Why shouldn’t Maryland’s Second Congressional District vote to re-elect Dutch Ruppersberger?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It’s a reasonable question that deserves a serious answer. There are four reasons, any one of which is sufficient basis not to vote for him. Here they are.

1. Lack of accomplishments. At the end of the current term, Dutch Ruppersberger will have been in Congress for 10 years during which he has made no meaningful contribution to the debate over, and resolution of any major economic, fiscal or social issue facing our government and country. In fact, his legislative record is so absent any of these major, crisis-level issues, it’s questionable whether or not he’s even paying attention, whether or not he reads the papers, watches the news or, even more to the point, listens to his constituents. The old adage applies, “If you’re not part of the solution,” and he clearly isn’t, “you’re part of the problem.”

How do we know this? By reviewing his record of the legislation he has introduced or sponsored during his 10 years in office. You can do that for yourself by checking www.govtrack.us and other sources available on-line and/or by reading articles Next Contestant has written on the subject.

2. Lack of compromise. Congressman Ruppersberger has failed to encourage a climate of cooperation and compromise in Congress. He votes his party line, more so in one Congress than even then-Senator Barack Obama. An independent thinking Congressman who is committed to finding solutions regardless of the side of the aisle where they originate will, inevitably, end up voting with the other party now and then. Congressman Ruppersberger is a party tool, and I don’t mean that in any mocking or derogatory way, and not an open-minded, creative servant of the people who elected him.

How do we know this? By observing the extent to which he votes with his party. You can do this for yourself by checking the Washington Post and other sources available on-line and/or by reading articles Next Contestant has written on the subject.

3. Inappropriate campaign financing. Congressman Ruppersberger accepts hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from lobbies, from Political Action Committees (PACs). What’s wrong with this? However commonplace the practice, it’s nonetheless inappropriate. Simply put, it gives special corporate interests access to and therefore influence over the Congressman that ordinary citizens of Maryland’s Second Congressional District cannot afford to argue on behalf of their own, equally special interests.

How do we know this? From Federal Election Commission (www.FEC.gov) contributions data which is available on-line and/or by reading articles Next Contestant has written on the subject. You may also want to check the OMB’s data base on “earmarks,” generally referred to as “pork,” that Congressman Ruppersberger has sponsored.

4. Failure to accept responsibility. It is every voter’s right and common sense obligation to hold his or her incumbent Representative – Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger in this case – responsible for the ineffectiveness of government policy that he supported. He voted for his President’s and his party’s programs. Those programs have failed to produce an economic recovery in a timely manner. Un- and under-employment is still affecting millions and millions of Americans, including Maryland’s Second Congressional District, directly and indirectly through their impact on business sales and revenues. He’s not only voted for these programs, he’s done nothing to introduce or sponsor alternative legislation that might have accelerated the pace of recovery or done more to help the families and the local economy of the District that elected him.

How do we know this? By review of all manner of various government and other reputable sources documenting the Congressman’s voting history, and because it’s only right that our elected officials accept responsibility for the failure of programs that they supported and for the negative impact of those programs on their constituents.

This is not a personal decision. By all accounts, Dutch Ruppersberger is a good, smart man. This is business. This election is a decision that voters need to make based on pocketbook issues – employment, income, job security, the costs of health care and other concerns.

Second District voters need only ask themselves the usual questions: “Is my family better off today than it was when Congressman Ruppersberger took office? What, specifically, has he done, for the Second District and for our country, to solve the major problems we’re all facing?” Without the least exaggeration, and without meaning to speak for any Second District family, the answers are, “No,” you are not better off, and he’s done nothing for the well more than $1 million we’ve paid him to solve your problems, nothing to warrant his re-election, nothing to justify your sending him back to Washington for another two-year term.

Don’t agree with me? No problem. It’s a free country. In fact, let me encourage Second District voters who support Congressman Ruppersberger’s campaign for re-election, including the Congressman himself, to use the comment facility below to challenge any of the fact-based points I’ve made or to dispute any of the common sense conclusions I’ve presented.

-Next Contestant

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