Ped-Bike Mockery Flops for 7-Term House Incumbent

The National Republican Congressional Committee ran this ad against Democratic challenger Kathy Dahlkemper in the race for Pennsylvania’s third congressional district. It hits a few Gingrichian notes on how to address the country’s energy problems before the announcer tells us incredulously:

Dahlkemper’s wacky solution? She said we should make personal sacrifices, such as walking places and riding bikes. Hmm… Why don’t we use dog-sleds, too?

That passage heaps on the fear and loathing with scare quotes, shots of an impossibly crowded sidewalk, and a bike bell sound effect. But guess what? Seven-term incumbent Phil English is heading back to Erie, and Kathy Dahlkemper is going to Washington. The AP breaks down her victory:

Mrs. Dahlkemper’s advantage was viewed as being in the more urban areas
of the district — the cities of Erie, Sharon, Meadville and Butler —
where she was expected to benefit from longtime union support and Sen.
Barack Obama’s presence at the top of the ticket. Her challenge was to
sway voters in the suburban and rural regions.

Think Dahlkemper’s competition will bank on the same anti-urban message in 2010?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Battle Heats Up Over Pennsylvania Tolling, With National Implications

|
For more than two years, Pennsylvania transportation planners have sought federal permission to make I-80 one of only three interstates in America approved for tolling. Pennsylvania’s I-80 would be only the third existing interstate in the U.S. to have tolls. (Photo: PennLive.com) If the Federal Highway Administration okays tolls on I-80 — and local reports […]

Who Wants to Buy a New Locomotive? General Electric Hopes Amtrak Does

|
General Electric’s Transportation division inked a high-speed rail technology-sharing deal with China last month, but the prospects on the home front for its fuel-efficient locomotives are downright "bleak" heading into 2010, as its chief executive recently told Dow Jones. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), at right, addressed GE Transportation workers in Erie, PA, last year. (Photo: […]

Bike-Hating Rep. Patrick McHenry Fends Off Challenger

|
Congresswoman-elect Kathy Dahlkemper overcame ridicule for her "wacky" notion that Pennsylvanians should try walking and cycling. But down in western North Carolina, voters returned Rep. Patrick McHenry — shown here mocking, and misrepresenting, the federal bike commuter tax benefit — to Washington. Though his state also went for Barack Obama, the outspoken conservative Republican defeated […]