Why did Mo Brooks Vote against the Opioid Bill?

Clete Wetli is a liberal political activist living in Huntsville and a regular contributor to AL.com. Email Clete at decaturclete@gmail.com or visit cletewetli.com.

In a rare and stunning display of bipartisanship, Congress voted 396-14 to pass a package of bills (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act) that would expand substance abuse treatment and law enforcement efforts to help stop the opioid epidemic that’s killing 150 Americans a day. As usual, Rep. Mo Brooks put his extremist brand of Tea Party politics over the interests of his constituents and voted against sensible legislation that would save lives in North Alabama.

It seems Brooks was more interested in spending tax payer dollars on an unnecessary ‘Space Force’ rather than doing something about the drug crisis that’s ravaging his district. Or, he’s been trying to figure out a way to explain why he voted for Trump’s tax scam that’s making our debt and deficit explode. I guess he feels like spending taxpayer money on space cadets is more important than helping people get the treatment they need but can’t afford.

Not known for his innovative solutions, Brooks probably thinks War on Drugs tactics will solve the problem. Things like expensive mass incarceration, mandatory minimums, and “just say no”. Well, we all know those approaches didn’t do much to curb the availability of drugs on our streets and simply made the problem worse.

All of this is hardly surprising given Brooks’ bizarre notions about healthcare. To Brooks, healthcare is a privilege that should only be affordable to “people who lead good lives” and folks with pre-existing conditions should just suffer by paying much higher rates. Maybe, he feels that people who were over-prescribed painkillers by doctors getting kickbacks ought to just suffer, as well. Maybe, he thinks that folks with genuine chronic pain issues or terminal illness ought to just suck it up and try to cope without medication if there’s a chance they may become addicted. According to Brooks, they should just work harder at leading “good lives.”

In Brooks’ home county of Madison, someone overdoses every six days. Yet, Brooks doesn’t think it merits a legislative response and he probably bemoans the idea of tax dollars being spent on substance abuse treatment. His base loves the more expensive and less effective option of mass incarceration, because it allows them to stigmatize people dealing with addiction. Although ineffectual, it makes conservative politicians appear tough.

In North Alabama, everyone knows someone who’s been adversely affected by the opioid crisis. Doing something immediately about it should be a top priority for every member of Congress. Instead, Brooks has been trying to figure out how falling rocks raise sea levels and how to justify the need for space soldiers. Yeah, we’ve all been worried about those Tang-drinking scientists going to war with each other on the International Space Station.

The problem is that Brooks takes every opportunity to paint government as an inefficient and incapable entity that simply devours money. He, like President Trump, fails to realize the magnitude of this crisis and the need to ensure that people who need treatment can get it. In this situation, government has an obligation to help and the right legislation will pave the way for necessary funding that will save and transform lives. Brooks’ ‘no’ vote on this legislation shows the people of North Alabama exactly what his priorities are. They certainly aren’t with North Alabama communities battling the opioid crisis.

The problem with extremists like Brooks is that they always put their narrow ideology over the practical needs of the people they were elected to represent. It’s bad enough that he ignores climate change and increased the deficit, now Brooks voted against helping people get the care they need. Once again, Brooks failed North Alabama.

Why I’m Voting for Peter Joffrion for Congress

Jerry Waters, Contributor

Aside from the fact that the incompetent incumbent, Mo Brooks, thinks that falling rocks causes sea levels to rise.

Aside from the fact that the pandering politico, Mo Brooks, hypocritically voted for Trump’s tax scam which is exploding our nation’s deficit and debt so that the wealthiest among us can make obscene profits at everyone else’s expense.

Aside from the fact that the ambassador of embarrassment, Mo Brooks, continually spews a litany of juvenile verbal diarrhea like claiming there’s a “War on Whites” or saying he’ll “stop nothing short of shooting” undocumented immigrants.

Aside from the fact that the captain of cluelessness, Mo Brooks, has held the office for years and can’t seem to sponsor any legislation that would significantly benefit his constituents in North Alabama.

And, aside from the fact that the dullard of doublespeak, Mo Brooks, has suddenly decided that kissing up to Trump is more important than finding ways to bring economic development, affordable healthcare, and educational opportunities to his North Alabama district because he’s too busy jousting ideological windmills.

So, with all that moronic morass aside, there’s finally an honest, honorable candidate, Peter Joffrion, that is ready, willing, and able to strongly represent the people of North Alabama.

Joffrion was the Huntsville City Attorney for almost thirty years and he was a key player in bringing in numerous economic development projects for the city and thousands of jobs.

Joffrion hasn’t spent his career pandering for votes or mindlessly espousing an extreme political ideology. He’s served his community by mentoring kids at the Boys and Girls Club and helping at his church. He’s running because cares about bringing jobs to the rural parts of North Alabama. He’s running because he knows that his constituents need access to affordable healthcare for their families without the fear of being denied for pre-existing conditions or trying to pay ridiculously high deductibles. He’s running because he wants to fight for educational opportunities for the kids in his district so they can compete in today’s evolving economy.

Peter Joffrion isn’t interested in appeasing special interest groups or well-heeled lobbyists because he understands the concept of being a servant leader. He knows that being a representative means putting the people first and he won’t run away from difficult questions at a town hall like Mo.

Joffrion supports our military and our aerospace/ high-tech industries. He knows how valuable they are to North Alabama. He cherishes our veterans and wants to ensure that they have the care they deserve after they have served their country. Joffrion isn’t interested in perpetuating the culture wars, he’s interested in doing what’s right for the people he represents.

So, that’s why I’m voting for Peter Joffrion for Alabama Congressional District 5. It’s time that we have a real representative, rather than an ideological, extremist mouthpiece. It’s time we elect someone who takes the job seriously and will listen to all of his constituents. It’s time we choose a congressman who is willing to work across the aisle for the good of the community he serves. It’s time for us to get behind a man with a vision who’s a skilled negotiator, rather than a divisive, self-promoting, gaffe machine.

Peter Joffrion is a breath of fresh air. Mo Brooks is the poster child for partisan gridlock and extremist rhetoric. Peter Joffrion is someone we can trust and someone who will listen. Mo can’t be trusted and he runs away from his constituents.

North Alabama has gone a long time without real representation in Congress. I’m voting for Peter Joffrion because I know he’ll be a strong, intelligent, and passionate for everyone in North Alabama. I know he’ll stand up for what’s right and I know he’ll stay focused every day on the people who elected him.

If you’ve ever wondered why Washington is so dysfunctional, just look at Mo Brooks’ record of mind-blowing incompetence and lackluster results. Getting rid of Mo and his career politician cronies is a necessary first step toward bringing back effective government.

Peter Joffrion is the solution to our embarrassing problem that we call Mo Brooks.