from Rob Broderick (Dem candidate, PA House district 167):
Recently, I heard former Gov. Ed Rendell deliver a talk in Philadelphia called “America – Falling Apart, Falling Behind.” His major point was that our basic infrastructure – our roads, bridges, water treatment plants, and airports – is decaying at a rate faster than we are fixing and maintaining it.
Because of this, Rendell has partnered with former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a campaign to rebuild America.
I say all this because I agree with these men, and there is no better time to do this than now. Since interest rates are at a historic low and will be for at least two more years, according to the Federal Reserve chairman, we can finance vital improvements to Pennsylvania’s infrastructure. This accomplishes several things:
– create good-paying jobs for people in the trades, many of whom have been left out of the modest recovery we’ve seen over the last four years;
–make desperately needed improvements to our airports and transportation systems, which are vital not only to us as Pennsylvanians but vital for the role they play in our tourism industry;
–create clean energy jobs such as wind and solar power;
–generate more tax revenue from people brought back to work to fund vital services such as public education and environmental protection.
As far as I can tell, this is a win-win proposition. Pennsylvania has weathered the recession better than many other states because of our vibrant private higher education and health care sectors. But we can do even better by putting more of our people to work while re-building, modernizing and beautifying our state.
The Right To Vote
My mom’s youngest brother spent four years in the Pacific during World War 2. My first cousin was career Air Force; my brother is a Navy veteran. What they were all fighting for was democracy — the core of which is the right to vote. Tom Corbett and Duane Milne want to take the right to vote away from millions of individuals. Let me repeat that. Tom Corbett and Duane Milne have conspired to take away the rights of millions of people to vote.
Earlier this year, Milne voted for, and Corbett signed into law a bill to require a government-issued photo ID at the voting booth. This law is being challenged by civil liberties groups and others, and the League of Women Voters — a nonpartisan group — severely criticized the legislation as completely unnecessary.
Is there voter fraud in elections? Probably — on both sides. After all, this is a system devised by human beings. But is there widespread fraud necessitating this new law?
Let’s say “yes” for the sake of argument. From 2003-2011, Tom Corbett was Pennsylvania’s chief law enforcement officer. In those eight years, he did not prosecute a single major vote fraud case. Where’s the beef, Governor Corbett? Where’s the beef, Rep. Milne?
The fact is this: Republican Governors all over the country are trying their best to take away the right of (mostly) Democrats to vote, so they can further consolidate their power. They know that many poor and working-class people don’t have passports or drivers licenses. And that’s why Corbett and Milne passed a law requiring them to produce them in order to vote.
In fact, if I were a lawyer, I would volunteer to represent people who were prohibited from voting in personal lawsuits against governors and legislators who supported their efforts to strip voter rights. Make no mistake about it — this is a return to the days of poll taxes in the Deep South, except that we’re talking about the birthplace of liberty — Pennsylvania. It’s a crying shame and a disgrace. Implementing this bill will cost $11 million, while at the same time the governor is cutting education funding.