Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
"I don't have to say anything to (my constituents)," said Sen. Arlen Specter in an impromptu Tuesday gathering outside his Capitol Hill office shortly after releasing a statement that he would leave the Republican Party after 43 years, become a Democrat and slink away from a certain and humiliating defeat in next year's GOP primary against Pat Toomey.
"They said it to me," the five-term senator of Philadelphia said.
That's right. Republicans told Arlen Specter to go to hell. And by all accounts, that's where he's going -- to an expected filibuster-proof Senate that, thanks to one of the most unprincipled men ever to serve in that august body, now will have carte blanche to further its dangerously socialist agenda.
But if Specter thinks his decision to switch rather than fight a party that was throwing up over his "record" and ready to throw him out means he'll be on easy street to a sixth term, he should remember two words: Jack Wagner.
The Pennsylvania auditor general has been toying with either a run for the Democrats' nomination for governor or U.S. Senate. Specter's defection should make up his mind. Given Mr. Wagner's ability to garner statewide votes -- his 2008 vote totals outstripped Specter's 2004 vote totals by nearly half-a-million votes -- Wagner could kick Specter's arse in the Democrats' senatorial primary next year.
And that, finally , would dispatch Arlen Specter to the dustbin of political history.
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