The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


November 4, 2012

Porter’s campaign isn’t about winning

NORTHWEST PA. — Steven Porter has no illusions about his chances in Tuesday’s election.

“I’m not a long shot. I’m a zero. I have no chance of winning because the public has no chance of hearing me or absorbing me,” Porter said in a recent interview.

Porter, an unaffiliated independent candidate for the Third Congressional District seat, is trying to make enough noise to wake up an electorate that he thinks is being shafted by a rigged system.

“The nation is in trouble and I think I can help,” the 69-year-old retired college professor and author from Wattsburg says.

Porter ran twice for the seat as a Democrat in 2004 and 2006, losing both times to former Rep. Phil English. He tried to run in 2010 as an independent, but Democratic operatives -- he calls them “vultures” - uncovered irregularities in some of the signatures on his nominating petitions and he didn’t make it on the ballot.

That process, which requires independent candidates to gather more signatures than Republican or Democratic hopefuls, is designed to keep voters, 38 percent of whom are registered independents, from having alternative choices , Porter said.

“There are 435 members of the House of Representatives and not a single one is an independent. They are unrepresented in Congress. That is not a democracy,” Porter said.

Porter acknowledges the standard campaign issues -- the economy, jobs, health care, taxes, and the rest -- as significant problems, but the “greed and corruption” that he says permeates the political system is “the scariest thing, long-range.”

Porter’s position -- that campaign contributions are “legal bribery” that buy wealthy individuals and big corporations the policies that cement their power at the expense of the majority -- isn’t new or particularly original, but he’s not simply a protest candidate.

He offers up a six-point plan that he says can “save the country on many levels.”

First, Porter proposes taking tax rates on corporate and individual income to half the level they were at in 1960, when he says corporate taxes that now provide 8 percent of federal revenue made up 24 percent. Individual rates on the wealthiest people were at 74 percent when John F. Kennedy was president and as much as 35 percent now, but they never pay that much, Porter contends.

That change alone could cut the deficit by hundreds of billions, he says, and shift some of the tax burden off the middle class.

Second he would get rid of Obamacare, which he says is “costly, ineffective and unconstitutional.” Porter said he’s actually read the legislation and “I have two doctorates and I couldn’t understand it.”

Under the insurance mandate and patent protections written into the laws, he said insurers and pharmaceutical companies “make out like bandits.”

Porter backs a bill that’s been sitting in committee since 2009. The Physicians National Health Program is a single payer system run by doctors, not the government, that would provide more than a basic level of care for not more than 5.5 percent of someone’s income, Porter said.

Porter says beyond meeting the national need for medical care, the bill takes the burden of providing health insurance off employers, eliminating one of their greatest expenses.

Third on Porter’s checklist is using public dollars to create millions of jobs for the unemployed in the development of “clean renewable American energy” via wind farms in the Great Lakes region and solar farms in the southwest.

His fourth point is short and simple: “Get out of Afghanistan now.” That would save billions of dollars and more importantly the lives of soldiers that he said “are there for no good reason.”

“What good are we accomplishing there? Osama bin Laden is gone.”

Next, Porter calls for lifting the earnings cap on Social Security taxes to make the program solvent “forever.” As things stand now, only the first $100,000 in income is subject to the tax that funds the retirement.

Porter says that 60 percent of earned income isn’t subject to the tax because it’s earned by the very wealthy who “paid Congress to write that law.”

“I like Derek Jeter ... I don’t’ begrudge him his $10 million a year. He earns it. He deserves it. But he doesn’t pay Social Security tax on nine million nine hundred thousand dollars,” Porter said.

Porter’s final point gets back to the central thrust of his argument: “Let’s fund our campaigns with public tax dollars instead of private bribery schemes.”

Text Only
  • Political news from April 18, 2014

    8th District candidate forum set for April 24

    April 18, 2014

  • Obama, victims’ families overcome by gun owners

    WASHINGTON — Four months ago, President Barack Obama promised a grieving nation he would do everything in his power to change gun laws after 26 students and staff were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Turns out his power and the impassioned pleas of devastated families were no match for the force of gun rights advocates in Congress and across the nation.

    April 18, 2013

  • Rep. Kelly calls canceling of tours ‘Obama drama’

    The White House announced Tuesday it was canceling tours of the executive mansion because of budget cuts, a move that Mercer County’s congressman called more “Obama drama.”

    March 7, 2013

  • Lawmakers weigh in on drilling tax, state funding

    Mercer County’s state lawmakers offered up their opinions Friday on everything from what ought to be done to improve funding for public education, to how to get the most tax revenue from the soon-to-be booming oil and gas drilling industry, to changing the way the state counts electoral votes.

    January 26, 2013

  • Kelly wins re-election

    U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly looks like the winner in the Third District House race. With 83 percent of the vote in, Kelly, the incumbent Republican, was leading his Democratic challenger Missa Eaton, of Sharon, by 11 percent, or about 30,000 votes. Independent candidate Steven Porter garnered about 4 percent of the vote.


    November 6, 2012

  • Three for the third

    The race for Pennsylvania’s Third District congressional seat pits incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly against Democrat Missa Eaton and independent candidate Steven Porter, three candidates who offer voters a stark choice on Tuesday.

    November 4, 2012

  • Eaton sees a role for government

    Missa Eaton says she wants to be an advocate for the Third District and a voice of moderation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    As the Sharon Democrat sees it, that’s what the people of northwestern Pennsylvania need and haven’t been getting from the man she hopes to defeat at the polls Tuesday, Republican incumbent Mike Kelly.

    November 4, 2012

  • Kelly wants voters to send him back

    U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly likens his re-election campaign to selling cars, the business he’s been in his entire adult life.
    “The first time you sell somebody a car, it’s usually on price. The next time they come back to see you it’s if you serviced them in the right way,” Kelly said in a recent interview.

    November 4, 2012

  • Porter’s campaign isn’t about winning

    Steven Porter has no illusions about his chances in Tuesday’s election.
    “I’m not a long shot. I’m a zero. I have no chance of winning because the public has no chance of hearing me or absorbing me,” Porter said in a recent interview.

    November 4, 2012

  • 1342516_29565745.jpg Nonvoters are trying to tell us something

    There's one electoral bloc that both parties can vilify at their leisure: those U.S. citizens who refuse to vote.

    October 28, 2012 1 Photo

  • Congressional candidates debate jobs, other issues

    The three candidates vying for the Third District seat in Congress met Wednesday in Erie for the only debate of the campaign.

    October 25, 2012

  • All night long: Biden, Ryan at each other on everything

    At odds early and often, Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan squabbled over the economy, taxes, Medicare and more Thursday night in a contentious, interruption-filled debate. "That is a bunch of malarkey," the vice president retorted after a particularly tough Ryan attack on the administration's foreign policy.

    October 12, 2012

  • 1012debate_404.jpg Thousands watch vice presidential debate on KY college campus

    Despite temperatures dropping into the mid 40s, and the non-stop shouts of an abortion protestor who scaled a tree before the debate began, the crowd on Centre College's campus stayed engaged, attentively watching the lively debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican congressman Paul Ryan. 

    October 12, 2012 3 Photos

  • 1012debate_509.jpg Spin predictable following veep debate

    An aggressive, self-assured Democratic Vice President Joe Biden responded to last week’s poor debate performance by President Barack Obama by repeatedly challenging Republican challenger Paul Ryan on taxes, plans to cut entitlement and on foreign policy.

    October 12, 2012 4 Photos

  • Biden-Ryan.jpg VIDEO: Biden to Ryan: 'That's a bunch of malarkey'

    Republican Paul Ryan says the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens shows the U.S. is projecting weakness abroad. Vice President Joe Biden responded that's 'a bunch of malarkey.'

    October 12, 2012 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter