OPINION: The Bucks County Herald Needs to Stop Writing What Amounts to Press Releases for Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s Reelection Campaign

Voters depend on accurate and robust reporting about the Republican Congressman. Sadly that’s not happening in papers like the Bucks County Herald (or Gannett’s Courier Times).
brian fitzpatrick on fox

It’s a shame so many local newspapers have shut down over the last few years due to economic pressures fostered in great part by social media. Local newspapers used to be a good source for the truth about local issues. What is more depressing is when the remaining local newspapers fail to provide the truth about local political candidates and instead serve merely as a cost-free arm of the political campaign of their favored political candidate.

I experienced this problem first hand after reading a front page article in The Bucks County Herald where readers were yet again presented with a phony image of our duplicitous Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. Below are my impressions of this distorted picture presented in that local newspaper. I can almost hear the sound of the champagne bottle corks popping in the Fitzpatrick campaign office as they read yet another free Fitzpatrick front page advertisement. 

For almost eight years now, I am still having a hard time figuring out what our Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick stands for and who he really is. So often his words are confusing or empty and do not explain the difference between what he says and what he does. And then there are the essential issues he remains silent about. Unfortunately, he fears and refuses to have live town halls with his constituents where his positions could be clarified with questions from various points of view. So of course the Fitzpatrick friendly press covered his words at a Fitzpatrick friendly controlled Chamber of Commerce where only softball questions would be pitched and the result of course would leave much to be desired. 

The Congressman spoke about threats to democracies both here and abroad, but failed to mention the biggest threat to all democracies; namely, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The self-professed dictator on day one has already with his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election attacked the cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power. He is already suggesting he will not accept a loss in the 2024 election! His political platform embodied in the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 is filled with attacks on democratic norms and institutions.

But Congressman Fitzpatrick, unlike other brave Republicans including some who had worked in the Trump administration, fails to condemn Trump outright for his attacks on our democracy. He remained silent on the unfitness of Trump for the presidency yet again.

READ: After Jan. 6, GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Opposed 14 Out of 18 Bills to Strengthen Democracy

Congressman Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying dictators like Putin and Orban hope for our democracy to fail. He says their evil is very real. But he fails to remind us that Trump praises Putin and that he recently in March hosted Orban at Mar A Lago where he praised his fascist ways.

Like our foreign fascist adversaries, Trump wished ill of our country. He recently said he hoped there would be a stock market crash and also convinced the GOP House not to pass bipartisan Senate legislation to fix some immigration problems so that these failures in America would help him get reelected. Like Putin and Orban, Trump wants America to fail so a fascist friendly Trump could get elected.

Trump also convinced the GOP House to delay funding our democratic allies for over six months and said that Putin can do whatever he wanted with NATO allies who weren’t paying their fair share.

Why the silence from our Congressman Fitzpatrick about Trump’s threat to democracy here and abroad? His complicit cowardice wasn’t mentioned at all. 

Congressman Fitzpatrick also made a false equivalence between the extremism on the left and right. 

READ: We’re in an Epidemic of Right-Wing Terror. Won’t Someone Tell the Press?

However, the choice is clear in 2024 between democracy and dictatorship. Trump will usher in a vengeful strongman attack on all our democratic norms and institutions. President Biden will continue rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering the cost of health care, supporting good paying union jobs, restoring women’s freedom, fighting climate change and strengthening our democracy and the rule of law. Open your eyes Congressman: the extremism lies within your broken party. 

Congressman Fitzpatrick was also silent on his own attacks and the MAGA GOP attacks on women’s freedom. Why the silence on this assault on women’s freedom?

He spoke ceaselessly again about the Problem Solvers Caucus, but again never mentioned any significant piece of legislation coming out of that caucus which has failed to solve a single critical problem for the American people.

He talked about getting more security in schools. Does he want teachers to pack pistols? Did he explain why he did not pass more gun safety laws during the last eight years? Nope.

READ: Former US Senator Feingold Calls Rep. Fitzpatrick’s Resolution for a Constitutional Convention ‘Extremely Dangerous’

Congressman Fitzpatrick also said he wanted “smart” immigration policies. Of course who doesn’t want “smart” policies, but what does that really mean? He also said he wanted only the best and brightest to come to America. Again, what does that really mean and how would that be measured? 

Congressman Fitzpatrick said he wanted to go slow on climate change legislation while he, wanting badly to get off fossil fuels, stands at the intersection between environmental preservation and economic growth. But how long can we afford to stand at that intersection while the world burns and floods? What has he done to save our planet during the last 8 years? What will the Trump GOP climate deniers in the pocket of the fossil fuel industries do?

Congressman Fitzpatrick also said that students struggling with college debt is not  a “real” concern. He also expressed concern about a balanced budget. When he voted for the 2 trillion dollar tax cut for the uber-rich, was that a “real” concern? Will he vote to extend these tax cuts for the uber-rich in 2025 while denying aid to struggling students? My bet is he will help the rich yet again. 

After reading this slanted puff piece about our do-nothing Congressman, I was very grateful for publications like the Bucks County Beacon where the truth that the voters need to learn is made available. Armed with the facts about Congressman Fitzpatrick’s failed four terms in Congress, we can hopefully, while our democracy still stands, select a better leader here in PA-01 than the tired dissembler whose words often mask the reality of his extreme MAGA votes and who lacks the courage to speak out against the extreme MAGA threat to our beloved democracy. 

Vote for Ashley Ehasz in November. She has crystal clear stances on critical issues.  She will fight to restore women’s freedom. Her victory will help restore a Democratic majority in the House to end the GOP chaos that has resulted in the least productive House ever. I also am confident that this war veteran will not be afraid to confront her constituents in a live town hall. As a veteran, she will fight for democracy both here and abroad and finally end the Fitzpatrick regime.

Support progressive, independent media.

Picture of Steve Cickay

Steve Cickay

Steve studied philosophy at the University of Chicago where he developed critical inquiry and writing skills that enriched all his endeavors in life. He moved with his family to Bucks County in 1985 attracted by the excellence of its public schools for his children. He spent his life in public service in the Departments of Army, Navy, Labor and Treasury in the information technology field. During retirement, he became more active in local politics as an independent activist, a Democratic Committeeperson, and a Democratic candidate for State Senate in 2014. Although he enjoys walking his rescued pitbull Hazel in the beautiful parks of Bucks County, biking and trying to run in his advancing years, his new role as a grandfather fills him with exquisite joy.

Top 5

Follow Us

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

* indicates required