by David Schuster ’12
Theodore “Ted” Yale ’08, 23, of Bushkill, Pennsylvania, is running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s tenth congressional district. If he is victorious in the Republican primary this May, he will be running against the two-term Democratic incumbent congressman, Chris Carney. And if elected, he will join five other Princeton alumni in the House of Representatives.
Yale faces four challengers the Republican primary. Thomas Marino is considered the favorite candidate and the most likely to receive an official endorsement from the Republican Party. He was District Attorney for Lycoming County from 1992 until 2002 when President George Bush appointed him a US Attorney. Malcolm Derk is the Snyder County Commissioner and currently holds the position of public relations co-chair for the Snyder County GOP. In addition, he served on his local borough council for six years and was president of the borough council for two years. David Madeira was a chiropractic physician for twenty years and served as president of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association. Steven Solieri is a professor of accounting at Queens College in New York City and is a CPA in the accounting firm Solieri & Solieri.
Should he win the election, Yale will be the youngest member of Congress, as he will not reach the constitutionally required age to serve, 25, until nearly four months into his term. But Yale’s youth and lack of experience pose challenges to his election. Though he dismissingly jokes of having “served along with my 300 million colleagues on America’s board of directors as a concerned and passionate citizen,” he has no prior political experience as an elected official.
Yale decided to run for congress because of dissatisfaction with incumbent Chris Carney, confidence that he could be a better representative, and the need for a capable republican candidate. Yale criticizes Carney for being complacent and passive in the face of uncertainty, as well as for ignoring the needs of his constituency. In a time of economic crisis, when the American people need strong and responsible government, Yale says that Carney is “a do-nothing congressman.” Yale describes that as he “began to get more involved in local politics, people kept telling me that Carney was untouchable and that nobody was going to run against him. So, I decided that ‘in a place where there are no men, [I would] be a man.’”
As a fiscal conservative with a libertarian bent, Yale believes that the federal government should seldom be involved in regulating business, and that if the government is to initiate new programs, it should do so cautiously and responsibly, and not based on vain hope or speculation. He also believes that most social issues, including same-sex marriage and abortion, should be decided by individual states. Among the issues he considers to be the most important, however, are employment, the strengthening of communities, bipartisanship within Congress, and placing limits on the role of government.
Yale emphasizes that the backbone of the United States’ economy is small business. He supports legislation that encourages entrepreneurship and rewards success. He also wants to promote “the evolution of American industry” by allowing sinking businesses to be replaced by new, successful businesses, and is therefore against bail-outs and legislation designed to protect corporations. Furthermore, Yale opposes most economic stimulus, claiming, “We will not be saved from economic depression by legislative fiat, but by hard work, perseverance, and responsibility.” He also stresses the value of decentralization and local government in addressing local concerns, and promises to oppose “top down” solutions while working with local officials. Instead of giving states unfunded mandates, he suggests, the federal government should give “un-mandated funding” to states. He is fiercely opposed to pork barrel spending because they are top-down programs that are also wasteful, and promises to “support procedural modifications that limit appropriations.”
At Princeton, Yale majored in Classics, though he took courses ranging from petroleum geoscience to sociology. He was also involved in Chabad and Yavneh House, both of which are Jewish student groups. He credits Princeton and his upbringing for teaching him how to evaluate opinions critically and objectively, as well as for giving him experience in working long hours on large projects. When asked about his skills, he stated, “I am relentlessly logical, and I have a diverse academic background and interests that will let me make sense of any bill… [but] more importantly, I have a genuine love for people and a passion to represent them faithfully and enthusiastically.”