Northeast Times

Alvarez challenges Williams to district attorney debate

Danny Al­varez, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for dis­trict at­tor­ney, is hop­ing to de­bate in­cum­bent Demo­crat­ic D.A. Seth Wil­li­ams be­fore voters go to the polls on Nov. 5.

Al­varez, a Somer­ton res­id­ent, said he im­me­di­ately ac­cep­ted a de­bate in­vit­a­tion by the Com­mit­tee of Sev­enty.

The chal­lenger be­lieves Wil­li­ams is afraid to lose a de­bate to him, cit­ing his poor re­cord. He ad­ded that Phil­adelphia voters de­serve a de­bate, and that Wil­li­ams should face the pub­lic without be­ing sur­roun­ded at meet­ings by as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­neys an­swer­ing ques­tions for him.

“I think Mr. Wil­li­ams is afraid to go toe to toe with me in a de­bate about the is­sues, un­less he has his en­tour­age there to an­swer all the tough ques­tions,” Al­varez said.

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Terry Tracy, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for city con­trol­ler, re­ceived the en­dorse­ment of the Pente­cost­al Clergy of Phil­adelphia & Vi­cin­ity.

Tracy is chal­len­ging Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bent Alan Butkovitz.

The Pente­cost­al Clergy of Phil­adelphia & Vi­cin­ity has a pa­rish­ion­er count of about 10,000.

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Vic Sta­bile, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for Su­per­i­or Court, re­ceived the en­dorse­ment of the Pennsylvania State Lodge of the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice.

In a let­ter to Sta­bile, Les Neri, pres­id­ent of the Pennsylvania FOP, said, “It is the priv­ilege of the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice, Pennsylvania State Lodge rep­res­ent­ing more than 40,000 law en­force­ment of­ficers, to present you our highest en­dorse­ment for Su­per­i­or Court of Pennsylvania. … You are a role mod­el in your present pro­fes­sion as well as a com­mit­ted mem­ber of your com­munity. We stand with great pride in sup­port of you. Thank you es­pe­cially for all of your years of vo­lun­teer ser­vice to the cit­izens in Cum­ber­land County and may your ser­vice con­tin­ue for many years to come.”

Sta­bile faces Demo­crat Jack McVay Jr., an Al­legheny County Com­mon Pleas Court judge.

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Gov. Tom Corbett is­sued a state­ment to ex­plain fur­ther com­ments he made on same-sex mar­riage in a news in­ter­view.

Corbett was asked to com­ment on a court rul­ing that the Mont­gomery County Clerk of Courts did not have the power to de­cide the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of state laws.

“My words were not in­ten­ded to of­fend any­one. If they did, I apo­lo­gize. I ex­plained that cur­rent Pennsylvania stat­ute de­lin­eates cat­egor­ies of in­di­vidu­als un­able to ob­tain a mar­riage li­cense. As an ex­ample, I cited sib­lings as one such cat­egory, which is clearly defined in state law. My in­tent was to provide an ex­ample of these cat­egor­ies.

“The con­sti­tu­tion­al ques­tion is now be­fore a fed­er­al court, and that is the ven­ue in which same-sex couples wish­ing to leg­ally marry have stand­ing to in­ter­vene and be heard. Same-sex mar­riage is an im­port­ant is­sue, and the ques­tion of its leg­al status is one that will be heard and de­cided upon its mer­its, with re­spect and com­pas­sion shown to all sides.”

Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate, blas­ted Corbett in a state­ment.

“Gov­ernor Corbett’s con­tin­ued hate­ful rhet­or­ic re­gard­ing same-sex mar­riage is un­ac­cept­able and an in­sult to thou­sands of gay and les­bi­an Pennsylvani­ans who simply want equal­ity. The gov­ernor should im­me­di­ately apo­lo­gize for his latest of­fens­ive com­ments. 

“Pennsylvania de­serves a gov­ernor who is re­spect­ful of our rich di­versity and who will ad­voc­ate for LGBT couples in lov­ing and com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ships to re­ceive equal re­cog­ni­tion un­der law. States across the coun­try have made his­tor­ic pro­gress and, as gov­ernor, I will fight to make sure Pennsylvania joins those ef­forts.”

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Katie Mc­Ginty, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, is call­ing for an in­crease in fund­ing for the State Food Pur­chase Pro­gram to ad­dress a rise in hun­ger af­fect­ing 1.9 mil­lion Pennsylvani­ans, in­clud­ing 560,000 chil­dren.

Fund­ing for the State Food Pur­chase Pro­gram (SFPP) has de­clined to around $17 mil­lion since the start of the re­ces­sion in 2006-07, des­pite rising de­mand and in­creased food costs over the same peri­od. If SFPP fund­ing kept pace simply with the rise in food prices and de­mand, the pro­gram would need an ap­pro­pri­ation of $24 mil­lion.

“Pennsylvania’s poor eco­nomy and high job­less­ness have pro­duced an in­crease in hun­ger among work­ing fam­il­ies, chil­dren and seni­ors. As gov­ernor, I would in­crease sup­port for the State Food Pur­chase Pro­gram so Pennsylvania fam­il­ies — es­pe­cially our chil­dren — don’t go hungry,” Mc­Ginty said.

Mc­Ginty also en­cour­aged res­id­ents to sup­port their loc­al food banks and learn more about the need for ad­di­tion­al food as­sist­ance by vis­it­ing Hun­ger-Free Pennsylvania at www.hun­ger­freepa.org or Feed­ing Pennsylvania at www.feed­ingpa.org

Both non­profit or­gan­iz­a­tions are statewide anti-hun­ger or­gan­iz­a­tions serving all 67 counties.

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Mean­while, Mc­Ginty re­leased a poll that showed Allyson Schwartz in the lead, but Mc­Ginty with the po­ten­tial to build sup­port.

The poll was con­duc­ted by Gar­in­HartYang Re­search Group of 506 likely voters in next year’s Demo­crat­ic primary. It gave Schwartz 25 per­cent and three oth­er can­did­ates - Mc­Ginty, state Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord and York County busi­ness­man Tom Wolf - 6 per­cent apiece. Fifty-sev­en per­cent were un­de­cided.

A polling memo in­dic­ated that 87 per­cent of people polled found it “ex­tremely ap­peal­ing” that Mc­Ginty, former sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion, is an en­vir­on­ment­al­ist and a job cre­at­or. Few­er people, the sur­vey showed, found it ap­peal­ing that Schwartz has been in pub­lic of­fice for more than 20 years.

The memo poin­ted to Schwartz’s name re­cog­ni­tion ad­vant­age in the Phil­adelphia me­dia mar­ket as the reas­on she leads the poll. It ar­gued that Mc­Ginty’s num­bers will rise when people learn that she is the ninth of 10 chil­dren of a Phil­adelphia po­lice of­ficer and res­taur­ant host­ess and that she worked in the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion and as an aide to then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore Jr. She is a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive who at­ten­ded Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord Gram­mar School and St. Hubert High School.

The poll did not in­clude oth­er an­nounced or likely can­did­ates, such as state Sen. Mike Stack; Al­lentown May­or Ed Pawlowski; Le­ban­on County Com­mis­sion­er Jo El­len Litz; former DEP sec­ret­ary John Hanger; and Max My­ers, a pas­tor, au­thor and busi­ness­man from Cum­ber­land County.

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City Coun­cil­man At-Large Dav­id Oh has in­tro­duced le­gis­la­tion to amend the “Resign to Run” pro­vi­sion that was placed in the Home Rule Charter when it went in­to ef­fect in 1952. 

Cur­rently, as the law is writ­ten, elec­ted of­fi­cials in Phil­adelphia must first resign from their  of­fices if they want to run for any oth­er of­fices. Ac­cord­ing to Oh, this law lim­its the strength of Phil­adelphi­ans to in­flu­ence de­cisions made in Har­ris­burg and the re­gion.

“If any oth­er elec­ted of­fi­cial from a town­ship, city or county wants to run for an­oth­er elec­ted of­fice, they do not have to resign their cur­rent of­fice to do so. However, if an elec­ted of­fi­cial  from Phil­adelphia wants to run for an­oth­er elec­ted po­s­i­tion, they have to resign from their city of­fice first. By elim­in­at­ing this pro­vi­sion in the City Charter, we are lev­el­ing the play­ing field for Phil­adelphia res­id­ents and busi­nesses to be bet­ter rep­res­en­ted,” Oh said. 

The amend­ment would not go in­to ef­fect un­til Jan. 1, 2016, so that the next may­or’s race wouldn’t be af­fected. Also, the amend­ment says that while someone does not have to resign to run for a new of­fice, they can­not run for re-elec­tion and a new of­fice at the same time. 

“This is a good-gov­ern­ment, pos­it­ive pub­lic policy bill. I have in­tro­duced this le­gis­la­tion with the sup­port of the Com­mit­tee of Sev­enty and the Eth­ics Board,” Oh said.

“Phil­adelphia is the eco­nom­ic en­gine to the Com­mon­wealth of Pennsylvania, and we have tal­en­ted and pas­sion­ate elec­ted of­fi­cials who could very ef­fect­ively rep­res­ent the in­terests of the city if they have the op­por­tun­ity.”

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The Men’s Club of of the Con­greg­a­tions of Shaare Shamay­im is hold­ing a “Meet the Can­did­ates” brunch on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, hos­ted by Ruth Hor­witz and former state Sen. Bob Rovn­er.

Brunch is at 9, and can­did­ate talks be­gin at 10.

The Syn­agogue is at 9768 Ver­ree Road, in Bustleton. ••

You can reach and at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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