The Price of Pork
Maybe a reader has been trying to convince a swing voter to support Maffei, but that person is reluctant "because CNY cannot lose the money that Walsh brings home". It seems to be a common refrain when I find people on the fence.
So for the record.
- If Democrats take over the House, the amount of pork Walsh could bring back would be much less.
- Walsh's 18 years have not transformed the region, and Maffei has good ideas about how better to use federal money.
- If Dan wins, he would also bring home federal money. All representatives do.
Nobody, not people in CNY or anyone else, can allow their values or core beliefs to be traded away for payments of federal money. Core principles of war (Iraq) and liberties (domestic spying and torture) must trump any considerations of the pocketbook.
Jim Walsh's aproach to those fundamental issues of war and liberties is disinterested; he is "follow the leader". We are representated by an Apparatchik who gives unquestioning loyalty to Republican leadership. In return for federal money, he keeps his mouth shut, does not ask questions, and gives his vote to Bush.
But his votes are our votes. They are made in CNY's name. This vulgar quid pro quo for federal handouts has become a reflection of us and Upstate New York.
I do talk to people who have strong feelings on Iraq, but nevertheless are tempted to base their vote on Walsh's seniority. I urge them not to sell their vote and hence themselves, and to instead look in their heart and vote on core principles.