Written May 11, 2011     

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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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Wow. That was a short romance.

I’m breaking up with Jack Davis.

Having endorsed him a week ago, I am now throwing him under the bus.

Which is where he threw me.

Here’s the background. Several months ago, Congressman Chris Lee, unable to seduce a woman the conventional way, decided to take his shirt off for mystery women on Craigslist.

Which led to his resignation.

Which led to us not having a congressman.

Which led to a special election.

Which led to Jane Corwin, Kathy Hochul and Jack Davis. The Republican, the Democrat, the Wing nut.

And a week ago, I backed the wing nut.

Because the Republican candidate came out of a dirty selection process and the Democratic candidate came out of, well, the Democratic Party.

That left Jack Davis, a wealthy old man whose hobby is running for Congress. He became my protest vote against the Republican bosses.

And he’s not a bad guy.

At least I didn’t think so last week.

He has had a distinguished life, and I do admire his grit, and if what he told me was true, he’d make at least a passable congressman.

Repeating for emphasis: “If what he told me was true.”

We’ll get to that in a minute.

First, another reason I backed him. I want a Rochester-based congressional district. It is maddening that Rochester is divvied up between two Buffalo districts, a Corning district and a Syracuse district. It’s not right. The region deserves better.

And a Jack Davis win might pave the way for that.

In the heat of redistricting, as New York fights over which two congressional seats to shed, a third-party congressman has nobody in his political corner and is an easy cut. That, paired with the possibility that the district of new Corning Congressman Tom Reed could also get the axe, seems to make Rochester a natural center of population gravity for a congressional district.

But this isn’t about why Jack Davis would be a good pick, this is about why Jack Davis would be a bad pick.

Which gets back to the truth-telling part.

As I spoke to Jack Davis before endorsing him, there were two deal breakers. Two points upon which there could be no compromise. First, would he caucus with the Republicans and, second, would he do everything he could to cut the deficit and pay down the debt.

To both questions he, with enthusiasm and vigor, answered, “Yes.”

Which is what I needed to hear.

What I didn’t need to hear was his latest campaign commercial – on radio and TV. I saw it first on Monday, tried to research it Monday night, and heard it in heavy rotation on Tuesday morning.

Which has caused me to bail out today.

Here’s what he said.

In an attack ad, he said that his GOP opponent, Jane Corwin, was going to get rid of Medicare and replace it with vouchers.

He was trying to scare old people, by telling them that Corwin was going to take away their healthcare. The ad came out a day or two after “The New York Times” ran a story saying that fear of Medicare reform was weakening Corwin and strengthening her Democrat challenger.

The “Times,” as it turns out, is wrong on that, but Jack Davis was along for the ride. And his millions are drilling people’s minds right now with the belief that Jane Corwin is going to kill Medicare.

Which is a dishonest and immoral distortion. It not only slams a candidate, it far more significantly slams the best hope we have of saving our country from insolvency and collapse.

I’m talking about the budget proposal of House Republicans. The Ryan budget, they’re calling it, the one put together by the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

It begins the process of right-sizing government and putting it on the road to a balanced budget. And it takes up the issue of entitlements – of which Medicare is one.

The suggestion is that, in the future, Medicare be replaced by a health-care coverage based in private enterprise, not government debt. No one now over the age of 55 would have anything change. But those younger might, at retirement, be able to pick a policy and receive a subsidy from the government – the dreaded voucher – to pay for it.

Why do that?

To save Medicare from the insolvency of the federal government. To make Medicare something that can continue into the future without being a cancer on the American taxpayer.

Nobody’s being thrown out in the cold. Nobody’s going to be stripped of care. Nobody’s going to be robbed in their old age by greedy insurance companies.

It is a common-sense proposal that provides a nation-saving way forward. It is, as part of the Ryan budget and the entire Republican commitment to living within our means, a genuine ladder out of the fiscal hell liberalism, free spending and the welfare state have created.

And Jack Davis attacked it.

Worse, Jack Davis lied about it.

For personal political gain.

Because some focus group said it would help him get elected.

Which gets us back to honesty.

He said he would caucus with the Republicans and that he would do everything he could to get our fiscal house in order.

There is no way that one can truly caucus with the Republicans while bushwhacking their signature legislative initiative. There is no way that one can truly caucus with the Republicans when parroting the dishonest attacks of Nancy Pelosi.

And on the second point, if you can’t see the wisdom and necessity of the Ryan budget, then you don’t care a bit about getting our fiscal house in order. You are play acting, and saying what you think people want to hear, instead of what you truly believe and truly will do.

He made me two promises, and in that one ad I consider that he broke them both.

So I’m dumping him.

I know I look like a wishy-washy dope, but I love my country more than my reputation.

And our country needs what the Republicans are proposing. In my heart of hearts, there is absolutely no doubt about that. None whatsoever.

Again, I recognize that I look stupid, and maybe I am. But I cannot with a clear conscience support anyone who would hurt the country. And anyone who tells you that GOP budget cutting means swapping Medicare for vouchers is someone who would hurt the country.

I am still disgusted by how Jane Corwin was selected. And I don’t know who I will vote for, or if I will even vote. But conscience demands this obvious fact be stated: On the issue of the budget and Medicare, Jane Corwin is right and Jack Davis is wrong.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2011

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