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Sun Aug 23, 2015, 08:16 AM

PA 12 candidate Erin McClelland - pro Union, not pro Wall Street/1%

As a responsible citizen and a progressive Democrat, I support candidates based on their abilities, their demonstrated ethics and values & their political and personal history, but never, never because they happen to be the same sex as me. That said, as a woman, I am truly delighted when I find such a candidate and they happen to be female.

Meet Erin McClelland, candidate for the United States Congress from Pennsylvania's 12th District. Her first run for any political office was back in 2014, against uber-conservative, incumbent Keith Rothfus. She was outspent 10 to 1, but she campaigned hard, getting her name out in the most gerrymandered Congressional District in the U.S. - it stretches like one of those dancing dragons in a Chinese New Year's Day parade, across from the Ohio border in Beaver County southeast into part of Somerset County, patching together bits and pieces of FIVE counties - Beaver, Allegheny, Cambria, Somerset and Westmoreland. Building on her work in that first campaign, she's back to challenge Rothfus again.

In that 2014 campaign, a civic group to which I belong invited her and Rothfus to debate at our meeting (as Rothfus had done in a prior campaign). We offered Rothfus FIVE different dates, but his office kept declining and finally told us there was no way he would appear before the election - a subtler pre-twist on that, "I'll tell you my position AFTER I'm elected." So we offered Ms. McClelland the entire program and she accepted.

With my background in local and state politics, including 10 years as staff attorney and executive director for the Democratic caucus in the state House of Representatives, I was skeptical of anyone running for national office without some prior experience as an elected official. I have to tell you, her detailed, issue-rich presentation, for an hour, without a single note, and her effective responses to a barrage of audience questions, blew me out of the water. I went up to her afterwards, told her of my initial concerns, and told her I was glad she was running for Congress, because with her abilities, she was too good for and would be wasted in Harrisburg (PA state capitol) and she was ready for D.C.

You can read the back story on her 2014 campaign here. http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2013/08/26/Democrats-hopes-rest-on-Erin-McClelland-against-Rothfus/stories/201308260099
Mrs. McClelland, 38, was raised in the Natrona Heights section of Harrison, graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1993 and from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997 with a degree in psychology. In 2003, she received a master's in counseling and industrial organizational psychology from Chatham University.

That year she also worked for the Institute for Research Education & Training in Addiction, where she studied methods by the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative.

She founded Arche Wellness in 2006, a rehabilitation center that uses conventional and alternative treatments to treat substance abuse, depression and other maladies.

Mrs. McClelland has deep union ties: Her great-grandfather organized for the Congress of Industrial Organizations, or CIO, while at Pittsburgh Plate Glass; her grandfather was a steelworker; her mother was a nurse at Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington and a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers; and her father and brother are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 29.

Here are some recent posts from her FB page:
"This picture posted by USW Local 1219 President Jim Johnston took my breath away. Jim and his local have been incredibly supportive of 1196 and the other Locals effected by the ATI lock out. Now he is facing a similar situation with US Steel. Please support the working families of US Steel who continue the fight for real family values and America's middle class. Thanks Jim! - In solidarity my brother, Erin"

"I just got home from a shift of standing on the picket line with some of the brothers of USW 1196 at ATI in Brackenridge (and I am actually freezing!!) It was cold out there!
When I signed in the log book for visitors, it was so wonderful to see all the names from the Teamsters and AFSME that were there earlier today. Thank you so much for supporting our working families. They really need you. And thanks to Ian, Charlie and Bobby O for a great night!
I made a nice big plate of bacon and eggs and then I'm off to get a little sleep. In solidarity, Erin"

She's also making the obligatory rounds of the myriad Democratic county groups' picnics/fish fries/ barbecues, etc. I only hope that for once, the staid, regressive state Democratic party will actually give her some support, rather than supporting a crap primary opponent. In the 2014 election she had to waste precious resources in a primary battle with a political hack/rifle range operator dredged up to run against her. (In 2009, Hugya used campaign money to buy a rifle at an NRA meeting.[4] In that same year, Murtha's Republican challenger, Bill Russell, accused Hugya of threatening to have Russell recalled to active Army duty.[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hugya

So, if any of you happen to be in the 12th PA District, please reach out and contact her campaign and offer your support. Or if anyone else reading this is looking for a progressive candidate to support with a donation, please consider helping her campaign. She would be a hella representative of TRADITIONAL Democratic values in Congress.

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Reply PA 12 candidate Erin McClelland - pro Union, not pro Wall Street/1% (Original post)
Divernan Aug 2015 OP
blue neen Aug 2015 #1

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