Northeast Times

Challenger demands a debate with Schwartz

Joe Rooney, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for con­gress, holds a press con­fer­ence on Thursday morn­ing in front of Allyson Schwartz’s of­fice, de­mandind that she de­bate him. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

Start­Frag­ment

Joe Rooney, the Re­pub­lic­an chal­lenger to U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, stood out­side his op­pon­ent’s dis­trict of­fice last week to ask her for four de­bates be­fore the Nov. 6 elec­tion.

Schwartz (D-13th dist.) was not at her of­fice at 7219 Frank­ford Ave., where Rooney and his sup­port­ers gathered in the early af­ter­noon of Sept. 27.

Rooney wants to hold two de­bates in the North­east and two oth­ers in Mont­gomery County. He’s will­ing to de­bate any­where and any­time.

There will be no form­al de­bates, ac­cord­ing to the con­gress­wo­man’s camp.

Rachel Mag­nuson, Schwartz’s chief of staff, said the con­gress­wo­man will be at­tend­ing up­com­ing pub­lic events to tell con­stitu­ents what she’s been do­ing loc­ally and in Wash­ing­ton.

“There are sev­er­al com­munity for­ums sched­uled over the next sev­er­al weeks,” Mag­nuson said.

Rooney urged sup­port­ers to pres­sure Schwartz to de­bate by writ­ing let­ters to news­pa­pers and com­ment­ing on her Face­book page.

A de­bate is ne­ces­sary, in Rooney’s view, be­cause so much of the dis­trict is new since re­ap­por­tion­ment.

“She’s afraid to face her voters,” he said. “On Novem­ber 6th, we need to send her in­to re­tire­ment.”

Rooney also blas­ted Schwartz for sup­port­ing par­tial-birth abor­tion and abor­tions even for the gender se­lec­tion of the baby.

Mag­nuson said Schwartz be­lieves the is­sue of abor­tion should be de­cided by the moth­er in con­sulta­tion with her doc­tor, with re­spect giv­en to the wo­man’s faith and val­ues.

“The con­gress­wo­man is pro-choice,” she said.

Rooney was joined by Mike Tom­lin­son, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict; former City Coun­cil can­did­ate Joe Mc­Col­gan; and May­fair civic lead­er Joe De­Fe­lice, a lead­er of Mitt Rom­ney’s Pennsylvania pres­id­en­tial cam­paign.

Two $1 mil­lion bills with an un­flat­ter­ing pic­ture of Schwartz on them served as props. They read, “In Schwartz We Don’t Trust.”

Rooney tried to link Schwartz’s eight years in Con­gress to a sharp in­crease in her per­son­al fin­ances, but Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion data is un­clear on that mat­ter.

On oth­er is­sues, Rooney pledged to rein in gov­ern­ment spend­ing, sup­port a bal­anced budget amend­ment, vote to ap­prove the Key­stone XL Pipeline Pro­ject to de­liv­er crude oil to Amer­ic­an re­finer­ies and serve only three two-year terms.

••

Tom Smith, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for U.S. Sen­ate, was in May­fair last week for a news con­fer­ence with wo­men who sup­port his cam­paign.

The event was hos­ted by Ant­oniette Mont­gomery, own­er of Tor­res­dale Flower Shop, at 7332 Frank­ford Ave.

Smith, a re­tired coal com­pany own­er and self-de­scribed “old farm boy” from Arm­strong County, is chal­len­ging Demo­crat­ic Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr.

Mont­gomery, an act­ive mem­ber of the May­fair Busi­ness As­so­ci­ation, opened her shop in 2000. She’s joined the Wo­men for Smith co­ali­tion, be­liev­ing that he can help put an end to the na­tion’s eco­nom­ic woes. She fa­vors lower­ing taxes, re­peal­ing the health care law known as Obama­care and bring­ing spend­ing un­der con­trol.

In her opin­ion, Ca­sey and Pres­id­ent Barack Obama are fail­ing to lead on the eco­nomy.

“Tom needs to be our next U.S. sen­at­or,” she said.

Mont­gomery thinks Smith would be good for small busi­nesses, point­ing to his back­ground as a coal miner who went in­to busi­ness for him­self.

“He knows how we’re start­ing off,” she said.

Smith de­scribed gov­ern­ment as too big, dys­func­tion­al and suf­foc­at­ing to small busi­nesses. He’d lessen reg­u­la­tions to spur job cre­ation.

“Small busi­ness is the en­gine that makes this eco­nomy run,” he said.

Smith wants to sim­pli­fy the tax code and bring budget de­fi­cits and the debt un­der con­trol with a bal­anced budget amend­ment.

“It’s time for gov­ern­ment to live with­in its means,” he said.

Smith fa­vors a law that would deny paychecks to mem­bers of Con­gress who do not pass a budget on time.

“No budget, no pay. I bet that’ll get us a budget,” he said.

Smith was in­tro­duced by Chester County Sher­iff Car­o­lyn “Bunny” Welsh. Among the oth­er Wo­men for Smith mem­bers was Jenny Brown, a Lower Merion com­mis­sion­er who ran a high-pro­file race last year for Mont­gomery County com­mis­sion­er.

Among loc­al Re­pub­lic­an act­iv­ists in at­tend­ance were May­fair’s Joe De­Fe­lice and East Tor­res­dale’s Joe Mc­Col­gan. Also on hand were Al Tauben­ber­ger, can­did­ate in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, and Mike Tom­lin­son, who is run­ning in the 5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict.

••

Will Dun­bar, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, has been en­dorsed by the As­so­ci­ation of Pennsylvania State Col­lege and Uni­versity Fac­ulties.

Dun­bar is chal­len­ging Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.).

A former aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fat­tah, Dun­bar worked on the con­gress­man’s CORE Philly Schol­ar­ship Pro­gram. He has pledged to in­crease high­er edu­ca­tion fund­ing in the state budget.

“Wil­li­am’s work with the CORE Philly Schol­ar­ship Pro­gram has giv­en him the in­sight to un­der­stand the is­sues of af­ford­ab­il­ity and ac­cess in Pennsylvania,” said Steve Hicks, the pres­id­ent of APSCUF. “He will be a true ad­voc­ate for pub­lic high­er edu­ca­tion.”

••

The Na­tion­al Rifle As­so­ci­ation Polit­ic­al Vic­tory Fund has en­dorsed Dav­id Freed for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al.

Freed, a Re­pub­lic­an, is dis­trict at­tor­ney in Cum­ber­land County. Demo­crat Kath­leen Kane is a former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney from Lack­awanna County. Liber­tari­an Marakay Ro­gers is a law­yer from York.

The NRA polit­ic­al group is back­ing Freed be­cause of his re­cord sup­port­ing the right of law en­force­ment of­ficers and private cit­izens to use deadly force to de­fend them­selves.

The group dis­missed Kane be­cause it said she ex­pressed sup­port for anti-gun meas­ures dur­ing a Pennsylvania Pro­gress­ive Sum­mit de­bate in Feb­ru­ary. She also did not re­turn the NRA can­did­ate ques­tion­naire.

“The choice in this elec­tion is clear. Dav­id Freed will pro­tect our Second Amend­ment freedoms and hunt­ing her­it­age. Kath­leen Kane will not,” said NRA-PVF chair­man Chris W. Cox. ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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