The bridge vs. healthcare, jobs and education
As I was writing the article yesterday about Rep. Vito Fossella being scared of the bridge debate I kept thinking back to talking points of the NRCC that Republican incumbents need to run on local issues. I thought Vito was scared of the bridge debate, and I still agree, seeing how he offered no proposal and suddenly Stephen Harrison was offering something to the residents. Whether the proposal will go anywhere or not, it is a new proposal, something residents of the thirteenth probably are unfamiliar with being represented by Fossella for several terms.
However after some more thought on the matter, I think there is some campaign complexity to this national v. local issue juxtaposition. When you look back on this past term of a Republican Congress we see;
-Congress gave the President the ability to go to war in Iraq
-Congress has refused to hold this administration accountable on the many failures of this was (war profiteering, failed strategies, lack of international support)
-Attempt to privatize Social Security
-Failure to increase minimum wage while taking Congressional pay raises
-The largest deficit this country has faced
-Exporting of jobs through CAFTA
-No Child Left Behind which has crippled state education funding
-Disaterous Medicare Part B
The list goes on, but needless to say this "do nothing Congress" has no oversight on the failures of this administration. They can not run on national issues, and in fact must run away from these national issues.
Vito Fossella does not mention a plan for Iraq on his website.
Vito Fossella refuses to acknowledge that he is a Republican on his website.
This norminally would put a lot of Republican incumbent's in a dangerous situation as we see in almost every House analysis that shows major shifts in House seats, most likely leading to a change of control. Vito Fossella is playing the wait game, figuring he can get through the election without having to campaign, and by that I mean debate and offer plans to his constituents. So how does Harrison win?
1. 40% CORRUPTION: A continuing feature here is the corruption of Rep. Vito Fossella. $10,000 from Tom DeLay. Contributions from Rep. Bob Ney and Neil Volz. A fund raiser held by Tony Rudy and very likely Jack Abramoff and the Alexander Strategy Group.
2. 40% National Issues: The war. Healthcare. Jobs. Education. Run against Bush and run against a Republican Congress. Fossella can not counter this. Period. Want proof, where are his proposals and policy speeches?
3. 20% Local Issues: These have to be differential issues and have to be new policy to highlight Fossella's lack of proposals on ANYTHING. How do we discuss the bridge? Waive tolls for residents by offering prepaid EXPass for all vehicles registered in the district. There is nothing to gain from being controversial, but everything to gain from being insightful.