Former Local Congresswoman Shares Bond With Giffords

By: Ralph Iannotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Local political figures continue to send their thoughts and prayers to United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her family after Saturday’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

Former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, of Erie, says she knows Congresswoman Giffords well. The two shared the same apartment in Washington D.C. last month.

Giffords is now hospitalized after she was shot Saturday morning while hosting a public event at a supermarket in Tucson. She is in intensive care on a ventilator.

Doctors say the bullet passed through Giffords’ skull.

Mourners continue to pile flowers, signs, candles and stuffed animals in front of the Tucson hospital where many of those who were injured in the shooting are recovering.

Meanwhile, back here in the Pittsburgh area, local politicians and other public figures continue to cope with the tragedy.

In an interview today with KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti, Dahlkemper said she was shocked by the shooting that left her friend and more than a dozen others wounded, as well as six people dead.

The two women were Democrats elected in traditionally Republican districts. They were friends, and served together on the House Science and Technology Committee.

They stayed in the same Washington D.C. apartment building. After she lost her election, Dahlkemper shared Gifford’s apartment last month before her lease ran out and she returned to western Pennsylvania.

While officials have not yet determined an exact motive, there are growing concerns it may have been the result of the recent inflammatory political discourse over issues like health care and immigration.

“The [political] rhetoric that we’ve been hearing over the past few years could incite some people to behave in ways they shouldn’t behave, and I’m very concerned,” Dahlkemper said.

“I’m praying that this incident, as negative and senseless as it was, can make people step back, think and move forward in a positive manner,” she added.

Congressman Mike Kelly, of Butler, the man who defeated Dahlkemper in last fall’s election, said he was horrified by the Arizona shooting. He called it a senseless and despicable act, adding that violence against public officials has no place in our country.

  • Red hands Kelly

    You have blood on your hands, Mike Kelly and it will never wash off. How do you plan on explaining it to God?

    You were endorsed by the Tea Party.

    Your district was on Palin’s “cross hairs” list.

    • Scared Straight

      Please stopping using crack and then posting idiotic messages such as this. You look so stupid!


        JOE – Stop before you sound even dumber. To suggest Palin did this is low rent, people died at the hand of a sick person. Bottom Line. This is not the time for political gain, you sound like a stumbling Democrat to me…. By the way, this guy’s favorite book was The Communist Manifesto (same of oBama’s).

    • Al

      Here we go: : This was a lone actor. NOT INCITED in is actions by anyone. BUT the left couldn’t wait in their idiotic idology to attempt to personally attack anyone on the right. Rep. Kelly nor Sarah Palin Nor Rush Lindbaugh, Nor Glenn Beck, Nor Shawn Hannity have ANY reponsibility in this horrible tradegy: They have no more responsibility than Pres. Obama, Governor Rendell or Nanct Pelosi. A LONE – CRAZED person comitted this crime: Wanna blame someone? Start at home and his parents:

  • Joe

    Both Giffords and Dahlkamper were on Palin’s hit list. When did Mike Kelly ever speak out against the hit list? The answer is never.
    Mike Kelly is a low-life used car dealer.

    • You are not serious, right?

      What did Palin have to do with some nutjob shooting and killing people, including a nine year old girl? Have you been smoking crack or using herion?!

      • Joe

        Read the comments on the link I provided as well as the main posting.
        In 2008, the Secret Service blamed Palin for a surge in threats against Obama.

      • Joe

        In case you are ignorant in this matter as well, high school students get suspended for making “hit lists.” Palin makes a hit list and gets accolades bestowed upon her by teabaggers.

      • Joe
        Here you go!
        Sarah Palin: “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” Mike Kelly had a chance to speak out against Palin’s hit list when he was campaigning and said NOTHING abolut it.

        I don’t do drugs, I read and pay attention, What do you do to stay so ignorant and uninformed?


      JOE – Stop before you sound even dumber. To suggest Palin did this is low rent, people died at the hand of a sick person. Bottom Line. This is not the time for political gain, you sound like a stumbling Democrat to me…. By the way, this guy’s favorite book was The Communist Manifesto (same of oBama’s).

  • Sean Insanity

    Fox News is reporting that Jared Loughner got upset when no one was able to produce their birth certificate.

  • Sarah Mooselini

    Here is an online petition to indict Sarah Palin:

  • TheTruth

    Blaming Palin? What a joke. This guy was mental. “Targets” have always been a metaphor, just like the DLC’s article where they did the SAME thing.

  • Joe

    ZOEYZOTRON, the guy had a number of favorite books, which included Hitler’s(an arch enemy of communism) Mein Kampf, We the Living by Ayn Rand (her most anti-communist work), and Animal Farm (the most famous anti-Soviet work). Funny how your source of information neglected to mention these three other ANTI-COMMUNIST works.
    You sound like a really misinformed, ig
    Also, the shooter has ties to American Renaissance (a far right wing white supremacist group) which has ties to the Tea Party. He was for a return to the gold standard (just like Glenn Beck), against birthright citizenship, and thought the government was trying to control us through language, which is a favorite topic among the very far right. You sound like an ignorant, Fox News viewing., misinformed Republican to me.
    By the way, how can anyone defend Palin’s “hit list.” Do you think putting targets on members of Congree is appropriate? Please do give your thoughts.
    Again, Mike Kelly NEVER spoke out against this list when he the chance.

  • Joe

    This is from 2009. Democrats have been warning Republicans for a few years now to tone things down or else violence will occur, which it did.. How do Republicans respong? We don’t care.
    No Republican has ever publicly told right wingers to tone things down because they know they will lose their support for speaking the truth.

  • Joe

    A couple of sources that attorney Judy Clarke, who represented the Unabomber in a defense that helped educate the public into the vitriolic right wing mindset, is going to greatly highlight the responsibility of the rabid right, particularly Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party, of the violent atmosphere that led to her client’s unfortunate crime.

  • expittsburgh

    Joe, You’re going to say “vitriolic right wing mindset?!” Perhaps you should go back and read the comments on thelink that you posted. Talk about hate filled.

    Oh, and you claim he has ties with a group that has ties with another group. Reaching a bit aren’t you?

    Your hatred is coming through loud and clear.

  • expittsburgh

    This guy was mentally messed up. From what I’ve read he hated all of gvt. This congresswoman was unfortunately the closest to him. My guess is he would’ve done this to whoever he had a chance to get close to, Republican or Democrat. To turn this into a finger pointing at Palin because of an ad that is similar to the ones the DLC ran (see above) is really taking advantage of a sad situation. Shows how much Dems hate/are afraid of Palin.

  • expittsburgh

    I can’t believe I’m going to reference CNN…but the first paragraph is worth stating:

    Until we have more definitive information about the shooter, pointing fingers at who might bear responsibility for the Tucson, Arizona, massacre only contributes to what we must end in America: a toxic political environment.


  • Joe

    expittsburgh, read my posts. Originally, I only criticized two public figures, Sarah Palin for her hit list and Mike Kelly for not criticizing it. When people started attackining me is when I returned the attacks to those individuals. Hate to tell you this because you obviousy lack any type of critical reading skills, but I was attacked first. Here was the original insulting comment directed at me.
    “Have you been smoking crack or using herion?”!

    Here is how I replied to that entire insulting post:
    “I don’t do drugs, I read and pay attention, What do you do to stay so ignorant and uninformed? Someone who has the wrong information is ignorant and uninformed. ”

    expittsburgh, let’s go over this again because you seem a little slow,
    1) First, I criticize two public figures.
    2) Then, I am personally insulted by someone on the board.
    Also, the government labels people as “terrorists” even if they do not have any direct association with a terrorist. If they belong to a group that is associated with a terrorist, guess what? They can be labelled as a terrorist.
    Same logic goes with the assassin being associated with a right wing white supremacist group that has direct ties to the Tea Party. No doubt many in American Renaissance are also in the Tea Party.
    Funny how NO Republican has ever stated Sarah Palin’s hit list was wrong, but instead tries to deflect the conversation away from her tasteless map.
    Will a Republican simply say her hit list is wrong without any other type of caveat?
    The difference between the DLC map and Palin’s hit list was the DLC was targeting STATES, Palin was targeting individuals. I am not sure if you understand the concept, but a state cannot be assassinated, a Democratic member of Congress can be.

  • expittsburgh

    I did read your posts. And I see that you’re using “sources” about what a defense attorney will claim as some form of de facto proof that this has been brought about by the “rapid right”.

    Sorry I didn’t get your memo that “behind the enemy lines” and targets is ok in some political ads, but not others. I mean you don’t win the state unless you beat the person representing it… so ultimately it _is_ about people. And you’re right, I won’t defend or praise her ad, because it’s not worth commenting on. Bringing Palin into this is a straw man argument when there is no reason to beleive that this person was allied with or in any way a follower or supporter of hers. Instead, you and others like you take every opportunity to smear her. Feel free to keep hating her, it really doesn’t bother. Just amuses me.

  • expittsburgh

    And just curious, what would you expect the defense attorney to do!?!? Of course she’s going to jump on the band wagon of blaming the right. She already has people like you wanting to drink the kool-aid.

  • Joe

    expittsburgh, are you seriouos? The maps are false equivalencies. Targeting states for votes is not the same as targeting individuals considering the language Palin often uses.
    You will not praise or defend her map, but you certainly have not critiziced it at all.
    Sarah Palin was warned REPEATEDLY her rhetoric would lead to violence.
    Answer this, is Palin’s hit list with Democratic Congressmen and women called out by name right or wrong?
    Sorry, but there is no one called out by name on a DLC strategy map from six years ago, which obviously was dredged up as a false equivalency to deflect from Palin’s over-the-top hit list.
    You do understand the concept of false equivalency, don’t you?
    Right wingers, supposedly from the supposed party of personal responsibility, NEVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN WORDS OR ACTIONS.

  • Joe

    By the way, the Secret Service in 2008 blamed Palin personally for the rise in death threats to Obama due to her over-the-top rhetoric.
    The woman has never taken ANY personal responsibility for her words or actions when she warned it would lead to violence.

  • Joe

    When she was warned, not she warned….

  • expittsburgh

    Naming people who you think should be beaten in the election is not wrong. Singling people out to be assassinated is obviously wrong. That’s where you and I see completely opposite. You view her list as a list of people to kill, I see it as a list of people she thinks should be beaten in the election. And I go back to my original stance that this is NOT a Palin issue (unless proven otherwise.) As I see it it is a mentally unstable person who acted out of mental problems, not because of a right wing (or left as has also been mentioned) propaganda.

  • Joe

    expittsburgh, a mentally unbalanced person sees a hit list with Giffords name on it and a crosshairs on her district and he is to assume it is just indicating to vote against her in the election? Seriously, are you naive or just delusional?
    You don’t make hit lists or violent rhetoric BECAUSE of the mentally unbalanced.
    But, what are we to expect from someone as dull-witted as Sarah Palin?

  • Joe

    For people who claim that the assassin is left wing because he listed ONE of his favorite books as the Communist Manifesto. Anyone who has read it, as I have, knows that there is no way a mentally unbalanced person that got kicked out of a community college could ever finish it, let alone like it. The book is one of the most tedious reads ever. Pick up a copy or find it on the Internet, and start reading it for yourself. If you finish, congratulations! Chances are, you will not even come close to finishing it.

  • gingerboots
  • Joe

    Let’s go back to my original point: Sarah Palin had a totally inappropriate map with crosshairs on it and 20 Democratic members of Congress targeted on it on the Internet. She was repeatedly warned about the image it conveys.
    It was only taken down an hour after the assassination in Tucson.
    Mike Kelly NEVER said a word about it considering his opponent was on the hit list.
    Sarah Palin was wrong for having that image in that way and Mike Kelly was wrong for never saying a word about it.
    Michelle Malkin is a joke that is not taken seriously by anyone outside of the far right. She is part of the problem, not the solution.

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