A political party defines itself is by the candidates it offers for election. There are three races in Pennsylvania that I am following most closely. They show that the Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party) does not care what sort of character it runs. Its Candidate 1 is a Wall Street hack who wants to destroy Social Security and ship as many jobs offshore as possible; its Candidate 2 is a buddy of thugs and felons; its Candidate 3 as a mayor ran his town into the ground.
Let’s take a closer look at Candidate 2, Tom Marino.
A local newspaper, the Daily Item, accused the incumbent, Rep. Chris Carney, of running “an ugly campaign” and used this as a reason to endorse Marino. What is really ugly is the folk at the Item let themselves be snowed by this guy, as the following letter to the Scranton Times makes clear:
Editor: As a former deputy director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, with 30 years of federal ethics experience, I am appalled at the conduct of Tom Marino while he was the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Every federal official is required to take ethics training annually. If Mr. Marino had paid attention, he would have known that you do not take a personal action in a case under your jurisdiction. That is a basic violation of the federal conflict of interest laws, and basic common sense. For Mr. Marino then to take a high-paying position with this convicted felon creates a further appearance of a conflict of interest.
When Mr. Marino claimed that he had a letter from the Justice Department giving him approval to write the reference letter, I knew that to be false. No Justice Department ethics official would ever give him approval to violate the law. As was subsequently revealed, there was no letter. Only Mr. Marino’s resignation stopped the Justice Department probe into his conduct.
I call on Mr. Marino to release the personal letter of reference he wrote on behalf of this convicted felon. Did he further violate ethics regulations by writing the letter on official Justice Department stationery? What exactly did the letter say? The letter needs to be released.
At a minimum, Mr. Marino is ethically challenged and should never be allowed in any type of federal, state or local government position. He certainly should not be allowed in the U.S. Congress, as we are already served extremely well by Rep. Chris Carney, a man of high integrity with years of honorable federal service.
JACK COVALESKI, LEWISBURG, UNION COUNTY
Unethical and possibly criminal then, a continuous liar now – a typical Tea Party candidate. The Item editors should be red-faced with shame at being fooled so badly.
In the best of times, the only way the old Republican Party could win an election was to fool the majority of the American electorate to vote against its own interest.
Not only is the Tea Party endorsing a call for treason, making it the party of treason; not only is it backing the end of civil rights and pushing for the exploitation of working men and women, it also wants the American people to think that facts don’t matter, that history doesn’t matter, that people don’t matter so long as they themselves and their cronies can feather their nests. In a sleazy bid for power, it will offer anyone as a candidate.
So far, I fail to see any redeeming qualities in any of these people.