I attended the Barletta Kanjorski debate last evening. I waited until today to write about the experience. First, it made me proud to be an American and witness our election process. The audience represented both sides of the aisle but kept their partisan acolades to themselves at the request of the moderator.
When Bill Kelly did his "State of Pennsylvania" show on January 31st he asked Chris Carney, Tim Holden, and Paul Kanjorski whether they would come back in the fall to debate their opponents. Paul Kanjorski spoke first and asked Bill Kelly "Did you say 180 debates"? As we now know Kanjorski only agreed to one. I talked to Bill after the show. He told me at the time he had no idea WVIA would be hosting the only debate of the election. I must say that Bill and the entire staff at WVIA were nothing short of the great professionals we all know them to be.
Many issues were discussed during the debate which I had my wife record on our DVR. The following account compiles the information from that recording.
Lou Barletta won the toss and chose to make the opening statement. He thanked WVIA and Paul Kanjorski for hosting and participating in the debate. What you didn't see off camera was Kanjorski's refusal to acknowledge Barletta like most gentlemen do. October 29th represents the anniversary of Mary Grace and Lou Barletta's wedding. He acknowledged that celebration. He talked about events that led him into the national spotlight but made the case that while illegal immigration was that issue it could have been any issue. He talked about going to Washington looking for help. I remember that trip. Washington provided education but no dollars to ramp up the police department. Hazleton was left to figure that out for themselves. That situation is similar to what Luzerne County is doing by asking the state for assistance with its budget problems.
He highlighted the crisises Americans are facing today. And that folks is where I am going with this post. I am amazed at the conclusions I read on other blogs about who is going to do what for us. Do you honestly believe that the energy crisis, the healthcare crisis, the mortgage crisis, the college affordability crisis, the Medicare crisis, and the crisis where each raise in Social Security is more than offset by Medicare premiums-A, B and D will be solved by those that are presently in Washington, Republican or Democrat? DemaRepubagogues want selfish longevity, not what is right for Americans.
Is the American public asking to change America OR are we saying we want the American vote to change Washington? It is a line Barletta used during the debate but it highlights the frustration Joe the Plumber, Pat the Hairdresser, Tony the Mechanic, Julio the grocery owner, or Jim the factory worker has with American politics.
If you really study the rhetoric coming out of Washington here is what is said for consumption. It's the Republicans. It's the Democrats. Folks these are intelligent people wagging the dog hoping we will buy it hook line and sinker.
I read how much money Paul Kanjorski brought into this district. I am disappointed that the patch town political ideology still prevails in sections. They are willing to "forgive" a Congressman that steered and continues to steer money to his family because they "think" he also brought some for them. They are willing to "forgive" a Presidential candidate who has ties to not only a known terrorist but to the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Think folks, think. When was the last time you ever heard those alliances uttered about a Presidential candidate?
It is a fact that Chris Carney, a Democrat, brought three times the amount of money back to his district this past year than Paul Kanjorski. He did that with a Republican President and a Republican Senate. Do you know that history has a way of repeating itself? Paul Kanjorski was elected in 1984 under a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, and a Republican controlled Senate 55-45. Yet, I will see this argument used against Lou Barletta in predicting a red tide sweep of Washington. Balderdash.
Lou made himself known on the national scene. I would say he will do the same in Washington but he is already known there. He doesn't have to make alliances; they already exist. He received 90% of the vote for Mayor last year. Not only did he do that he received a 2 to 1 ratio on the primary write-in on the Democratic side to shut out a contender. The fact that most of you know about Lou just demonstrates his ability to make himself heard. This district won't have to start over for every new beginning means some other beginnings end. Ask Frank Harrison.
Kanjorski has a relect in the polls that never surpassed 40%. The "Is it time for a change?" question has polled consistently over 50%. Lou Barletta has lead all credible polls by as high as 9%. Yes, quick, run. Point out the "undecideds". For you see that qestion has already been answered. A heavy Democratic district means people owe others for their jobs, their kids' jobs, or some sort of favor. But not all of us are Charmaine Bieda. Paul Kanjorsk did not try to get each one of us $10 million dollars. So the allegiances only go so far. But like Joe the Plumber initially they are not willing to tell a stranger on the other end of a phone how they will vote.
In the end the most common statement I hear traveling this entire district, and believe me I have, is "He has been there long enough." Kanjorski lost this election but only after he sacrificed his integrity for condescending entitlement.