The battle for one particular Congressional seat, currently held by Pennsylvanian Senator Arlen Specter, continues to be a focal point in national politics.
President Obama stumped for candidate Joe Sestak on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Philadelphia, and held a fundraiser for Sestak’s campaign in the convention center. Sestak’s Republican opponent for the coveted Congressional seat in the November General Election: Pat Toomey.
There are just enough seats up for potential grab that either party can end up controlling the Senate based on the upcoming elections. As a result, as the November elections approach, the candidates are locked into a dogfight to the end.
As a voter, one may wonder why President Obama seems to have reversed his position; he initially supported Sestak’s competitor (Senator Specter) during the primary. If Sestak is a good choice now, why wasn’t he President Obama’s original choice for the seat during the primary? Still, other key Democrats – Vice President Biden and former President Bill Clinton – also are supporting Sestak.
The two candidates are diametrically opposed on every major issue. Example: The stimulus plan. Sestak would have liked to see the stimulus plan expanded. Toomey would like it rescinded. Regarding taxes, Toomey stated to CNBC in 2008: “I think the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes altogether.” Toomey believes that if businesses did not have to pay any tax, that they will use those funds to create jobs. (http://therealtoomeyforsenate.com)
From a personal point of view, I was laid off twice this year. I do think the stimulus plan is working, but reversing an economy takes time. Both times I was able to find employment in less than a month. Of course, I attended job fairs, similar to one sponsored by Sestak at the Haverford Township library on September 1st, and I treated job hunting as my job until I found new employment. There are jobs to be had if one has the right skill set, pushes hard and has some luck. Finding work in just a few weeks after being laid off – twice, mind you – is proof to me that the stimulus plan is working.
Sestak does seem to be doing a better job reaching out to possible voters. I met Sestak supporters who visited my home to ask what I consider important; they listened and took notes. As odd as it may seem, my usually cautiously-guarded, rescued Pit Bill liked Sestak’s people when they visited my home, and that too speaks to me, when an abused dog sets aside her natural reservations and territorial tendencies to let me know that these people were worth her affection.
Conversely, I have not seen a single Toomey supporter at my house. When I hear Toomey’s position that businesses would redirect their tax money to create new jobs if corporations did not have to pay any income tax, I wonder if he remembers that a key mandate for businesses is to bring as much profit as possible to the business owners and shareholders – not to create jobs. True, some jobs might be created as an outgrowth of business growth, but that is not the primary purpose of a corporation.
The last six weeks to the election is shaping up to be a fight to the finish; neither candidate appears ready to give an inch, much less to give up. Sestak came out from behind in the primary election to upset Spector; it remains to be seen if he can do the same in November.