Political Notes- 2/16/06


Lawyer Considers Congressional Run 
Television reality-star Raj Bhakta may face some competition in his quest to dethrone U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-District 13) from her first term in the House.

If some Montgomery County Republican committeemen get their way, Russian American attorney Marina Kats will soon declare her candidacy for Schwartz's seat.

But according to Kats, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1979 and earned a law degree from Temple University in 1988, she's still trying to make up her mind.

Speaking by phone from her Bucks County office, she mentioned that a Republican activist was waiting to talk to her in the next room. At the time, she seemed to be more excited about her firm's winning a $10 million verdict last Thursday, an award The Legal Intelligencer claimed was the fourth-largest reported by the newspaper in the last 18 months.

"Today, we're happy campers," said Kats, vice president of the resettlement committee for the Federation of Jewish Family Services, referring to the victory before turning to her possible congressional run.

"I have a lot of people encouraging me to run," she continued. "The only person who could run this race is, in all honesty, me."

Without missing a beat, though, she emphasized that she has a successful law practice, and doesn't know if she'd be able to devote the time necessary to win a Republican primary and then take on a career politician of the likes of Schwartz.

"I'm in a very good position in the sense that I love what I do," she said. "The Republican committee meeting is March 2, so I do have some time."

The attorney said that if she did run, her No. 1 issue would be immigration reform.


Win Some, Lose Some 
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) just can't seem to catch a break these days.

First came two polls last week showing him more than 10 percentage points behind state Treasurer Bob Casey in his re-election bid. Then came a bout of laryngitis on Tuesday, forcing him to cancel a planned conference call with reporters.

Still, all was not gloomy for the GOP front man. On Thursday, he collected the proceeds from a "friendly" Super Bowl wager with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Following the Feb. 5 victory by his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers against the Seattle Seahawks, Santorum received a "Made in Washington" basket that included, among other items, wild salmon and Washington apples.

Santorum had put up pierogies and hot wings in the event the Steelers lost.



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