In a political case of 6 degrees of separation, or, if you will, strange bedfellows, there are several places where the paths of 13th congressional district Republican candidate Marina Kats and 6th congressional district Democratic candidate Bob Rovner cross. Both are Temple Law School grads (Kats in ’88, Rovner in ’68). Before starting her own firm, Kats was part of the then named Rovner, Allen, Rovner, Zimmerman and Kats. They were among the partners in a venture called All Star Radio, Inc. in the early 1990’s that once owned WPGR (Logan). According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Kats is still the president of All Star Radio. Both have shows on WNWR (I think, but am not certain, that this station is currently owned by All Star Radio), “The Marina Kats Show” and “Senator Bob Rovner Interviews the Stars.” Who knew? An example of each show is available as an audio file on the station’s website. She translates her into (Russian?) as she goes along which makes listening a very interesting experience.
Kats is definitely an entrepreneur. Kats, Jamison, Van der Veen, and Associates, as well as Kats, Rovner, and Associates, two law firms, are listed as being owned by Kats and Associates. Marina Kats is listed as both President and Treasurer of that professional corporation. Lookforscience.org also lists Kats and Associates with this note:
Marina Kats is the principal owner of a financial services company that provides funding and financial services for independent businesses. She is also the principal of a well-respected litigation firm with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
Marina Kats is listed as president of MK Sansom Group II, Ltd. of New Hope, though I cannot guarantee it is the same Marina Kats. However, the Marina Kats listed as an owner of MK South Group III lists an address on the same street as her law firm. There is the MK Warminster, LP, listing Marina Kats as general partner, but has a different address from the MK Warminster Group, Inc, which shares the same street address as MK South Group III but has a different name attached. (You can check this by searching the Dept. of State’s list of businesses.) She may have other business interests; I could only search by business name and so was making guesses as to what names to search. Maybe I’m slow but I have trouble keeping my real life and my blogging persona straight. Keeping track of six or more businesses would be beyond my abilities.
This is not her first brush with running for office. Kats was a potential candidate for the 174th state house district for the special election when Alan Butkovitz city controller in 2005, but John Sabatina, Jr., became the Republican candidates. In 2006, she considered a run for the 13th congressional district but decided against it, saying (Runyon):
Without missing a beat, though, she emphasized that she has a successful law practice, and doesn't know if she'd be able to devote the time necessary to win a Republican primary and then take on a career politician of the likes of Schwartz..
One factor in her favor is her ability to self-finance (Fenton):
Republicans hope that Kats, a Ukrainian immigrant who's lived in the area for 16 years, will siphon off Russian American votes, especially from the overwhelmingly Democratic piece of the district in Philadelphia. A wealthy law firm president, Kats said she planned to pay for part of her own campaign, and expected overall costs to top $2 million.
In 2006 it was noted (Runyon):
Speaking by phone from her Bucks County office, she mentioned that a Republican activist was waiting to talk to her in the next room. At the time, she seemed to be more excited about her firm's winning a $10 million verdict last Thursday, an award The Legal Intelligencer claimed was the fourth-largest reported by the newspaper in the last 18 months.
Wow! Well. I look forward to reading how our intrepid local reporters examine all the facets of the 13th district challenger.
Fenton, Jacob, “Abington lawyer to challenge Schwartz,” Intelligencer 1/25/08
Logan, Joe, “What Sandy Starobin overcomes to report,” Philadelphia Daily News 4/13/1992
“PAC to host Sabatina, Jr., fundraiser,” Northeast Times July 21, 2005.
Runyon, Joshua, “Political Notes,” The Jewish Exponent, Feb. 16, 2006.