Be Careful What You Wish For
Was your political post an endorsement for the 20th District challenger or do you actually have a point to make about local media election coverage? - Scott in Westmoreland
Sorry, Scott. I've been busy & slacking on my posts. I'll try not to bog this down in too many details but here goes:
The October 17 PG editorial valiantly refuses to endorse any candidate. Well, thanks for nothing. Challengers in the 27th & 24th districts are apparently not pro-abortion & anti-smoking enough for the paper's editorial board.
In the 27th, the challenger (Ogden) would suport a ban on Roe v. Wade & feels that business owners are competent to run smoking or nonsmoking establishments. He supports reducing the size of the legislature, term-limits & would like to promote fiscal accountability (i.e., state funds shouldn't have to keep bailing out public agencies such as the City of Pittsburgh & the Port Authority.)
The incumbent (Petrone) has given us 12 useless terms & has no accomplishments to speak of. He voted for & took the pay raise, tried to weasel out of repayment by claiming he "donated" the money to families of servicement killed in Iraq & now claims to be paying it back in $100 monthly installments. If I stole thousands from my employers I'd go to jail, how about you?
Petrone claims to be pro-choice but is listed as an abortion foe by various PACS. He says city leaders are fiscally responsible & wants state funding to relieve Pittsburgh of various financial burdens -- including the generous pensions enjoyed by the generations of nepotism-spawned yokels on the city payroll.
In Petrone's time in office, much of his district has seriously declined. What used to be thriving neighborhoods in the West End of the city have degenerated into bastions of section 8 housing, businesses are closing their doors & crime is skyrocketing. Gangs are fighting in the streets & people who have lived in these areas for 40 years or more are desperate to leave & having difficulty selling their homes. No thanks to the local rep, the area is going to get their police station back but a lot of work still needs to be done to revitalize these communities.
The choice here is clear: Petrone has had 12 terms to act in the best interests of the citizens & has done nothing to make this a more prosperous or better state. He is part of the problem in Harrisburg & serves only himself, not the constituents. While Ogden may not be an ideal candidate, is there ever such a thing?
We don't need career politicians in Harrisburg. They have proven time & again that they are more concerned about their own benefits & salaries than any of the issues of taxpayer concern.
Give the challenger a chance. If he doesn't satisfy, we can replace him next election. Why vote to keep the proven failure?
In the same editorial, the incumbent in the 24th (Preston) is called "uninspiring" & it's noted that he voted for the pay raise, illegally took the money & isn't repaying it.
Yet the editorial board still can't find it within themselves to endorse his opponent? Who's running against him, Osama bin Ladin? What could possibly be so bad about the challenger?
The challenger (Koger) is honest about how much one rep can accomplish. He speaks frankly about issues such as reducing the size of legislature & admits that it isn't likely to happen anytime soon. That's probably true. Unless we make a concerted effort to send a lot of inspired challengers to Harrisburg, it will never happen.
Apparently being realistic & honest will work against you in PG country. Rather than fault the guy for telling the truth, they should be shouting from the headlines that this is the man for the job & he needs likeminded colleagues from other districts to get results.
They're critical of the fact that Koger is a lifelong Independent running as a Democrat. Party affiliation is pettiness at this point, because both major parties are are lazy & self-serving once they get to the state capitol. These ae facts evidenced by our crumbling infrastructure & skyrocketing state budget.
Of course, it doesn't help that while Koger supports the indoor smoking ban, he feels it's not likely go into effect. And of course Preston wants to keep abortion legal.
Preston is another 12-term disapointment, representing some of the most impoverished & troubled neighborhoods in Western PA. His district is in continual decline & he has not had any notable accomplishments for his constituents in 12 terms. Is any challenger going to do a worse job for this district? Seems unlikely. Give the newcomer a chance to produce.