing Ted Waga have been big critics of the GOP machine and of Rep. Todd Platts.   The complaint back at them is that they have no idea of how legislation is passed and the work done to get legislators to support what you want passed.  They don’t lobby as much as complain after the loss of a vote, is the complaint I’ve heard.

While Ted Waga cannot and should not be held responsible for what his supporters say, it is a fair assessment at this late hour that the fellow who appears to be the most consistent conservative in the race has no money, no army of campaign workers and poll standings that show he is not anywhere close to the front of the pack.  So while I like Ted Waga and I would happily consider voting for him, there’s another issue at stake in this race.

I’ve reported how 40 GOP state legislators withdrew their signature from the “Women’s Right to Know” legislation, and one of those 40 is State Rep. Scott Perry.

I believe Scott Perry is a good man, would make a great GOP nominee and a great U.S. Congressman.  I would happily vote for him if he were the GOP nominee.

But I’m with Ann Bunn, Father Houser and Pastor Ken Gibson (Chairman of ACTION of PA) who have all been reported in this column saying (to quote Ann Bunn again), “I will never vote for a pro-abortion candidate.”

The two front runners with 12% of the GOP vote, according to the York Daily Record commissioned poll, are State Representative Scott Perry and York County Commissioner Chris Reilly.

The two candidates who have raised the MOST money by a very wide margin, are again: Chris Reilly and Scott Perry.

The two candidates who on issue after issue appear to be the most conservative in general are Chris Reilly and Scott Perry – but both are behind Ted Waga in my view, on this one important analytic.  But both Reilly and Perry have a background of having won elections and having served in office, and have both delivered results they promised.

But the one candidate who had disappointed me the most in the past month has been Scott Perry because of his withdrawal of sponsorship of HB 1077, the Women’s Right to Know legislation, and his failure to come out swinging in support of the ideal.

For those who did not read my previous reports on this battle, Planned Parenthood in PA has fought proposed legislation which would force them to show an expectant mother who comes to them for an abortion, the ultra sound image that they admit to taking in 99% of all cases they do an abortion.

HB 1077 is similar to legislation in 23 other states requiring them to offer this option.  The bill is stalled and facing defeat in the GOP controlled state legislature after Scott Perry and other legislators withdrew their sponsorship.

Worse, Scott Perry said he is NOT in favor of making abortion illegal.

Worse still, Scott Perry has a list of conditions under which he says abortion would be OK.

Shall we make a list of conditions under which we’d say premeditated murder would be OK as well?

Should we propose a law that the conscience of the murderer will decide when murder is OK and legal?

It is an unsupportable position that Scott Perry has taken on this, even as he looked Father Sam Houser and Pastor Ken Gibson in the eye and told them point blank last Wednesday in the St. Patrick Catholic Church conference room, “I’m 100% pro-life.”  He isn’t, according to his own words a few days later in the ACTION of PA debate (last Friday night, see my earlier report).

So while I appreciate much about his background and his championing of many other conservative issues, for me in a primary this is a make or break issue and it is conclusive for me and other Christian-conservatives.

Three endorsements which influenced me in favor of Chris Reilly are: (1) York County ACTION Chairman, Pastor Ken Gibson, (2) US Senator Pat Toomey (what a GREAT TV commecial!), (3) Steve Johnson (my FB friend, ACTION of PA York County Board member & past candidate for state office),

I’ll vote for Chris Reilly for U.S. Congress because he has the best chance of winning, appears to be very much aware that the right to life is not subject to a laundry list of exceptions, has a good track record as a fiscal conservative, is a former “Statesman of the Year” of ACTION of PA.

Chris Reilly has the best chance to win the GOP primary, has a proven track record as a County Commissioner and the support of a number of conservative Christians who I admire and respect.

No legislator at the recent Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation got a more enthusiastic reception to his remarks than State Rep. Seth Grove.  Despite his being challenged by someone who has been identified as a “Tea Party” conservative I’ve actually never once read of any serious policy disagreement between the challenger versus the GOP in general or the incumbent Seth Grove in particular.

Instead, I have read what I call Occupy Wall Street complaints, ie. the rich bankers, the corporations, the rich people versus us little people.

It is very interesting to me, to see so many people trying to appeal to conservatives in a GOP primary election using the rhetoric that has been employed by the left and by the followers of Saul Alinsky for more than 40 years.

This rhetoric leaves me rather cold.  Not only does such leftwing sounding rhetoric not motivate me to vote for a candidate who employs it but it makes me want to rush to the other candidate as quickly as I can to offer my support, aside from the generally very good track record of Seth Grove.

If I could vote once again or choose one more district I could vote it, as my regular readers know from several previous columns, I would go in a big way for Andy Shaw (joinAndy.org) knowing that not only would we have toppled Planned Parenthood’s favorite GOP State Senator with his victory but we would get TWO outstanding champions of Christian conservative values – the conservative-Christian-attorney team of Andy and Andrea Shaw.

I note that the state chairman of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation, Jay McKiernan, has issued an all-points bulletin for volunteers to flood the district, for donations to come from anywhere and everywhere in America and has put his own “money where his mouth is” on this race to support the ACTION of PA endorsed candidate by knocking on doors to seek votes for Andy Shaw.  To join him go to http://JoinAndy.org.

So I’m voting for Rick Santorum for President.  Either Sam Rohrer for Senator or any other candidate who can stop Steve Welch according to the latest polls 10 minutes before I cast my vote for the GOP nominee for U.S. Senator on Tuesday.  For Chris Reilly for Congress.  I wish I could vote for Andy Shaw for State Senator in the district further away near Harrisburg.  And for Rep. Seth Grove.

Rick Santorum for President.  Chris Reilly for Congress.  Andy Shaw for State Senate.  Reelect Seth Grove as State Representative.

I welcome your comments and reactions, and any other suggestions for primary election day in Pennsylvania this coming Tuesday, April 24.

HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there. You can also communicate via private mail at Facebook, and I welcome new sources for my articles focusing on the conservative-Christian viewpoint in Pennsylvania.  I appreciate your sharing this article elsewhere and only ask that you include this “disclaimer” in any reprints or sharing you do.  And I thank those whose information have helped me with some of my reports, including those who do not wish to be quoted by name.

Links to articles I wrote at RED STATE at my Facebook Notes section.

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