Endorsement: Mark Critz for U.S. Congress (PA-12)

Before he represented Pennsylvania’s 12th District, Mark Critz managed economic development issues for longtime Congressman Jack Murtha. It shows: when it comes down to who will roll up his sleeves and do the unglamorous grunt work that puts Pennsylvanians in jobs, Mark Critz is the clear choice.

Since his election, Pennsylvania has added 195,000 jobs, despite the reckless public sector cuts made by right-wing legislators in Harrisburg. That’s because Rep. Critz has the experience attracting investments and businesses to Western Pennsylvania – and the knowledge of what hurts development. He voted to cut the payroll tax, saving more than 5.7 million Pennsylvanians an average of $1,000 in 2011. Representing an area that has been battered by outsourcing, Rep. Critz co-sponsored the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and create incentives for returning production to the United States.

The 12th District also has a large population of retirees and seniors, and Rep. Critz has stood by them at every turn. He voted against the “Paul Ryan budget,” and voted against the repeal of Obamacare, saying:

“It would be wrong and irresponsible for Congress to go backwards and allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, to kick young adults off their parents’ health insurance plans or to re-open the ‘doughnut hole’ which will force seniors to pay more for medicine.”

Certainly, it’s a commonsense statement. Yet Critz’s opponent, corporate attorney and former Bush Administration official Keith Rothfus, wants to repeal Obamacare.

Our questions for Mr. Rothfus are many. Why does he want to re-open the ‘doughnut hole’ for 12th District seniors? Why does he want to return us to a time where insurance companies can deny coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions? And why does he support the Romney-Ryan plan to voucherize Medicare, which AARP says would double out-of-pocket costs for seniors?

Mr. Rothfus’ out-of-touch views don’t end with healthcare. He is committed to protecting tax subsidies for oil companies. He supports a plan that would give millionaires a $250,000 tax cut while raising taxes on 2 million Pennsylvania families by an average of $900. He has even taken the Grover Norquist “don’t think” pledge that will prevent him from closing tax loopholes that incentivize companies to outsource American jobs.

It would seem that Mr. Rothfus absorbed the wrongheaded economic views of the Bush Administration during his time in Washington that put us in the economic mess we are in now. Meanwhile, Rep. Critz is a tireless advocate for economic development in the region.

As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in their endorsement: “Mr. Rothfus has built a campaign on hopes and promises in which the details don’t add up. Mark Critz is a real-world congressman who wants to help his district and solve the nation’s problems.”

We urge a vote for Mark Critz for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th District. Plan your vote now.

Photo by USDAgov on Flickr

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