Skip to comments.Filling the void in 12th District (PA-12 major local paper endorses Bill Russell in Repub Primary)
Posted on 05/10/2010 9:59:32 AM PDT by smoothsailing
May 10, 2010
The unexpected death in February of U.S. Rep. John Murtha left a void in the U.S. Congress and, more specifically, in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District, that seems unlikely to be filled anytime soon. Murtha not only brought a wealth of expertise on defense issues to the U.S. House of Representatives, but also pulled a bounty of federal projects into his district. Some may have condemned it as pork-barrel spending, but it brought the region a much-needed economic lift as the steel industry withered.
Voters in the 12th Congressional District will have the opportunity to vote for Murtha's replacement in two separate ways May 18. First, there's a special election to fill out the remainder of the term Murtha won in November 2008. That contest is pitting Democrat Mark Critz against Republican Tim Burns. There's also a primary election where the Democratic and Republican parties will make their choices for the November general election.
Critz, a Johnstown Democrat, served as the director of Murtha's district office and has said he knows what buttons to push and levers to pull to make things happen for constituents in the 12th District. Hard-working and dedicated, he would be the best choice to fill the remainder of Murtha's term.
Although Critz seems to be running as hard to the right as he can, saying that he would not have supported the health care bill and disavowing cap-and-trade legislation, we're more comfortable with his stands on the issues in comparison to Burns, a businessman from Eighty Four.
Burns has suggested that spending in Washington, D.C. is out of control and must be reined in. But when pressed on where cuts could be made, he was vague. He offered the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency as a place to start, but it's only a 1.5 percent sliver of the 2010 federal budget. That would hardly be enough to bring down the deficit and would cause immense harm to the air we breathe and the water we drink.
In the Democratic primary, Critz is vying for the party's nod against Ron Mackell Jr., an entrepreneur, U.S. Air Force veteran and former reporter for Johnstown's Tribune-Democrat newspaper, and Ryan Bucchianeri, a Monongahela native, graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard. Neither campaign has received much attention in the midst of the trench warfare between Critz and Burns. But we think that the overlooked Bucchianeri deserves the enthusiastic support of primary voters.
Bucchianeri's background is indeed impressive. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1997, he went on active duty in the Middle East and was part of a first-response task force following 9/11. After leaving the Navy, he received a master's degree in public policy from the prestigious Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and has specialized in such areas as Eastern European regional security and South American drug interdiction for the defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
Unlike Critz, who appears to shy from the Democratic label on every issue except trade and jobs, Bucchianeri is unapologetic in his support of the health care bill, along with giving gay couples the same rights as married, heterosexual couples, reproductive rights and a foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy over posturing.
If Bucchianeri doesn't prevail in the primary election, we hope he remains interested in public service. He has the makings of a truly superior elected official.
Copyright Observer Publishing Co.
Filling the void? Isn’t that what BP is doing in the Gulf, stuffing trash in a hole? Murtha was a pig and a dishonest one at that. Good ridance to bad trash.
Murtha was lowlife treasonous scum, and that was on his better days.
Contact me to be added to ping list.
meanwhile the P-G endorses Critz. Anyone surprised???
Their undying praise for that pig f@cker murtha sickens me to this day.
I believe you’re right but The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown would win the Murtha slobbering award for a newspaper, IMO.
Not at all. The P-G also endorsed Burns in the R primary, obviously seeing him as the weak horse.
Yes. I wouldn’t call that an endorsement for Russell. NOT from the O-R. They’d never endorse a Republican.
Look at the love their gushing for Murtha. That says it all.
To quote from the P-G Endorsement of Critz, “his views are more in keeping with prevailing opinion in the district that government should be a tool and not a whipping boy.”
If you ask me, the only tool here is the guy who writes endorsement editorials for the P-G.
With the O-R, I’m surprised they didn’t endorse Murtha again, just out of sheer force of habit.
Also anther ping to post #4 here:
Way’t’go, nextrush ... ‘preshatate it !
Russell gets my vote in the primary with fingers and toes crossed. But if he doesn’t make it, it won’t kill me to vote for Burns.
I am a little disappointed at Russel’s campaign ad that runs fairly frequently. It really doesn’t say much except that he is a great campaigner and fundraiser. That just doesn’t get anyone very excited. There has to be more. Burns’ ads are very smooth.
Will we see a shift in the voting majority in this district or the same old.... Murtha bought so many off for so many years.
All Burns and Critz do in their ads is trash each other day after day. Folks around here in the district have told me they're getting sick and tired of both of them, I know I am.
In constrast, Bill Russell's ads are upbeat and positive, a real breath of fresh air compared to the Burns-Critz foodfight.
BTW Mesta, thanks for supporting Bill in the primary, he really is the best man for the job. :-)