Lieutenant Governor candidate Mark Critz represents the epitome of the revolving door in politics. The conservadem was a one term United States House member, turned Natural Gas lobbyist, turned candidate for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania, and because of his short tenure in the United States House, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Stenny Hoyer and other Western Pennsylvania House representatives are holding a $100 – $200 a plate fundraiser for the Conservadem.
Jake Sternberger from Keystone Politics reports:
Critz has been running on the message that he was a team player in Congress, and wants to play that same role to help the eventual Democratic gubernatorial candidate win statewide and govern effectively. Pelosi’s support backs up Critz’s campaign message, demonstrating that he is a strong Democrat despite his moderate voting record.
Critz now has the advantage of having something concrete to point to when his moderate record is attacked by his opponents: if Pelosi and Hoyer thought he wasn’t a loyal enough Democrat or that he had hurt their agenda in the House, they wouldn’t be boosting his campaign efforts (emphasis added).
Sternberger is a supporter of Mark Crtiz, and uses Republican attack ads that focused on the Conservadem’s vote on the Affordable Care Act as a means to support the candidate. The only two areas where Critz stands with Democrats are labor issues and the Affordable Care Act. Critz has gained numerous labor endorsements, mainly from building trades, from Southwestern Pennsylvania and probably lost his seat because of his vote on the ACA. Other than that, Critz is on the wrong side when it comes to energy and the environment, women’s rights and gay marriage and lgbt issues.
On the environment, Critz is a cheerleader for the natural gas and energy industries. After he got bounced from his House seat, the former Representative became a natural gas lobbyist for EIS Solutions. The Center for Media and Democracy reports that EIS Solutions is a Colorado based public relations and astroturfed grassroots firm involved with energy development. In February 2013, Politics PA labeled the group as a grassroots organization and wrote:
“As a former Member of Congress and district director for Congressman John Murtha, Mark Critz has the experience and relationships at the local level to help difficult projects get approval,” EIS Solutions President Wade Haerle said. “Mark knows how to navigate local politics and governmental bureaucracies at the state and federal levels and will be an asset to clients seeking to build local support for energy related projects in the coal and natural gas industries.”
“It was an honor to serve the people of Western Pennsylvania in Congress where I had the opportunity fight for jobs and economic development,” Critz said in a company press release. “Development of our energy resources is vital to growing our regional economy and making our nation independent of foreign sources of energy. I look forward to working to make sure that our region develops these resources in a safe, responsible manner while working to grow our economy and meet our energy needs.”
Critz’s voting record on energy issues echoes those of the republican party, and his rhetoric on President Obama’s made up war on coal is similar to the bullshit millionaire coal mine owner Tom Smith spouted when he ran against Bob Casey in 2012.
Moving onto measuring stick for liberals is women’s rights. How is Critz’s voting record on choice? Well Critz signed onto and voted on House legislation that would bar federal funding for abortion. Oh and when it comes to “rape,” Mark Critz likes making offhanded jokes about that issue as well….Sorta like all those Republican candidates from 2012.
On gay marriage and rights for the LGBTQ community, what say you Critz? According to PGHLesbian, Critz voted against repealing DOMA, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011 and again voted for DOMA in 2012, which had 7 republican defectors.
To take a torch to Jake Sternberger’s straw fallacy:
“if Pelosi and Hoyer thought he wasn’t a loyal enough Democrat or that he had hurt their agenda in the House, they wouldn’t be boosting his campaign efforts.”
Of course Mark Critz is going to gain support from Pelosi, Hoyer and other House Representatives. Regardless of Critz’s conservative voting record, his attacks on women, the LGBTQ community, or the environment, Critz is in a small statewide race that has no familiar names in it, and Crit is the only candidate who was part of an exclusive fraternity – that is being a member of Congress. If we want a pro-energy, anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-lgbtq Democrat to become Lt. Governor in 2015, Critz is the right choice.