My mother-in-law, Barbara McIlvaine Smith, has re-entered politics to run for the Pennsylvania State Legislature this year. Barb last ran for this position in 2004, and achieved the highest-ever share (over 45%) against an entrenched Republican incumbent with a tenure of over 30 years.
Here’s why I’m voting for Barb (and it’s not just because she’s my mother-in-law; as a million jokes attest, that can cut both ways):
- She’s smart and reasonable. After being a Republican for 30 years, Barb switched parties when she felt like the Republican party had moved away from what she cared about: Fiscal responsibility good, partisan social agenda bad, environment and education incredibly important. I trust her to do the right thing — fight tax increases when there’s an alternative, vote to raise taxes when that’s the fiscally responsible thing to do (and I’ve seen her do both.)
- She figures stuff out for her own damn self. She’s been on West Chester Borough Council for four years, which has all the excitement of being a dorm RA, plus you get to field all the complaints of being a department store return clerk in January. She listens patiently, then goes and checks out what the problem is. She rides around in cop cars (okay, that actually sounds fun.) She puts on a reflective vest at the crack of dawn and rides the trash truck to see first-hand what people are putting out on the curb (every politician would do this for a photo op, but Barb worked TWO FULL FREAKING SHIFTS in order to become clue-ful about what’s actually happening in the borough.)
- In local and state politics, what I want is someone smart who will go see what the problem is, then try to do the right thing about it: take clear action when clear action can be taken, compromise when compromise is called for. It’s hard, hard work and it requires someone with a level head on their shoulders to form their own opinion, then just, you know, work on it. I have total faith that Barb will do an excellent job in Harrisburg.
You should immediately go over to her website and enter your email address to get campaign updates. Especially because Barb won’t be relying much on the Harrisburg house democratic party’s help this year, since RANT ABOUT DUMBASSES OMITTED FOR NOW.
If you’re a Republican, you should totally vote for Barb too. Barb’s more like the good old days of republicanism that you remember than the freaky-ass neocon place that the party has gotten to. This is state politics, not national — read her position on the issues, and I’m confident that you’ll find her more in line with the reasons you became an R in the first place.