By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer
Democrat Kevin Strouse is criticizing U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick for what he said is a failure of leadership and use of Ebola-related scare tactics.
“While we are all concerned about the Ebola virus, Fitzpatrick is grandstanding and scaring the public for political gain. As he calls for a travel ban, which public health experts say would likely lead to greater spread of the virus, the congressman seems to want to scare voters into thinking that his so-called ‘leadership’ is the only thing standing between them and the Ebola virus.”
Fitzpatrick, a three-term Republican, faces Democrat Kevin Strouse in next Tuesday’s election.
Last week, the incumbent joined fellow lawmakers, medical professionals and transportation representatives at the University of Pennsylvania for a roundtable discussion on efforts to address the threat of the Ebola virus.
“My constituents — and the American people as a whole — need a national strategy. This crisis requires a comprehensive response,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick has asked the Department of State to terminate the issuance of travel visas for nationals of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, or any additional country where an Ebola outbreak may occur as well as enhance the screening process for any United States citizen who has traveled to these countries.
Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety has endorsed Fitzpatrick.
Everytown released a video on Fitzpatrick’s behalf that features former Tullytown Mayor Joe Biancosino Downey, whose son Michael was shot and killed in Georgia in 2012.
“This is the first time we’re mobilizing moms in this country to turn out and vote specifically on gun violence prevention,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’ve taken the fight to Congress, to statehouses, to corporations, and now we’re bringing this issue to the voting booth. Moms and women are going to vote to keep our communities safe from gun violence, in this election and in all elections ahead.”
In other news, Strouse is calling on Fitzpatrick to denounce Eagle Forum, which he describes as a “radical anti-woman group.”
Eagle Forum donated $2,000 to Fitzpatrick’s campaign.
The group was founded by Phyllis Schlafly in 1972 in opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.
“The beliefs of this group are way out of step with the views of the 8th District,” Strouse said.
The challenger called on Fitzpatrick to release his Eagle Forum questionnaire.
“Unless Congressman Fitzpatrick agrees with Phyllis Schlafly, he should immediately and publicly denounce Eagle Forum and its out-of-touch views,” he said.
Last week, Fitzpatrick joined local farmers and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau members for a roundtable discussion on the state of agriculture in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
The congressman received the Friend of Farm Bureau award.
“Bucks and Montgomery county farms, road stands, markets and vineyards remain at the center of our local economy and I’m proud to work on behalf of the family farmers in our communities,” he said. “I thank the Farm Bureau and its membership for this recognition.”
The Friend of Farm Bureau award is given to those members of Congress who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus and approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors. The award is based upon voting records on AFBF’s priority issues, number of bills sponsored and co-sponsored, specific leadership role on priority issues and how accessible and responsive that member is to agricultural community leaders.
“On behalf of our nearly 60,000 member families, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau would like to thank Rep. Fitzpatrick for his support of agriculture,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau member Glenn Wissmer, who presented the award. “The congressman’s support means farmers are better able to produce safe, affordable and abundant food, which benefits both consumers and farm families.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 60,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.