Friday, August 6, 2010

Surprise Patrick Murphy interns gathered signatures for third-party candidate

As I predicted on Wednesday evidence surfaces to link Patrick Murphy's campaign to perennial candidate Tom Ligenfelter's nominating petitions:
The conventional wisdom is Tom Lingenfelter will pull votes from Republican Mike Fitzpatrick.

Two former interns for Congressman Patrick Murphy, now working for the state Democratic Party, have turned in nominating petitions to get a third-party candidate on the ballot.

The interns - Brian Caplan of Northampton and Jessica Milinichik of Bristol Township - submitted 148 signatures on the notarized papers for Tom Lingenfelter, a Doylestown historian.

The addition of Lingenfelter to the 8th District ballot is significant as his presence in a rematch between Murphy, a Democrat, and former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican, could tilt the outcome. Back in 2006, Murphy upset Fitzpatrick by a mere 1,518 votes.

In 2008, Lingenfelter accrued 5,543 votes, 1.6 percent of the total, in Murphy's victory over Tom Manion.

The conventional wisdom is Lingenfelter will pull votes from Fitzpatrick.

Tim Persico, Murphy's finance director, said the interns recently left the Murphy campaign.

"This wasn't an operation of Patrick Murphy for Congress," he said. "Patrick Murphy has better things to talk about. We weren't involved in this."
I don't know what better things Congressman Murphy has to talk about but he sure isn't discussing them with his constituents. Congressman Murphy prefers the cut and run strategy instead.

Though the Intelligencer report refers to the involvement of former interns, Jessica Milinichik identified herself as an intern for Patrick Murphy as recently as July 16, 2010 when promoting her first canvass:
“I had my first phone bank last week, and 5 or 6 people showed up. It was great, we made 300 phone calls. Now tomorrow will be my first canvass. I have my signs together, I have the literature, my canvass packets, I've cut my turf and called my volunteers.

"Bryan Allen, a state Senate candidate, will speak at the beginning and then canvass with us. Then we’re going to hit the doors of those 2008 first-time voters. I’ve never organized a canvass before. I’m nervous, but I can’t wait to put faces to the voices of the people who are coming.”
Here is a screenshot from Organizing for America noting her status as intern for Patrick Murphy:
The same information was given in Arcadia University's blog The Bulletin. The Intelligencer article mentions Milinichik's volunteer service for OFA but fails to include mention of her identification as a Murphy intern:
On his Facebook page, Caplan describes himself as "very liberal." In a July 19 story published in the Arcadia University student newspaper, Milinichik said she volunteers for Organizing for America, President Barack Obama's grassroots organization.
 If Ms. Milinichik has since been promoted to the state Democratic party, the promotion is indeed quite recent.  How convenient.

H/T: PA2010
Thomas Jefferson Club Blog posts on the revelation as well.

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