Northeast Times

Candidate for governor releases education plan

In oth­er polit­ic­al news: State Sen. An­thony Wil­li­ams, who will likely run for may­or in 2015, re­cently at­ten­ded a fun­draiser at Bustleton’s Con­greg­a­tions of Shaare Shamay­im for Pro­gram Hope, which caters to needy loc­al Rus­si­an-Amer­ic­an fam­il­ies.

Katie Mc­Gin­ity, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, last week re­leased a kinder­garten to 12th-grade edu­ca­tion plan titled “Strong Schools. Bright Fu­tures.”

Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive who at­ten­ded Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord Gram­mar School and St. Hubert High School, would in­crease edu­ca­tion fund­ing to re­duce class size, add sup­port for gif­ted stu­dents, provide teach­ers with ad­di­tion­al train­ing and ex­pand ac­cess to pre-kinder­garten and full-time kinder­garten.

“Im­prov­ing our schools is also the key to our eco­nom­ic fu­ture and our abil­ity to at­tract jobs,” Mc­Ginty said. “Com­pan­ies won’t move to Pennsylvania if our schools are lag­ging be­hind. Our chil­dren de­serve bet­ter.”

To pay for the in­creased spend­ing, Mc­Ginty pro­poses a sev­er­ance tax on nat­ur­al gas that would gen­er­ate a min­im­um of $600 mil­lion in ad­di­tion­al an­nu­al rev­en­ue.

Mc­Ginty said ad­di­tion­al sources of rev­en­ue for schools would be ob­tained from in­creased tax rev­en­ue as Pennsylvania’s eco­nomy grows, along with cost sav­ings from oth­er areas of the state budget.

Mc­Ginty served as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Al Gore Jr. and as chair-wo-man of the White House Coun-cil on En-vir-on-ment-al Qual-ity in the Clin-ton ad-min-is-tra-tion. She was an ad-viser on Gore’s 2000 pres-id-en-tial cam-paign and spent six years as sec-ret-ary of the Pennsylvania De-part-ment of En-vir-on-ment-al Pro-tec-tion.

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The Na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Re­form of Marijuana Laws (NORML) en­dorsed Demo­crat John Hanger for gov­ernor, cit­ing his “smarter ap­proach” to chan­ging marijuana laws.

The en­dorse­ment marks the first time the na­tion­al or­gan­iz­a­tion has en­dorsed a can­did­ate for gov­ernor in Pennsylvania. The or­gan­iz­a­tion is fully be­hind Hanger’s “three-step plan” to im­ple­ment med­ic­al marijuana ac­cess and de­crim­in­al­iz­a­tion of marijuana pos­ses­sion in 2015 and to then build on those steps to move to­ward full leg­al­iz­a­tion and reg­u­la­tion by 2017.

The plan calls for im­me­di­ately lift­ing the pro­hib­i­tion on med­ic­al use of marijuana, fol­lowed by the lift­ing of crim­in­al pen­al­ties for pos­ses­sion of small quant­it­ies for re­cre­ation­al use, and, fi­nally, leg­al­iz­a­tion of pos­ses­sion of small quant­it­ies for re­cre­ation­al use. The plan also in­cludes ex­pun­ging the re­cords of past marijuana pos­ses­sion con­vic­tions in­volving small quant­it­ies for per­son­al use, and ded­ic­at­ing a share of rev­en­ues raised through tax­a­tion of leg­al marijuana to sup­port ad­dic­tion treat­ment ser­vices.

The plan will save the com­mon­wealth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars a year in en­force­ment costs, provide sick pa­tients with medi­cine and cre­ate a tax-gen­er­at­ing in­dustry for the state.

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Mc­Ginty is one of eight Demo­crats hop­ing for the chance to face Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Tom Corbett.

Corbett has re­ceived the back­ing of former GOP Govs. Dick Thorn­burgh, Tom Ridge and Mark Sch­weiker.

“Gov. Corbett has been fight­ing for Pennsylvania’s tax­pay­ers from day one, clos­ing a $4.2 bil­lion de­fi­cit without tax in­creases and steer­ing Pennsylvania through tough eco­nom­ic times,” Ridge said. “He has nur­tured a com­pet­it­ive en­vir­on­ment for the private sec­tor that has res­ul­ted in the cre­ation of more than 100,000 fam­ily-sus­tain­ing jobs.”

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Mc­Ginty was second among Demo­crats in a sur­vey com­mis­sioned by Harp­er Polling.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz led the way with 22 per­cent, fol­lowed by Mc­Ginty (15 per­cent), state Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord (12 per­cent), former De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Sec­ret­ary John Hanger (7 per­cent), Al­lentown May­or Ed Pawlowski (6 per­cent) and former state De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue Sec­ret­ary Tom Wolf (5 per­cent).

The sur­vey did not in­clude Le­ban­on County Com­mis­sion­er Jo El­len Litz or Max My­ers, a Cum­ber­land County pas­tor, busi­ness­man and au­thor.

Harp­er Polling used an auto­mated tele­phone sur­vey, con­tact­ing 649 Demo­crats on Nov. 9-10.

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Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 37, which rep­res­ents mem­bers in south­east­ern Pennsylvania, in­clud­ing Mont­gomery and Phil­adelphia counties, has en­dorsed state Rep. Brendan Boyle in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict Demo­crat­ic primary.

“Our po­lice self­lessly put their lives on the line to pro­tect and serve. I’ll be their voice in Con­gress, work­ing to en­sure that we have sens­ible gun laws to keep them safe and the tools they need to keep us safe. I will work to make sure that hard-work­ing men and wo­men like our po­lice and fire­fight­ers are not asked to shoulder ad­di­tion­al bur­dens un­til mil­lion­aires and the largest cor­por­a­tions on Earth start pay­ing their fair share,” Boyle said.

Mean­while, Boyle re­leased his first cam­paign video. In it, he talks about his sup­port from more than 20 loc­al labor or­gan­iz­a­tions.

“When mil­lion­aires are pay­ing lower tax rates than cops and fire­fight­ers, and the largest cor­por­a­tions on Earth are get­ting bil­lions in handouts - while we cut proven anti-hun­ger pro­grams and talk about privat­iz­ing Medi­care - something is really out of whack with where we’re head­ing as a coun­try,” he said.

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One of the worst-kept secrets in loc­al polit­ics is that state Sen. An­thony Wil­li­ams will run for may­or in 2015.

Wil­li­ams, who made a failed bid for gov­ernor in 2010, hasn’t an­nounced his can­did­acy, in part, be­cause he will be seek­ing re-elec­tion to his Sen­ate seat next year.

Last week, he hos­ted a re­cep­tion at the Ra­dis­son-War­wick Hotel on 17th Street. Some 200 people at­ten­ded, and Wil­li­ams hin­ted that he will re­turn to the ven­ue to an­nounce a may­or­al run.

“Hope­fully, this room will be as full, if not fuller,” he said.

Wil­li­ams, whose chief ad­visers are long­time polit­ic­al con­sult­ants Marty Wein­berg and Bill Miller, said he is con­cerned about the 30-per­cent poverty rate in Phil­adelphia.

Wil­li­ams, who was elec­ted to the state House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives in 1988 and to the Sen­ate in 1998, was in­tro­duced by Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams, no re­la­tion. The dis­trict at­tor­ney is a former in­tern for the sen­at­or.

“I am proud to be a mem­ber of ‘Team Tony,’ “said D.A. Wil­li­ams, sport­ing a “Team Tony” but­ton.

On Sunday, Sen. Wil­li­ams at­ten­ded a fun­draiser at Bustleton’s Con­greg­a­tions of Shaare Shamay­im for Pro­gram Hope, which caters to needy loc­al Rus­si­an-Amer­ic­an fam­il­ies.

Oth­er pos­sible may­or­al can­did­ates in­clude City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz. Busi­ness­man Tom Knox an­nounced last week that he would not run.

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The Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee will pay trib­ute to Pres­id­ent John F. Kennedy on Fri­day, the 50th an­niversary of his as­sas­sin­a­tion in Dal­las. John Fritz will re­cite Kennedy’s in­aug­ur­al ad­dress at 5 p.m. at the United Re­pub­lic­an Club, at 3156 Frank­ford Ave.

Ad­mis­sion is free, though dona­tions will be ac­cep­ted for Pre­vent Child Ab­use Pennsylvania. Dr. Maria Mc­Col­gan, a board mem­ber of the or­gan­iz­a­tion, will talk about the is­sue of child ab­use. ••

You can reach and at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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