Friday, October 27, 2006

Pennsylvania and three races of concern

I have not been a total fan of Rick Santorum, mostly because I liked the man he replaced - former Senator Harris Woffard - even though Woffard was a Democrat. I do not agree with every position that Santorum takes as a very conservative Republican. (I consider myself to be conservative, but not to the degree of Santorum. I am a Libertarian, not a Republican.)

I do respect Santorum for how he stands by his positions, even if they are unpopular. I guess this goes back to how my Dad had taught me to mean what you say, and say what you mean - and to not change your opinion just because it becomes unpopular. I was taught to admit being wrong, if that becomes obvious... but never to change your position just to please others. I grew up believing in the idea that if you can't count on a person to keep their word, then you can't count on them at all. If you don't have that integrity - then you are nothing, and have nothing to offer people when it comes to your character.

So, for that, I respect Santorum - even if I don't agree with some of the positions he takes.

Because of that, I will vote for him on November 7th.

I feel he is the better of the two candidates for the Senatorial seat up for grabs. I have no faith in his opponent, Robert Casey, Jr. because I don't see his as a person who stands for anything and I don't feel that he is a man of integrity at all.

And my opinion isn't swayed by the negative political ads that Santorum has aired about Casey.

I wish that Santorum hadn't sunk to the level he had with some of the earlier ads, where Casey is portrayed as being in league with some very shady people. I think the subject could have been addressed in a much better way that didn't need to mudsling.

I do like the most recent ad where Santorum points out Casey's opinions on topics that matter to me: such as border security, protecting the country against nuclear threats from countries like North Korea & Iran, and the war on terror.

In another important race, that between Ed Rendell & Lynn Swann for Governor - I will be voting for Swann over Rendell.

I am less concerned that Lynn Swann is inexperienced as a politican, than I am at the blatant corruption of Rendell. I could go on & on about how corrupt Rendell is, and has been since his days as Mayor of Philadelphia, but I won't. I will just say that I do not like the negative ads that Rendell has aired in an attempt to sway voters from choosing Swann for Governor. I would much rather have someone who is inexperienced but willing to try something new, than a crook who is trying to get richer at the expense of Pennsylvanians while helping his buddies get richer along with him.

One final race in Pennsylvania I will mention is a local one with State-wide consequences.

Blair County Commissioner, John Eichelberger won the Republican nomination in the primary over long-time incumbant, President Pro-Tem of the Senate Robert Jubelirer. I feel that Eichelberger has done the citizens of Blair County (and Central Pennsylvania by extension) a GREAT dis-service! Eichelberger took away the position of power that this area had in Jubelirer by defeating him in the primary.

I'm sure that Eichelberger has good intentions, but - should he win the Senatorial seat on November 7th, he will go to Harrisburg as a 1st term Senator, one with no "connections" and this means he will basically be impotent as a Senator. What can he accomplish for the area he represents when there is nothing to gain by other, more established, politicans by helping him get whatever legislation Eichelberger wishes to get enacted into law? The Central Pennsylvania area has lost their powerful voice when Jubelirer didn't win the primary. Jubelirer was basically the 2nd most powerful man in state politics, and he made sure that the Blair County area didn't get ignored at the expense of Pittsburgh & Philadelphia. Now, there will be a new President Pro-Tem in the Senate - someone not from this area, and won't care one bit about what happens here.

By what Eichelberger did by winning the Republican nomination was assure that Central Pennsylvania is going to be ignored when it comes to funding projects that would help the citizens who live here. With a new President Pro-Tem of the Senate who doesn't have any idea what goes on here in this area, and a freshmen Senator with no connections or hope of being able to get anything done... the Blair County area is going to suffer greatly.

And we have John Eichelberger to thank for that.

My main problem with Eichelberger (beyond the way he divided the Republican Party in Central Pa.) is that he never gave up his job as Blair County Commissioner while running for the Republican nominee for this Senate District. That means he was not earning his pay because he was out campaigning when he should have been doing his job. If he had some integrity, he would have resigned his position as County Commissioner when he chose to run for the State Senate position being held by Jubelirer. That way, the citizens of Blair County would not have been bilked out of the tax dollars we paid that went to Eichelberger's salary when he wasn't doing his job.

So, not only did he steal money from the taxpayers of Blair County... Eichelberger has assured that Blair County (and Central Pennsylvania by extension) will lose a powerful voice in state politics - which means the area will greatly suffer because of Eichelberger's egotistical need to be State Senator.

I know almost nothing of the Democratic challenger for this Senate seat, but I will be voting for him come November 7th. I can only hope he defeats Eichelberger... and that we can oust that dishonest egomanicial disruptive force from his County Commissioner seat when the next time he is up for re-election.

I just hope that this area doesn't suffer too much from losing a good man like Jubelirer. But when the area feels the consequences from Jubelirer not being the President Pro-Tem of the Senate... I hope that Eichelberger will apologize to all the people whose lives he has negatively effected.