For State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, it was like hitting the lottery twice on the same night.
First, the North Philly Democrat got a huge national platform as a contributor to the Democratic National Convention’s keynote speech Tuesday. Then President Donald Trump’s campaign went after him on Twitter for his positions on environmental issues, further elevating his political brand.
The campaign also went after Brendan Boyle and Conor Lamb, two U.S. House members from Pennsylvania, who were part of what Trump World branded “this band of 17 radicals” delivering the speech.
Kenyatta was soon being interviewed by outlets around the country. He appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday.
His message about the Trump camp’s tweet: “I don’t think that was the burn you think it is.”
“It was pretty shocking to me for 17 folks who, with the exception of [former Georgia gubernatorial candidate] Stacey Abrams, are not household names around the country,” Kenyatta told Clout. “But Trump is an online bully.”
Boyle sees the attack as confirmation he is pointed in the correct direction, since he considers Trump “the worst president in history.” But the attention can cut both ways, he said.
“My fellow Democrats see me as someone fighting for our values and issues,” said Boyle, who represents parts of Philly. “There are downsides too. It brings out the crazies.”
”I am a former federal prosecutor that prosecuted violent crime and drug networks,” he said. “I’m also a former Marine officer. My district knows ... that I support law enforcement even though I want to make it better.”
“One thing they always do is try to run their campaigns about someone other than me,” Lamb said. ”They do it so often and in such a ridiculous and baseless way, I think it really has no effect at this point.”
The campaign for Pennsylvania attorney general is heating up on TV
The election for Pennsylvania attorney general is getting chippy.
Clout told you last week that the Republican nominee, Pittsburgh trial lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, took the first shot on television with a campaign ad including a not-so-subtle dig at incumbent Josh Shapiro’s widely known ambition to run for governor in 2022 (which would be in the middle of his second term if he wins reelection.)
Shapiro, a Montgomery County Democrat, returned fire this week with his own first television ad, knocking Heidelbaugh as a “hack lawyer” who is using negative ads to distort his record on behalf of special interests like insurance companies.
That prompted the Republican Attorneys General Association to accuse Shapiro of being “clearly misogynistic” for calling Heidelbaugh a hack. Does RAGA plans to air television ads to help Heidelbaugh? The group declined to comment.
Heidelbaugh, who trails Shapiro in campaign cash, is getting backup from the Commonwealth Leaders Fund, a political action committee founded and funded by conservative activists. That PAC, which gave her $50,000 in June, has already spent $144,000 airing TV ads supporting her, according to the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics. It has booked a total of $435,000 worth of airtime in the race. Its first ad decries Shapiro as “a career politician already looking to run for governor.”
Heidelbaugh has spent almost $95,000 of the $162,000 in airtime her campaign has booked, according to Advertising Analytics. Shapiro has spent almost $130,000 of the $309,000 he has booked.
The Shapiro-Heidelbaugh race is shaping up to be the most interesting statewide down-ballot contest of this year’s presidential campaign. And Shapiro, always eager to build a national profile, sued the U.S. Postal Service Tuesday amid concerns that Trump is gutting the agency to damage mail voting.
DA Larry Krasner and retired Philly cops step up money fight
There’s almost nine months until the next race for Philadelphia district attorney. But the fund-raising for that May 18 primary is already fierce.
District Attorney Larry Krasner hit back this week against a group of retired cops who formed the Protect Our Police PAC, calling them “disgruntled” in a fund-raising email to supporters.
“The group believes no one should ever challenge the thin blue line, no matter the abuse and discrimination that occurs in our communities,” said the Krasner campaign email. “Larry has been fearless in holding officers who violate the law accountable, no matter the backlash.”
The PAC, which earlier this month said it raised $750,000 in just three weeks, noted Krasner’s pitch came after yet another violent weekend in the city.
“Let-‘em-go Larry is running scared because he knows Protect Our Police PAC will hold him accountable for the blood on his hands,” PAC president Nick Gerace responded.