Schwartz winning race for campaign funding
By DOM COSENTINO
Marina Kats, the Republican challenger to Democrat Allyson Schwartz in the 13th Congressional District, continues to badly trail Schwartz in the race for campaign contributions, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Kats, a lawyer who lives in Abington, said last month that donations had picked up after she had to loan her campaign $300,000 in July. But campaign records released Thursday reveal she raised just $55,000 for the third quarter that ended Sept. 30.
After accounting for expenditures made in the third quarter, the Kats campaign has nearly $292,000 remaining. Schwartz, meanwhile, brought in an additional $354,000 in the third quarter. After accounting for expenditures, the two-term incumbent still has approximately $2.3 million in her war chest right around where she was at the time of the last filing at the end of June. Constitution Party candidate John McDermott is also running, but the FEC did not provide his fundraising details.
In an interview at her Feasterville law office on Oct. 3, Kats said she wasn't concerned about the fundraising disparity. A Ukranian immigrant who worked her way through college and law school, she's working hard to court immigrant voters in the district, which includes parts of Northeast Philadelphia and most of Montgomery County.
"The numbers work," Kats said, adding up the immigrant vote with the slight registration advantage she has in the 13th. "In reality, what is money going to do? How many ads you have on television? No money in the world could make the big foot small and the small heart big."
Meanwhile, Kats again repeated a challenge for Schwartz to debate her, which thus far the Schwartz campaign has declined to do. Kats even went so far as to appear unannounced at Schwartz's Jenkintown campaign office Thursday morning to personally make the demand.
Schwartz was not there, but Kats placed one of her own campaign signs on the steps of the campaign office and posed there for a photograph that was e-mailed to reporters along with a statement.
"Her refusal to debate is a slap in the face of the voters, especially in light of the current economic conditions and the "bailout bill,' " Kats said in the statement. "Throughout the country, candidates and incumbents will stand up in front of the voters and discuss important issues. But Allyson Schwartz is not interested in facing the voters and is refusing to debate."
The Schwartz campaign, through a spokeswoman, echoed its earlier comments by saying voters would have the chance to interact with both candidates at upcoming public forums. Both campaigns have said they are scheduled to appear at the Foulkeways retirement community in Gwynedd on Oct. 30.
"This was a pure political stunt today," the Schwartz spokeswoman said. "We see this in the presidential election, that voters care more about serious issues like the economy than political stunts like this. Her putting the Kats sign on the property of the Schwartz campaign speaks to her incredibly juvenile behavior."
Kats' statement further demands that Schwartz pledge not to challenge Arlen Specter for his U.S. Senate seat in 2010.
"How can she represent the voters of the 13th district while running a senate campaign?" the statement asks. "It is the height of hypocrisy to ask people for their vote for a job you have no intention of doing."
At an Oct. 7 interview with the newspaper's editorial board, Schwartz was asked if she planned to challenge Specter, as published reports have suggested. She answered by saying she intended to continue to represent the constituents of her district, but when asked if she was saying no, Schwartz simply smiled.