Jim Pio for State Representative Press Release | Philadelphia Republican City Committee
 
Philly GOP

Jim Pio for State Representative Press Release

Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($350,000)! That is what it cost Philadelphia taxpayers to hold two special elections this Tuesday.  Special elections are held when an elected official vacates their position prior to the end of their term.  As the term itself implies, these elections are only supposed to be held under “special” circumstances.  For example, if an elected official passes away or experiences a severe illness while in office. However, in the city of Philadelphia, “special” elections are commonplace, and are usually the result of political opportunism or an indictment. For example, the two special elections held on Tuesday were to replace an indicted state representative and the other was to replace a state representative who was elected to Philadelphia’s City Council, but she also ran for state representative at the same time (i.e. political opportunism).

 

Those who benefit from special elections would like people to believe that this is simply part of the process and that $350,000 is not much in the grand scheme of things. I disagree.

 

Philadelphia does not have enough money to fund our schools, ensure we have sufficient funding for police officers and firefighters to keep us safe, maintain our streets and infrastructure, and cover our pension obligations. To say that we could not use $350,000 to improve our neighborhoods is beyond absurd, it is a downright lie.

 

On the state level, the new trend is for elected to officials to run for two seats simultaneously – running for both the position they were elected to, and another, better position. This ensures that, if they do not win the seat they really want, they can still go back to their original elected position. But if they win both seats (or get indicted), we are faced with a “special” election, and the associated costs.

 

In my neighborhood, we work hard to provide good lives for our families. Elected officials should be held to the same standard. By running concurrently for two positions, these politicians essentially abandon the responsibilities they swore to fulfill when they were initially elected, and instead focus all of their efforts on campaigning for a better job.

 

Why do politicians get to live in a world where someone can completely neglect their responsibilities, and then get a promotion? It’s time politicians live in the real world with the rest of us. As voters, we have the power to do this.

 

That is why I support Resign to Run – that is, the rule that forces elected officials to resign from their current position if they want to run for a different position. Mayor Nutter did it. As did Mayor Kenney.

 

Opponents of Resign to Run – mainly elected officials who want to collect a check while campaigning for a new job – claim the cost of special elections are so small there would only be a few million dollars saved if Resign to Run was passed. Again, this is the tagline from career politicians who want to keep the status quo because it benefits them. And, again, this is ridiculous and is another example of politicians living in a different world than the people they represent.

 

But more importantly, if these politicians are claiming that a few million dollars is insignificant, imagine how many other wasteful policies we pay for. Even the political elite have to admit that a few million here and there adds up to a significant amount that could provide a lot of benefits to their constituents.

 

I live in the same world as my neighbors in our community – that is why I am running for state representative. If elected, I will propose legislation, like Resign to Run, to force elected officials to live in the same world as the people who elected them. We need to end the fantasy world that career politicians are currently living in. If we start there, we will be able to achieve actual representation.

 

Jim Pio is the Republican candidate for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 172nd District. Paid for by PIOFORPA

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