SHARON — Demonstrators seek end to shutdown and looming default
By Michael Roknick
Herald Business Editor
Bearing signs declaring they were delivering a cease and desist order to U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a group of around 15 staged a rally in front of his Sharon office saying that wanted an end to the partial federal shutdown and looming default.
The mock order, which has no legal power, was intended to get the 3rd District, Republican congressman from Butler to “cease and desist from extreme politics.” The rally was backed by the liberal non-profit Keystone Progress which held similar events at the offices of Pennsylvania’s 13 Republican House members and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.
Several in the group spoke and said congress was being held hostage by a small group of hard-core conservative Republicans such as Kelly.
“I came to Rep. Kelly’s office today because I’m outraged that a member of congress would shut down the government, threaten to default on our country’s debts and trigger another recession, just because he can’t get his way,” said Chuck Baldoff, a Hermitage resident.
While Republicans balk at raising the national debt Baldoff noted the late Republican President Ronald Reagan approved raising the debt limit 18 times while in office. Further, current calls for cuts in welfare and food stamps would lead families down a dire path.
“They talk about family values. Well, eating is a family value,” Baldoff said. “Lifting the debt ceiling doesn’t add a dime to the deficit.”
Retired Lakeview teacher Judy Hines said the partial shutdown has crippled the U.S. Department of Commerce which helps businesses.
“The GOP is suppose to be business supporters,” Hines said.
Missa Eaton was among the group’s leaders who also spoke. The Democrat ran against Mike Kelly last year and lost.