promoted by Rosi
Leonard Lance has toed the line in Washington DC, allowing the Tea Party to determine his vote on most of the most pressing issues. He voted for John Boehner as Speaker of the House, for Paul Ryan’s repeated budgetary plans the gut Social Security and Medicare, to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, to deny a debt ceiling on debts he’d already voted to accrue.
In short, the former Trenton maverick who sued his own party has gone to DC and been little more than a party hack voting in ways his own constituents disagree with.
So what he needs to do is find small things that will look good in the papers. Like holding a press conference about supporting for a bi-partisan bill providing an extra $2 million in mental health support to each state.
The only problem is Lance held his press conference at the Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center in Bridgewater with a group of Republicans who just cut funding for the facility by $1 million.
The legislation would help community mental-health centers, four of which are in New Jersey, and assist an additional 1.5 million patients a year and, Lance added, “perhaps avert the next tragedy confronting the American people.”
Lance was joined by several members of the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, who on Tuesday will introduce a 2013 budget that plan slashes the center’s funding by $1 million.
Of course, the headline is “Lance backs expanding federal funding as Somerset mental health center loses $1M” as if he were an angel falling from the sky to help the center. Instead it is buried in paragraph seven that Lance was standing in solidarity with the very people who cut the center’s budget instead of demanding that they restore the money instead of relying on the federal government to make it up.
If I were a right winger writing on Save Jersey I’d have led with that last point. What Lance is really doing is looking for the federal government to cover reduced local budgets, something anathema to the Tea Party.
Really, the whole thing is unseemly. Lance has become a typical politician, willing to say and do anything — no matter how contradictory or misleading — to keep his position of power. And then when he is in that position he is unwilling to wield that power.