This opinion piece was written by Jim Carr, Chair of the Chemung County Democratic Committee. Jim has also offered this to many NY 23rd newspapers.
I am writing to support John Plumb in his bid to represent us in the United States House of Representatives. John is from the town of Randolph which is near Jamestown . His family has lived there for several generations. John left the area to attend college via an ROTC scholarship. He then protected his country for the following 20 years in the US Navy as a submarine Commander. . John, retired from the NAVY but continues as a reservist.
Prior to his return to Randolph, he worked in Washington, DC as a staff member in the National Security Council. His opponent, Tom Reed, has run misleading negative attack adds against John inferring that he is a Washington insider and not interested in the Southern Tier. I view this from a different angle in that serving in the military is patriotic and having experience in national security is a strong asset for one who is representing us especially given all the security risks at this time. Since his return to western New York is where his family resides and his sister teaches. He has recently married. All this makes me think he has strong ties to this area.
John is committed to dealing effectively with the drug abuse problems in our area. However, he views this as both a legal and public health issue with lots of overlap. Deaths from opioid overdose is 45% higher in our rural communities than in urban areas. This is a complex problem with a need for careful planning vs. knee jerk reactions. John Plumb knows that we have become comfortable with overprescribing and usages of opioids for pain management. Unlike Congressman Reed, John Plumb is not beholden to drug companies or their lobbyists and therefore, can challenge how we approach pain management.
Tom Reed has given his support to the passage of the HELP Act (misleading name) which would allow the possibility of the death penalty for anyone selling heroin laced with fentanyl. John Barry Executive Director of Southern Tier AIDS Program, said in the Star Gazette(10/19/16) that this bill would continue to drive drug use underground with devastating results (spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C). Often, sellers are users and need rehabilitation in addition to facing legal consequences. In addition, the death penalty is not legal in New York State. Did Mr.Reed, our representative to Washington, forget this fact?
Mr. Plumb supports quality education and is a strong supporter of universal pre-school which evens the playing field for youth from all backgrounds thus we increasing the odds that more children will graduate to college or a trade school. Mr. Plumb believes we should protect the GI Bill and study this program to provide similar programs for those serving our country at home.
In terms of the environment and energy, Mr. Plumb recognizes the need to diversify our energy supply. We must have reliable energy sources as we transition to new technologies. Until we can do that he believes we must develop new technologies to reduce emissions on our current energy sources. .
Finally, for me the most important asset is that John Plumb, a military man, believes diplomatic solutions need to be ahead of military ones in our desire to help other nations, protect our interests and, promote respect among nations.
I urge voters to take the time to go to: www.John PlumbforCogress.com and learn more about him. Then vote November 8th JOHN PlUMB for Congress!