A special election will be held on March 11, 2014 for Florida’s 13th United States Congressional District. This district is in Pinellas County, Florida. This seat has been held since 1971 by Republican Bill Young who died in October, 2013 in office. Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly are competing to represent this district in U.S. Congress.
Representative Young enjoyed a degree of bipartisan support over the years because he was able to bring large financial earmarks to Pinellas County and put those funds to good use for all the citizens of Pinellas County. Bill Young was chairman of the powerful appropriations committee for a number of years based upon his long tenure in congress. He secured U.S. government funds through the earmark process for roads and bridges, mental health and drug treatment, environmental protection, and support of our veterans. That is an important part of his legacy.
Republicans of Bill Young’s vintage worked across party lines to get things done in Congress and he used his influence to be sure that Pinellas County residents got a good return on the taxes that they paid. He also understood that the U.S. Government had an important role in financing projects that improved the lives of citizens. This was not inconsistent with a fiscally conservative economic philosophy. Bill Young knew the difference between government spending that was responsible and carefully allocated to help people in his district and help the economy and the “bridge to nowhere” type allocations that were based upon political favoritism and were wasteful of taxpayer money.
The new style of extreme conservatism to which Republican Candidate David Jolly ascribes does not allow for federal government spending for social safety net support, bridges, roads, or environmental protection. This new style of conservative Republican does not believe in earmarks to deliver federal money back to the local taxpayers. This in one reason why David Jolly is not the right person to represent Pinellas County in the U.S. Congress. His rigid Tea Party economic philosophy seems more important to him than getting Pinellas taxpayers a good return from Washington on the taxes they pay.
Former congressman Bill Young has shown us that one can be fiscally conservative and use government funds prudently to help citizens and support the local economy. Alex Sink understands this lesson. Alex has been a fiscally prudent Chief Financial Officer for the State of Florida and has had a long career in the banking industry. She also understands the needs of the citizens of Pinellas County and the economy of Pinellas County.
Alex Sink has proven that she has the financial skills to understand and address the balance between fiscal prudence and the ability of the federal government to help local citizens and the local economy. Alex also has the disposition to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to reach the compromises necessary to make our government in Washington work for us.
These are some of the reasons I support Alex Sink for U.S. Congress and have volunteered to help with her campaign. I have lived in Pinellas County for over 30 years.
Admitted to both the California State Bar and the Florida State Bar, Joseph Saunders has also practiced in the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals. His philosophy is to provide aggressive, quality representation and seek fair compensation for individuals and their families who have suffered injury or death at the hands of insurance companies, large corporations, medical providers or governmental entities.