Brady campaign leads supporters to the shore

Wildwood Days: Matt Darragh and Joe Hohenstein attend the annual Brady Bunch party at Westy’s Irish Pub in North Wildwood. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

In summertime, the political scene often shifts to the Jersey shore, with various lawmakers and influential unions holding fundraisers.

On Saturday, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-1st dist.) hosted his annual Brady Bunch party at Westy’s Irish Pub in North Wildwood.

Brady, who faces a rematch with 2004 Republican opponent Debbie Williams, greeted elected officials, ward leaders, candidates and others.

Among those in attendance were Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, state Sens. John Sabatina Jr. and Larry Farnese, state Reps. Mark Cohen and Bill Keller, elections Commissioner Lisa Deeley, City Councilmen Bobby Henon and Bill Greenlee, former Councilman Rick Mariano and former Sheriff Barbara Deeley.

Candidates on hand included Matt Darragh and Joe Hohenstein, the Democratic candidates challenging Republican state Reps. Martina White and John Taylor, respectively.

Hohenstein drove down the shore after holding the third in a series of breakfast meetings in the 177th Legislative District.

Following prior meetings with voters at Memphis Tap in Fishtown and Great Awakenings in Frankford, Hohenstein appeared Saturday morning at the Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair.

Hohenstein said he holds the sessions so he can have in-depth discussion with voters, as opposed to shorter conversations at their doorsteps.

On Saturday, voters spoke about issues such as the state budget, access to early childhood care, the removal of a curbside tree and the bill that would extend the window for victims of child sex abuse to sue from age 30 to 50.

Hohenstein said his top issue is moving beyond “one-shot deals” to fund budget needs. The needs he identifies include property tax reform, public education funding and money funneled to improve roads, bridges and recreation centers. He opposes so-called “corporate welfare.”

“It’s really about making big corporations pay their fair share of taxes,” he said. “We’re letting big corporations off the hook. We need an influx of money.”

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Pennsylvania sent 71 delegates to this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

In the 1st Congressional District, the delegates are lawyer Dave Hackett and ward leaders Seth Kaufer and Chris Vogler, who lives in Mayfair.

In the 13th Congressional District, the delegates are Lauren Casper, Gil Cox and Tom Ellis. The alternate delegates are Northeast party activists Gary Grisafi, Camille McColgan and Dan Tinney.

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The Philadelphia Republican Party and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey are reiterating their opposition to Philadelphia’s sanctuary city status, now that the Department of Justice has announced it will withhold federal law enforcement grants to cities that prevent their law enforcement forces from sharing information with federal immigration officials.

Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, visited Philadelphia to ask Mayor Jim Kenney to change the policy. Johnson later singled out Philadelphia as “particularly resistant” to a change.

“In this era of danger and spectacular violence, we have a major problem if our mayor is being singled out by the head of Obama’s Department of Homeland Security for a ‘particularly resistant’ policy,” said Joe DeFelice, head of the local GOP.

Toomey has introduced the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which would withhold community development grants to sanctuary cities. He wrote a letter to his Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty.

The letter read, in part, “In light of this news, I am again urging you to join my call for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to immediately halt his dangerous and misguided policy.”

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Hillary for America is criticizing Donald Trump’s remarks last week in Virginia Beach about reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump promised to address fraud and wrongdoing, even if he had to “pick up the phone and fix it myself.” He would establish a 24-hour White House hotline for veterans to call in with complaints.

Hillary for America claims that Trump wants to fully privatize the VA.

Jared Solomon, the Democratic nominee in the 202nd Legislative District and a U.S. Army JAG Reserve Officer, appeared on a conference call organized by Hillary for Pennsylvania.

“The choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is quite stark. Hillary Clinton will be a great advocate for our veterans. She worked hard to ensure a bipartisan bill to expand health care coverage for Reservists and National Guard members became law. Because of Hillary Clinton’s efforts and moving that legislation, I was able to get TRICARE Reserve Select,” Solomon said. ••