Doing politics differently

I think the race for Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District should be an opportunity to discuss the issues facing working Americans. Unfortunately, my opponent has chosen a different direction.

Rep. Smucker is lying about me and my positions. It’s a tired playbook, and it’s a game I’m not going to play. As he said himself in our debate last week, you can go to my issues page and see what I think.

His ads do not reflect who I am or what I believe. But I do think they tell us something important about Rep. Smucker. He has decided that it would be best if his constituents are distracted and afraid.

Tens of thousands of us here in South Central Pennsylvania already worry every month about whether we’ll lose our health insurance, how fixed incomes will keep up with real estate tax increases, or whether our jobs will pay enough to make ends meet.

When so many of us are working harder than ever and still falling further behind, we deserve to know why our elected representative chose to cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare and Social Security – benefits that we’ve invested in. We deserve to know why our representative voted for a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefits multinational corporations and the top 1%, and balloons the deficit. We deserve to know why our representative voted to take away healthcare from Americans with pre-existing conditions. We deserve to know why he has accepted over $300,000 from corporate PACs since being elected in 2016, not to mention the more than $200,000 from the corporate gun lobby that helped him win last time.

On the issues that matter most to our families and our small businesses, it sure seems like Rep. Smucker is working for the lobbyists, and not for us.

And instead of addressing our concerns, he’s stoking fear and spreading distortions, just so he can go back to D.C next year.

I’m not going to follow my opponent down the path of scaring and distracting voters, because what’s at stake in this election is not about me or him. This election is about what kind of country we’re going to become, and who we are as a people. It’s about whether we can build an America for all of us, no matter who we are or how much money we make, or whether the wealthy and well-connected in D.C are allowed to continue stacking the deck against us. It’s about whether we choose to love our neighbors as ourselves, or allow cynical politicians to divide us with fear and bigotry.

That’s what I’m going to keep talking about. And even though I don’t like your ads, Congressman, you’re still welcome to join this conversation anytime.