As we approach the general election on October 30,2015 for many local and state positions, I have begun to weigh every candidate as never before. As a devout conservative, nothing bothers me more than having worked for, supported, used my personal influence, time, and finances to promote a candidate only for that same candidate to completely abandon their promises while campaigning the month after he has won the election. Yet, that was the position I found myself in shortly after Congressman Tom Marino won his re-election for the US House of Representatives. It is a place I hope to never occupy again.
During the November 4, 2014 election season, Congressman Marino appeared in many locations all over Pennsylvania vowing to defund Obamacare. He ensured voters that he would not vote to bring a budget to the floor that continued funding for Obamacare. He boldly stated that he would lead the other Congressmen in Pennsylvania to stand together on this issue, and that Pennsylvania would be a force to be reckoned with. He brazenly promised that he would lead the charge to impeach the President over Obamacare. Yet, after a winning a historic majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives, in the election, to the shock of Pennsylvania conservatives, Marino voted YES to bring CRomnibus to the floor for a vote. If he indeed was the leader of Republican Congressmen in Pennsylvania, it was to lead them to side with Congressman Boehner as all but one Republican hold out ( S. Perry – R) voted to pass a budget including funding for Obamacare only one month after the election.
Having stumped before cheering PA crowds, Marino presented himself as the hero that would stand up to Nancy Pelosi, recounting his confrontation with her on the House floor at every opportunity. Yet only 2 short days after his astounding budget vote, he broke a second promise to his constituents by falling in line to once again support John Boehner for Speaker of the House.
Over the past several years, I have gotten to know several candidates that have run for various offices. Most of them share many of the same passions and goals for our communities regardless of which side of the political aisle they stand on. Their biggest differences, were the philosophies by which they would reach those goals. We need have to find a way to use what we have in common to stand together to propel our nation forward beginning right here in our own townships, boroughs, and cities.
Gone are the days when being a member of a party actually meant that a candidate subscribed to a creed that he would use to guide his decisions. The (D) or ( R) behind a legislators name no more means anything about a person's character, merely the group that is funding the campaign, using their monetary influence to pull the puppet strings behind the scenes.
For the incumbents on the ticket, I strongly implore each voter to simply review news worthy incidents during that candidate's time in office. We tend to forget important factors in the buzz of life, and many are counting on that very fact. In the local races, ask those that know the candidate personally, especially their co-workers.
It is past time that each side of the political coin clean up their own party. Regardless of of how firm you hold to your political affiliation, each of us as voters, need to recommit to a stronger vetting process for those we place on the ballots.
No longer can we be satisfied with a legislator that is the lesser of two evils. Being brave enough to demand true integrity, even if initially it leaves us with a less popular candidate on the ballot. As we lift up a standard of integrity that must be strived for, we can return to the type of government brought forward the best men and women our communities had to offer. Only then, will voters who have dedicated so much not stand in humiliation when the new legislator removes his mask after the election and imperiously explains how “complicated government is and how you just don't understand.”
What do you value most in the coming election? Tell me in the comments.