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Sen. Arlen Specter Dies

The former U.S. Senator fought a long battle with cancer.

Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter died Sunday, according to CNN, at age 82 in his Philadelphia home.

Specter represented Pennsylvania in the Senate for 30 years. Specter started as a Democrat but switched to the Republican party before being elected to the U.S. Senate. The senator made headlines in 2009 when he switched to the Democratic Party.

Specter announced his diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease in 2005. He underwent multiple treatments of chemotherapy and finally succumbed to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Sunday.

Sen. Pat Toomey released the following statement, “A man of sharp intelligence and dogged determination, Sen. Specter dedicated his life to public service and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His impact on our state and public policy will not be forgotten. My wife Kris and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the entire Specter family.”

Gov. Tom Corbett released the following statement on his Facebook page: “For more than five decades, Arlen Specter lived a life devoted to public service on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania and the United States. Pennsylvania has lost a political figure whose career stretched from Philadelphia's City Hall to the chambers of the U.S. Senate. We are saddened to hear of his death.”

Sen. John McCain Tweeted Sunday afternoon: "Arlen Specter - a dear friend who served his state and nation with honor and distinction. RIP."

The funeral, which will be open to the public, will be Tuesday at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley, according to philly. com. Interment will follow at Shalom Memorial Park at Pine and Byberry roads in Huntingdon Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions may be made to Philadelphia University or another charity.

Marc Lombardi October 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Rest in Peace to a man who voted with his conscience & his heart and acted on our behalf as though he really cared about the people he represented...no matter what political party he was elected under to get into office.
Mildred Roberts October 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
People wrote hateful passages about George Washington when he died in 1799. The practice continues unabated. It's an uncomfortable result of Free Speech. Unfortunately, political rhetoric will never be tempered, despite the quixotic pleas of Ben and others. In the past four years, it has become even more vitriolic. The direction in which America is going may someday eliminate Free Speech, but until that Utopia is achieved, have another Starbucks.
Jona franklin October 15, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Hi there everyone...... I am a conservative and a Christian ..... I'm finding that this is the wrong forum for a character autopsy of Arlen spector.... Someone please, set up and direct another spot for political banter.... Wed all be bast served, life and honor best represented to clear this board to be condolences and regard for a man who lived, loved and passed
Andrew Wilt October 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Mildred Roberts - You would call the elimination of free speech desirable?
Smedley October 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Rest in Peace Mr. Specter. That said the only thing our representatives care about these days is money, greed, and getting re-elected the next time around. The best thing that could ever happen in this country is TERM LIMITS! Less than 2% of representatives in pennsylvania leave office on their own. Once they get in you can't get rid of them. Just like Stewart Greenleaf the lapdog of Insurance Companies and Allyson Schwartz the lapdog of Big Pharma Companies.. They are Representatives of the Buck, Large Multi National Corporations, and even other countries not the citizens of Pennsylvania. It's funny how you praise them while they rob all the money and equity out of you. I quit voting for the two parties I only vote for third parties and independents now. I'm sure that will go over great with those loyal to the two party machine. They do not represent a Democracy. You think I'm waisting my vote? "The only vote that's waisted is the one you cast for someone you don't believe in" George McGovern
Jona franklin October 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Ooops.... My last sentence was unedited.... It should be- 'I believe that we would all be best served, life would be best honored here by clearing this thread to be for condolences and regards for a man who lived, loved and passed.'
Mike Moore October 15, 2012 at 01:30 PM
May he RIP, but good riddance from a political perspective.
Mildred Roberts October 15, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Andrew Wilt...this Administration/Liberalism is seeking Utopia.
Reaganite October 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Which party left him..he was democrat then a republican then a democrat.
NS October 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Well said Debra. He was a man of commitment, and if you did not agree with him you should just say RIP.
Andrew Wilt October 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Carl W - What about the repercussions we have? In 1961 Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial establishment” and it’s easy to prove that the military had plenty to do with the JFK assassination cover up. Since JFK’s death, we fought the Vietnam War and dealt with the many negative consequences of it, the military budget of this country has grown to be more than the next 15 or 20 nations combined - most of whom are allies, and we are hated the world over for our empire building meddling in other countries. We have fought two wars in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, we will be involved in one in Iran soon enough. The so called terrorism we have experienced is simply a response to our illegal preemptive military activities. Have the American people benefitted from all this military aggression? How many of our finest have been killed or maimed?. Have the “defense” industries and the military establishment benefitted? Think about it. Had the Warren Commission done their job and revealed the truth about JFK’s death, the November 22, 1963 coup in this country might not have succeeded.
Andrew Wilt October 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Mildred Roberts - OK. However, I think it's more fair to say that the federal government is seeking a Utopia that is different from one We The People would want. It's not just the present administration.
Liberty 1 October 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Carl - That means that you and everyone else knew that he was a democrat. Always was - which means he will be voting in the next several elections!
Liberty 1 October 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I only hope and pray that he rests in the same peace the rest of our society does, what with how much he screwed it up - it will be only fitting.
Victor B. Krievins October 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM
i knew Arlen for many years and have fond memories of him. may you Rest in Peace Arlen!
Ike October 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM
GOD BLESS Arlen Specter ,, A REALLY GOD GUY.
Heather Depew October 15, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Who the heck wrote this? He started as a republican and SWITCHED to democrat. Way to get reversed....duh.
kevin October 15, 2012 at 07:19 PM
It's been said that the prevalence of ignorance and borderline hatred the permeates internet message boards is simply a symptom of annonymity; that a persons' most base instincts towards tribalism and competition are revealed only when social structures are removed. Worryingly, this website allows people to post under their own names, yet casual and unapologetic relationships with bigotry are still commonplace. I'm afraid this discussion is demostrative of the rule rather than the exception in public discourse, or rather what has devolved into cacaphony rather than discourse.
Michelle Hazlett October 15, 2012 at 08:28 PM
A man, husband, father and grandfather DIED! He was a human being. His family and friends have lost someone they loved and respected. Why must people write such hurtful words? If you didn't like the man that is your right but why must you belittle him? We all know what politicians are like, it has been going on for years. Spector is not the first to do wrong and he certainly will not be the last. But for goodness sake can't you at least give the man some respect and keep your cruel comments to yourself. RIP Mr. Spector and prayers go out to those who loved you and those that called you friend.
Barry Cassidy October 15, 2012 at 08:52 PM
@kevin, it is an interesting direction for "free speech". I have watched the evolution of the "Character" (nom de plume) as their freedom of speech tests the limits concerning hate and prejudice. If a real person shouts hate if it is hateful enough they are arrested. But "Characters" can cross that line from time to time and they just remove the comment. Many times characters do not like when you get in the mud with them...you know, if you become more "them than them". they hate that...it hurts their "Character" feelings and the persona of the nom de plume is tarnished... I credit the patch for letting them say what they say but i am not sure about their judgement concerning response content on this story.
Judith E. Levy October 16, 2012 at 01:29 AM
As it has long been reported that President Kennedy's brain is missing, so the same may be alleged about some who have commented here. Heartfelt condolences to the Specter family. RIP Senator Specter.
david jacobson October 18, 2012 at 02:32 PM
If President Obama were anything like JFK, we wouldn't then have gotten to almost $20 trillion in debt.. nor would China be getting away w/ the devaluing of its currency.. Kennedy stood up to the (Soviet) Russians, Obama apologizes, and promises "more flexibility" after the elections..
david jacobson October 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Senator Specter was an elder statesman who will be missed by many.. Specter in many ways transcended partisan boundries... the late Senator was loved by both Dems & Republicans alike.. RIP...
Bruce Bailey October 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Carl, I am not here to make any negative comment about Sen. Specter, but your comment is simply not true. Sen. Specter changed parties long before Toomey was ever nominated. Would Toomey have defeated Specter in a 2010 Republican primary? Probably, but he was not able to do it in 2004 and we'll never know what might have happened in 2010.
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