Path To Power
Meehan was born just outside Philadelphia in Cheltenham, Pa. on Oct. 20, 1955. His father was a construction estimator and his mother worked as a secretary.
A gifted athlete, Meehan played football, baseball, and ice hockey. He went on to Bowdoin College in Maine, majoring in classics and government and paying his tuition bills by working at a rubber factory and digging manholes. After graduating college, he parlayed his sports background to become an on-ice official for the National Hockey League, an experience that proved formative. "When you're out there on the ice, all of 22 or 23 years old, with 15,000 people standing on their feet screaming around you, you learn how to make decisions," Meehan said in a 2001 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. "They let you know when you make a mistake."
Meehan considers himself a law-and-order Republican who focused his 2010 House bid on rejuvenating the economy and opposing tax hikes.
Taxes and Spending
Meehan has come out in favor of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levelsand opposes the value-added tax. He has also signed a pledge with the limited-government group Americans for Prosperity vowing to oppose any climate-change legislation that raises taxes. On the spending front, Meehan has vowed to eliminate "waste and abuse in the federal government."
Meehan's decades of experience as a prosecutor and lawyer have given him a raft of connections at the highest levels of the Philadelphia legal community, which he has tapped to bolster his fundraising.
He also has former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) as an ally from the time Meehan ran Santorum's 1994 campaign. The two trade and share many staffers, and some believe Santorum is preparing a 2012 presidential bid.