Dear Editor:

I am writing this to you in the hopes that not only does this letter find publication in your 'daily,' but also in the hopes that it provokes you and your colleagues to use your publication to demand answers in the violation of our freedom as American Citizens. As you are well aware, Governor Tom Corbett has pushed through and successfully passed the VOTER ID LAW in our 'used to be wonderful' state of Pennsylvania. He has done so with the help of many local politician's votes and I am having a very hard time accepting that two people from my own hometown would vote in favor of such a law that will deprive so many people of the most natural American right, the right to vote. It has been surmised by both the Republicans and Democrats that 800,000 Pennsylvanian Citizens can and will be affected by this law. This sickens me, it curls my skin and fuels my blood pressure to think of this completely un-American travesty playing out in front of my own eyes.

I would like our local politicians as well as our governor to listen to a scenario playing out involving a woman named Helen Schickram. Helen Schickram was my grandmother, Dave and Jerry, she supported you when she was living on Rowe Street, Dave, as you were a young local politician with the drive to do good for our community. Jerry, she supported several local corner store's, including your own, and I am sure you can remember her walking to get her hair done or walking my uncle Craig to the bus stop. My uncle Craig, Dave and Jerry, she raised him and devoted her entire life to him as he was born with Down syndrome. You couldn't tell her that Craig was any different from any other human and she certainly never expected any special treatment for Craig, in fact, contrarily, she would care for Craig with the best of love and care and ask people to help others who 'needed it more.' Helen was a very strong woman as many elderly people from this area are due to living through the depression and being the spouse of hard, blue collar workers. She new the value of a penny and she new the price of freedom, her upbringing and sacrifice warranted both. Her father fought in a foreign war, as did her husband…and her eldest son. That's all three generations that extend from her having served this country in an attempt to secure freedom for our great nation. She sounds like a pretty phenomenal woman doesn't she, Dave and Jerry? She is the kind of woman that any politician would want in their corner, especially considering the recent outbreak of disrespect for women by high-up politicians across the nation. Would you still want her support if she were alive? Unless you wanted to commit political suicide I am sure that you would want this woman on your side…unfortunately you both voted to deny her the right to vote.

That's right, Dave and Jerry, Helen never had the need for any ID or any sort of passport. She, like so many other residents of Tamaqua and the surrounding communities you are said to represent, lived her life out in the confines of her hometown. She vacationed at the Jersey Shore and raised her family in the comforts of the house she made a home. By voting for Governor Corbett's voter ID law, you have just denied this woman and 800,000 others all who have a story of their own the right to vote. So let me ask you, WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT? Are you a dictator? Adolph Hitler surely handpicked who could and couldn't vote and we are all well aware of what eventually happened to the people who lost their vote. Is this what is happening in Pennsylvania? Is this the first step to make the 'poor' and 'less fortunate' irrelevant? Certainly if we open our eyes it is not the first step…it is ANOTHER STEP IN AN ULTIMATE PLAN that has been thought up by this disgrace of a man we are forced to call Governor, and it is being played out by his political minions who have lost touch with being American. In two short years you have followed this clown of a Governor in voting for his massive cuts to both education and care for the disabled and special needs citizens and now you have followed him in violating 800,000 Americans the right to vote.

This isn't a conspiracy theory, this is as real as it gets. It is plain and simple fact that education is in shambles in this state due to Dictator Corbett's cuts. His plan as I see it is to destroy education to the point that nobody is smart enough to take a stand against him…especially if you don't have a checkbook. He has made inhumane cuts to the care of people like my uncle Craig in an attempt to keep the less fortunate poor and hungry. Now he has taken away their right to vote as well.

Dave, with all you have done for our community over the years, I have a hard time accepting that you would vote in such a path of direct violation of local residents…Jerry, I wish I could say the same for you, but your voting record is simple, follow Dave and follow party. I guess, Jerry, that whole follow party thing can get confusing at times though…are you a Democrat or a Republican these days? Perhaps I should wait until after the election to ask you that in case you switch the day after the election.

It is clear that my continuous letters have not gained your respect enough to respond to them and that's fine. Your voting patterns have now trumped any good that you have tried to do locally. You have disrespected and violated the entire elderly and less fortunate residents you are supposed to represent and you have done so in tandem with the worst attempt of a human being, Tom Corbett, I have ever come across. This is no longer a Republican/Democrat issue facing us in this state…this is simply becoming a violation of American rights and freedoms and if 'We the People' don't band together against this attempt at dictatorship in Pennsylvania the repercussions may be devastating. Corbett greases his hair to the side much the way someone else in history did…he just needs the mustache and armband to fully duplicate his looks…he is already duplicating his beliefs.

Please remember Helen and Craig Schickram when you make it to the polls this November. It is very clear that our current politicians have forgotten them and 800,000 other American Citizens who reside in Pennsylvania.

Thank You,

Steve Schickram

Tamaqua

steveschick13@gmail.com [1]