Northeast Times

Sabatina Jr. backs Margolies in 13th District

State Rep. John Sabat­ina Jr. last week en­dorsed former con­gress­wo­man Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Sabat­ina cred­ited Mar­gol­ies with run­ning a grass­roots cam­paign in the North­east. He noted that she has the en­dorse­ment of four North­east ward lead­ers — Bill Dol­bow, Janice Sul­man, Mike McAleer and John Sabat­ina, his dad. And he said she had a repu­ta­tion for provid­ing good con­stitu­ent ser­vice when she was in Con­gress in 1993-94.

“I look for­ward to work­ing with Mar­jor­ie to con­tin­ue to de­liv­er a high level of con­stitu­ent ser­vice for the North­east and to fight for the work­ing fam­il­ies of my dis­trict,” he said.

Mar­gol­ies said the en­dorse­ment is an af­firm­a­tion of the in­clus­ive nature of her cam­paign, which she de­scribed as be­ing as “com­fort­able speak­ing to the needs of those in Rhawn­hurst as those in Rockledge.”

“I will work hard each day of this cam­paign to con­tin­ue to earn John’s sup­port and look for­ward to work­ing closely with him when I get to Wash­ing­ton to bring fed­er­al sup­port to the work­ing fam­il­ies of the 174th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict and across the North­east,” she said.

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Dr. Valer­ie Arkoosh, who also is seek­ing the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, is pleased with the res­ults at last week’s con­clu­sion of the Af­ford­able Care Act’s first en­roll­ment peri­od.

Arkoosh, who lob­bied for the health­care re­form law, said the ACA, which passed in 2010, “is the Medi­care and Medi­caid of our time.”

The can­did­ate, who once served as pres­id­ent of the Na­tion­al Phys­i­cians Al­li­ance, poin­ted to data show­ing that at least 9.5 mil­lion pre­vi­ously un­in­sured Amer­ic­ans now have health care cov­er­age.

“The Af­ford­able Care Act is the start, not the end, of health care re­form,” she said. “In­stead of run­ning away from the con­ver­sa­tion, we need to con­tin­ue pav­ing the path for­ward. We need lead­er­ship in Con­gress so that ac­cess to qual­ity and af­ford­able health care can be a real­ity for all Amer­ic­ans.”

••

State Rep. Brendan Boyle, an­oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, blas­ted a budget pro­pos­al by Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Paul Ry­an, of Wis­con­sin. 

Ry­an has pro­posed bal­an­cing the budget by 2024, largely with spend­ing cuts.

Boyle called the plan “noth­ing short of a de­clar­a­tion of war on work­ing fam­il­ies across the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.”

Boyle cited cuts to Medi­caid, food stamps and grants for low-in­come col­lege stu­dents.

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U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an in­de­pend­ent from Ver­mont, has en­dorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.

Sanders cited Leach’s fo­cus on ex­pand­ing So­cial Se­cur­ity be­ne­fits, rais­ing the min­im­um wage, mak­ing col­lege more af­ford­able and shrink­ing the gap between the rich and the poor.

“At a time when our coun­try has more in­come and wealth in­equal­ity than any oth­er ma­jor coun­try on earth, and when the gap between the very rich and every­one else is grow­ing wider, it is im­per­at­ive that we send can­did­ates like Daylin Leach to the U.S. Con­gress,” Sanders said.

••

There is one few­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

Ar­len Curtis LaRue was re­moved from the bal­lot for an in­suf­fi­cient num­ber of nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions, leav­ing Mike Driscoll, Den­nis Kilderry and Paul DeFinis in the race. The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Mike Tom­lin­son, who in­vites the pub­lic to at­tend a town hall meet­ing on Tues­day at 7 p.m. at Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, at Rhawn and Dit­man streets. 

••

Jef­frey Voice, who is chal­len­ging state Rep. Kev­in Boyle (D-172nd dist.) in the primary, will re­main on the bal­lot after sur­viv­ing a chal­lenge to his pe­ti­tions. 

Voice said the chal­lenge was an af­front to mil­it­ary vet­er­ans.

“I want to thank all the vo­lun­teers who put in the time, played by the rules and stood by my side in the face of this well-fun­ded chal­lenge by the polit­ic­al in­siders,” he said.

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Katie Mc­Ginty, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, is pro­pos­ing a series of eth­ics and vot­ing re­forms to re­store con­fid­ence in state gov­ern­ment, say­ing, “It’s time to clean up Har­ris­burg.”

“We need a gov­ern­ment as good as the people of Pennsylvania. We need to im­ple­ment an ab­so­lute ban on gifts to pub­lic of­fi­cials and pub­lic em­ploy­ees,” said Mc­Ginty, a former sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion. 

Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive and St. Hubert High School gradu­ate, is also call­ing for an in­de­pend­ent re­ap­por­tion­ment com­mis­sion to draw up le­gis­lat­ive dis­tricts.

“I sup­port a fair, in­de­pend­ent, non-par­tis­an re­ap­por­tion­ment pro­cess. Not only do ger­ry­mandered dis­tricts fail to present a reas­on­able com­munity of in­terest in each le­gis­lat­ive dis­trict, but the ger­ry­mandered dis­tricts too of­ten guar­an­tee the re-elec­tion of in­cum­bents, which fosters the very par­tis­an bick­er­ing that has cre­ated in­er­tia and in­ci­vil­ity in our polit­ic­al pro­cess,” she said.

Mc­Ginty would also re­peal the voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion law and add oth­er re­forms.

“To make it easi­er to vote and re­gister, I pro­pose ex­tend­ing the dead­line for re­gis­tra­tion; al­low­ing mail-in vot­ing; al­low­ing same-day re­gis­tra­tion and same-day ab­sent­ee bal­lots; and cre­at­ing more man­age­able and ac­cess­ible vot­ing pre­cincts,” she said.

Mc­Ginty wants Pennsylvania to join with oth­er states that are sup­port­ing the Na­tion­al Pop­u­lar Vote Move­ment, which would have states cast their elect­or­al votes for the can­did­ate who wins the na­tion­al pop­u­lar vote. El­ev­en states have ad­op­ted this plan.

••

Allyson Schwartz, who also is seek­ing the Demo­crat­ic nod for gov­ernor, spoke of an eth­ics re­form plan dur­ing a de­bate sponsored by the Temple Uni­versity Col­lege Demo­crats. 

Schwartz would cre­ate a cab­in­et-level chief in­teg­rity of­ficer to en­force state eth­ics rules and work with the Gen­er­al As­sembly to en­act a gift ban for all state em­ploy­ees and lim­its on cam­paign dona­tions by in­di­vidu­als and com­mit­tees.

••

State Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord, an­oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, re­leased a plan to in­vest more than $1.3 bil­lion in early learn­ing and K-12 pro­grams.

“My plan not only in­vests in today’s stu­dents but it makes sure that we fully fund our classrooms – from pre-kinder­garten through high school and every step in between – so every­one can take ad­vant­age of our world-class teach­ers, schools and early learn­ing cen­ters,” he said.

Mc­Cord’s edu­ca­tion agenda in­cludes spe­cial edu­ca­tion, a re­view of charter and cy­ber charter school fund­ing and stand­ard­ized test re­forms.

In oth­er cam­paign news, Mc­Cord re­leased a plan to cre­ate a drillers’ tax of 10 per­cent on the net value of nat­ur­al gas after ex­trac­tion. 

At that rate, the plan would gen­er­ate $1.63 bil­lion in the first year, the most rev­en­ue of any plan un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

“We’re sit­ting on top of one of the largest nat­ur­al gas form­a­tions in the world,” Mc­Cord said. “And yet for the priv­ilege of al­low­ing drillers to make bil­lions of dol­lars in profits from our re­sources, we re­ceive less than any oth­er state in the coun­try. That makes no sense at all. These nat­ur­al gas re­sources be­long to the people of Pennsylvania, and the people de­serve to be fairly and justly com­pensated for al­low­ing drillers to profit from their re­sources.”

Mc­Cord would use the rev­en­ue gen­er­ated by the drillers’ tax to pro­tect the en­vir­on­ment and to in­vest in edu­ca­tion.

Since the first well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 2005, the state’s an­nu­al pro­duc­tion of nat­ur­al gas has in­creased more than 1,200 per­cent.

“The nat­ur­al gas in the Mar­cel­lus shale isn’t go­ing any­where, and neither are the com­pan­ies who are seek­ing to make bil­lions of dol­lars in profit from it,” Mc­Cord said. “There’s no reas­on Pennsylvania fam­il­ies should not be fairly com­pensated for al­low­ing these drillers to have ac­cess to this amaz­ing re­source. Nor is there any reas­on we should be tim­id or take half-meas­ures on be­half of Pennsylvania’s fam­il­ies.”

Mean­while, Mc­Cord re­ceived the en­dorse­ment of the Pennsylvania Pro­fes­sion­al Fire Fight­ers As­so­ci­ation, which rep­res­ents more than 10,000 act­ive and re­tired pro­fes­sion­al fire­fight­ers, EMTs and para­med­ics.

“Rob is the only one, and I mean the only one in the race for gov­ernor, who has proven him­self as a tire­less cham­pi­on of Pennsylvania’s work­ing fam­il­ies,” said Art Martynuska, pres­id­ent of the PPFFA. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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