Northeast Times

13th Congressional District fundraising figures released

The four Demo­crats run­ning in next year’s primary in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict all had something to cheer about last week when 2013 second-quarter fun­drais­ing fig­ures were re­leased.

Dr. Val Arkoosh, state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and former con­gress­wo­man Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies all ap­pear to be on their way to rais­ing enough money to run tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials.

While Arkoosh has the most cash over­all be­cause she began rais­ing money in the first quarter, Leach led the way in the second quarter.

Last week, Leach picked up an en­dorse­ment that could lead to cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions from across the coun­try.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Flor­ida Demo­crat with a na­tion­al fol­low­ing, en­dorsed Leach, say­ing he wants him to join his team of “ag­gress­ive pro­gress­ives.”

Grayson put out an email to his sup­port­ers ur­ging them to donate to Leach’s cam­paign. He even gave them an in­cent­ive, with all donors entered in­to a con­test to win the ori­gin­al double plat­in­um award for Neil Young’s Har­vest Moon al­bum.

Grayson was elec­ted in 2008, but was crushed in a 2010 re-elec­tion bid by Re­pub­lic­an Daniel Web­ster, who was labeled “Taliban Dan” in a much-cri­ti­cized tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial by the in­cum­bent. After re­ap­por­tion­ment, Grayson won a seat in a new dis­trict in 2012. He once de­scribed a Re­pub­lic­an health plan as, “If you do get sick, die quickly.”

The 13th dis­trict seat will be open be­cause Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz is run­ning for gov­ernor. No Re­pub­lic­an filed cam­paign re­ports for the con­gres­sion­al seat.

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John Hanger, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 2014 gov­ernor’s race, is pro­pos­ing changes to the Pennsylvania marijuana laws.

Hanger, a former sec­ret­ary of the De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion, said state pris­ons are burst­ing with non­vi­ol­ent people whose only of­fenses were pos­ses­sion of small amounst of marijuana. He called such in­car­cer­a­tion “sense­less,” adding that pris­on space should be re­served for “real crim­in­als.”

The can­did­ate is pro­pos­ing to per­mit doc­tors to pre­scribe marijuana for treat­ment of ap­pro­pri­ate con­di­tions and ill­nesses; re­move crim­in­al pen­al­ties for pos­ses­sion of small amounts of marijuana; and re­move all pen­al­ties for the use and pos­ses­sion of small amounts of marijuana, if sim­il­ar laws in the states of Col­or­ado and Wash­ing­ton prove to be suc­cess­ful.

“Pro­sec­ut­ing and jail­ing people for the non­vi­ol­ent of­fense of us­ing marijuana ru­ins lives, stresses our ju­di­cial sys­tem and strains our pris­ons,” he said.

Hanger claims Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws are be­ing en­forced in a ra­cially dis­crim­in­at­ory man­ner, point­ing to a study show­ing that blacks are 5.19 times more likely to be ar­res­ted for pos­ses­sion than oth­er groups.

Hanger is one of nine likely can­did­ates in the Demo­crat­ic primary. The oth­ers are Le­ban­on County Com­mis­sion­er Jo El­len Litz; U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz; state Sen. Mike Stack; Katie Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive and former DEP sec­ret­ary; state Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord; Tom Wolf, a York County busi­ness­man and former sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue; Al­lentown May­or Ed Pawlowski; and Max My­ers, a pas­tor, busi­ness­man and au­thor from Cum­ber­land County.

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Terry Tracy, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for city con­trol­ler, will hold a town hall meet­ing on Tues­day, Ju­ly 30, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at Rhawn and Dit­man streets.

Res­id­ents and busi­ness own­ers are in­vited.

Top­ics will in­clude schools, eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment and gov­ern­ment ac­count­ab­il­ity.

Tracy is chal­len­ging in­cum­bent Demo­crat Alan Butkovitz in the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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