If you ask just about any Congressional candidate this year what they are most focused on in this election, they’ll all give you the same answer: jobs and the economy. Anyone who says anything else should be immediately disqualified for a lack of political brainpower.
So candidates from both parties agree: jobs are good. We like jobs. I’ve yet to hear anyone say they oppose jobs. Of course, if anyone had an easy answer for how Congress can do that, it would have been done by now, so while everyone would really love to see some more hiring, policy prescriptions are pretty much boilerplate for both Rs and Ds: cut regulations, encourage job training, bring jobs back from abroad. Specifics are few and far between.
Where the parties have a much more clearly, concretely defined difference, and where local Democrats have tried to make a stand, are on women’s issues. There is a sharp distinction here: incumbent House Republicans have voted to strip funding from Planned Parenthood and restrict federal funding for abortion. Several GOP House members backed a bill that initially included the controversial term “forcible rape” to describe an exception to abortion limits. Democrats in the area say they would take the exact opposite approach.
Democrat Kathy Boockvar, running against U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, constantly says that her focus is on jobs. But her first Web video and latest television ad zero in on women’s issues, including, prominently, Fitzpatrick’s vote on Planned Parenthood. In the ad, Boockvar says Fitzpatrick would “roll back decades of progress with policies that hurt Pennsylvania women.”