Remember how excited you were back in the spring, when Congressional incumbents Jason Altmire and Mark Critz battled each other in the newly drawn 12th District? OK, we don't remember that either. But Critz won, meaning that this November, he is carrying the banner of his party. Which he hates.
Or so it would seem from his new ad, "Make Them." Let's watch:
As he did in the primary, Critz bills himself as being "pro-life" and "pro-gun." (Maybe this is why you hippies weren't more excited back during the spring?) But now that he's running a general-election campaign -- against Tea Partier Keith Rothfus -- he's doubled down on the whole attack-my-party-from-the-right thing.
The new ad boasts of fighting "my own party" and "President Obama's EPA" -- without mentioning any difference with Republicans. At the heart of the Obama-related claims is a settlement brokered between the EPA and Alpha Natural Resources, which operates a mine in Greene County. Critz helped push through logjams on a permit involving an air shaft in the mine, thereby ensuring continued employment for 700 miners. In the process, he probably also ensured the support of a valuable friend: Alpha Natural Resources is one of his top sources for campaign cash. And Alpha can be a powerful enemy: the company is also a big supporter to outside-spending colossus American Crossroads (ranking #14 on its list of donors).
Critz's ad, and website, also tout his opposition to regulations that could constrain the coal and gas industries, and his support of the Keystone XL pipeline.
So, well, good for Mark Critz, I guess. Lots of miners out there in Greene County and environs, and cozying up to mineral-resource companies should shield him from "war on coal" campaigns. And this ad, from what I can tell, has the virtue of accurately and honestly reflecting Critz's values and track record. Of course, for some of us lefties, that's exactly the problem.