We all remember the special election in Alabama last month, where republican Roy Moore ran against democrat Doug Jones for the senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. There is another special election heating up, this one in Pennsylvania. While the republican candidate, Rick Saccone, is not a former judge who was twice thrown off the bench, nor is he, as far as I know, a pedophile and a sexual abuser, he comes with his own set of issues that make him largely unqualified to become a member of the U.S. Congress.
The special election on March 13th is to fill the vacancy left when republican Tim Murphy resigned amid allegations that he asked a woman he was having an extramarital affair with to get an abortion. Now for a bit of background on Mr. Saccone …
Saccone was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2010 by a very narrow margin. He is considered to be among the most conservative members of the General Assembly and is a strong advocate for gun rights. Just how strong? Last year, Saccone sponsored at least four bills seeking to expand the rights of gun owners; one such bill would amend state law to prohibit discrimination against gun carriers; a co-sponsorship memorandum for the bill criticized Chuck E. Cheese’s for its “policy barring customers from carrying firearms inside” the venue. Are you hearing this?
Chuck E. Cheese is a chain of American family entertainment centers and restaurants that caters mostly to the under 10-year-old crowd. Can somebody please explain to me why we need people toting guns into a restaurant filled with toddlers and small children? Or better yet, could somebody please explain to Mr. Saccone the potential outcome of such a move?
Going back a bit …
In 2013, Saccone introduced and sponsored a bill, the National Motto Display Act, that would have required public school districts in Pennsylvania to post “In God We Trust” in every school building. Freedom of religion? Oh sure, as long as your religion is the same as his religion. The bill failed, but another, similar bill was introduced three years later that merely ‘recommended’ the display, rather than require it, and that bill did pass.
Also in 2013, Saccone sponsored a “day of prayer” resolution, seeking to designate April 30 as a National Fast Day. This man seriously does not understand the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
And going back just a bit further …
In January 2012, Saccone introduced Resolution 535 to declare 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania. As far as I’m concerned, he just declared his complete disdain for the 30% in this nation who do not share his religious beliefs, and thereby has no business in the U.S. Congress. Not to mention that he has denigrated the concept of separation of church and state.
However, Donald Trump and the GOP, not surprisingly, disagree with me.
The headline in Politico read …
Trump Races To Head Off Aanother Special Election Debacle
Trump will travel to southwestern Pennsylvania next week in an effort to avoid a second electoral embarrassment in two months.
The district in question is a conservative district that Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016, so you can imagine what a slap in the face it would be for Trump if the district voted for Saccone’s opponent, Conor Lamb. Trump himself is planning to visit next week, Mike Pence plans to visit twice between now and March, and various other administration officials and cabinet members will also be visiting. While certainly hoping to plant Saccone’s name firmly in the minds of voters, these visits are also fund-raising efforts, for apparently Saccone has not been doing too well. White House political director Bill Stepien said Saccone wasn’t raising enough money and asked to be kept updated on his progress.
Trump, never one to miss an opportunity to toot his own horn, plans to visit a manufacturing plant outside Pittsburgh to promote the republican’s ‘donor tax reform’ bill that was passed by the republicans in Congress last year, without any popular support.
Two observations here:
- It speaks volumes about the waning popularity of republicans when a republican candidate in what is considered to be a ‘safe’ district for republicans, cannot even raise enough funds to manage his campaign, and requires the president and his entourage to boost his efforts.
- If you are not a registered republican, you should be incensed that your tax dollars … many of your tax dollars … will be spent so that Trump & Co. can go bolster the campaign of a single republican candidate. You have no choice … you will pay for Trump to ride on Air Force One, along with his entire retinue, including Secret Service, and probably some of his family members, to support a bigot. Think about that one for a minute.
Saccone’s democratic opponent, Conor Lamb, is an Ivy League-educated 33-year-old attorney and Marine Corps veteran. Let us hope that there is nothing in his background that would give the republicans feed for the scandal machine, for that is the current way campaigns are run … not on platforms or ideologies, but on mud-slinging and scandal-mongering.
This election is seen as a harbinger of what November’s mid-term elections will bring, and the republicans are running scared, as they should be. They have proven time and time again in the past year that they have no concern for the populace of the nation, and now their chickens may be coming home to roost.
Pennsylvania political analysts G. Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young recently noted that, “In this mix, Republican Saccone’s perceived ultraconservatism, coupled with Lambs’ perceived moderation, and Trump’s unquestioned unpopularity [emphasis added] could nationalize the race — nationalizing it may bring a Democratic victory,” Let us hope so.