On Feb. 2, the Temple College Republicans hosted Republican candidate John Featherman for U.S. Congress. Featherman is running for the First District congressional seat currently occupied by Democratic Congressman Bob Brady, who has served the district since 1998 and has been the chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party since 1986.
As a life-long member of the First Congressional District, I can tell you that Brady’s entire 14-year tenure has served only to the detriment of my district. Brady is the epitome of what we call a “machine politician.” According to the Washington Post, “Bob Brady’s résumé reads like a democratic organizer from the Tammany Hall era.” Not only is he the chairman of the Democratic City Committee, but Brady has strong ties to the labor movement and various unions throughout the city. Many would argue that Brady’s strong support of the unions strengthened the work force in Philadelphia and led to a decrease in unemployment. Yet, as of May 2011 Philadelphia’s unemployment stood at 10.2 percent which is about 2.3 percent above the current national average.
In addition, in August 2011, according to the Hunger Coalition, “Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District was ranked second-worst in the nation for food hardship among families with kids.” Brady’s legacy has been one of failure and one of ignoring issues, such as jobs and hunger, that have been at the forefront of national politics and that many of his own constituents struggle with every day.
Brady is the epitome of “politics as usual” that we have come to associate with Washington politics, especially career politicians. Speaking simply as a member of the First Congressional district, this needs to change.
Robert P. Simpson, Jr.
Temple University College Republicans