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(cross-posted at Deny My Freedom)

A lot is said about 'rock stars' within the Democratic Party. Ever since Bill Clinton became president in 1993, there's been an aura of him being one of those rock stars in our party. The same goes for his wife, Hillary, even though she has many detractors within the party itself - after all, she has raised $33 million for a re-election campaign that will be a cakewalk. After his rousing speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has become another one of those charismatic personalities within our party. Heck, even Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont, a political unknown 6 months ago, may have attained rock star status.

On the eve of the netroots fundraising push, though, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about a congressional candidate in the Philadelphia suburbs who has a very bright future ahead of him. His name is Patrick Murphy, and below the fold, I'll tell you more about him - and why we should be donating our time and money to his campaign.

If you take one look at Patrick's biography, you'll see that he has an excellent background: legislative aide, Iraqi war veteran, professor at West Point, and a civilian lawyer in his own right. He's one of many congressional candidates who have military experience and are running for Congress as Democrats this year. This gives him a great deal of credibility with regards to speaking on the main issue facing our country today - the war in Iraq. Patrick's plan for bringing the troops home from Iraq is a sensible strategy:

I believe we could have all Guard and Reserve troops home in 90 days--or no later than this summer--if we radically speed up the planned redeployment of U.S. Troops from Europe and Asia. The Bush Administration is rightly planning to pull up to 60,000 troops out of Europe and another 30,000 out of Asian posts, recognizing that the vast majority of these troops are no longer necessary from a military perspective.


After we have brought the guard and reserve home, U.S. troops should begin a strategic drawdown of forces, bringing another 50,000 troops home by the end of 2006. We do this by withdrawing from the cities and redeploying the remaining troops to protect the borders with Syria and Iran. I agree with Rep. Murtha that we will also need to leave a strike force in the region, either in Iraq or Kuwait, made up of elite forces from the Marine Corps and perhaps members of my own division, the Army's 82nd Airborne, who will be ready to deal with emergency situations.

If you look at the rest of Patrick's issue page, you will see that he holds progressive positions on the important issues to us - fiscal responsibility, working towards energy independence, and properly funding stem cell research. His list of endorsements is impressive - many unions are endorsing him, and he has the backing of Democratic Party establishment figures such as Senator John Kerry (D-MA), former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, and his future colleague from Pennsylvania, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).

In addition, Patrick has long been a part of the Bucks County community through his community service organization, MURPHYcorps. I was lucky enough to have the time to participate in one of their events last November in Morristown, where we cleaned up the leaves in the local YMCA's parking lot and the nearby playground (the picture above is from that event; Patrick is on the left, the Penn College Democrats' political outreach director is in the foreground, and yours truly is on the right), an event that I wrote about afterwards. He has been involved in community service in the community since 1995, when he helped sandbag Wilkes-Barre during a bad flood season. Recently, the Corps has also been helping provide local flood relief in the area after particularly heavy periods of rain earlier this summer. He is truly a local boy who's done much good. A recent profile of Patrick shows how much he has gained from his past experiences in the Pennsylvanian community:

Murphy, however, isn't just an average out-of-towner who spent some time in the Wyoming Valley and went on to bigger things. He says he's forever indebted to Wilkes-Barre and King's College and remains vested in the area's success.

"It's where I really found myself," Murphy said recently during a telephone conversation while campaigning. "I would not be running for U.S. Congress right now if I didn't go to King's."


From the classroom to the courtroom to the battlefields in Iraq and now to the political scene, Patrick Murphy always reflects how his formative years spent in Wilkes-Barre set him up for success. A three-year captain of the school's ice hockey team, Patrick Murphy was among the ROTC cadets who were up at 5 a.m. training while other students were still sleeping. He fondly recalls long chats about politics with the Rev. Thomas O'Hara, now the college's president. An altar boy as a youngster, he often went to noon Mass at the King's Chapel, sometimes with Michael and Patrick O'Connor's mother.

When a conversation begins about Patrick Murphy at King's, it always comes back to his performance in introducing Clinton and how proud officials are to call him a graduate, said Frank Pasquini, the school's vice president for institutional advancement.

Patrick is running against freshman GOP representative Mike Fitzpatrick, a mouthpiece for the Bush administration who is running away from his record as quickly as possible, claiming to be an independent representative for the district. In addition to the questionable sources of his funding, Fitzpatrick is not the independent voice that he claims to be - just check out his voting record over his current term. On the bill that would be expected to get the most GOP votes - funding for embryonic stem cell research - Fitzpatrick voted against it not just once, but twice. Progressive Punch ranks Fitzpatrick at 207 in the House, putting him near the top of the GOP. But his highest score on the issues is the environment and corporate subsidies (at or just above 50), with a score of zero on both family planning and housing issues and low scores across the rest of the board. Fitzpatrick is a supporter of staying the course in Iraq, no matter how much he tries to dissociate himself from his fellow Republicans in the White House and in Congress.

While any Democrat running in PA-08 would be better than Mike Fitzpatrick, I think Patrick Murphy has the potential to be something special - not just now, but in the future. He has the charisma of the 'rock star' Democrats and is able to charm just about any audience. Even more importantly, he is able to connect with younger voters, something that is dearly lacking in many politicians today. As a member of the Penn College Democrats, I've had the chance to meet Patrick 3 times to date. He attended one of our weekly meetings in the spring, as well as speaking at our fundraiser in April, and I have never seen such enthusiasm for a candidate in our group that was shown for Patrick. Several of our members, including our chapter's president, have worked on his campaign over the summer, and I expect several more (including myself) to volunteer regularly during the stretch run this fall. In addition to being a progressive voice, he has been a great friend of the netroots, particularly the local Philadelphia blogs. Staunch supporters of Patrick's include Atrios, Booman, and Chris Bowers of MyDD, and the campaign itself has an excellent blog in its own right. Many of us, though, see Patrick as someone who could go far in politics - maybe even to the top spot at some time down the road. His ability to connect with people of all different ages, his charisma, and his willingness to stand up for what he believes in are attributes that will serve him well down the road. When I made my $10.01 donation to the campaign this morning, it was for an immediate cause - winning the PA-08 race in 2006. However, I also think of it as an investment in a politician who could be a great voice for the progressive cause in the future to come.

An internal poll released in mid-July showed Patrick behind by 6 points - but when a biographical sketch was offered, Patrick led by 19 points, by a 55-36 margin. This race is going to be one of the closest in the country, along with the Lois Murphy in PA-06 and Fighting Dem Joe Sestak in PA-07. I'd urge you to contribute to them as well; both of them are equally good candidates who will make the Democratic Party and their constituents proud of their service. For me, though, Patrick Murphy is one of those candidates you meet and can immediately tell that he's an extraordinary candidate - and he is someone whose name we will remember long after this year's midterm elections. If there's only one candidate you can contribute to, Patrick Murphy is an excellent - and in my humble opinion, the most deserving - candidate to give our money to.

(also cross-posted at Booman Tribune and MyDD)

Originally posted to PsiFighter37 on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 03:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (39+ / 0-)

    Patrick Murphy is the real deal. Personally, I think that he's going to be one of our brightest stars in the upcoming years. However, we have to make sure he gets elected first, so please donate to him if you can. And if you're in the area, like I will be, volunteer as much as humanly possible to make sure Patrick wins this race!

    Deny My Freedom
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 03:25:46 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the post, and especially for (4+ / 0-)

    mentioning the other two of the Philly burbs "super 3".

    Damn it will be great if all three of them win - and it's definitely possible!

  •  well done (0+ / 0-)

    Bucks County is where I grew up, where my parents still live along with a good portion of my family.  They'll ALL be bugged about Murphy a lot as we get closer to Election Day.

    Murphy's the candidate that district has needed for a long time.  And yes I've given $ to him.

    Have you seen Fitzpatrick spinning his ass off, trying to triangulate by saying "stay the course" AND "cut and run" are the wrong policy?  Any sane person knew that, Mike, but since your opponent is proposing neither, you just responded to nobody.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 03:34:37 PM PDT

  •  One of the best candidate diaries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, myrealname, Monique Radevu

    I've ever read. Good job, PF!

    Mr. Murphy is extraordinary - I hope the voters in his district who need him, hear his message. We need him too! He'll get a few more of my pennies today.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 03:44:08 PM PDT

  •  Nice job (0+ / 0-)

    He is a definite up and comer.  I'm kinda bummed he didn't win the Progressive Patriot's endorsement.  But the woman who won is pretty stellar too.

    I think I'm kinda partial because I'm from PA originally. ;)

  •  Thanks for this (0+ / 0-)

    I've been donating to other candidates, but as the election nears, I'll probably be zeroing in on some PA candidates to volunteer for (and donate to, of course). Murphy sounds great, and I'll definitely consider him along with Sestak (who I already donate to) and Lois Murphy.

  •  This guy has no plan against NCLB (0+ / 0-)

    Educating the next generation is fubar.
    We need to straighten out how kids learn or you can forget about all these gains you hope to make.
    They will be ephemeral, as the next generation gets
    turned off to learning, becoming apathetic, consumer junkies, hooked on the corporate dope.

    "In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes." Chomsky

    by formernadervoter on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 06:30:26 PM PDT

    •  From Patrick's bio (0+ / 0-)
      Patrick's bio contains info. on the importance of education and his sister, Cathy is a middle school teacher. Murphy believes education is good investment in our future...... PaintyKat
      Educator Patrick taught America's future military leaders at West Point as one of his greatest accomplishments. Touching their lives, he took seriously his charge as an assistant professor of constitutional law and 'values education officer' in developing leaders of character. His reach went beyond the United States Military Academy. He has lectured at the U.S. Air Force Academy and at the International Institute for Humanitarian Rights in San Remo, Italy. He has also taught American government as an adjunct professor at Mount Saint Mary College, currently lectures at the Widener University School of Law, and volunteers his time as a mentor to college and law school students. Much like his sister Cathy, who is a middle school teacher, Patrick believes that a good education is a great investment in America's future and should be a top priority in local, state, and federal government. [Bio linky]

      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

      by PaintyKat on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 12:29:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Getting the bio out there (0+ / 0-)

    Psifighter, it seems you found a most worthy candidate for us to support and from your post it seems that what he needs to do most to win this election is too get his background and positions out there in front of the public. As you know, I have pointed out many times that there are large numbers of us in the progressive movement who can make contributions to campaigns but cannot make financial contributions for various reasons. It seems to me that this candidate is one who could benefit from some creative input from the community on how to get the message out there. You don't always have to spend a lot of money on television ads, there are other means that have proven effective in various campaigns and with a little brainstorming and I'm sure that we could come up with a few.

    As a rubber stamp for George Bush his opponent should be fairly easy to target on a variety of issues but the key is to come up with ways that the media will cover without having to spend additional money on ads. Such means need to be based on local issues, but if we can come up with something which is the equivalent of the Kiss in Lamont versus Lieberman or the Macaca brigades in the Virginia race we can bring the messages to the public without spending a lot of dollars.

    So, you've given us a great bio and his position on the big national issues but can you fill us in a little bit on what issues resonate best with the local community right now. Are there any segments of the electorate that have a clear demographic profile we should be looking to target?

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 07:35:12 PM PDT

    •  Can't right off the top of my head... (0+ / 0-)

      Demographics-wise, though, this is a district that is trending towards Democrats. Philly suburbs have gone to Gore and Kerry in the past 2 elections, and with Rendell and Casey running at the top - both of whom will dominate the suburbs of southeast PA that usually decide elections in the state - it's likely that there will be even more people coming out and voting Democratic this fall.

      Deny My Freedom
      "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

      by PsiFighter37 on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 07:39:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in that case (0+ / 0-)

        It seems the main argument to make is that you have a good honest Democratic candidate and that the main problem with the opponent is that he is, after all, a Republican. It may turn out that that's the only issue you need to defeat him, though it would be nice to have some more specific items to nail him with. You might use the history of the region to promote civil liberties issues if you think those will resonate. Having Ben Franklin on your side in the campaign can't hurt.

        I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

        by MakeChessNotWar on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 07:57:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Murphy is Practially Invisible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For all the positive comments in Daily Kos about Patrick Murphy, I've got to say that Murphy is practically invisible in PA-08.  I live in PA-08 and, unfortunately, Fitzpatrick's "events" are covered in the local paper (Daily Intelligencer) almost every day.  Murphy, by contrast, is rarely mentioned.

    The paper, surprisingly, is relatively progressive - a sharp contrast from where it was several years ago.  I think Murphy's campaign staff is doing a poor job of introducing Murphy to the district.

  •  This is a wonderful diary ... (0+ / 0-)

    That makes me glad that I've donated my $10.01 to Murphy several times this year ...

    4 July 2006, Independence Day ... Day 1757, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 09:03:15 PM PDT

  •  Yes, it is a great diary. Now if we could (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    drop the "rock star" bull shit it would be even better.

    I hope there is a bit more to Mr. Murphy than a rock star status.

    •  Heh, Lighten up a bit! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sick of Santorum

      If we want to get the young folks involved and that designation appeals to them, it appeals to me and I am a grandmother.

      I've contributed to Patrick a couple of times for sure.  Gave to he and Seals last night when we were trying to get to 7500 and I had given in response to Kerry's plea when Fitpatrick's Chief of Staff crashed the Kerry/Murphy call with the media.

      When I did some followup on Fitzpatrick, I learned that the GOP started fundraising for him immediately as soon as he was sworn in as one of the most endangered species.  That must have been in 2005 and they were a bit more flush then than after losing the Abramoff money machines.

      So I am guessing $ are important but the other guy seems like a real jerk and the media who sat in on the call, hopely some from PA orgs. will not be inclined to be quite as supportive for Fitz.

      He does seem like a really good candidate and he looks so young.  Murtha is smiling so big and they really are a study in contradictions.  Murphy looks so sweet and innocent while Murtha looks aged like a fine wine and wise.

      OT:  I got two calls this evening basically for contributions.  Got to visit with a really sharp woman from Massachusetts.  We just gabbed a bit when she realized she could throw out her script - we were on the same page.

      Is education as important in PN as it seems to be in other Northeastern areas?  My Mass friend was kinda morning the loss of Lincoln Chaffee though


      Just a painty kat - NOT that be meanie cat

      by PaintyKat on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 11:36:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Patrick speaks for us (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, Sick of Santorum

    I have a special place in my heart for Patrick, he attended King's as did our son who was killed in Iraq, and Patrick has encouraged us to continue to speak out against this immoral war. Our family has found Patrick to be bright, decent and above all sincere. If he is not getting enough press it's because it costs a fortune to get media in our area- one more reason to give support to this good man who offers hope for the Congress.

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