Northeast Times

Schwartz rips Romney's pick for veep

Dave Kralle, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, in­tro­duced Kerry Healey, who served as lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor un­der former Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney, dur­ing last week’s grand open­ing cel­eb­ra­tion of Rom­ney’s Phil­adelphia cam­paign of­fice. (photo provided by Steven C. Boc)

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13th dist.) is pan­ning the se­lec­tion Sat­urday of Wis­con­sin Rep. Paul Ry­an, a fel­low mem­ber of the House Budget Com­mit­tee, as Mitt Rom­ney’s vice pres­id­en­tial run­ning mate.

Schwartz is­sued a state­ment con­tend­ing that the Rom­ney/Ry­an team would leave middle-class Amer­ic­ans be­hind. She cri­ti­cized Ry­an’s Medi­care re­form plan and his views on col­lege stu­dent loans and ques­tioned his com­mit­ment to re­du­cing the fed­er­al de­fi­cit.

“In serving with Paul Ry­an on the House Budget Com­mit­tee, I have seen firsthand Ry­an’s ri­gid com­mit­ment to fisc­al and eco­nom­ic policies that have failed to grow the eco­nomy in the past and dev­ast­ated so many Amer­ic­ans. Amer­ic­ans be­lieve in the prom­ise of Medi­care for our seni­ors, but Paul Ry­an is com­mit­ted to end­ing Medi­care as we know it. His vouch­er plan leaves seni­ors on their own, with the av­er­age seni­or hav­ing to pay more than $6,000 an­nu­ally out of pock­et. Seni­ors would pay more for pre­scrip­tion drugs and pre­vent­ive care. For young Amer­ic­ans, a Rom­ney-Ry­an tick­et means deep cuts in stu­dent loans and would make a col­lege edu­ca­tion un­at­tain­able for many middle-class fam­il­ies.”

Mean­while, the In­de­pend­ence Hall Tea Party is hail­ing Ry­an’s se­lec­tion. The group had con­tac­ted Beth My­ers, who led Rom­ney’s vice pres­id­ent se­lec­tion search, and sug­ges­ted that he pick Ry­an or Flor­ida Sen. Marco Ru­bio.

Don Adams, pres­id­ent of the group’s polit­ic­al ac­tion com­mit­tee, said Rom­ney, former gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts, made a “brave” se­lec­tion.

“For those who thought the gov­ernor would ‘play it safe’ and choose someone less dar­ing and sober­ing, they were wrong,” he said. “From this brave se­lec­tion, we can de­duce that Gov. Rom­ney takes the debt crisis so ser­i­ously that he’s will­ing to risk his cam­paign on the Ry­an budget plan — which ser­i­ously ad­dresses the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment’s dis­astrous and sui­cid­al spend­ing levels.”

••

Kerry Healey, who was lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor un­der Mitt Rom­ney when he was gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts, was in town last week to kick off the of­fi­cial open­ing of Rom­ney’s Phil­adelphia of­fice.

The of­fice is loc­ated at 529 S. Fourth St. The build­ing is open year-round and op­er­ated by the state Re­pub­lic­an Party.

Dave Kralle, the GOP can­did­ate in the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, in­tro­duced Healey.

Oth­ers in the crowd in­cluded John Mc­Cann, who was Kralle’s primary op­pon­ent; May­fair’s Joe De­Fe­lice, state dir­ect­or of Elec­tion Day op­er­a­tions for Rom­ney; Park­wood’s Steve Boc, chair­man of the Phil­adelphia Fed­er­a­tion of Young Re­pub­lic­ans; and John Feather­man, Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Healey served as lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor from 2003-06, and then lost a race for gov­ernor when Rom­ney bowed out after one term.

Today, she is a spe­cial ad­viser and for­eign policy co­ordin­at­or for Rom­ney’s pres­id­en­tial cam­paign.

Healey said Rom­ney as pres­id­ent would pro­duce fisc­ally re­spons­ible budgets, re­move reg­u­la­tions on small busi­nesses, in­vest in Amer­ic­an en­ergy com­pan­ies and re­peal the na­tion­al health care law known as Obama­care. She cited a sur­vey show­ing 75 per­cent of small-busi­ness own­ers hes­it­ant to hire em­ploy­ees be­cause of the health law.

If elec­ted, Rom­ney would ap­prove con­struc­tion of the Key­stone Pipeline Sys­tem, which would trans­port crude oil from Canada to mul­tiple des­tin­a­tions in the United States, cre­at­ing sev­er­al thou­sand jobs. Pres­id­ent Barack Obama has re­fused to give his OK.

When Rom­ney was gov­ernor, Healey said Mas­sachu­setts was No. 1 among states in Eng­lish and math scores on stand­ard­ized tests.

“He in­sisted on high stand­ards,” she said.

Healey noted that Stand­ard & Poor lowered the U.S. cred­it rat­ing from AAA to AA+ last year. The cred­it rat­ing for Mas­sachu­setts was up­graded when Rom­ney was in of­fice.

“He’ll do the same thing for the United States of Amer­ica,” she said.

Healey is bullish on Rom­ney win­ning Pennsylvania. She said it feels like 1988, when George H.W. Bush be­came the last Re­pub­lic­an to carry the state in a pres­id­en­tial race when he de­feated an­oth­er former Mas­sachu­setts gov­ernor, Mi­chael Duka­kis.

In 2010, Healey poin­ted out, the Pennsylvania GOP won races for gov­ernor and U.S. Sen­ate and picked up five U.S. House seats.

“Gov. Rom­ney needs Pennsylvania. This state is in play,” she said.

After leav­ing the cam­paign of­fice, Healey at­ten­ded a grass­roots polit­ic­al train­ing event for Re­pub­lic­an wo­men at the Hilton hotel on City Line Av­en­ue.

••

Nick Wink­ler, a spokes­man for the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of State, said last week that new photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion cards are still sched­uled to be avail­able at PennDOT’s driver’s li­cense cen­ters be­gin­ning the week of Aug. 27.

The free cards are for those who need photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion un­der Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. They will be giv­en to re­gistered voters who, for one reas­on or an­oth­er, are un­able to provide a birth cer­ti­fic­ate or oth­er doc­u­ments that they would nor­mally need to ob­tain a photo ID from PennDOT.

The cards will be is­sued for a 10-year peri­od and can be used only for vot­ing pur­poses.

When vis­it­ing a driver’s li­cense cen­ter, voters must provide two proofs of res­id­ence, such as a util­ity bill, along with their date of birth and So­cial Se­cur­ity num­ber.

PennDOT will val­id­ate the voter re­gis­tra­tion status with the De­part­ment of State while the in­di­vidu­al is in the of­fice. Upon con­firm­a­tion, the voter will be is­sued the card be­fore leav­ing the cen­ter.

The cards will be is­sued through Elec­tion Day, Nov. 6, and there­after.

Loc­al driver’s li­cense cen­ters are loc­ated at 919-B Levick St. in Ox­ford Circle, 6420 Frank­ford Ave. in May­fair and 11685 Bustleton Ave. in Somer­ton.

••

Phil­adelphia voters will an­swer “yes” or “no” on the fol­low­ing ques­tion:

Shall The Phil­adelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to al­low for the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­de­pend­ent rate-mak­ing body for fix­ing and reg­u­lat­ing wa­ter and sew­er rates and charges and to pre­scribe open and trans­par­ent pro­cesses and pro­ced­ures for fix­ing and reg­u­lat­ing said rates and charges?

At present, the com­mis­sion­er of the Wa­ter De­part­ment de­term­ines rates, after re­ceiv­ing a re­com­mend­a­tion from a pub­lic hear­ing ex­am­iner.

The Wa­ter De­part­ment is seek­ing to raise rates 28.5 per­cent over the next four years. Com­mis­sion­er Howard Neuk­rug will make the de­cision by Oct. 1. The bal­lot ques­tion will not af­fect his de­cision.

City Coun­cil in May ap­proved pla­cing the res­ol­u­tion on the bal­lot.

••

Re­pub­lic­ans in­creased their ad­vant­age to nine in the Pennsylvania Sen­ate last week by win­ning a spe­cial elec­tion in Al­legheny and But­ler counties.

Randy Vu­lakovich, a state rep­res­ent­at­ive, crushed Demo­crat Shar­on Brown with 73 per­cent of the vote.

The GOP now has a 29 seats in the Sen­ate. Demo­crats have 20. There is one va­cancy.

Vu­lakovich will re­place fel­low Re­pub­lic­an Jane Orie, who was con­victed of cor­rup­tion charges and sent to pris­on.

Once Vu­lakovich va­cates his seat, Re­pub­lic­ans will have 109 seats in the House and Demo­crats, 91. There are three va­can­cies. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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