Submitted by Cheryl Parsons
Let’s set the record straight. Recent attack ads that cherry-pick partial information about John Fetterman’s stance on crime are betting that Pennsylvania voters are susceptible to fear-mongering—that Pennsylvania voters won’t bother to go to John Fetterman’s website and read about his positive experience and relationship with both police and those in our criminal justice system.
Dr. Oz is counting on voters in Pennsylvania to associate John Fetterman’s size and unconventional appearance with criminals. Understand that in Dr. Oz’s world of celebrity and television, appearance and quick sound bites are what counts.
A deeper look at John Fetterman reveals anything but a thug. He holds degrees in finance, business administration, and public policy from Albright College, the University of Connecticut, and Harvard respectively. John has devoted most of his adult life to public service, beginning with Big Brothers Big Sisters and AmeriCorps, teaching GED classes, and becoming mayor of Braddock before becoming Lieutenant Governor.
As mayor of Braddock, he worked hand in hand with police and mediated disputes between residents and the police when necessary. As Lieutenant Governor, he has made visits to every one of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and also gained much insight as to the inadequacies of our prison system while serving as the Chairman of the state Board of Pardons.
John has interacted with inmates and their families. He knows that the recidivism rate for inmates over age 40 is only 1%. He knows, too, that many crimes are committed by teenagers, who have been given all but life-long sentences. He knows that people mature and change over time. He knows that those who have served 25 years or more deserve a second chance and can be an asset to their communities. He also knows that statistics confirm that longer sentences do not correlate with less crime and that housing those with minor offenses or extremely long-term sentences is a poor use of our tax dollars and a burden on our prison system, especially as prisoners age and require more expensive medical intervention that prisons are ill-equipped to provide.
John lives in a town that is 80% Black, and he supports Black Lives Matter while not ascribing to Defund the Police. Fetterman supports commonsense gun legislation and is a gun owner. He is a person who understands that issues of our time can be approached from a “both/and” perspective instead of an “either/or” view. He is a mover and shaker interested in building coalitions and involving the people he represents in projects that directly address problem issues. He believes in and demonstrates human dignity for all.
Dr. Oz was smart enough not to run for Senate in his home state of New Jersey. He knew that New Jersey voters wouldn’t buy his lack of qualifications for the position. The real crime will be if Pennsylvania voters don’t look beyond his slick veneer or beyond John Fetterman’s unconventional appearance to see the stark contrast.
If elected, Dr. Oz will be a mere puppet with his deep-pocketed investors pulling his strings: good-bye to women’s right to their own healthcare decisions, preserving Social Security and Medicare, and fighting climate change. Hello to privatizing public schools and more. His motivation? More celebrity and fame.
A vote for Fetterman is a vote for women, for diversity, for strengthening Social Security and affordable healthcare for all, for a livable minimum wage, for protecting our environment, and for working across the aisle to find unconventional and creative pathways to addressing the problems our country faces. His motivation: helping people and finding more effective ways for our country to live up to our claims of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans. It’s a crime if we succumb to Dr. Oz’s fear tactics. Let’s be smart Pennsylvania voters; do your own research. It would be a crime to pass up the opportunity to elect Fetterman, a person well qualified to undertake this important position.
As you think about voting with awareness, consider this. The millions of dollars being funneled into Dr. Oz’s campaign certainly come with strings attached. The big moneyed interests that have recruited Dr. Oz are doing so with an agenda of taking control of the Senate in the same way big moneyed interests engineered our current Supreme Court. If that ultra conservative stronghold on our legislature comes to pass, we can look forward to two branches of our government intent on taking away rights of ordinary people, giving more rights and privileges to big corporations, and changing the rules of our democracy to entrench this agenda into our government for many years to come. And that, my fellow Pennsylvanians, would be the biggest crime of all.