Northeast Times

Margolies a no-show at Democratic forum

Three Demo­crats run­ning in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict gen­er­ally agreed on most is­sues at a for­um on Sunday af­ter­noon.

Mean­while, a fourth can­did­ate skipped the event. Former con­gress­wo­man Mar­jor­ie Mar­gol­ies, who is con­sidered by many to be the fron­trun­ner in the race, was a no-show.

Par­ti­cip­at­ing were state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and Dr. Valer­ie Arkoosh. In his clos­ing state­ment, Boyle thanked “two of my three op­pon­ents” for tak­ing part.

The event was held at the Up­per Dub­lin Town­ship Build­ing, which is ac­tu­ally loc­ated in the 7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict. It was sponsored by the Mont­gomery County chapter of Demo­cracy for Amer­ica and the Area 6 Demo­crat­ic Com­mit­tee of Hor­sham and Up­per Dub­lin town­ships. Will Bunch, of the Phil­adelphia Daily News, was the mod­er­at­or. About 200 people at­ten­ded.

Arkoosh, mak­ing her first bid for of­fice, stressed her back­ground as a health care re­form ad­voc­ate.

“We are send­ing way too many ca­reer politi­cians to Wash­ing­ton,” she said in her open­ing state­ment.

In his open­ing state­ment, Boyle poin­ted to his humble roots and noted he has the sup­port of more than 20 labor uni­ons.

Leach, a law­yer, told the crowd that he grew up on Kindred Street in Castor Gar­dens be­fore be­ing sent to a series of foster homes and at­tend­ing eight ele­ment­ary schools. He in­tro­duced a bill to leg­al­ize gay mar­riage when the is­sue did not en­joy wide sup­port. He likes to take on tough is­sues, even if they are un­pop­u­lar.

“That’s what I’ve done over the last 12 years,” said Leach, elec­ted to the state House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives in 2002 and to the Sen­ate in 2008.

In the ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion, the can­did­ates favored in­creases in the min­im­um wage and in spend­ing on trans­port­a­tion needs and op­posed any cuts to So­cial Se­cur­ity.

“It’s gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment that’s part of the an­swer, not part of the prob­lem,” Boyle said.

The can­did­ates dis­agreed in a couple of areas.

Leach has in­tro­duced a bill to leg­al­ize marijuana, ar­guing that it is too costly to crack down on people caught with small amounts of the drug. Minor­it­ies, he said, are more likely to be ar­res­ted and con­victed of marijuana pos­ses­sion. He ad­ded that leg­al­iz­a­tion will lead to in­creased tax rev­en­ue.

Leach said if law­makers star­ted from scratch, there would be a fierce de­bate over the dangers of al­co­hol vs. marijuana.

“We would nev­er have the cur­rent sys­tem,” he said.

Boyle and Arkoosh would take a wait-and-see ap­proach as two states, Col­or­ado and Wash­ing­ton, re­cently leg­al­ized marijuana.

Arkoosh and Leach are strong op­pon­ents of vouch­ers for non-private schools.

“Money can­not come from the pub­lic school budget,” Arkoosh said.

“Fix the pub­lic schools. That’s the an­swer, not vouch­ers,” Leach said.

Boyle said par­ents of stu­dents in low-per­form­ing schools should have op­tions. He said it is “hy­po­crit­ic­al” for Main Line res­id­ents who send their chil­dren to private schools to op­pose vouch­ers. Arkoosh and Leach live in Mont­gomery County and send their kids to private school.

••

Dee Ad­cock, a Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, said he is run­ning, in part, to stop the ever-in­creas­ing na­tion­al debt. He puts the fig­ure at $17 tril­lion “and grow­ing.”

Ad­cock owns a swim­ming pool com­pany. He was the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate against Rep. Allyson Schwartz in 2010, tak­ing al­most 44 per­cent of the vote.

Oth­er Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates are John Fritz, an act­iv­ist from the Far North­east, and Beverly Plosa-Bow­ser, a re­tired U.S. Air Force col­on­el who was sched­uled to an­nounce her can­did­acy on Tues­day night at the Cpl. John Loudensla­ger Amer­ic­an Le­gion Post 366 in Fox Chase.

Since run­ning in 2010, Ad­cock has stayed act­ive by serving as a Re­pub­lic­an com­mit­tee­man in Abing­ton and as­sist­ing the U.S. Sen­ate cam­paign of Tom Smith two years ago. He’s also joined May­fair act­iv­ist Milt Mar­telack, one of his key sup­port­ers from four years ago, in op­pos­ing the planned meth­adone clin­ic for Frank­ford Av­en­ue and Dec­atur Street.

“There are far bet­ter loc­a­tions than Frank­ford Av­en­ue,” said Ad­cock, not­ing the site’s prox­im­ity to busi­nesses, churches and schools.

Ad­cock de­scribes the four Demo­crats run­ning in the race as “some­where between lib­er­al and ex­tremely lib­er­al.”

“That’s nor­mal op­er­at­ing pro­ced­ure for the Demo­crat­ic Party,” he said.

Ad­cock re­calls Pres­id­ent Barack Obama vis­it­ing Ar­ca­dia Uni­versity in 2010 to pro­mote his health care re­form plan. Ad­cock spoke out­side the event, call­ing Obama­care a “dis­aster.” Four years later, Ad­cock said his words ring true, not­ing that a couple of mil­lion people had their policies can­celed. Obama re­peatedly said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” a state­ment that Poli­ti­Fact named the “Lie of the Year” for 2013.

Ad­cock fears rising health in­sur­ance rates and po­ten­tial bail­outs of in­sur­ance com­pan­ies. He thinks the health law needs to in­clude tort re­form, ar­guing that doc­tors wor­ried about law­suits are over pre­scrib­ing medi­cine and or­der­ing un­ne­ces­sary tests. He’d also like to see in­di­vidu­als be per­mit­ted to buy in­sur­ance plans from oth­er states.

••

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, wants to ex­pand vot­ing rights in Pennsylvania.

Schwartz would work to re­peal any voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion pro­pos­al that be­comes law. She calls such pro­pos­als “Un-Amer­ic­an.” She’d also es­tab­lish same-day re­gis­tra­tion to in­crease par­ti­cip­a­tion. She’d per­mit on­line re­gis­tra­tion, like 12 oth­er states do. She’d al­low people to vote by mail. And she fa­vors early vot­ing to re­duce lines and of­fer flex­ib­il­ity to busy Pennsylvani­ans. Thirty-two states have early vot­ing laws.

••

Katie Mc­Ginty, an­oth­er Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, has pro­posed a tax cut for work­ing fam­il­ies.

Mc­Ginty is a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive who served as sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion. She is mak­ing her first run for of­fice.

The can­did­ate would in­crease the state’s in­come tax ex­emp­tion to be­ne­fit more than 1.4 mil­lion people already covered by the ex­emp­tion and as many as 200,000 newly eli­gible Pennsylvani­ans. She es­tim­ates the cost would be between $60 mil­lion and $70 mil­lion in the first year. She’d make up the money in in­creased sales tax rev­en­ue as the eco­nomy ex­pands.

Mean­while, Mc­Ginty an­nounced she raised $2.4 mil­lion in the nine months since she an­nounced her can­did­acy.

“We have al­ways ex­pec­ted to be out­spent by long­time elec­ted of­fi­cials like Allyson Schwartz and Rob Mc­Cord and by Tom Wolf’s mega mil­lions,” said Mike Mikus, Mc­Ginty’s cam­paign man­ager. “But with Katie, we have the best can­did­ate, the strongest mes­sage, policy pro­pos­als to im­prove the lives of hard-work­ing fam­il­ies and the fin­an­cial re­sources to not just win this elec­tion, but build a bright­er Pennsylvania.”

••

The cam­paign of Gov. Tom Corbett raised $6.8 mil­lion in 2013 and has $7.5 mil­lion cash on hand.

“Gov. Corbett is thank­ful for the count­less sup­port­ers of his cam­paign who re­cog­nize his ‘More Jobs, Less Taxes’ agenda is de­liv­er­ing real res­ults and that he keeps the prom­ises he makes to his con­stitu­ents,” said Mike Bar­ley, cam­paign man­ager for Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Caw­ley.

••

The Phil­adelphia Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee is look­ing for loc­al col­lege stu­dents to serve as in­terns.

In­ter­ested in­di­vidu­als can con­tact ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or Joe De­Fe­lice at 215-561-0650 or joseph­jde­fe­lice@phil­ly­gop.com 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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