As of late, I have been avoiding any commenting or reporting on the Tarah Toohil THC-toking tale. I generally avoid attacking a politician or candidate for what they do in their free time, or what they have done in the safety of their own home. In the age of Facebook, I am confident that when my generation starts running for office this will become a regular occurrence.
Rather than rehashing, suffice it to say that I agree with most of what Ben has said in his Keystone Politics articles, especially the points about Rep. Toohil favoring punishment for those who did the same thing she did.
That said, I want to point out an additionally hypocritical posture that Rep. Toohil has taken, this time regarding state Department of Welfare budget cuts affecting those with autism.
On Saturday, Hazleton had the area’s first-ever Autism Walk. In attendance was State Representative Toohil, who was interviewed by the Hazelton Standard Speaker:
State Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Township, said state Department of Welfare budget cuts have affected those with autism.
“I’m concerned about the cuts that have affected the intellectually disabled,” Toohil said. “The economic cost of autism spectrum disorder is typically four to six times greater. That’s not including intensive behavioral intervention treatment for children.”
Toohil said she is against the co-pays that families of those with autism are being forced to pay.
“I hear from so many of your families who struggle with health care,” Toohil said. “It’s not something you should have to go through, Your state should stand by you. Anyone with questions on co-pays, I would like you to come down to my office. We can figure out, through your health care, how much the co-pay is supposed to be.”
The problem, you might have guessed, is that Rep. Toohil voted for BOTH budgets that have passed under Governor Corbett–so she voted for those very cuts. She could have just said, “I deplore the cuts I voted for.”
So, when Rep. Toohil speaks about autism funding, she must be doing one of the following:
1. Not really be concerned.
2. Well-aware of the difficulties faced by those with autism and their care-givers, but just does not care.
3. Still be high.
Note: I have ranked those in order of increasing likelihood.
In the end, though, I suggest that you take Rep. Toohil’s advice. These cuts are “not something you should have to go through,” and “your state should stand by you.”
And, because Rep. Toohil was nice enough to invite those with questions to come down to her office, I suggest all readers at least call Rep. Toohil and demand that she do all she can to remove from office those who voted in favor of the budget cuts.
This should be a relatively easy task for Toohil, as she can start with herself.
Rep. Toohil’s office can be reached at 570-453-1344 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Let her know that you agree with her strong stance against herself.