Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hillary Clinton To Fundraise for Marjorie Margolies, Chelsea Clinton's Mother-in-Law

Hillary Clinton will be appearing next year at a fundraiser for Marjorie Margolies' congressional campaign in the Pennsylvania suburbs, according to Ken Smukler, who serves as a communications consultant for Margolies.
Margolies, who is Chelsea Clinton's mother-in-law, is locked in a Democratic primary campaign against a strong progressive, state Sen. Daylin Leach, as well as two others. Margolies served one congressional term in the early 1990s.
Longtime Margolies fundraiser Linda August, who attended Chelsea Clinton's wedding, also confirmed Clinton's upcoming appearance.

"Hillary said from the beginning that she was not going to be political this year except for McAuliffe and family. She is scheduled to come in six months before the election. She is coming in just when we need her," said Smukler, who also serves as spokesman for the local Democratic party. "The Clintons are doing this for themselves as much as for Marjorie. They can't have a family member lose a race for Congress six months before she is gearing up for a presidential election."
Leach said he wasn't concerned by Margolies' support from the Clinton camp.
"We have outpaced all of our opponents in fundraising and outreach since I got into the race," he told HuffPost. "We are following a very carefully crafted campaign plan. That plan does not depend on who does and does not support or attend fund-raisers for any of our opponents. I wish them all well, but I have a long history of winning elections, and I and my team are extremely confident our campaign will prevail on May 20th. "
The campaign of physician Val Arkoosh, another candidate for the congressional seat, disputed Leach's figures, and said Arkoosh currently led in fundraising. "We are the leading fundraiser in this race among the slate of candidates as of the end of the 3rd quarter with 588k cash-on-hand," said communications director Bryan Lesswing. "We are leading state Sen. Leach by over 210k, and Marjorie Margolies by 398k."

Smukler made his comments about Margolies at a fundraiser for the Dorys Erving Fit Youth (DEFY) Foundation at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Philadelphia on Friday night. Dorys is the wife of former NBA legend and Philadelphia favorite son Julius "Dr. J" Erving. Dr. J is currently on a book tour promoting his memoir, "Dr J: The Autobiography."
The foundation will provide a platform for solutions to childhood obesity in Philadelphia. According to the CDC, 25 percent of school age children in Philadelphia are suffering from obesity. The huge cake rolled out for desert illustrates the difficulty of tackling obesity.

The gala attracted many celebrities, such as former Laker star Kareem Abdul Jabbar and R & B singer Jeffrey Osborne, and local politicians such as Congressman Bob Brady. Brady lamented about the ubiquity of fast food chains in Philadelphia.

Osborne's performance was the highlight of the night.

State Senator Anthony Williams, who is running for mayor of Philadelphia in 2015,  and his wife Shari shared a romantic to "On The Wings of Love."

Even Dorys and Julius Erving couldn't resist the music.

At the same event, Jabbar voiced his frustration at the racism of Obama's critics.

"Obama is the President of the United States. He should be treated with respect."Many of the president's critics, especially the birthers, are racist. This nonsense that he was born in Kenya, which we all know is not true, is pure racism," Jabbar said.

The Huffington Post Washington editor Ryan Grim co-wrote this post with me. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cohen Fundraising Letter for DSCC Fundraiser with Obama

President Obama will speak at a DSCC fundraiser at the home of Comcast EVP David L. Cohen and his wife Rhonda on Thursday night. Richard Vague is the co-chairman. He made a fortune in fossil fuels, then credit cards. He then founded venture capital firm, Gabriel Partners. Senator Robert Casey will be there.

Here is Cohen's solicitation email.

Some of you were at the DSCC finance committee meeting yesterday, but for those who were not, Anne Caprara, Political Director at the DSCC gave a great update on the major Democratic Senate races.  We announced that we are currently at $600K in pledges and money in the door.  The DSCC has set a goal of $750K for this event, but we all agreed that we should be able to raise $1M as this finance committee has countless times in the past for the DSCC.

Just as a refresher, here are the details of the event Rhonda’s and my home: Address blocked out.

Event co-chairs: $32,400 - 5PM Cocktails and hors d'oeurvres, followed by a very small clutch, photos and dinner/Q&A with the President (At this level you are welcome to bring a guest for the photo and dinner portions of the event).

Event sponsor: $10,000 - Per person 5PM Cocktails and hors d'oeurvres, followed by photos and dinner/ Q&A with the President

If everyone on this email would either write or raise $10,000, we would easily be able to meet our goal of $1M and have a true impact on the programs that the DSCC works every day to implement in each of the targeted Senate races which obviously proved to be a winning strategy in the 2012 cycle (and in previous cycles).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

VA Marks Veterans' Graves "UNKNOWN" Rather Than Identify Heroes

Mount Moriah Cemetery, located in Southwest Philadelphia and Yeadon, Pennsylvania was the largest private cemetery in Pennsylvania. The cemetery has been largely abandoned since the owner died and his wife disavowed ownership in 2011. 

The cemetery has two National Cemetery plots, which Congress mandated to be maintained by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The plots contain 2300 veteran’s graves, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients. One of these plots, called the Naval Asylum Plot, is in dire need of help.

Sam Ricks, who is on the board of Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, said, "Both plots lacks something basic found in all other National Cemeteries: a flagpole with a US Flag flying over veterans' graves.The Naval Plot contains numerous grave markers that are now illegible after years of inattention and lack of maintenance. The VA replaces them with their ubiquitous white marble "UNKNOWN" marker despite the availability of a volunteer conducted transcription survey identifying many of the now blank Navy and Marine markers."

Ricks is worried the grave markers that will ultimately be "Lost to History" if the VA continues to replace them with their ubiquitous white marble "UNKNOWN" markers." 

Ricks added.  These are the graves of our Nation's earliest heroes, who actually fought "from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." 

The VA has also been to slow to place special gold leaf Medal of Honor designation on the stones. 

Paulette Rhone, chairman of the board of the friends, had a chance encounter with the VA grounds supervisor of Washington Crossing Cemetery, who is responsible for the military cemeteries in the area, the day before the government shutdown, September 30, to discuss the issue. The staff promised to start taking care of the grounds, but have yet to do anything.