Northeast Times

Corbett campaigns in the Far Northeast

On the cam­paign trail: News­pa­per pub­lish­er and former City Coun­cil­man Jimmy Tayoun stops Gov. Tom Corbett to speak with him about the fu­ture of the GOP on Ju­ly 23 at the Southamp­ton Room. DONNA DIPAOLO / FOR THE TIMES

Gov. Tom Corbett was in the Far North­east last week to rally sup­port­ers in an­ti­cip­a­tion of his re-elec­tion bid.

Corbett’s poll num­bers are not good, and some politicos are spec­u­lat­ing that he will not seek a second four-year term.

Not true, ac­cord­ing to the Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernor.

“We’re run­ning,” he said. “We’ve got a re­cord to run on.”

More than 300 ward lead­ers, com­mit­tee people and oth­ers gathered in the Southamp­ton Room, at 2980 Southamp­ton Road, on the even­ing of Ju­ly 23 to cheer the gov­ernor.

Out­side, about 20 people pro­tested the event. They were mem­bers of Fight for Philly and the Phil­adelphia Demo­crat­ic So­cial­ists of Amer­ica. They chanted, “One-term Tom,” and held signs, in­clud­ing “Cut Pris­ons Not Schools.”

State Rep. John Taylor, the new chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee, cred­ited Corbett, who in­her­ited a $4 bil­lion struc­tur­al de­fi­cit, with bal­an­cing the budget with no new taxes.

“He de­serves re-elec­tion,” he said.

Joe De­Fe­lice, a May­fair res­id­ent and the new ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the party, noted that the city com­mit­tee re­cently moved its of­fice from Cen­ter City to 3525-27 Cottman Ave.

Oth­ers in at­tend­ance in­cluded Danny Al­varez and Terry Tracy, the GOP can­did­ates for dis­trict at­tor­ney and city con­trol­ler, re­spect­ively.

Re­pub­lic­ans re­cog­nized their former chair­man, Vito Canuso, and Mike Mee­han, the long­time gen­er­al coun­sel.

Corbett said Pennsylvania has cre­ated about 136,000 private sec­tor jobs in the two and a half years since he took of­fice.

“We’re start­ing to turn the corner,” he said

The gov­ernor thanked the le­gis­lature for cut­ting busi­ness taxes to lure com­pan­ies to the state and elim­in­at­ing the in­her­it­ance tax for small busi­nesses and farms.

“We have not raised any taxes,” he said.

Corbett, who posed for pic­tures with sup­port­ers, be­lieves a united Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee will help his re-elec­tion bid.

Be­fore speak­ing to sup­port­ers, Corbett met privately with in­flu­en­tial uni­on lead­ers Joe Ash­dale, Pat Gillespie and John Dougherty.

••

John Hanger, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, has an­oth­er take on Corbett’s eco­nom­ic re­cord.

Hanger, a former state Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion mem­ber and sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion, noted that Pennsylvania is ranked 45th in job growth, ac­cord­ing to June’s na­tion­wide em­ploy­ment fig­ures.

The can­did­ate blamed the gov­ernor for the loss of 19,000 edu­ca­tion jobs. He be­lieves jobs will be cre­ated if Corbett de­cides to ex­pand Medi­caid cov­er­age and sign a trans­port­a­tion bill, which is be­ing con­sidered in the le­gis­lature, that would fund im­prove­ments to roads and bridges.

“His pledge to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., polit­ic­al op­er­at­ive Grover Nor­quist to nev­er, ever raise taxes or fees has pre­ven­ted the state from mak­ing in­vest­ments in edu­ca­tion and trans­port­a­tion,” Hanger said.

Last month, Hanger out­lined an eight-point job plan.

In gen­er­al, the plan makes in­vest­ments in pub­lic edu­ca­tion, trans­port­a­tion, health care, al­tern­at­ive en­ergy re­sources and in­nov­a­tion.

The fund­ing comes from ac­cept­ing Medi­caid ex­pan­sion; tax­ing nat­ur­al gas drilling, smoke­less to­bacco and ci­gars; and clos­ing the “Delaware loop­hole,” which al­lows Pennsylvania com­pan­ies to trans­fer money from sub­si­di­ar­ies to Delaware, which has no cor­por­ate taxes.

In ad­di­tion, Hanger would de­fund poorly per­form­ing charter schools, sav­ing more than $931 mil­lion. And he would merge Turn­pike Com­mis­sion op­er­a­tions with­in PennDOT.

••

Hanger is a former DEP sec­ret­ary, but it was his pre­de­cessor in that agency who last week picked up the sup­port of some prom­in­ent mem­bers of the en­vir­on­ment­al com­munity.

Katie Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive now liv­ing in Wayne, Chester County, re­ceived the back­ing of 11 people who signed a “Dear Friends” let­ter seek­ing cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions.

The let­ter was signed by, among oth­ers, former New Mex­ico Gov. Bill Richard­son and Car­ol Brown­er, ad­min­is­trat­or of the U.S. En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The let­ter read, in part, “Cli­mate change, clean en­ergy, pre­serving open space, clean air and wa­ter. These is­sues are al­ways as con­ten­tious as they are ur­gent. But throughout her ca­reer, Katie has been stead­fast — driv­ing an agenda that cuts pol­lu­tion, sup­ports new tech­no­lo­gies and makes clear that the eco­nomy thrives when the en­vir­on­ment is pro­tec­ted and fal­ters when the en­vir­on­ment is com­prom­ised.”

Mc­Ginty’s gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence in­cludes serving as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Al Gore Jr. and as chair­wo­man of the White House Coun­cil on En­vir­on­ment­al Qual­ity in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion She was an ad­viser on Gore’s 2000 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign.

••

Util­ity Work­ers Uni­on of Amer­ica Loc­al 686, which rep­res­ents Phil­adelphia Gas Works em­ploy­ees, has en­dorsed state Rep. Brendan Boyle in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict race.

Loc­al 686 busi­ness man­ager Keith Holmes said Boyle is “a strong ad­voc­ate for the needs of every­day fam­il­ies and is by far the best can­did­ate when it comes to fight­ing for work­ing people in Pennsylvania’s 13th dis­trict.”

Boyle has the back­ing of 17 uni­ons.

Oth­er Demo­crats seek­ing the nom­in­a­tion are state Sen. Daylin Leach, former con­gress­wo­man Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies and Dr. Val Arkoosh, a health-care re­form ad­voc­ate.

The in­cum­bent, Demo­crat­ic Rep. Allyson Schwartz, is run­ning for gov­ernor.

••

Leach has the sup­port of the Hu­mane So­ci­ety Le­gis­lat­ive Fund, a polit­ic­al ad­vocacy or­gan­iz­a­tion for an­im­al wel­fare.

The group cited Leach’s work as minor­ity party chair­man of the Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, where he had worked to strengthen laws on an­im­al cruelty and ab­use.

Among the is­sues the group poin­ted to were Leach’s op­pos­i­tion to live pi­geon shoots, sim­ul­cast­ing of grey­hound ra­cing and the use of car­bon monox­ide cham­bers at an­im­al shel­ters.

“Daylin Leach is one of Pennsylvania’s strongest cham­pi­ons of an­im­al pro­tec­tion and an ef­fect­ive lead­er in crack­ing down on cruelty and ab­use,” said Mi­chael Markari­an, pres­id­ent of the fund. “He has con­sist­ently stood up for the val­ues of kind­ness and com­pas­sion, and we urge voters who care about the hu­mane treat­ment of an­im­als to sup­port Daylin Leach.”

The HSLF noted that Mar­gol­ies sup­por­ted an­im­al pro­tec­tion is­sues when she served in Con­gress, but de­cided to back Leach be­cause of his act­ive lead­er­ship and ca­reer­long com­mit­ment to those is­sues. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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