The 18th congressional district of Texas, winding its way through the city of Houston, is currently represented by Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee. Three Republicans are competing for the right to try to claim the 18th district seat in Congress for their party, but before Jackson Lee can face the Republican nominee, she needs to fend off two Democratic challengers.
One of those challengers, Jarvis Johnson, has made his campaign’s primary policy position clear: Johnson is promising to bring home pork barrel spending.
“As a City Council Member, I obtained $1.9 Billion in infrastructure projects,” he writes. “I will make it my priority in Congress to recruit businesses within the 18th Congressional District to prepare them to compete for federal contracts.” Johnson argues that, “The 18th Congressional District deserves someone who can generate new ideas and bring dollars back to the community.”
Jarvis Johnson’s other stated campaign issues are generic Democratic policies, nothing that could reach within a mile of controversy. He wants to invest in education, economic development and “go green technologies”. He wants affordable health care and would stand up to insurance companies. He supports President Obama.
Positions like these are ones that hardly any Democratic politician would disagree with. Jarvis Johnson distinguishes himself from the incumbent he seeks to replace only by promising that he’ll be better at bringing federal dollars to the 18th district.
How is Jarvis Johnson, as a freshman member of Congress going to do that? Even if he gets into the House of Representatives, he’ll be competing against 434 other members, most with better connections and more experience. To have the power to bring back money effectively, he either would need to wait a long time – years – to get a powerful committee position, or would have to start making some very unethical deals.
If Jarvis Johnson is allowed to take a position to bring a significant amount of federal money into the 18th congressional district before five years have passed by, it won’t be for the true benefit of more than an elite, corruptible few. The people of the 18th district need a better reason to vote for a Democratic challenger than that.