Northeast Times

House hopeful takes aim at child abuse

Cam­paign Bits (March 21, 2012)

Start­Frag­ment

Dave Kralle, a Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, last week re­leased a plan to com­bat child sexu­al ab­use.

Kralle fa­vors re­mov­ing the crim­in­al and civil stat­utes of lim­it­a­tions for sexu­al ab­use against chil­dren.

The can­did­ate also wants Pennsylvania to be­come the 50th and fi­nal state to al­low ex­pert testi­mony at tri­al, so judges and jur­ies can un­der­stand why vic­tims some­times do not re­port their ab­use im­me­di­ately.

For those who are re­quired by law to re­port sexu­al ab­use of chil­dren, Kralle fa­vors giv­ing them train­ing to identi­fy the char­ac­ter­ist­ics of an ab­user. In ad­di­tion, he’d re­quire them to re­port the ab­use to law en­force­ment, not simply a su­per­i­or with­in their or­gan­iz­a­tion.

“It is crit­ic­al that we take the ne­ces­sary steps to com­bat the worst of the worst,” he said. “These in­di­vidu­als de­serve to ex­per­i­ence the strongest arm of the law. Gone are the days where they can hide be­hind tech­nic­al­it­ies. When I am elec­ted as a state rep­res­ent­at­ive, Pennsylvania will be com­ing after these scum­bags and they can’t hide.”

The seat has been va­cant since Re­pub­lic­an Den­nis O’Bri­en joined City Coun­cil at the be­gin­ning of the year. Kralle served as an aide to O’Bri­en in his House and Coun­cil of­fices.

An April 24 spe­cial elec­tion will match Kralle against Demo­crat Ed Neilson, a former elec­tri­cians uni­on of­fi­cial who served in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gov. Ed Rendell.

Also on that day, Kralle will face teach­er John Mc­Cann in the GOP primary.

“I am whole­heartedly sup­port­ing Dave Kralle for this seat that I held for the past three dec­ades,” O’Bri­en said. “I ask the people of North­east Phil­adelphia to join me in vot­ing twice to make him our next state rep­res­ent­at­ive.”

Neilson is un­op­posed in the Demo­crat­ic primary.

If Neilson wins the spe­cial elec­tion, he would serve in the minor­ity, as Re­pub­lic­ans hold a 110-87 ad­vant­age in the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives. There will be a total of six spe­cial elec­tions on April 24, with Demo­crats heav­ily favored to win at least four of them.

Neilson, who was deputy sec­ret­ary in the De­part­ment of Labor and In­dustry un­der Rendell, has been en­dorsed by Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 and In­ter­na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fire Fight­ers Loc­al 22.

“As our state rep­res­ent­at­ive, he will be a fierce de­fend­er of Phil­adelphia’s van­ish­ing middle class and a vi­gil­ant pro­tect­or of our pub­lic safety,” said Bill Gault, pres­id­ent of Loc­al 22.

While Kralle has said he’d re­open O’Bri­en’s of­fice at 9811 Academy Road, Neilson would look for a site that doesn’t re­quire con­stitu­ents to walk down steps. Kralle said that, as he cam­paigns door to door, many people, in­clud­ing seni­or cit­izens, tell him they’d like to see the of­fice re­opened.

“They want it, and I’m happy to ob­lige,” he said.

••

Teach­er Dan Collins will ap­pear on the bal­lot as a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict. An ob­jec­tion to his can­did­acy filed with the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of State was denied.

Terry Devlin, a sup­port­er of fresh­man Demo­crat­ic Rep. Kev­in Boyle, filed the chal­lenge. Two years ago, he chal­lenged the nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions of Collins and two oth­er foes of Boyle.

Collins is knock­ing on doors and count­ing on the sup­port of some ward lead­ers who want to see the in­cum­bent lose. Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 is also back­ing Collins, who’ll be lis­ted above Boyle on the bal­lot by vir­tue of a ran­dom draw.

Mean­while, Boyle com­mis­sioned a poll show­ing him with a lead of 63 per­cent to 10 per­cent over the less­er-known Collins.

Mu­ni­cipoll sur­veyed 572 likely primary elec­tion voters. A poll memo said, “Newt Gin­grich’s fant­ast­ic­al hopes of win­ning the Re­pub­lic­an primary for pres­id­ent are more groun­ded in real­ity than are Dan Collins’ chances of win­ning his party’s primary elec­tion for state rep­res­ent­at­ive.”

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Al Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce.

••

The Phil­adelphia chapter of the Na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Wo­men Polit­ic­al Ac­tion Com­mit­tee has en­dorsed Numa St. Louis, who is chal­len­ging vet­er­an state Rep. Mark Co­hen (D-202nd dist.) in the primary.

“Numa St. Louis is un­equi­voc­al in his sup­port for wo­men’s rights — es­pe­cially of wo­men’s ac­cess to health care,” said Terri Falbo, pres­id­ent of Phil­adelphia NOW. “Giv­en the cur­rent re­press­ive en­vir­on­ment in the Pennsylvania Le­gis­lature and its ‘War on Wo­men,’ Phil­adelphia NOW is fo­cused on en­dors­ing can­did­ates, such as St. Louis, who sup­port wo­men’s rights without re­gard to polit­ic­al ex­pedi­ency. As an edu­cat­or and com­munity or­gan­izer, St. Louis has a re­cord as an ad­voc­ate for more ac­cess­ible health care, sound edu­ca­tion­al re­form and im­mig­rant rights.”

Co­hen said the PAC has sup­por­ted him in the past, but did not con­tact him this year. He be­lieves St. Louis re­ceived the nod be­cause his aunt, 61st Ward Demo­crat­ic lead­er and former ju­di­cial can­did­ate Shar­on Wil­li­ams Lo­si­er, has been act­ive with NOW.

The in­cum­bent sup­por­ted a ref­er­en­dum on the is­sue of abor­tion when the is­sue sur­faced in the 1980s.

Des­pite the en­dorse­ment for his op­pon­ent, Co­hen be­lieves he’ll win the Ol­ney-based 61st Ward be­cause his of­fice is loc­ated there and staff provides good con­stitu­ent ser­vice. He ex­pects to sweep to vic­tory over­all.

“My goal is to carry every elec­tion di­vi­sion,” he said.

••

Former con­gress­man Joe Ses­tak last week head­lined a fund-rais­ing re­cep­tion for Nath­an Klein­man, who is mount­ing a write-in cam­paign against U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the Demo­crat­ic primary.

The March 16 re­cep­tion took place at a private res­id­ence in Spring­field Town­ship. Among the guests was re­tired Phil­adelphia Po­lice Capt. Ray Lewis, who was ar­res­ted dur­ing Oc­cupy Wall Street protests in New York. 

Also last week, Klein­man re­ceived a $2,012 dona­tion from Ben Co­hen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream com­pany.

Klein­man also spent time last week protest­ing the new city ban on out­door feed­ing of the home­less. And he took part in a Na­tion­al Day of Ac­tion for Su­dan, in­clud­ing a 24-hour fast.

••

Pub­lic Policy Polling re­leased an auto­mated tele­phone in­ter­view sur­vey last week show­ing former state Rep. Sam Rohr­er with a small lead in the five-way Re­pub­lic­an primary for U.S. Sen­ate.

Rohr­er, who lost the Re­pub­lic­an primary for gov­ernor in 2010, took 16 per­cent of the vote, fol­lowed by wealthy re­tired busi­ness­man Tom Smith (12 per­cent), dec­or­ated Vi­et­nam War vet­er­an Dav­id Chris­ti­an (10 per­cent), at­tor­ney Marc Scaringi (8 per­cent) and party-en­dorsed busi­ness­man Steve Welch (5 per­cent).

The re­mainder of the 564 people sur­veyed were un­de­cided.

••

The dead­line to re­gister to vote in the primary is 5 p.m. on Monday, March 26.

Ap­plic­a­tions with a March 26 post­mark will be ac­cep­ted even if they ar­rive after the dead­line.

Cit­izens who wish to vote for Demo­crat­ic or Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates in the primary must re­gister in the same party as their pre­ferred can­did­ates.

Voter re­gis­tra­tion ap­plic­a­tions are avail­able at post of­fices, state li­quor stores and lib­rar­ies. Down­load­able forms are avail­able at www.sev­enty.org and www.votespa.com ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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