When the President of the United States rolls into town, local dignitaries (especially from the same party) love to line up behind him for all the free press, photo ops, handshaking and baby-kissing. After all, what small-town/city elected official would miss such an auspicious occasion to garner favor with the citizenry? Voters, however, have long known this grand routine isn’t at all about babies getting their chubby cheeks kissed, it’s about another body part – fondly known here in Northeastern PA as the “doopa” – getting kissed, heyna?
Well, there will be one courageous Democrat not in the baby-kissing line (and certainly not in the doopa-kissing line) when the President’s tour-bus rolls into Scranton on Friday. State Rep. Kevin Haggerty (112th), whose district is composed of Scranton and the surrounding area, is refusing to attend the Presidential Brigade to be held at Lackawanna College – a local 2 year vocational school. To add insult to injury, he will also be snubbing Dunmore native VP Joe Biden – “Gawd love ya!” – who will be visiting his hometown with the Prez as he talks to students about lowering the cost of a college education. (In other words, here comes the next grand idea – taxpayer-paid college tuitions for everyone!)
In a FB post Haggerty laid out his reasons for refusing the invitation to the party:
Our families are out of work and poor and all the president continues to do is tour the country like Bruce Springstein [sic], as though seeing his face is some kind of prophetic inspiration.
Forget the speech Mr President. We are not dumb. Why don’t you spend a few nights here, sit down in closed doors and ensure we don’t turn out like Detroit.
On Tuesday morning, Haggerty did an interview on The David Madeira Show further explaining his reasons for being the lone stubborn Donkey and sticking to his plan to wash his hair Friday:
We have the highest unemployment rate in the state. They say it’s 8.9% but really it’s up around 18-20% because of people who have stopped looking for work. Our taxes, both Lackawanna and Scranton City, have gone up 200% in the past 5 years. We also have the highest foreclosure rate in the country…
He went on to share his concern about the elder population (which is considerable) in the district saying:
Seniors are coming into my office saying they can’t afford their electricity and their medicine. If they pay for their medicine, they are afraid they are going to lose their homes because they are going into foreclosure.
So why is he willing to snub the Party?
We’ve had a referendum in Lackawanna County and the overwhelming majority of the people – 70% – said, “We need a change in government,” so how could I not listen to them? …we can’t continue to drain taxes off the backs of men and women who live on fixed incomes and aren’t working.
Haggerty also said he has been contacted by an “International Democracy Group” who told him they would be willing to help fund an “economic summit” in Scranton to help jumpstart the local and regional economy – neither the Prez, nor Ol’ Joe, have accepted the invitation.
When asked by show host, David Madeira, what Haggerty would be looking for if a summit were held, he said this very astonishing thing (for a Democrat):
The number one thing is, elected officials have to admit they aren’t experts in the field (economics)…some people have stronger economic backgrounds that could help teach our elected leaders…
You could be a Democrat and you could be a Liberal and you could be everything under the sun, but you have to be Conservative in how you tax and spend today. And right now, our government – on every level – is too fat.
Gawd love ya, there is hope…