Rick Saccone’s signature achievement in the Pennsylvania House was to get “In God We Trust” posted in every public school.
Actually, he didn’t even get that.
He wrote a successful bill that merely allowed public schools to post that – if they wanted.
To my knowledge not a single school in the Commonwealth has taken him up on it.
His second greatest hit was to authorize a state day of fasting.
I’m not kidding. And it’s all down hill from there.
Now he’s running for U.S. Senate!
Oh. Wait. His fundraising was terrible.
Excuse me. He’s running for U.S. House – because that’s an easier win!
Whatever. So long as he can get to Washington, DC. He’s had enough of this small potatoes Pennsylvania politics – even though he’s one of the smallest potatoes in the patch.
If you know what I mean.
He’s running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election to be held March 13 to fill Republican Tim Murphy’s seat.
You may recall Murphy. He made his name voting for anti-abortion legislation until his alleged mistress got pregnant and then he allegedly pushed for her to abort their love child.
You know. Family values stuff.
Is Saccone up to that level of hypocrisy?
Donald Trump thinks he is.
The least popular President in U.S. history with only a year under his bulging golf shorts thinks Saccone is his kind of guy.
Trump even came to western Pennsylvania to support Saccone tweeting:
“Will be going to Pennsylvania today in order to give my total support to RICK SACCONE, running for Congress in a Special Election (March 13). Rick is a great guy. We need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda!”
Of course, Trump immediately had to walk back this comment because his trip to the keystone state was being paid for with public tax dollars. He had to say that it was an official White House event and not (as he indicated in the tweet) that it was a campaign event.
You know, for once I agree with Trump.
Rick Saccone IS Trump’s kind of guy.
He has lots of experience as a Yes Man. That’s really all he’s done in Harrisburg.
We used to have our own version of Trump – a Republican Governor who had no idea how to do his job – Tom Corbett.
Of course, Corbett’s reign was short lived. Like the President, his popularity plummeted and he was voted out of office like yesterday’s garbage.
But he had his loyal bobble head Saccone backing him every step of the way.
In fact, he voted for Corbett’s initiatives 95% of the time giving him the nickname of Corbett’s “Mini-me.”
Even when Corbett proposed something deeply unpopular, like cutting almost $1 billion from the state’s poorest public schools, Saccone went out there to explain why our children, our future, just weren’t worth the investment.
The Swamp recognizes Saccone as one of their own.
That’s why big moneyed interests are pouring cash on the sycophantic lawmaker. That and the fact that the district in question went for Trump in the last election by 20 points.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent at least $1 million on ads for broadcast and cable TV stations to boost Saccone’s candidacy.
And that’s not all.
Congressional Leadership Fund has put aside at least $1.6 million for ads, not to mention funding from outsiders like the 45Committee and Ending Spending – a group founded by the mega-donor Ricketts family.
All this money just to serve out the remainder of Murphy’s term!
Whoever wins would be up for re-election in November to secure a full two-year term.
Moreover, now that the state Supreme Court has overturned the Commonwealth’s gerrymandered districts that unfairly favor Republicans, that November race is likely to include newly drawn legislative lines.
So this GOP wonderland that boosted Trump and Mitt Romney in 2012 will likely become more competitive.
In fact, it may already be.
Some polls have Saccone up over Lamb by only a 3 point lead. This may be in part because of Trump’s steadily deflating support – even among Republicans. The President’s approval rating in the district has dropped to 49 percent – not far from the national picture where 47 percent disapprove of his job performance.
This is not good news for Saccone.
The SuperPACS supporting him are trying to paint Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, as a Nancy Pelosi puppet.
But Lamb has repeatedly criticized Pelosi, telling The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he would not support Pelosi as the Democratic leader. There is a “need [for] new leadership on both sides,” Lamb said.
Yet Saccone has done everything in his power to suck up to Trump.
Taking his cue from the Commander in Chief, Saccone took to twitter to express his feelings:
“I’m humbled that @realDonaldTrump for President, Inc, has officially endorsed my campaign for Congress!”
I’m not sure why he wrote “President, Inc.”
Perhaps Saccone thinks the office belongs to a private company.
Perhaps he doesn’t understand that a politician’s job is to serve the needs of his or her constituents.
Judging by his less than stellar performance in state government, this would seem to be the case.
He’s come a long way from earnestly trying to legislate past the establishment clause of the first amendment to fighting to starve our schools to running for a position as Trump’s favorite puppet.
That depends on voters this March.
Full Disclosure: I am not a Saccone fan. Along with teachers, parents and students from across western Pennsylvania, I’ve picketed outside of his offices demanding he do his job and provide for students. He was deaf to our cries. Do you hear me now, Rick?