At a recent town hall, Rep. Andy Harris proudly spoke of his Eastern European heritage. How we have many rights that his parents, or mine, never would have enjoyed if they had not come to the United States. So, imagine my surprise when reading on his website, Harris' full support of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Harris is accusing the U.S. State Department of meddling in Hungary's upcoming election simply by providing funding for additional independent media coverage of the election. To me, having more people, not connected to Orban's State Run Media, reporting on the election would be a good thing.
Harris asserts that Hungary has a "flourishing multi-party system." But reality is that since 2010 Fidesz has captured more seats in Parliament with fewer votes, through gerrymandering and constitutional changes that have rendered Hungary a one-party autocracy. Orban has cut over a thousand people from the press, stuffed the courts with judges loyal to Fidesz, and steered EU funded infrastructure projects to his son-in-law.
These are not the actions of what Harris calls a "vibrant Democratic state."
So why does Andy Harris care so much for Viktor Orban? Why is he working with Pro-Russia Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to derail money for independent election coverage? And, why does Andy Harris choose to invest time in this matter when we have big problems like opioid addiction and crumbling infrastructure that need attention right here in the First District?
Margaret Karolyi Beain