By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
DIMOCK — Former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney’s letter to the editor criticizing the Republican who took his seat in 2010 is sparking speculation about whether the Democrat will seek another run for Congress.
“It’s highly unlikely,” Carney, of Dimock, said Thursday. “I wrote a letter as a concerned resident in the 10th District and I am not seeking any political office or gain.”
The letter by Carney — who served two terms before being beaten by Tom Marino, of Cogan Station — and published in The Daily Item on Wednesday questioned Marino’s sincerity regarding his comments after an inmate killed a corrections officer at the U.S. Penitentiary at Canaan, Wayne County.
“I read what he said and it sounded like he was crying crocodile tears,” Carney said. “He (Marino) claimed he was ‘listening’ to the guards, but that is sadly laughable. Listening is not the same as acting.”
Marino voted in 2011 and 2012 to cut funds for the federal Bureau of Prisons, including guard staffing, and voted in favor of the current sequester that requires $338 million in Bureau of Prison cuts, Carney said.
Retorted Marino: “Straight from the Barack Obama playbook, Chris Carney tries to distort the facts and use a crisis for his own gain. It is shameful that Carney is trying to take advantage of a heartbreaking act of violence to promote himself.
“But I am not surprised because this is a man who campaigned for Obama and wants nothing more than to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. When told to do so by his masters in D.C., he voted for the failed stimulus and for Obamacare despite overwhelming opposition in the commonwealth.”
Marino votes aid prison guards
Marino on Feb. 15 opposed House Resolution 273 that would freeze federal government salaries because of the detrimental effect it would have on prison guards.
Marino advocated to exempt law enforcement from such legislation. For example, in Marino’s federal hiring freeze bill, House Resolution 237 introduced Jan. 14, law enforcement is exempted.
Marino co-sponsored the legislation and said he is a strong supporter of a bill that would require the Bureau of Prisons to allow officers to carry pepper spray.
Marino directly questioned U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder during a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing May 3, 2011, urging the BOP to begin allowing guards to carry pepper spray.
Marino voted this week for House Resolution 933 to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. Included in this legislation was additional funding for federal prisons.
If this legislation is passed by the Senate and signed into law, the Bureau of Prisons will receive an increase in funding for salaries and expenses of almost 10 percent since he was elected, Marino said.
“When this bill is enacted, it will assure that, even after the sequester, the BOP operating budget will not have been cut since I was elected to Congress,” Marino said.
“Additionally, I am writing a letter to the Bureau of Prisons highlighting a number of staffing and safety issues that have come to light after the tragedy at USP Canaan and asking them to use the additional funding to work to solve these problems. So any suggestion that I do not care about the safety of corrections officers is a lie.”
Lip service, Carney said.
“The problem is he has no one in the 10th District to challenge him,” Carney said. “So gets away with just saying things.”
Responded Marino: “I have no interest in Carney’s future in politics or lobbying. What I am concerned with is the future of our country. Yes, I am a proud conservative and I know the people I represent want me to continue to work to cut wasteful spending, downsize D.C. and balance our budget so our economy can grow,” Marino said.
“If Chris Carney would have listened to the people he represented instead of Obama and Pelosi, maybe his political prospects would be brighter today.”