In a surprising display of pre-election information sharing, The Hartford Courant reported today that with the exception of Republican Chris Shays, Connecticut's Congressional delegation is bought and paid for by outside interests.
This is especially true of 1st District Representative John Larson. For anyone who has followed Larson's federal career as he has "represented" the 1st District for the past decade, this is hardly a surprise. Larson is one of the most fun to watch representatives because he is in the running for the most hypocritical member of Congress.
Larson stares into a television camera and says with a straight face that he has brought jobs to Connecticut even as quarterly reports from the state Department of Labor say exactly the opposite. In a similar vein Larson wants to treat illegal immigrants with kid gloves, as our country sinks deeper into red ink from providing social services for millions of illegals, and schooling for their children.
His opponent, Republican Joe Visconti, a member of the West Hartford Town Council who owns a small business and is acutely aware of the impact of illegal immigrants on the workforce and the economy, says we must crack down on illegal immigration - handled humanely - but handled nonetheless.
Joseph Visconti, Republican Candidate for Connecticut's First Congressional District.
Visconti has called for a federal racketeering investigation into "Sanctuary Cities" harboring illegal immigrants. He favors clean and safe drilling, opposed the Wall Street "bailout," and has stood up against corporate welfare. He is an Emmy Award winning producer of a documentary on children with disabilities for Public Broadcasting.
Meanwhile Larson talks.
Larson gets a media buddy to portray him as the moving force behind bringing a replica of the Vietnam Memorial to the district, a feat that has been done elsewhere in the state without Congressional intervention, and uses that to bolster his "support for the troops" rhetoric.
But when his friend, mentor, boss and fellow Congressperson, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, insults, ridicules and demeans our fighting forces, he zips his lip and says nothing in response. He votes against funding for the troops while they are locked in battle, and can't even say "thank you" to them when they emerge victorious despite his efforts to sabotage them.
Crime on the streets of our cities? Visconti is a proponent of putting criminals behind bars, permanently if the situation calls for it.
Larson wants to establish a new bureaucracy to "study" why criminals commit crimes.
Dependency on foreign oil that threatens national security? Visconti says drill, mine, build nuclear - safe and clean on all counts. He wants major investment in viable alternative energy sources, and a working program to wean the US off of foreign oil as soon as possible
Larson votes against offshore drilling, and gives lip service to alternative energy. He has been in Congress for 10 years and brags about being #5 in the House of Representatives. Why didn't he do something before now to avoid this energy dependence and the accompanying wide swings in oil prices?
The Wall Street "bailout?" Larson was part of the problem, and instead of coming up with a solution, he votes to tax us out of nearly a trillion dollars more to help his buddies like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Charles Schuster, Pelosi and Harry Reed.
Visconti opposes the bailout and wants an investigation into why lending institutions were pressured, some would say forced, into making mortgage loans to people who couldn't obtain them through the usual, regulated, channels.
Larson lays claim to being a man of the people, supposedly due to the huge sums of money he raises in his campaigns, but then we find he is bought and paid for not by individual donations from local people, but with special interest PAC and lobbyist money from outside the area.
Obviously, Larson is a man of some people, just not the people who reside in Connecticut and have to live under the weight of the taxes, regulations and incompetence he has brought down on his constituents. A vote for Larson is actually a vote for a nameless, faceless lobbyist somewhere else who will continue to pocket fat checks paid for with 1st District taxpayer dollars if Larson is elected again.
Meanwhile, Americans are fed up with incompetence and endless bickering on both the national and statewide levels. We say we want real, meaningful change, so my questions is, "Are we going to prove it?"
Larson's buddies in the area media imposed a virtual blackout on Visconti's campaign. To get around this, Visconti displayed all of his positions, press releases, and commentaries on his website www.ViscontiforCongress.com. They are there for anyone to see.
I recommend that if you are an independent, a cross-over Democrat, Republican or reside in that undecided category, you really can make a difference this year. Are you unhappy with what is going on in Congress?
Well you are in good company. Congress yaks incessantly about George Bush's approval ratings, but hides from the fact that his approvals are 300 percent higher than Congress.
91 percent of the American public are dissatisfied with Congress and John Larson is the face and voice of that body - he is the cause of our discontent.
Joe Visconti has good ideas, good experience of the right kind, and a great common sense understanding of how to make government work for the people. So I guess you have to ask yourself, do you really expect anything different if you keep sending the same people back to Washington?
Monday, November 03, 2008