Sunday, October 27, 2019

Con Man Carnicella

Above is an ad run by Democratic Cambria County Commisioners Tom Chernisky and BJ Smith against their opponent, Republican Jerry Carnicella.  They take him to task for not voting in the last two commissioner elections, being delinquent on his taxes and supporting a single payer/Medicare for All healthcare system.  I can't comment on the first two allegations against him but I can on the third.

In 2016 when he was challenging John Wozniak in the Democratic Primary for his state senate seat and I was organizing for Bernie Sanders, he called me offering his support.  He talked about his support for single payer and how he could get the Paterno family involved in the campaign.  I suspected he was full of it because the Paterno family are Republican.  

He lost to Wozniak and then two years later he ran as a Republican against State Rep. Frank Burns and nearly won.  Now he is running for county commissioner and the Democratic and Republican establishments (led by Mark Pasquarilla and the other GOP commissioner candidate Scott Hunt) are organizing against him.  He was the top vote getter in the GOP primary this year while positioning himself as a pro Trump Republican.

Jerry Carnicella (left) and Scott Hunt
Carnicella responded to the criticism of his healthcare position by pointing out that "Ok so now the viewers are lost and confused and our heroes start talking about me wanting to take peoples social security and Medicare away from them . Yeah like I’m going to take away the two best benefits I receive as a man over 65 ! If that’s not crazy enough let me remind everyone that they are both federal programs and a county commissioner has absolutely no say when it comes to those things .But what they are alleging is that he wants to take private insurance away and replace it with a single payer plan which he didn't really answer.

Interestingly his opponents are not taking him to task on his proposal to close down all of the methadone clinics in the county.   He says addicts should be given Narcan or Vivitrol only once and then forced into a county owned treatment program.  All of this vindictiveness would would drive addicts further underground a running to their friendly neighborhood heroine dealer.

Carnicella is much like Trump.  Trump once supported Single Payer back in 2000 but now is on board with repealing Obamacare an immigrant bashing.  Chernisky and Smith are trying to use single payer to drive a wedge between Carnicella and Republican voters.  Trump's GOP opponents tried that to no avail.  We'll see what happens on election day.

**Related posts**

Losses in Registered Democrats have Accelerated Since 2016 for Cambria and Somerset Counties (PA)