To the editor:
One newspaper that endorsed Trey Radel over Jim Roach for the District 19 House of Representatives race cited their belief that Mr. Radel will be able to work across the aisle. I believe they are mistaken. If Trey Radel is elected to Congress, he would only perpetuate the culture of inaction that has crippled our nation over the last several years.
I definitely agree that we need to have representatives that will work together. Congress's inability to do their job and work together will soon trigger $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts evenly split between defense and non-defense spending. This inaction will cost the average citizen $2,000 a year in additional taxes.
Trey Radel is proud that he signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayers Protection Pledge. This pledge ties his hands before he even begins his job as a representative, severely limiting his ability to solve serious problems like unemployment, balancing the budget, and reducing the debt. Mr. Radel criticizes Mr. Roach for not signing a pledge like this. I think the only pledge that a candidate should take is to the Constitution when he's been sworn into office.
Trey Radel and Jim Roach have sparred over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare.) This issue shows the difference between the two candidates. Mr. Roach points out that the bill has increased the life of Medicare by eight years and provided savings of $716 billion over 10 years. On the other hand, Trey Radel would like to appeal Obamacare, even though the law has closed the prescription donut hole for seniors, allows young adults to stay on their parent's insurance longer, and provides for pre-existing conditions.
In regards to women's rights, Trey Radel appears to whole-heartedly endorse the conservative platform that would set women back in their fight for adequate health care, equality, right to privacy, and equal pay. In contrast, Jim Roach believes in protecting women's liberties and fighting legislation that continues pay discrimination and interferes with a woman's health and reproduction rights.
At a Congressional forum that I attended at a Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Trey Radel came on stage and apologized for his soiled shirt. He said that "his baby puked on it, probably after seeing Obama." How does this show that he is ready to reach across the aisle and bring civility back to Washington? Trey Radel was one of the most extreme and least experienced of the Republicans in the GOP primary. Even his Republican opponents were dismayed when he bought their domain names and created sites slamming them. If Mr. Radel is unable to work with members of his own party, how will he be able to work with Democrats?
Jim Roach, a combat-decorated veteran and a moderate Democrat, gets along with members of both political parties and treats others respectfully. Mr. Roach and his wife have been tireless, traveling all over the district and even attending Tea Party events. If elected to Congress, Mr. Roach's actions shows he is analytical, reasonable, and willing to cooperate in finding the middle ground which would help break the Congressional gridlock.
Mark Twain said, "Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Now the time to do the right thing and vote for Jim Roach, who is best able to help break gridlock in Congress.
Chair, Democratic Party of Lee County