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Pennsylvania: Carney, Hackett Trade Barbs Over DeLay Visit

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is coming to Northeast Pennsylvania, but 10th district Republican nominee Chris Hackett has no intention of meeting with the controversial political figure, Hackett’s campaign said this week.

DeLay is visiting Clarks Summit on behalf of his not-for-profit group, the Coalition for a Conservative Majority. Rep. Christopher Carney’s (D) campaign manager, Vincent Rongione, released a statement charging Hackett with “bringing the worst kind of Washington values” to the Keystone State in the form of DeLay.

“Why is Chris Hackett embracing one of the most corrupt and dishonest politicians in decades?” Rongione said. “It’s the old kind of politics that has no place in Pennsylvania’s 10th district. People want a change from that type of cronyism.”

However, Hackett spokesman Mark Harris said the GOP nominee has no plans to meet with DeLay, nor does the former Majority Leader have any plans to raise money for the Republican businessman.

“They should fact-check better,” Harris said. “It’s some independent organization that we have nothing to do with.”

The DeLay event, according to the CCM Web site, is billed as a “chapter meeting” for Northeast Pennsylvania. CCM describes itself as a not-for-profit organization that plans to recruit, train and organize conservative candidates for Congress.

Carney was the first Democrat in three decades to win his Northeast Pennsylvania district in 2006. Hackett, who is supported by the Club for Growth, narrowly won a brutal and expensive primary last month.

— Shira Toeplitz

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