Wednesday, June 07, 2006

PA-10: Karl Rove's Worst Nightmare!

A Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, Chris Carney served multiple tours overseas and was activated for operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, and Southern Watch.

After 9/11, Chris served at the Pentagon as an intelligence analyst and senior advisor on intelligence and counterterrorism issues. Chris coordinated counterterrorism activities in the Middle East and later worked on the integration of national-level intelligence products in the effort to destroy international terrorist networks.

Chris grew up in rural Iowa, near Cedar Rapids. He graduated in 1981 from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he double majored in Environmental Science and U.S. Diplomatic History. Chris worked his way through college as an EMT.

After college, Chris did graduate work at the University of Wyoming, where he met his future wife Jennifer. After enjoying teaching at the University of Wyoming, Chris decided to pursue a career in higher education.

In 1992, Chris and Jennifer moved their young family to Northeastern Pennsylvania when Chris was offerred a position at Penn State University in Scranton.

As an Associate Professor at Penn State, Chris teaches courses in U.S. Foreign Policy, American Government, and U.S. Security Policy.

Chris lives in Dimock, Pa. with his wife Jennifer and their five children. Their oldest is a freshman in high school and their youngest just started kindergarten.

Now, he's challenging Don Sherwood, Republican incumbent, philanderer, and alleged abuser of mistresses. Sherwood deserves to be retired, for more reasons than having engaged in an abusive extra-marital affair. Time Magazine calls Chris, "Karl Rove's worst nightmare":

This is Karl Rove's worst nightmare: a large crowd has gathered in a restaurant in the small town of Montrose, Pa., on a sunny Sunday afternoon in February to listen to the Democratic candidate running in the 10th Congressional District, a rural conservative bastion considered "safe" for Republicans. The candidate, Chris Carney, is soft-spoken and well informed. The audience is enthusiastic and predominantly Democratic, but peppered with Republicans who seem every bit as angry about the Bush Administration as do the Democrats. One man, dressed in a jacket and tie, stands up and confesses he's a lifelong Republican who can't vote for Bush because of his "fiscal irresponsibility." Another Republican, a prohibitively large corrections officer named Gary Morgan, tells me he's disgusted by the way Bush has prosecuted the war in Iraq and by his party's "culture of corruption." He's impressed by Carney, a Navy Reserve intelligence officer who is also a college professor. "It's nice to be able to vote for somebody with honor and integrity, and a veteran."

The "honor and integrity" sentiment is echoed by many in the crowd, and it is a local reference. The incumbent Republican Congressman Don Sherwood, 65—whom the Democrats didn't even bother to oppose in the last two elections—is married and has three children, but he's best known for admitting last year, according to the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, to a "five-year affair with a 29-year-old Maryland woman, but denies repeatedly beating her." At one point, the woman locked herself in the Congressman's bathroom and called 911, claiming that he was trying to choke her. Sherwood said he was just giving her a back rub. The woman brought suit, and Sherwood settled out of court. A former teacher named Kathy Scott last week announced she would challenge Sherwood in the Republican primary because he "is not living his personal life in a way that's honest and moral."

Sherwood's when-did-you-stop-beating-your-mistress travails may have made this race competitive for Democrats, but Chris Carney's qualities as a candidate are what make it significant.

Let's get rid of Don Sherwood for good -- do what you can to help Chris Carney in PA's 10th, and deprive Rove of restful sleep as a bonus.

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