Monthly Archives: April 2012


As you probably know, I rarely agree with the conclusions of the PG editorial board, but sometimes when it comes to endorsing candidates, they reach the same decision I do. Notable examples of such agreement include Tim Murphy and Tom Corbett in the 2010 general election and Bob Howard in the 2011 general election.

Responding to the Post-Gazette’s endorsement of Tim Murphy in the April 24 primary, Sarah Feinberg, on her husband Evan’s behalf, posted this on the paper’s website, Tuesday at 4:58pm:

“Those who agree with the Post-Gazette’s editorial board that conservative beliefs are “strident extremism” and “poison” will vote for Tim Murphy, which is to be expected. I will say, however, that Evan is the most principled man I know and he is not poisonous.”

I did not imagine that the wife of a candidate for U.S. Congress would actually go onto a widely circulated newspaper’s website and criticize the conservative credentials of the voters her husband would need to persuade, so I responded with a list of questions. She was free to answer whichever she deemed appropriate in this electronic public forum. I started by giving her a chance to clarify her comments about the conservatism of the voters in the 18th District, and also gave her some simple questions that were likely going to be on the minds of undecided voters:

“Sarah, did you really mean to tell every person who’s going to vote for Murphy on Tuesday that they aren’t conservative?

Evan hasn’t lived here in 10 years. For more than a decade, he’s shared no connection to the voters of this district. Is that correct?

Your husband hasn’t had a job here since then, and his literature doesn’t identify any private sector experience when he was here. Instead he worked in Washington, DC, not for any Pennsylvania Congressman, but instead for Senators from other states.

Has Evan ever paid taxes in Pennsylvania?

Did he ever vote here, or had he already headed out to DC by the time he was old enough?

Who were your political mentors? Who told you to come in here and tell us how we should think, and then have the nerve to ask us for our votes?

Didn’t Evan say on his Facebook page on February 14 …that he didn’t care if they closed the 911th and would support the Air Force decision to shut it down?

If I’ve misunderstood any of those things, please clarify.

But as far as understanding goes…it seems to me that you don’t understand the people of the 18th District. The real tragedy? You never tried.

Tonight, Congressman Paul Ryan joined Murphy as they engaged Murphy’s constituents regarding the most critical matters of the day…Obamacare, energy, economic freedom, spending, and taxes.

Ryan suggested this to them about Murphy:

“You have a representative who is helping us on all these issues. If you have somebody already doing these things, keep them.”

Obviously, you won’t listen to the people of this district because we can’t meet your conservative standards.

Does Paul Ryan?”

I expected Sarah to select the questions she wanted to address and give responses that were in sync with the talking points of her husband Evan’s campaign. I did not expect a personal attack aimed directly at me, but that’s exactly how Sarah did respond:

“Chris Clay I think your support of your Congressman is quite admirable and I am sure he greatly appreciates it. I hope that you are as involved in improving your community as you are in trolling websites for positive comments on Evan. I will say, however, that your obsession with my husband borders on creepy.”

For the record, I had been responding to comments on the PG site related to the Murphy endorsement for days before Sarah made her first appearance. I had challenged Democrats opposed to either Republican candidate or supporting Democrat challenger Larry Maggi, as well as those who were sniping at Murphy or praising Feinberg.

I think Sarah might have taken exception to this exchange I had with a Feinberg enthusiast from Maryland. Drew from Baltimore had made these statements:

“‘We have to have change…Men like Feinberg might be our last chance to provide a positive future for our country.’

‘Our country is in a mess. We need change. We need people like Evan Feinberg who have the character and integrity to make the hard choices and decisions to get us out of the deep hole we’re in. We need new leadership.'”

I countered with this:

“Drew, this is not the mentality that will get us beyond Obama. It is the mindset that gave us Obama.”

It is worth noting that Sarah is not the candidate‚Ķher husband Evan is. But he wasn’t the one who came onto the Post-Gazette’s page and criticized the voters of the 18th District, she was. I did have a recent conversation with Evan, and when I asked him questions, he called me “disingenuous” so Sarah’s responses to me on the PG site are, sadly, not out of character for the Feinberg campaign.

But they only solidified my resolve that Evan will not become my representative in Congress. As Congressman Paul Ryan said, if you have someone fighting for you on the issues that matter most, you should keep them. I agree with Ryan that we have that person in Murphy, so I, along with what I believe will be a strong majority of Republican voters in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, will vote to reelect Congressman Tim Murphy on April 24th.