Listen to GOP candidate for Congress in PA’s 18th District reply to a mother of an addict during a public hearing on the opioid crisis last year in Lewistown, PA. The hearing was part of a series held around the state on the topic. The video of the entire hearing is 2.5 hours long and can be viewed via this link.
Near the end of the hearing, a mother told her gut-wrenching story of trying to get help for her son who is an addict. Obviously, the system didn’t work for him and she told her story as a way to provide insight into changes needed legislatively to help address the many inefficiencies in the system. To me, Saccone’s cold reply falls flat. Watch:
After telling her about his wife’s dental implants, he asked this woman where she would cut funding to put money into drug treatment. He told her, “We’re going to try to cut the budget, alright? So where do I take it from? Do I take it from education? Do I take it from Alzheimer’s? Do I take it from autistic children? You say you want more funding. Where would you think I should take it from, in those budget line items?” He then paused as if to wait for an answer. I can only imagine how that mother felt.
How About Taking it From Your Expense Account?Perhaps Saccone should consider cutting his expense accounts rather than autism or education. Saccone has been a big spender of tax dollars for his personal use while a legislator in Harrisburg. According to the online news site Intercept, “Saccone spent $435,172 in taxpayer money using his expense account” during his seven years in office.
If only he could be forced to answer some questions in return.
I saw the link to the YouTube video in the NBC News article which gives a helpful rundown of the differences between Saccone and his Democrat challenger Conor Lamb on addressing the opioid problem. The prevalence of addiction is high in Western PA where economic recovery has been slow to materialize. Although government cannot legislate the problem away, policy which allows existing funds to go to treatments needed by addicts can be enacted.
The special election is a week from tomorrow with Saccone and Lamb are in a statistical dead heat.