Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Western Pennsylvania politics (or How to Shoot Yourself in The Foot on Election Day)

Republican Rick Santorum is running in the race of his life this year, and he's behind Democrat Bob Casey by a varying number of percentage points depending on which poll you look at.

Most of my peers seem to be enamored of Mr. Casey of late, and I felt it was important to point out some things that will be lost in the glare of the election day hoopla. Regardless of your political slant, these items should interest you as a Pennsylvanian.

1. Santorum is a powerful voice in the Senate - He's been in Congress since 1990 and is now the third-ranked member of the Republican leadership. The man has historically championed the rights of the less fortunate and was instrumental in getting welfare reform legislation passed, which has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians to leave welfare behind and get a fresh start. If Bob Casey gets elected, you'll have a freshman senator in that chair, and freshmen are generally nobodys for the first couple years (it's during that time their party - and sometimes the other party as well - has their way with them). During these volatile times, do we really want a nobody responsible for the interests of Pennylvania in the Senate?

2. Santorum is a western Pennsylvania senator - If Bob Casey gets elected in a few days, we'll wind up with two eastern Pennsylvania senators, and you can bet that the federal money that comes to our half of the state will be diminshed. Imagine what the roads and other infrastructure will be like a few years after that. Whether you like Rick or not, if you're from western Pennsylvania, you'd be well advised to keep him in his seat.

3. Arlen Specter's days are numbered, if only because he'll retire some day. I've never been a big fan of the RINO but he's still a Pennsylvanian who fights for our state every chance he can get. He'll be eighty years old for the 2010 election. By then, we'll have Bob Casey, a four-year senator from Philadelphia, and possibly another freshman senator elected to fill Specter's seat, and maybe they'll be a Democrat. How many states fare well in Congress when their senate representation is 50/50?

So there you have it. In short, a vote against Rick Santorum is a vote against this half of Pennsylvania. Please bear that in mind when you're reaching for the lever in a couple days.