Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A lesson from Pennsylvania to all reps - "Don't forget where you come from"

Over in Pennsylvania, one incumbent's arrogance may have cost him re-election. A 21 year old website business owner and college student named Mark Harris is leading incumbent Tom Stevenson. Harris is best known for being a writer for the strongly conservative "Save the GOP" website.

Currently the results are as follows there.
Vote for NOT MORE THAN 1
TOM STEVENSON . . . . . . . . . 2,089 35.78
DANIEL A HACKETT . . . . . . . . 1,116 19.12
MARK HARRIS. . . . . . . . . . 2,620 44.88
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 13 .22
Total . . . . . . . . . 5,838

Stevenson got in trouble for voting for Democrat governor Ed Rendell's budget and pay raises for the current Pennsylvania legislature. Harris is running against Stevenson with this message. "Republicans in Harrisburg should stop signing off on Ed Rendell's failed agenda and start voting like Republicans." Stevenson is running negative ads against his opponents, and Harris got some help. Former Congressman Pat Toomey from Club for Growth and the Conservative leaning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper endorsed him.

Over here, I'm happy with the job Joe Hune(as I am with Rogers and Garcia) has done, and will be voting for him again barring any major surprises. That said, I have no problems voting for a primary challenger if an incumbent forgets where he's come from. Any future rep who follows in Stevenson's footsteps - raising their own salaries during tough economic times while increasing other spending will lead to at least one vote for a primary opponent.


Paleoconservative said...

Mark is a great guy. If a 21 year old with no elected experience can defeat the speaker of the house in his own primary, then it tells you the power of the message. RINOs beware!

I hope that Mark will establish a career as a solid conservative who takes it to those who sell out the values that they are elected on.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching this problem of self-proclaimed conservatives who forget what they believe after serving a few terms in state/national legislatures.

I believe the problem is caused by legislators spending too much time eating lunches with lobbyists and hobnobbing with wealthy folk and not enough time being around and talking to average people.

I would also like to see more average people serving in our government so they can remind all the lawyers and professional politicians what it is like to live under the heavy hand of government on a daily basis.

One of the things I like about my state reps (Chris Ward and Valde Garcia) is that both of them are still in touch with their roots. I also think that much of the conservative revolt against President Bush is due to the fact that he is out-of-touch with average Americans. For example, he underestimates the problem with illegal immigration because he does not get around and see for himself all the problems it is causing.

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with Garcia is that he thinks the answer to every problem is legislation. If being conservative is advocating less government rather than more, he's a failure. There is an axiom - if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a loose nail. I think Garcia is proof of that axiom, which I think works to his disadvantage.

Anonymous said...

What specific pieces of legislation created by Garcia do you dislike?

RKG said...

I'll offer one example that comes to mind. He's the guy responsible for obligating you to move over a lane when an officer has someone pulled over on the shoulder. That law grew out of an unfortunate incident in which an officer died when someone plowed into his car after he had pulled someone over. Now, I'm sorry it happened and the loss of an officer is tragic. But, have you seen the chaos created when drivers see a police car on the shoulder. The solution is worse than the problem and serves as proof of my point. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a loose nail. Why not just remind drivers that they need to be more careful when they see a police car on the shoulder? Why decide that the solution is a law? I recall reading in the Argus other laws that Garcia proposed that fell into the same category - I just can't recall the exact laws he proposed. I get the impression that he thinks proposing laws is how he serves his constituentcy and I'm just not sure we need that point of view.