Friday, October 2, 2015


Human reality is that each and everyone of us have a strong selfish streak in us.

And - kept in balance - looking after self can be an okay thing to do.

As the Good Book says:  "Love others as you love yourself."  Which, the SCPR takes as meaning "do good for everybody including yourself."

No profession is more endowed with an ugly brand of taking care of self over the interest of the many than professional politicians.

A recent Rasmussen Report poll (LINK) shows that a mere 9% of Americans approve of the way Congress is doing the nation's business.

Based on his track record as 16th District congressman January 3, 2009 through January 3, 2011 [when the 16th included "all" of Stark County], the SCPR thinks that were he a congressman today, John Boccieri would be among the top 9% if not the top 2% meriting an "excellent" rating.

Democrat Boccieri lost to Republican Jim Renacci in November, 2010 and some (no less than President Barack Obama himself - see below) suggest the loss might have been because he voted with the Obama administration in the Spring of 2010 to help put Obamacare over the top in a very close vote in the United States Congress, to wit:

March 21, 2010: The Senate’s version of the health care plan is OK’d by the House in a 219-212 vote. 

All Republicans voted against it. 

“The American people are angry,” House Republican leader John Boehner said. “This body moves forward against their will.” 

[Source LINK which includes a timeline of Obamacare's tortured and controversial history]

And more on his "for Obamacare vote" from a recent media report (Youngstown Vindicator, LINK) recounting Boccieri's selection by the Ohio House Democratic Caucus to replace Ron Gerberry (who had run into legal difficulties and was forced to resign) as 59th House District representative, to wit:

At a July 6, 2012, campaign stop in Poland, President Barack Obama praised Boccieri, and said the congressman “may have lost” his 2010 re-election bid because of his vote in support of Obamacare during a bad year nationally for Democrats.

“I’d take that vote again, no question,” Boccieri said at the time. “My mom told me sometimes that the right thing to do isn’t always the most popular.”

And supporting the Affordable Care Act in 2010 was a risky adventure in what turned out to be a Republican year in Congressional elections.

But Boccieri eschewed focusing unduly on selfish political interests in doing what he thought was the right thing to do in helping millions of Americans.

Boccieri's rating is justified not on whether he favored/disfavored any particular piece of legislation but on his willingness to vote according to what he thought was best for Americans, Ohioians, 16th District constituents including of course Stark Countians.

While he was 16th District congressman, Boccieri lived with his family in Alliance.

Boccieri's rise in Ohio and northeast Ohio politics began with a Ohio House (57th, the 61st beginning in 2002) victory over the controversial right-wing Ron Hood (who, ironically is now a member of the Ohio House from a district located in central Ohio) in November, 2000.

And it ended on a resurgence of right wing Republican politicians including current Congressman Jim Renacci (now representing a reconfigured 16th Congressional District which includes northwest and north central Stark County with a dip down the center of Stark to include the Timken Company.

While the SCPR thinks that Boccieri showed uncommon political courage in voting for Obamacare, yours truly does not believe his vote cost him the election.

But it could have in a more competitive election year.  And, accordingly, Boccieri should be esteemed.

Even if the vote had cost him the election, Boccieri's vote was clearly the right thing to do.

For millions of Americans previously without healthcare insurance now have it.

Take a look at this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services video:

The lesson that should be taken out of John Boccieri's return to the Ohio and northeast Ohio political scene with his appointment to the Ohio House is that he represents a type of public official the nation needs more of.

He demonstrated in 2010 that he can properly balance (hence the balance scales at the beginning of this blog) doing the honorable thing in helping others against his political self interest.

Sounds simple enough, no?

But the low public opinion poll cited at the beginning of this blog shows that the American public thinks that congresspersons in the balancing the public interest with their selfish political interest opt to take care of #1 at the expense of the many.

Congressman John Boccieri showed that there is a better way to practice the art of politics.

The example of John Boccieri is what our democratic-republican system needs more of.

Welcome back, Representative John Boccieri!

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