MY POLITICAL JOURNEY
From the time I was small, I was active in politics. My earliest memories are spending the summers with my grandfather, John J. Mahon, who was the longest serving elected city official in Hartford, CT’s history. (Read more about Jon's grandfather HERE.)
He served 22 years as City Treasurer. During election cycles he would take me door to door with him. Driving around in his car, listening to the Irish Rovers and stopping in neighborhoods all over the city to knock on doors and ask people for their vote. I continued to work in campaigns well before I could vote. In the early 70s, my father was an activist for Richard Nixon and I use to sit on the floor of our living room stuffing envelopes for the campaign. I organized high school students for George H. W. Bush in 1980 and later for Ronald Reagan to make sure pushcards were dropped at every house in our town. I was out of the country in 1984 but again worked for George H. W. Bush while in college in NH and again in 1992.
In 1994, I collected signatures for Mitt Romney’s Senate run against Ted Kennedy. I didn’t live in the state but came up on the weekends working the South End, North End and Belmont. And I worked tirelessly for George W. Bush in 2000. I was an activist. And then I stopped. What happened to a young activist like me and a lot of others after 2000 that made me make the active decision not to vote? It wasn’t because I didn’t care. I felt that I upheld my end and that my party didn’t uphold its end. I felt betrayed. I believe Republicans lost their way after Bush's 2000 election.
Republicans began to act like Democrats. We had Republicans in charge in Washington DC and we had out of control spending. Discretionary spending increased 2 to 3 times (I’m a true fiscal conservative that believes we really shouldn’t be spending money we don’t have). After 2000, the Department of Education was enlarged with George Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’; a program that represents an intrusion of the federal government into our lives.
This expansion of the Education Department also increased its budget by 70% 2002-2004. In the U.S. Senate, you had Republicans co-sponsoring cap and trade bills that would result in thousands of dollars of new taxes on hard working families. A couple months before the 2008 elections, we saw a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street -- that was pushed by Democrats and Republicans.
The money is being paid back but only after these financial firms made record profits by trading capital they received from the US government. Wall Street thrives while Main Street suffers. So, like a lot of Americans/Massachusetts people, I was disillusioned. I was so disillusioned that I stopped exercising my right to vote. In retrospect, this was a mistake, one that I regret to this day -- but like many, I was extremely frustrated by the state of affairs in our country.
I’ve come to realize that I played right into the hands of the career politicians in both parties. After the 2008 election, I was looking at my two children and simultaneously seeing what was going on in Washington with this new administration; the ongoing nationalization of private companies, the take over of the banking industry and the intrusion by the federal government into every aspect of our lives.
I looked at my elected congresswoman and saw a blind obedience to partisan party leadership who admitted to not reading particular legislation that would forever change healthcare, and a myriad of other bills with the goal, intentional or otherwise, of reshaping the country that I love. I said enough is enough.
We were raised in a country in which hard work and effort created success, and I want my children and yours, to have the same opportunities we have had.
For my children, for your children, and for the sake of America as we know it, I opted to stand up once again and be counted. My goal, if honored with your vote and your support, is to leave this country a better place for our children and grandchildren.