The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 12, 2010

Carney, Marino ought to get focused on issues

Daily Item

---- — U.S. Rep. Chris Carney and Tom Marino ought to focus on the issues in the upcoming campaign for Congress.

Both the incumbent Democrat and the Republican challenger wandered astray in their squabble over whether Marino should have paused his campaigning while Carney dealt with a personal matter and devoted a week to serving on active duty in the military.

"I would love to know what kind of man is Tom Marino?" Carney asked. "If this is the kind of campaign he is going to run, then I question Mr. Marino's values."

The congressman's ire was drawn because Marino asked why Carney had not co-sponsored legislation that would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, even though Carney has repeatedly staked out and voted pro-life positions while in office.

Carney said he did not actively support the legislation in question because he was with his wife while she received treatment for breast cancer.

He was then not immediately available to speak about his position because he was on active duty.

Marino responded by saying that as a two-time survivor of cancer, he objects to Carney's effort to distance himself from a political issue by bringing up his wife's health.

Both candidates ought to move past the personal attacks and talk about things that matter to voters.

These are the kind of political games that dissuade voters from going to the polls and fuel the resentment over the government's inability to get things done.

Voters can be assured that both candidates hold conservative positions on the matter. Trying to out anti-abortion one another seems like a waste of time and breath.

But at least abortion funding is a matter of public policy.

We hope the candidates move on to things of greater national relevance like solving the economic crisis, ending our overseas wars, steering health care reform into practice and dealing with the flood of illegal immigrants.