According to this AP story by Kimberly Hefling [contact her: khefling@ap.org] stating that Sen. Santorum (R- PA) just finished meeting with Supreme Court nominee Alito.

The conservative Pennsylvania senator said he did not ask about specific issues – including abortion – because “I don’t think that’s what’s important.”

“What is important is the judge’s philosophy,” said Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican. “It is absolutely consistent where I think a majority of Americans are, which is judges are to apply the law, not make the law.”

The article mentioned Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) and had to mention Bob Casey Jr.  Hefling neglected to mention candidates Chuck Pennacchio, Alan Sandals and John Featherman.  All three of those candidates are pro-choice.  Hefling wrote that Casey is

the leading Democratic challenger in Santorum’s 2006 bid for re-election. Santorum is lagging behind Casey in the polls, and the race is already a closely watched Senate races for next year.

Which is all true, but in an artilce about Alito, she tangentially touched on Jr.’s race while neglecting to include the rest of the group.  Casey’s favorability numbers are lagging according to the most recent Keystone PA poll.  His favorability number fell 10% since June.

But back to Alito…

Santorum’s press secretary this week criticized Casey for not taking a stand on whether he would back Alito to the court. Casey told reporters on Monday that despite the family connection he’s waiting for more information to come out about Alito.

Who else is questioning Jr.?  Chuck Pennacchio.  Pennacchio wants answers to two questions.  1) the Alito nomination and 2) the Bush/Santorum Iraq War policy.  Pennacchio would vote against the Alito nomination and not only would he have voted against the war, he wants the troops home and has an Iraq exit strategy [.pdf].  It’s been over two months since Pennacchio met Jr. in person in Lehigh Valley and asked him to a debate[s].  Still no answer.

Jr. is scared to say anything with conviction.  Hemming and hawing his way with fingers crossed seems to be his campaign’s tactic which in my book is not a way to run a campaign against a very charismatic incumbent with a sizable following.  Chuck Pennacchio stands behind his words with pride.

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