Congressman Southerland was re-elected in November by a narrow margin by voters in our 2nd Congressional District. What many people didn't know, I'm sure, was that he intends to oppose virtually every proposal of President Obama.
Don't take my word for it: from the Jan. 5, 2013 Orlando Sentinel: "Steve Southerland of Panama City, first elected in 2010 with Tea Party backing, offered a defiant message full of biblical references, hostility toward President Barack Obama's agenda, avowed opposition to any gun-control proposals, and the observation that he himself is "part of a very thin line that stands between freedom and tyranny."
As if to validate these statements: One, Mr. Southerland voted against the so-called "fiscal cliff" deal, meaning he would have raised income taxes on everyone and not just the top 1-2 percent who ended up having to pay more.
Two, he also appears to be against the comprehensive and reasonable school safety/mental health/gun control package the President unveiled this month, which was prompted by the horrific Sandy Hook massacre of innocent children in Connecticut.
Three, from the Congressman's own website from Jan. 10: "I believe we should be focused nationally on repealing the President's deeply flawed health care law,” meaning not only is he against any cost-effective expansion of Medicaid in Florida that would save monies but he is still refighting what has already been settled in Congress, the courts and in the election, that Obamacare is the law of the land.
Americans, including those in this district, voted to have bipartisan government and its accompanying anticipated cooperation, not dug-in opposition to everything. That wasn't the desired outcome.
But it gets worse: Southerland just voted against Hurricane Sandy relief! Now everyone in this area knows we've had a number of major storms through here in the last 10-20 years. How much credibility is he going to have with the rest of the Congress and the Administration when inevitably there will be another storm here which will require disaster assistance? I think you know the answer to that already.
I would urge you to let your congressman know how you feel about whatever issues you are concerned about; let him know you are watching his actions closely. Then do pay attention to how he actually votes and when 2014 comes around, you will be well-armed with the information necessary to make a truly informed decision as to whether he deserves to have his lease renewed on the people's office for another term or not.