Why Vote For Scott?
January 16, 2020
To the people of Northwest Indiana, first congressional district,
Today, I am a voter and a candidate. I am deeply honored to be a candidate for the US House of Representatives for our district. Being a voter isn’t easy. We must take a leap of faith when we decide for whom to vote. For this congressional seat, if I wasn’t running for office, I would have a difficult time choosing a candidate. There are many to choose from this election cycle. Most candidates will say, “vote for me because I’m for” things we want or need, or, they may incite fear – “don’t vote for my opponent, they are a socialist and will make us all poor.” There is more to being a politician than supporting certain laws.
I believe that I am the best person to represent our district because I am a part of the working class. My father was a teacher and principal and my mother a secretary and homemaker. I was raised with working class values and I know the struggles and needs of every-day Americans. The working class is almost entirely underrepresented in the Federal government (only 2% of congresspersons are working-class), and many politicians who are from the working class left their values behind after they became elected. John F Kennedy said, “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.” I share this sentiment. I aspire to be what every American politician should be: honest, compassionate, selfless, and thoughtful.
I believe that leadership should begin in the United States House and other branches should follow their lead. In the last 60 years, Congress has given the Executive branch far too much power and culturally we have given the President celebrity status. This excess power and celebrity status run counter to the traditions and values of American society, a federal republic with a constitutional representative democracy, where people gave their lives to extricate themselves from royalty, aristocrats, monarchy and nepotism. The Constitution prohibited Noble titles for elected officials; John Adams suggested the title of President be, “Your Most Benign Highness” or “Protector of the Rights of the People.” The term “President” was originally meant to be sort of a snub to the importance of the role of the executive meaning simply, “one who presides.” The concentration of wealth is bad for democracy, and the concentration of power in one branch, essentially to one person is extremely dangerous. [i]
The United States Congress, which includes the US House, is the most representative branch of our government. Congress has the power to declare war, regulate commerce, provide for the general welfare, raise or lower taxes, approve the nation’s budget, limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, impeach the president, override vetoes and more. The branch closest to the people should be the one with the most power, the branch most in tune with the people they represent, and this branch is the US Congress, what Jefferson called, “the first among equals,” and it was placed in Article I of the Constitution as a symbol of preeminence.
I believe that the US House of Representatives is a place for strong leadership, however, political parties reward compliance with their President and often punish dissenting opinions. This has reduced Congress to rubber stamping the will of the party’s President. We need to demand more from our congresspeople. Within political parties, the candidates who receive the most support from the most powerful donors have the most sway. In 2020, the Democratic party has decided to not provide any financial support to Progressive Democrats running in primaries against Democratic incumbents; they favor the status quo over the choices of their voters. Meanwhile, Republican leaders who previously despised Trump, have gone out of their way to support his border wall obsession (which is being paid to a contractor who is a donor to his campaign=self-dealing) and his erratic trade war, even though it has hurt farmers and continues to hurt the US economy.
What I find shocking is how so many Americans continue to vote for Republicans and moderate or centrist Democrats who vote against their best interests, like Medicare for All and tuition forgiveness. It goes to show how money wins elections – by name recognition from commercials, signs, billboards, and flyers. Republicans in Texas are even planning on creating dozens of phony candidate websites full of misinformation about Democrats. We voters need to be more involved and more careful.
Every district in America needs representation for its unique needs and to promote its strengths, and every district needs a strong voice in the Federal government, for the benefit of the entire country. For all Americans to have the representation and power that we need and deserve, we must take the influence of money from super rich, the donor-class (billionaires, multinational corporations, and mega millionaires), out of our political process. I believe this must be our greatest priority, because this underlies the dysfunction and imbalance of our entire political and economic systems. Politicians regulate our economy and the economy provides for the health, growth and stability of our neighborhoods, so when politics fail us, our economy will fail us, and our neighborhoods and country will decline.
One of the most important issues related to campaign finance is income disparity. President Obama declared that income inequality as the “defining challenge of our time.” Wealthier persons donate more to politicians and thus have more influence. Income inequality underlie higher incarceration rates, drug use, and suicide. Pro-lifers should understand that nothing deters abortion better than a healthy economy; most abortions are completed by minority groups who make choices about pregnancy based on economic conditions. One study showed that increasing the minimum wage by just $2.00 could prevent about 26,000 suicides, since suicide is highly correlated with economic conditions. I strongly believe in raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Northwest Indiana has seen dramatic change since 1960. Some areas have grown tremendously, like Schererville, while others have declined, like Gary. There have been major shifts in population during this time as well. These changes are like other urban areas around the country with the loss of good manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico which have been replaced by low paying jobs. In today’s economy, college education usually leads to greater employability. After the 2008 crisis, unemployment hit African Americans and High School educated persons much harder than anyone else. Since 2008, most new jobs have been in the lower paying service sector. The numbers of college educated people in NW Indiana has grown slowly in this time, but the unemployment and underemployment rate for college students is at a historical high. For the first time in our history, the upcoming generation will be poorer than the previous. The Republican party has stopped investing in our communities. They have cut taxes and spending to support lower taxes for the super-rich and to maintain excessive military spending. Republicans have also fought to cut Medicare, Social Security (“Entitlements”) and Medicaid, and this last Christmas, they cut food stamps for 700,000 Americans – just plain cruel.
One problem with college education is the cost. Many Americans are afraid to go to college and be overwhelmed with lots of debt. Another problem is having to try to figure out what kind of college education to get. Many people need affordable or free childcare while they’re in college, in addition to needing free college. A college education can, and usually does mean a much higher income throughout a person’s life. On average, they earn 56% more than a high school educated person. Our economy is becoming automated. By 2050, about 50% of all jobs will be automated. So, a college education is not a luxury – it will be an absolute necessity to avoid unemployment for most Americans. I often meet businesspersons who balk at the idea of free college, but at the same time complain about not having enough qualified labor. Our government must import labor for STEM jobs because not enough Americans are qualified to fill them. Free college would be tremendously beneficial for our society, providing qualified labor, increased incomes, and increased consumer spending to name a few major benefits. Therefore, I will fight hard for tuition forgiveness, free public education through college (grade 18) and for affordable childcare.
Healthcare is another industry that should be publicly funded. I am a strong believer in Medicare for All. Far too many people can’t pay their medical bills, can’t afford prescriptions, and even die from not having insurance. Many Americans receive Medicaid, Medicare, and VA insurance. There is no reason to have so many types of public insurance with costly administrative duplications and different confusing rules, limitations in coverage, donut holes, and other nonsense. Private insurance is just too expensive and gets worse every year. We shouldn’t have to set-up GoFundMe accounts to pay coinsurance or deductibles. This has to change! I believe having one simple funding stream where you can choose any doctor or hospital you would like is the way to go. Medicare has by far, the highest patient and doctor ratings. It can work for everyone. I will fight hard for this.
As a Progressive Democrat, I will fight for the things that will benefit working class and middleclass Americans: Medicare for All, Raising the Wage, Free Public Education through College and many more. You can help take money out of politics by such as, volunteering to go door-to-door for your preferred candidate, volunteering your expertise and educating yourself about issues and candidates from reliable free sources – don’t bother with yard signs, commercials, name recognition, and over- simplified mailings. Get to know the candidates in their own words and look at their social and economic connections, donors, and voting record. Another problem with the current set of candidates is that the top three of them are career politicians: The Mayor of Hammond – why not finish the job in Hammond? Was Hammond just a steppingstone in your career? He says “Washington is broken” and he wants to fix it. That’s the same old empty rhetoric we’ve heard for decades! Also, Washington isn’t broken – it works just fine for the super-rich and corporations; he knows this, but he’s not going to admit it. Then there’s Mara Candeleria Reardon, another career politician who has very little to show for her 11 years in office. Finally, there’s Frank Mrvan who said that this a great “career opportunity.” So, he will gladly vacate his Lake county position to further his career. He will probably get endorsed by Pete Visclosky because he is a centrist or moderate Democrat and they are well-acquainted. The problem with all three of the “top-tier” candidates is that none of them are for Medicare for All. What is shameful to me is that they, if elected, would receive the best taxpayer funded health insurance plan on Earth, yet none of them are willing to fight for that same healthcare plan for the people they represent – and that is what sets me apart from them. I want all Americans to have the best healthcare at the best price – they want you to have the status quo.
I will not be taking money from corporations or the super-rich or other moderate candidates. I will be posting articles of my own and making my own videos and website at my own expense for you to get to know about me. Please take the time to read, watch, and share it with your friends and family.
Please continue to visit my website to look for updated information. I hope you will follow me on Twitter as well, I will be posting new information and comments about current issues so you can learn more about my position and ideas.
Thank you for taking time to learn about me and my campaign. If you elect me and you don’t like me, you could always vote me out in 24 months. That’s the power of our democracy.
Copyright Scott L Costello All Rights Reserved
In The Media
A Candidate Forum with St. Timothy’s Church in Gary, Indiana – Friday, May 2nd.
Click here to read Scott’s interview on War On The Swamp on March 22nd, 2020.
Click here to watch Scott’s interview on WJOB Network on interview on March 13th, 2020.
Scott’s interview on WLTH AM 1370’s The Voice of Region on February 28th, 2020.
On February 17th, 2020, Scott attended the FOP Candidate Forum at Purdue University Northwest.
Scott Costello’s Guest Commentary featured in the NWI Times on March 1st, 2020.
Democratic Candidate for the US House of Representatives Indiana First District, Scott Costello interviewed on Lakeshore Public Radio’s Regionally Speaking on Monday, February 3rd, 2020.
Scott Costello, Democratic candidate for Indiana’s 1st Congressional District, talks with Gary about his campaign to succeed Congressman Pete Visclosky.
On The Blog
THANK YOU to everyone who supported my Progressive Democratic Campaign for US Congress. ~ I sincerely appreciate the great efforts of volunteers, like Eric Sera, Emiliano A., Brian T., Zach K., Maria B., Daniel F., and many others who were able to volunteer support...
Every election year gunsensevoter.com creates a list of candidates who they believe have demonstrated that they will govern with gun safety in mind. Scott Costello is one of those candidates, which is why he's on the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate list for...
See the PDF below to read Scott's responses to the 2019-2020 United Food and Commercial Workers Union Federal Candidate Questionnaire. This UFCW questionnaire covers the following topics: Creating Better Jobs and Higher Job Standards Retirement Security Health Care...