ALLENTOWN- In a move that surprised many political observers, the re-election campaign of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) ended its relationship with Madame Tizenhat, a Gypsy hired to curse potential Democratic challengers to the senator.
“This is no reflection on Madame Tizenhat’s character or competence,” explained Calvin Luther, Sen. Toomey’s state director. “Her expertise is second to none, and we would recommend her without hesitation to anyone interested in her services. However, we decided to take the campaign in a different direction, one focused on Senator Toomey’s record and the need for a conservative voice representing Pennsylvania in the Senate, not causing the political implosion of prominent Democrats through supernatural means.”
Asked to comment, Madame Tizenhat said only, “No curse Senator Pat. Left on good terms. Big severance package.”
According to an unnamed source within the campaign, recent events with former Congressman and Admiral Joe Sestak, the only announced challenger to Toomey so far, and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who recently ended his campaign, forced the Toomey camp’s hand. “We had to do something, before another city was plunged into scandal or more innocent children got hurt,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said.
Other sources within the campaign cited unease with Tizenhat’s actions against her initial target, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane. “When we first brought her on, I figured she’d cook up something to slow [Kane’s] momentum,” said Mark Whitewash, field rep in the Toomey campaign’s Pittsburgh office. “Maybe [Gov.] Tom Wolf hiring her pollster away, or her chief of staff posting something homophobic on Facebook. But a grand jury recommending charges? Not two months after she gets in a car accident? That’s just overkill.”
Some thought the curse strategy was flawed from the beginning. “I think we panicked after the 2012 election and Kane made some initial moves toward getting in the race,” said Golda MacKenzie, the Toomey campaign’s liaison to craft breweries. “I mean, winning re-election as an incumbent politician in Pennsylvania isn’t exactly the hardest thing in the world. Sure, Pat [Toomey] has cast a few controversial votes on entitlement reform, but it’s not like he fired Joe Paterno or anything. Nobody liked Arlen Specter, but he got to be senator for about a hundred years. Even Rick Santorum managed to win a second term, back in 2000.”
“Rick. Freaking. Santorum.”
Even with Kane and Pawlowski out of the race, the Democrats have several options for the upcoming Senate election. In addition to Sestak, who narrowly lost to Toomey in 2010 and who party leadership does not like for some reason, the party has reached out to state Sen. Vince Hughes, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, former Congressman Chris Carney, Lebanon Levi, that one really opinionated bartender at Annie Bailey’s, most of the editorial staff of Lancaster Newspapers, and Francis X. Casey, a previously unknown Casey.
At press time, we had received unconfirmed reports that Katie McGinty, Governor Tom Wolf’s chief of staff and a former Secretary of Environmental Protection, fell into an open manhole cover while crossing Third Street in Harrisburg. More on this as it develops.