Elections offer an opportunity for change. In less than 100 days voters across the Commonwealth will have a say as to who will represent them in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania’s 142nd House District, along with the 6th Senatorial District, provide excellent examples of what happens when career politicians choose to impose a self-serving and antiquated ideology that benefits only a small portion of constituents within their district.
The Republican Party wants retiring 27-year State Senator Richard “Tommy” Tomlinson to hand the baton to Rep. Frank Farry because it wants to keep this seat with a lawmaker who will obediently tow the GOP party line. In fact, Farry and Tomlinson cast nearly identical votes on bills vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf, that included: voting measures to allow intimidating poll watching, restrictions on vote-by-mail ballots, unreasonable voter I.D. requirements, arbitrary election audit oversight, attempts to limit the regulation of oil and gas suppliers at the expense of the environment, allowing permitless firearm acquisitions, restricting law enforcement from regulating gun control in major cities, the ability to gerrymander, and more.
When unable to push their right-wing agenda via traditional legislation, the PA GOP is now resorting to public referendums to change Pennsylvania’s Constitution because this maneuver avoids the ability for the governor to issue a veto.
Having voters make decisions on major issues that impact day-to-day life across the state can be a good idea if the questions are presented to a majority of voters during well attended elections. Instead, the Republicans intentionally present constitutional changes – including the proposed banning of abortion by way of SB106 – via referendum to a very limited audience during municipal primaries.
For example, a referendum presented to voters during the 2021 primary resulted in a curtailment of powers traditionally inherent to the state’s governor; this decision was accomplished with only 13 percent of the electorate voting.
Harrisburg has been under Republican control for a long time but the needs of Pennsylvanians simply do not include lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry and gun manufacturers. Sustainable energy, new roads, bridges, good paying jobs, better health care and lower taxes are key issues that the Republican legislature has failed to address in a meaningful way.
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Indeed, elections do offer the opportunity for change. However, Pennsylvanians may experience yet another legislative session where nothing of consequence is accomplished should the Republicans maintain control of both chambers in Harrisburg.
In this particular Bucks County race, voters cannot listen to what career politician Frank Farry says but must pay attention to what he has, or in his case hasn’t, accomplished. He is running against Democrat Ann Marie Mitchell.
Are you better off than you were 5, 10 or 15 years ago? If the answer is no, then it’s time to change who represents you in Harrisburg when you vote on November 8.
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