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Strange Bedfellows Indeed: Chong and Wecht Speak Out Against Buchanan

Chong Looking to find die-hard backers for your campaign to retain your seat in Congress? How about recruiting people your opponent tried (in one case successfully) to send to prison?

Via this post on The Legal Satyricon, comes a story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about a fundraiser for the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, which is supporting Pennsylvania Congressman Jason Altmire, who is up for reelection this year. His opponent: former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Mary Beth Buchanan.

Special guest stars at the fundraiser: Tommy Chong and Dr. Cyril Wecht. Perhaps the only thing these two have in common is their disdain for Buchanan, who, as U.S. Attorney, was responsible for prosecuting each of them. Chong was charged in 2003 with distribution of drug paraphernalia, and pleaded guilty, serving nine months in prison. Wecht was charged in a bevy of counts revolving around corruption and graft during his tenure as a county coroner, but charges were dropped after one mistrial and damaging suppression rulings in the second go-round.

The Post-Gazette article makes it sound like this event was more entertaining than your average fundraiser. Chong reportedly referred to Buchanan as "a liar and a thief," and advocated marijuana use, both because it induces honesty -- "because when you lie, you have to remember" -- and because, hey, it can't be bad for you if Chong's been smoking it for 54 years and is still the picture of health. For his part, Wecht referred to Buchanan as "that vicious, horrible woman," but didn't have much to add on the virtues of pot, since he claims never to have tried it.

The Buchanan campaign handled the attacks with grace. According to campaign manager Mike Walsh, "If all the drug users and convicted felons line up behind Jason Altmire while the law-abiding citizens of the 4th District stand with Mary Beth Buchanan, that will be all right with her."

Posted by Eric Lipman on May 6, 2010 at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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