Now that state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is the ranking Republican on the House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, we can only hope that any increased visibility he gets from the post will spur candidates to take him on in next year's election.
Mr. Metcalfe, the 10-year veteran from Cranberry, was moved up based on his seniority. John Perzel of Philadelphia, who had been the ranking Republican on the Urban Affairs Committee, lost his position because House rules prevent lawmakers from sitting in top committee posts if they've been charged with a crime, and Mr. Perzel this month was charged with multiple counts of corruption. Rep. Chris Ross of Chester, who has more seniority, moved to Urban Affairs, which opened up the spot on Intergovernmental Affairs for Mr. Metcalfe, who was next in line.
As its name suggests, the committee considers legislation dealing with the relationships among local, state and federal government bodies. Notwithstanding that, Mr. Metcalfe said he plans to use the committee to advance his opposition to gay marriage, socialized medicine and benefits for illegal immigrants. Or as he put it, "The work of this committee presents a prime opportunity to uphold and defend the foundational documents of the American way of life and to affirm, protect and advance our God-given -- not government-given -- personal liberties."
In other words, he will continue to behave in ways that surely offend many of his constituents, whether by railing against Muslims, homosexuals or even military veterans who believe global warming is real.
We can't blame the Republican leadership for Mr. Metcalfe's elevation on the committee; House rules determine that most assignments are set by seniority. His long tenure is what put him where he is today. Only the voters of the 12th District in southern Butler County can prevent Mr. Metcalfe from moving further up the ranks.