Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Last Word Before The Election

PA-13 looks like a lobster. 
For the candidates for our Congressional District, I tried doing a summary of issues, like I did with the candidates for governor, but the 4 Democratic candidates go into such detail, it's like writing a dissertation--a repetitive one, because all 4 of them say similar things.

The Republican candidates were easy--they each had next to nothing on their websites. Here they are--click on their names to link to their issues pages and read for yourself:

Carson Dee Adcock is the owner of W.W. Adcock, Inc., worth between $50 to 100 million in annual income, with 50 to 99 employees. They sell swimming pools and pool supplies. He only lists 2 issues on his site: the economy and healthcare. His only plan for the economy is to cut regulations on business. As for healthcare, he's against Obamacare, but states no plan of his own for a replacement.

Bev Plosa-Bowser was in the Air Force for 30 years. Her issues are the economy, national security, healthcare, Social Security, energy independence, and immigration. She's anti-abortion. She'd cut taxes, eliminate Obamacare, support fracking, tighten border security. She lists no actual plans for how to do any of these things.

For the Democrats, I've also linked their names to their issue pages. What I'll tell you instead is the glimpse I got into their minds by how they worded their statements, along with what I found out about claims and accusations they each made on ads and through junk mail and robo-calls.

Marjorie Margolies was in Congress for a single 2-year term 20 years ago. She has a multiple-page PDF of plans for each of the 4 issues she lists. I noticed that she says things like "Philadelphia area","Delaware River" and "Schuylkill Expressway" a lot. She obviously considers the 13th district to be only Philadelphia--surrounding areas like Norristown have no unique identity in her mind. We're just a 'burb. She does mention bringing rail service to King of Prussia, so Philadelphians can get to the mall. So much for getting shoppers to come here. As I said yesterday--she never answered my question about Norristown. Maybe she doesn't know we exist. I also was rather surprised that under her stance on the environment, she never mentions climate change or global warming.
     Margolies only really began campaigning in the last two weeks. Before that you saw no TV ads, she didn't show up at debates, and she'd hardly raised any money. Fundraisers that she did have weren't held here in the district. The biggest one was in New York City. Daylin Leach accused her of violating campaign finance laws--you can only spend a percentage of funds raised on the primary and apparently she may have spent much more. The Philly Inquirer picked up the story yesterday. There's also been some rumors about whether Margolis actually lives in the district, or if she just rents a house in Philadelphia but spends most of her time elsewhere. Unlike the rest of the candidates, I couldn't find out anything at all about where she lives. I think she's banking on name recognition to win. For me, she comes across as too politically savvy and somehow seeing herself as above us mere mortals especially now that she has the Clintons for in-laws. I don't think she'd be in touch with her constituents.

Brendan Boyle lives in the state district he represents in Northeast Philly and also has his Campaign HQ there. He lists 8 issues, but on most, he only says a paragraph or 2 about what he believes. No real plans about what he'd do. Margolies and Arkoosh accused Boyle of lying about his stand as a pro-choice candidate, saying he'd voted against abortion and or Planned Parenthood. His voting record says that he voted opposite ways on 2 abortion bills, and didn't vote at all on a 3rd, so they're only 1/3 right. On a related topic, though, he brags on his website and in junk mail about sponsoring free mammograms for women in his district. The thing is, since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, ALL mammograms in the US have been free. So Mr. Boyle can't take credit for that. He keeps accusing his opponents of being millionaires (as if that alone equates them with Satan), but his claims seem questionable.
     Yesterday I received a rather frightening robo-call, defending Boyle against Margolies's accusations. The caller said she was Michele Bachmann and I assume she meant THE Michele Bachmann--Republican US Rep from Minnesota who's completely against everything that Boyle says he's for, including being fiercely anti-abortion. Why would Bachmann be stumping for Boyle? Unless the GOP is merely trying to discredit both. (The caller was Michele LOCKMAN. See comment below.) But even without that call, I can't take Boyle seriously as a candidate. He has no plans, and there just seems to be an air of blarney about him.

Val Arkoosh is a physician. She insists on reminding us of this every chance she gets, even in her website's descriptions of her stands on the issues. On TV ads, she's frequently seen in a lab coat having a compassionate discussion with a patient. I don't know about you, but my experience with anesthesiologists has been only a 3 minute meeting before major surgery. Not a lot of time for chatting about my health concerns. Maybe obstetric anesthesiology is different. I realize that being a physician is the only credential she can present since she has no experience in legislating, but to me, her constant reminders of it only tell she has a very limited view of the world, and she seems to want to keep it that way.
    That said, her issues statements on the Jobs, Healthcare, Clean Energy, Social Security and Defense Spending are more comprehensive than Boyle's. Other issues, though, are vague, something-needs-to-be-done statements, education being the worst. On her TV ads, she only mentions women's issues and Social Security. And despite her statement that climate change is the "greatest, long-term threat," she's sent out more junk mailers than any other candidate, telling me she thinks her campaign is more important than Mother Earth. I believe she'd be a good rep if Healthcare were the only issue, but unfortunately, it's not.
     I should mention that Arkoosh lives Springfield, Montgomery County and has her campaign HQ in Glenside, though, as I said yesterday, she's got a field office in Norristown.

Daylin Leach lives in Upper Merion Township and his campaign HQ is in Jenkintown.  He lists the most issues on his website of any of the candidates--13. As you click on the links, you'll see a 1 to 3 minute video in which he talks about his stand on each issue, and about his planned legislation for each. I was only disappointed that, like Margolies, he doesn't mention climate change under his Environment issues, and that he doesn't mention women's equality in the workplace under Women's Issues or Worker's Issues. Otherwise, his statements on the issues, and number of the issues he covers, seem much more comprehensive than his opponents. Leach is probably the most liberal of the candidates (by dictionary definition, meaning he believes more in progress and change than in status quo and tradition). I also think he has the best sense of humor of any politician I've ever met. I think humor may be the best political and legislative tool ever.

I don't usually endorse candidates on this blog, but I'm going to endorse Daylin Leach. I think he and Arkoosh would probably vote the same way on legislation, but Leach has experience as a legislator already. I like that he's put a lot of thought into so many issues, and I like that he knows Norristown and seems to believe in our community. We wouldn't just be constituents somewhere out in the nether lands like we would be for Boyle and Margolies.

Whoever you decide on, don't forget to vote on May 20th. Don't stay home. The winner of this race will likely be the representative we send to Washington.


  1. Michelle Lockman made the robocall for Brendan, I got it too. She's local and involved with the party.

    1. She might want to be very careful in the future about identifying herself on robo-calls. Only insiders know her and with the interference on phones these days, mistaking her for Bachmann is natural.