Thursday, September 07, 2006

Raj On

Editor Mary Katherine Ham spotlights Raj.

Raj took a few minutes out of his campaign schedule to talk to me about the political landscape in his part of the state and his chances there. Pennsylvania's 13th District went for Kerry 56-43 in 2004, but Bhakta thinks there's plenty of room for change.

Bhakta has already shown he knows it will take some creative marketing to beat an incumbent, and he's taking advantage of the blogosphere to get his message out.He spoke to Danny Glover of Beltway Blogroll, who commended Bhakta on an Internet fundraising effort that used Joe Biden's comments about Indian-American 7-11 employees as a jumping-off point.

To help the Raj campaign out, visit his contribution page, read his blog, or get out and knock on doors. Lord knows Pennsylvania could use more conservatives in office, and Bhakta looks like he's got an energy and strategy that could get him there.

"A Young Rudy Giuliani"

From the Northeast Times:

Greg Bucceroni is a former New Yorker who has been an anti-crime activist since the days of that city’s Son of Sam killings.

Today, the former Guardian Angel lives in Frankford and is one of Philadelphia’s leading community voices against drugs and violence.

Bucceroni is watching the campaign in the 13th Congressional District and likes what he sees in Raj Bhakta, the Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz. In fact, he thinks Bhakta has the makings of "a young Rudy Giuliani," the former New York mayor and federal prosecutor credited with leading a sharp decrease in the Big Apple’s crime rate.

Bhakta isn’t running for mayor of Philadelphia, but he has made crime the No. 1 issue in his campaign. Last week, he joined Bucceroni, veteran activist C.B. Kimmins, local civic association and Town Watch members and almost 100 other people at a crime forum at Cannstatter’s on Academy Road.

The challenger is running on a "Save the Northeast" platform. He vows to be a "loud, loud voice" against Section 8 housing and promises to deliver U.S. Department of Homeland Security dollars to the Philadelphia Police Department, specifically for more officers in the Northeast.

The Republican blames City Hall for the neighborhood’s understaffed police districts and other lack of resources.

"John Street is no fan of Northeast Philadelphia," he said.

One suggestion Bhakta makes is that local police districts use bicycle cops.

"They’re a great way of fighting crime," he said.

The crime forum was the third held by the candidate. He hosted forums earlier this summer in Bridesburg and Lawndale/Crescentville. More are planned.