The Swamp Runs Deep

In the 2016 Presidential Campaign, we saw some of the best of the “big tent” philosophy of the Republican Party. Unlike the Democrats who had their own “swamp” to deal with and were in the tank for one candidate over another, Republicans had over a dozen different candidates run. Despite at times it appearing like a WWE event, the campaigns were given fair access and airing. Every campaign was invited to the debates, candidate screenings and party meetings. I’m sure the national party had its “favorites” and wanted to see certain candidates win and others lose, but in the end, they let the people make the choice.

The National RNC did a relatively good job of managing many “larger than life” personalities and despite the “swamp” infiltration, allowed the process to unfold in a fair and impartial manner. Our local Republican Party led by Pat Poprick should take a lesson from the National Party.

Last Thursday, a Candidate Screening was held in Republican Party HQ in Doylestown and we were not invited. My campaign has reached out to party HQ three times over the last month, including last Thursday asking for the Committee Lists. We haven’t been given the list and were never told of the screening. Worse yet, the screening wasn’t announced on the party calendar. The meeting last Thursday was listed as an Executives Meeting with no notation that it was indeed a candidates screening for the executives of the party. Harry Faulks, former Chairman of the Bucks County Republican Party, who had supported my outside run for Yardley Borough Council, would have never allowed this to happen.

This “swamp” behavior is so deep that no one other than “hand-picked” candidates are looped into the local party operation. It is so bad that Carla Herling Tomlinson, who is related to State Rep Tommy Tomlinson commented on our campaign Facebook page that, “Clearly this is a theme. I was there Thursday night to screen for State Committee and they tried to skip over me because the Chair already had selected the people she wanted, but I got up and spoke out for the right to have my voice heard. This is still the United States of America and everyone should be heard.”

This is not the way to grow the local Republican Party or advance the agenda. All this has done is create what we Republicans are facing today, no candidates willing to step up and run for a myriad of offices that have become open. Around the County, Republicans are stepping down and not running and no one is on the bench ready to jump in. The last local election, the Democrats, who ran so-so campaigns won in large measure against “hand-picked” candidates that the local Republican hierarchy placed to run. Since announcing my candidacy in October of 2017, my domain name has been purchased by the Republican Main Street Coalition of which Brian Fitzpatrick is a member. My campaign has received 0 contact from the Republican Party and no one from the County HQ and few local party committees have given the campaign the courtesy of reaching out and inviting us to make our case. Warrick Township should be applauded though, they recently held a Candidate Screening and made it a point to reach out and invite all the Congressional candidates. Thus far, no other Republican Committee has done this. Maybe the people in Warrick should teach the rest of the local Republican apparatus how to operate.

In 2016, we sent a message to Washington D.C to “drain the swamp” and sent Donald Trump to work to change things. The people of Pennsylvania and in Bucks County helped do that by contributing their votes to Trump’s victory. Yet we here in Bucks County still seem to operate as if “swamp behavior” is still acceptable. That is not the way our country, our government and our party should operate. Our Founding Fathers did not endorse or envision politics as a career or political dynasties. Our first President George Washington, who could have been President for as long as he wanted to, stepped down due to his belief that no one should stay in the “swamp” forever.

Right now according to the Federal Election Commission, which is where all candidates must register to be considered an official candidate for office, there are two Congressional Candidates registered for PA’s 8th District seat. Myself and the incumbent.

You would think Pat Poprick and the local Republican Party would know that.

Valerie Mihalek, Congressional Candidate for PA’s 8th District

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