Thursday, March 31, 2005

''Rallying Democrats, Dean blasts Santorum''

"Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean ripped into U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum at a party fund-raiser in Old City last night. Dean, a former Vermont governor and former Democratic presidential candidate, called Santorum, a Republican who is up for reelection in Pennsylvania in 2006, a "liar" and "right-winger" who actually lives in Virginia. "He doesn't tell the truth," Dean told a gathering of about 150 at Bluezette on Market Street. Dean said Santorum had voted to kill Amtrak, an important service in Pennsylvania, and had then turned around and written a piece for The Inquirer saying he supported Amtrak. He said that Santorum should return the more than $100,000 that Santorum's declared home school district, the Penn Hills School District in Allegheny County, paid over the last few years to educate his children at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. While attending the school online, Santorum's children actually lived at his house in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. The charter school and the Penn Hills district are in a dispute over payments for Santorum's children. Santorum has maintained that he has followed the law. The party chairman said Democrats need "message discipline." He said they should for the present forgo the satisfaction of attacking House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics problems or the controversy over what he called the Bush administration's government-paid "propaganda" and focus on attacking Bush's plan to create private Social Security accounts. Polls show the proposal is unpopular. "We're on a roll with Social Security," Dean said. "We need to focus on this, and we need to keep the focus on it." "-from the article in the Philadephia Inquirer today. You'll probably need to register to read the whole thing. Bloomberg catches up with Dean and covers his recent red state travels with "Dean Seeks to Recruit, Energize Democrats in Pro-Bush States."

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