Both polling and punditry portray Rep. Allyson Schwartz as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. In that vein, the Schwartz campaign has tried to maintain that status by releasing detailed plans on the major issues that concerns Pennsylvanians.
This week the Schwartz campaign unveiled their plan for protecting the state’s natural resources. Specifically, the “One Pennsylvania” plan seeks to protect the environment in the Marcellus Shale region.
“My plan would replace Governor Corbett’s reckless policies with science-based, common sense protections that will ensure Pennsylvania’s citizens and environment are not harmed as we continue to support the development of Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources,” Schwartz said. “Pennsylvanians should be able to profit off of the Marcellus Shale to invest in public education and infrastructure.”
The plan calls for protecting the air and drinking water with a fully funded Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, an oversight office would be created to restore local control and end forced pooling.
The campaign’s blueprint also calls for a temporary moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River Basin until more tests can prove it will be safe. It would also prevent any more drilling in state forests or parks.
On Veteran’s Day, the campaign appropriately revealed Schwartz’s veterans initiative. It called for hiring more service officers, establishing a jobs bank for veterans, and training them for jobs in the shale-gas industry. The plan also provides larger grants and tuition benefits so more veterans can get an education in Pennsylvania’s colleges.
“As the daughter of a Korean War veteran, I understand the stress that families feel when a loved one is gone from home and when that loved one returns, sometimes bearing burdens,” Allyson Schwartz said. “We owe it to our brave men and women who serve to honor our commitments to them. As Governor, I will fight to make sure they have access to the benefits they have earned and make a four-year degree more affordable.”
Meanwhile, the McGinty campaign was overjoyed by a Harper poll this week that showed the former DEP Secretary surprisingly running in second place. McGinty took 15% in that poll, trailing only Allyson Schwartz and leading State Treasurer Rob McCord by three points.
The campaign was so happy with the news that they created a memo – obtained by PoliticsPA – which included all the positive feedback about the results. For instance, Keystone Politics called her the real winner of the poll, while the Patriot-News noted that McGinty and Schwartz were tied among female voters.
The prime objective is for McGinty to define herself as the chief alternative to Schwartz.
“Despite never having run for public office, Katie is leading in those areas of the state—outside of Philadelphia—that are crucial to a Democrat winning the general election,” her campaign pointedly noted. “For a Democrat to win statewide in a non-Presidential year, they must do better in Western Pennsylvania—home to a large number of Democrats who have been less reliable in supporting Democrats in recent elections.”
The summation of their argument is that with a low name ID, McGinty is holding her own against a well-known member of Congress and a State Treasurer who has already won statewide office. Following this thinking, she needs only to raise her profile to prove that she is the best candidate and the one most likely to win.
Even with the good news, however, McGinty wasn’t resting on her laurels. She spoke in favor of Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Mike Hanna and state Rep. Patty Kim and their efforts to advocate for a $8.25 minimum wage.
“These legislators are working hard to ensure hardworking Pennsylvanians earn a fair wage, one that allows them to support their families and contribute to our economic growth. I commend all of them,” McGinty said. “We’ve got to make sure Pennsylvanians earn a fair wage for the work they do. It’s time to raise the minimum wage to boost spending, foster economic growth and create jobs.”
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was already having a good week coming off his re-election when he received his first union endorsement from the Local 420 Iron Workers. Well now he has scored yet another labor endorsement, this time from the IBEW Local 375.
“Mayor Pawlowski’s record of supporting working families is second to none,” said Paul Anthony Jr., Business Manager for IBEW Local 375. “Just look what he has done in Allentown, putting hundreds of men and women to work with the downtown arena project. It’s all about jobs, and Mayor Pawlowski is creating more jobs in Allentown every day, and he’ll do the same as our next Governor.”
“I appreciate the support of IBEW Local 375,” said Pawlowski. “We’re putting men and women back to work so they can support their families and grow the local economy. Governor Corbett has let our working families down and has stood by as the middle class disappeared in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania currently ranks 49th in job creation in the country. We are going to change that direction in 2015 and put people back to work throughout this state.”
While Governor Corbett has been busy kicking off his re-election tour, the Republican Party is trying to show that the Democratic field is too weak to do what’s never been done before in PA history; defeat an incumbent governor.
Citing the Harper Poll, the Pennsylvania Republican Party highlighted the overlooked fact that Allyson Schwartz wasn’t the leader, but rather “Not Sure” was with 34%. The impression was that none of the eight declared Democratic candidates have the stature that the Governor has. They were especially tough on presumed front-runner, Schwartz.
“Allyson Schwartz has staked her candidacy on higher taxes and more Obamacare, extreme positions that have cemented her as the leader of the ‘I-am-the-most-liberal’ Democratic primary,” Valerie Caras of the PAGOP stated. “However, when recent polling suggests that “Not Sure” has a double-digit lead in the field, she shouldn’t be too proud of her frontrunner status.”