Pennacchio: Politician of Principle

I am in big, fat political love right now.

Yesterday, I extolled the virtues of Dr. Chuck Pennacchio, the progressive Democrat hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. A blog entry I found at has given me even more determination to see this brash, people-focused candidate elected.

Blogger eRobin shares news of a phone conversation she recently had with Pennacchio that I believe you will find interesting and inspiring, whatever your political stripes and regardless of whether you agree with his position:

eR: I saw the story today online about the Senate’s refusal to investigate the illegal and unconstitutional NSA wiretapping program running out of the White House. If you were a Senator today, in the minority, what would you be able to do to fight this decision?

Chuck Pennacchio: I wouldn’t get any floor time, but I’d be able to do a lot. I’d put out a press release. I’d hold a press conference. I’d build a coalition of progressive folks in Congress to fight this. I’d go back to constituents to rally people around the cause. I’d remind them that this war is illegal and that the war resolution is unconstitituional.

I’d shame my leadership for not standing up to defend the Constitution, the right to privacy and due process.

eR: “Shame your leadership”? You’re on the record. Do you stand by that phrase?

Chuck Pennacchio: Yes. Absolutely. The Democrats are running scared, running away from this issue because they’re running away from National Security and ceding it to the Republicans. And the Republicans are beating them up on the very issue the Democrats fear losing the most. Dems are looking to protect their shrinking island of political power, which every day gets further and further from the prospect of regaining control. They’re playing into the hands of Republicans, who, and I’ve said this before, are not content with all power; they want absolute power. And the Democrats are letting it happen. I don’t hesitate to use the word “appeasement.”

The redoubtable eRobin loves this guy, and so do I. Imagine: A plain-talking Democratic politician exists who puts people and principle before going-along-to-get-along and has the guts to say what needs saying, however politically perilous speaking out may be. As eR put it, “[H]ow can anyone who values the Fourth Amendment not support this man with every ounce of energy, every electron and every penny at our disposal?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Read all about Pennacchio at his Web site.

If you can help in the quest to make Chuck Pennacchio Pennsylvania’s newest senator, I urge you to do it. And if you are a nonprogressive Democrat or a Republican, even if you don’t agree with his stands on the issues, take a good look: Politicians with integrity, fearlessness and a real commitment to the people are damned hard to find in any political party.

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4 thoughts on “Pennacchio: Politician of Principle

  1. Hi Natalie,

    I, too am a fan of Chuck’s.

    Recently, I wrote an e-mail to the HRC when they sent me an invitation to a Casey fundraiser in Philadelphia, where Patti Labelle was scheduled to appear.

    I told them that I loved Ms Labelle, but that I believed they were backing the wrong candidate.
    , so I would not attend the function.

    This link includes the reply I got back, if you care to read it.

    …then, just today I get another e-mail from the HRC in which they ask for funding to defeat the far right’s attack on “the values and beliefs of fair-minded Americans.”
    “HRC is more committed than ever to the fight for marriage equality.”

    Casey is against gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose. Why do they insist on supporting Casey when we have Chuck Pennacchio in the equation???

    I think they’ve gone wacky…

    Needless to say, I’ve been very disillusioned with the HRC here of late.


  2. RD, wow. I visited Coffee House Studios and read HRC’s bullshit reply. I could throw up, it upsets me so much.

    That letter speaks volumes as to the HRC’s apparently official policy of appeasement to the go-along-to-get-along crowd. I had so hoped that HRC was improving in areas of basic integrity. Guess I was wrong…

    Tomorrow, I plan on interviewing Dr.Pennacchio for AF&O. Can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to it! To have a true progressive alternative… you PA folks are lucky.

    I’m going to pray for HRC – and write them a long letter.

    Thanks, my friend, for alerting me to this. It’s nice to know who your real friends are. HRC is a friend, but a tragically misguided one, which is sad news for the people it is supposed to represent.

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