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Last night the world witnessed Scranton, PA's own Joe Biden (D) successfully win the Vice Presidential race against GOP opponent, Congressman Paul "End Medicare As We Know It" Ryan (R. WI).  It was a terrific site to watch and after seeing CBS's post debate poll with undecided voters, it's safe to say that the race is still ours to win:

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Well today I would like to talk about Scranton's favorite son, Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D).  Desperate to close the gap and win the race, Tea Party Tom Smith (R) has made accusations that Senator Casey is "The Senate's Most Ineffective Legislator" and claims that Casey hasn't been able to get any of his own legislation passed through the Senate.  He's called Casey the "Invisible Senator" and "Senator Zero".  Obviously that's the complete bull shit because Senator Casey has just released an ad highlighting his successful record in cracking down on military contractors:

Sen. Bob Casey’s newest ad presents the touching story of a mom who lost her son in Iraq; not during combat, but as a result of faulty electrical wiring at his base. When he heard about it, Casey took the lead on the issue and helped enact tougher standards for U.S. military contractors. - Politics PA, 10/11/12

The Casey campaign also provides citations that back up the facts in this ad:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sen. Casey demands action in soldiers’ electrocution deaths

“A clearly frustrated Sen. Bob Casey yesterday demanded that Defense Secretary Robert Gates punish a contractor who, he said, permitted substandard work at U.S. facilities leading to the electrocutions of one soldier from the Pittsburgh area and 17 others.  At a news conference yesterday, Mr. Casey, along with fellow Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, called the Defense Department’s slow pace ‘a continuing outrage,’ and announced they’d requested a meeting with Mr. Gates seeking faster action to fix electrical problems in Iraq.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/28/09]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: “Death by shower: Punish those who betrayed the troops in Iraq”

“If you needed a metaphor for the misbegotten tragedy of Iraq, you couldn’t find better than the cases of soldiers who were electrocuted in their showers. All wars have their accidental deaths, but these electrocutions shock the conscience.  These were deaths that could have been prevented…. For his part, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has been zealous in keeping this issue alive by demanding explanations from the Defense Department. The combined pressure seems to have paid off: The Associated Press reported last week that an Army investigation now deems the soldier’s death a “negligent homicide” instead of an accident…. Sen. Casey is still pressing for answers — and anyone who supports the troops should stand with him.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/30/09]

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Casey pushes crackdown on government contractors”

“One month after the latest electrocution in Iraq, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has proposed an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would hold government contractors accountable for the safety of overseas military personnel and civilians working abroad. The legislation would close a loophole that allowed shoddy electrical work and other problems on American military bases to go uncorrected, the Scranton Democrat said. It would require the Department of Defense to review contracts to ensure they include language requiring contractors to immediately correct deficiencies, such as improperly grounded facilities or equipment, that could cause death or serious injury.”  [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 10/3/09]

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Shaler soldier’s death in Iraq deemed criminal.”

“Cheryl Harris knew it was coming Thursday — the news that her son’s electrocution in an Iraq shower last year was not an accident…. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, said last night that the Army’s investigation validates the work Harris has done since her son’s death. ‘As much as she wants the facts, she wants to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else,’ Casey said. The senator, who has pressured the Department of Defense for answers after learning of Maseth’s death, said the investigation’s findings are ‘somewhat encouraging,’ because there has been a more definite determination made as to the manner in which he died. ‘But this is disturbing, that what was thought to be an accident is negligent homicide,’ Casey said, adding that no member of the military should ever have to worry about dying in a shower.” [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1/23/09]


“It appears as if 18 deaths, a congressional probe and new military marching orders were not enough to end a rash of electrocutions in Iraq.  Now, a Pennsylvania woman is demanding accountability after her husband, an Air Force veteran and military contractor, died in a Baghdad shower Sept. 1. Adam Hermanson’s death comes less than two years after a Pittsburgh soldier, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, was electrocuted while taking a shower in Iraq…. Harris encouraged Janine to take her case to Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who championed her cause by holding congressional hearings. He also pushed the Defense Department to create a special task force to re-inspect all 90,000 U.S. facilities in Iraq. Problem is, not all contractors were required to fix the dangerous deficiencies discovered. So earlier this month, Casey sponsored an amendment that forces the military to close this loophole.  ’This isn’t that difficult, the Department of Defense has to insist on that,’ Casey said. ‘They shouldn’t have to wait for language from me or anyone else to get this done!’” [WPXI]

Stars and Stripes: “Army continues criminal probes in electrocutions.”

“It was the death of Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Maseth, who was electrocuted while showering in 2008, that led the Department of Defense inspector general to look at the issue. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. – Maseth was from Pittsburgh – pushed for the investigation.” [Stars and Stripes, 10/4/09]

Patriot-News: “Powerful Influence”

“When he heard that a Pittsburgh constituent had died of electrocution in a shower while on duty in Iraq, he pressed the Department of Defense for safety assurances from contractors working on U.S. military sites.” [Patriot-News, 4/19/09]

The 60 second ad is running in rotation with Casey’s other commercials in the Harrisburg, Johnstown, Scranton and Pittsburgh markets today through Monday at a price tag of about $225,000, according to the Smart Media Group.

For his other ads, he’s spending $425,000 in the Philadelphia market, $40,000 in Erie, and $440,000 in the markets mentioned above. Casey’s ads are produced by three firms, each including a member of Casey’s 2006 media team: Shorr Johnson Magnus, Putnam Partners, and Murphy, Vogel, Askew, Reilly.

It’s a subtle response to Republican Tom Smith’s characterization that Casey is a do-nothing in the Senate. Since Smith began to gain on Casey in the polls, the Senator’s attack ads have been fairly boilerplate. This is the kind of spot that can change the conversation in a race.

Other Casey efforts to help U.S. troops include support for veteran-owned businesses and cracking down on improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. - Politics PA, 10/11/12

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Casey plays great defense with this ad and makes Tea Party Tom Smith look like a real idiot.  Senator Casey is looking out for veterans and the middle class whereas Tea Party Tom Smith is only thinking about his own wealthy and his rich buddies:

The latest polls, all GOP firms mind you, show the Senate race is tightening.  But even their polling shows that Casey has a big lead with both moderate and likely voters which are key to winning.  Pennsylvania Democrats like Casey and Congressman Mark Critz (PA-12) are backed by the AFL-CIO and haven proven to win over blue collar, working class voters.  The Casey name is even popular in the more conservative Central Pennsylvania areas.  The Philadelphia Inquirer released it's Senate poll yesterday and shows Casey with a much bigger lead than what the GOP polls are showing:

Bob Casey holds a 10-point lead over Tom Smith in the battle for the U.S. Senate, but fails to stir strong feeling among the electorate, according to the latest Inquirer Pennsylvania Poll.

Four weeks before the Nov. 6 election, a bipartisan team of national pollsters found Casey, the Democratic incumbent, with 48 percent of the vote. Smith, the Republican nominee, was getting 38 percent.

The Oct. 4-8 survey of 600 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/11/12

Well this new ad is sure to stir up some pretty strong feelings of support for Senator Casey.

This is a clear race between an incumbent Senator who is a true blue fighter for the middle class, veterans and soldiers and wealthy teabgger who cares about big coal and weaseling out of paying his fair share of taxes.  Pennsylvania Tea Party Senator and chicken hawk, Pat Toomey (R. Wall Street) not only was an ardent supporter of George W. Bush's war in Iraq and his wasteful war spending but actually voted against giving the very troops he sent to fight pay raises, courtesy of TomP:

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Pennsylvania already has one tea bagger who votes against the troops and votes for Wall Street, big oil and the wealthy and is one of Grover Norquist's loyal foot soldiers.  Can Pennsylvania really afford to have two Tea Party extremists in the U.S. Senate?

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Keeping the Senate blue is vital to the middle class, veterans and our troops currently serving.  We don't need more chicken hawks in the Senate.  Support Casey's campaign today:

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Originally posted to pdc on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

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