Vote Friedenberg For 12th District

October 31, 2018

In four terms since being elected to Congress in the tea party wave of 2010, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Marino of Lycoming County has established a record of mostly marching in lock-step with his party’s far right, and beyond. He was among the first members of Congress to endorse President Donald Trump, for example, at a time when most Republicans favored conservative but more traditional Republican candidates. Marino, who did not respond to invitations for an interview, emerged from the pack in the most recent Congress in the wrong way. He was a principal proponent of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which diminished the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to interdict suspicious shipments of opioids at a time when the opioid addiction crisis exploded. The optics didn’t improve when “60 Minutes” and The Washington Post revealed that drug industry-related political action committees had contributed nearly $100,000 to Marino’s campaigns. The scandal cost Marino an appointment by Trump as director of national drug control policy, or “drug czar,” but there has been no accounting in Pennsylvania, one of the states most heavily affected by the opioid crisis. Marino’s opponent is Marc Friedenberg, a lawyer and professor of information sciences at Penn State University, who probably is as liberal as Marino is conservative. For example, Friedenberg became politically active to advocate preservation of the Affordable Care Act as Republican congressional majorities, including Marino, sought to repeal it. Now, he favors universal Medicare. Before becoming a college professor, Friedenberg was a lawyer, and worked on financial data analysis underlying litigation against major investment banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis that drove the Great Recession. The Citizens’ Voice editorial board endorses Friedenberg. He is far better aligned with the public interest than is Marino.