OPINION: A former Tom MacArthur voter: “Tom, we missed you at the healthcare Town Hall.”

ABOVE: Screenshot from Citizens’ Media TV’s live coverage of the Healthcare Townhall with Andy Kim in Willingboro, NJ on May 10, 2018.

A letter to the editor by Richard A. Roemer of Marlton, NJ

A Town Hall was held on Thursday evening for constituents of Congressional District 3. The incumbent, Thomas MacArthur, and the challenger, Andy Kim, were invited. I had voted for Tom and, as a Pre-Vietnam Veteran, have appreciated his VA support. I attended last year’s Willingboro Town Hall where Tom endured over 5 hours of questions, without a bathroom break. This year, I wanted to confirm Tom had followed up on his commitments, made then, and during the Waretown Town Hall. I was disappointed that Tom, our Congressional Representative, blew off the opportunity for me to confirm he represents me.

At the Waretown session, I asked Tom, as he was on the Congressional Armed Service Committee, about his position about the Fat Leonard/7th Naval Fleet scandal. Several Flag Officers were convicted for Uniform Justice Code violations and compromising national security by sharing highly classified naval ship movements with Fat Leonard. In return Leonard provided prostitutes and gala parties for the naval personnel. Tom did not exactly blow me off, but did not seem to be concerned. This raised, in me, a concern that Tom was not all that he seems.

At the two Town Halls last year, MacArthur made the appropriate political clucking sounds. During the past year, his true colors have been flown. The reasons for Congressman Thomas MacArthur’s ducking the recent Town Hall have become clear – I would avoid being called to account for supporting actions that are opposed by my constituents. Not in any particular order:

  1. Support reciprocal concealed carry – essentially, every police department in NJ, and some even in other states, oppose this act.
  2. Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act. This was dead, until MacArthur resurrected it. This seems to be compatible with the 40 year goals of Koch Network, who have made contributions to the MacArthur campaign funds (FEC Report Jan 31 2018).
  3. He has abandoned the Armed Services Committee to take a place on the House Financial Services Committee.
  4. In his new position on the Financial Services Committee. He has introduced a bill to protect banks “too large to fail” under the guise of protecting smaller bank.
  5. Supported the “Tax Reform Bill” passed in haste, that costs New Jersey tax payers.

At the Willingboro Town Hall, Andy Kim addressed these issues with reasonable thought. He was forthcoming and transparent about refusing to take Corporate PAC money. This is in marked contrast to the fundraising of MacArthur. You have to dance to the tune of the piper who pays you. Andy has thousands of individuals who donate to his campaign. One thing is sure, if you donate, you will vote.

If he had been there on Thursday, Representative MacArthur would have heard his own constituents talk about navigating complex insurance plans, struggling to afford prescription drugs, and managing pre-existing conditions like chronic disease and cancer.

Tom, we missed you.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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