The Joe Sestak campaign got a boost this week from a man who needs no introduction here, Franco Harris. After Republican Pat Toomey reiterated his opposition to hate crimes legislation, Harris called up the New Pittsburgh Courier to denounce Toomey.
“I feel that hate crimes are more premeditated in a way and because of that I think that’s why they should be treated differently,” Harris said. “When you have a crime against a certain community of people it turns into fear tactics, it gets to be psychological. We need to look at that in a bigger, broader sense and realize that there’s bigger, broader consequences.”
Harris also argued that this kind of legislation should be handled at the federal level and not decided by individual states.
“This seems to be the position of a federal issue versus a state issue. There have been many incidents in the past where we’ve seen what states have done and if there are certain majorities in certain states they seem to take more leniency towards certain things,” Harris said. “We definitely have gone through certain eras in the country where that has happened and some people want to take us back, he wants to take Pennsylvania back. “
In an interview last week on Sept. 9, Toomey echoed comments made in 2004 when he expressed his opposition to hate crime legislation.
“I think it’s a bad idea for government to legislate on the basis of what they think people are thinking, what’s in a person’s mind or heart when they create a crime,” Toomey said in an interview with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.
As endorsements go, it might not be the Dan Rooney-Barack Obama level, but the backing of Franco can't hurt Sestak in Western Pennsylvania.
The story also offers a great excuse to post this video. Happy Friday, everyone: