Local Politics: Platforms and Stances

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Before you go to punch your ballot on Tuesday, here are some of the platforms the candidates running for the state and national House of Representatives represent.

Bryan Lentz [state]

Bryan Lentz, a former Philadelphia prosecutor and Iraq War veteran, is the incumbent Democrat running for another term in the state House of Representatives. He has represented the 161st District in the state legislature since 2007.

Redistricting Reform: supports redistricting in order to reduce the size of the state legislature.

Support of Local Cops: supports legislation that would allow for police to use radar equipment to catch speeding vehicles and increase traffic safety in Pennsylvania.

First Responders: supports grants to volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services.

Airport Services: supports establishment of a Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Airport Authority to create a planning and operations approach to reduce the congestion in Philadelphia International Airport.

Joe Hackett [state]

Joe Hackett, a local and federal police enforcement veteran, is the Republican candidate running to represent the 161st District in the state legislature.

Small Business: supports allowing small businesses to benefit from economic incentives, giving small businesses incentives to stay in the district, helping to provide businesses tax relief and allowing businesses to choose between full and part time employees.

Alternative Energy: supports grants to help home owners pay for energy efficient homes, tax credits for “green” buildings, tax credits to promote clean coal technologies, increases in funding for additional hybrid state vehicles and the reduction of energy consumption by all state buildings.

Fighting the FAA: supports creating a regional airport authority, restricting the number of flights in and out of the airport, looking to expand other airports in the area, reducing the control that Philadelphia has over the airport and exploring funding options for other modes of transportation.

Property Taxes: supports expanding Pennsylvania’s Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program, providing school districts with gaming revenues to offset local property taxes and supporting property tax relief while holding the line on taxes and the state budget.

Health Care: supports developing more accessible clinics and doctor’s offices, giving incentives to doctors to stay in the Commonwealth, expanding the number of Pennsylvania citizens covered with insurance while holding the line on taxes, lowering the cost of generic prescription drugs to help those who are on a fixed income and working to drive down health care costs.

Joe Sestak [federal]

Joe Sestak, a former Navy Admiral and current Democratic candidate, has been representing the 7th district of Pennsylvania in the US House of Representatives since 2007.

Economic Security: passed legislation for small businesses to compete more easily for government contracts, expanded access to start-up capital, job-training and workforce development, enacted tax relief for small businesses and supports middle class tax cuts.

Health Care: supports expanded health care for seniors, cutting costs for Medicare prescription drugs, increased support for treatment of military service members’ psychological health, expanding funding for cancer research and treatment, provided $29 million for treatment of autism and supported legislation to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Education: expanded Head Start, provided tuition assistance for teaching in high-need schools, sponsored legislation to make college education more affordable by cutting student loan interest rates in half and increased Pell Grants by $1,100.

Energy and Environmental Security: promoted tax incentives for alternative sources of energy, sponsored grants for small business in the field of renewable fuels and supports the expanding of drilling and pursuing renewable sources of energy.

Defense Security: supports a safe and responsible timeline to withdraw from Iraq, worked to ensure that troops have proper equipment and increased funding for mine-resistant vehicles and body armor, supports increasing funding for Veteran Administration programs and increasing funding for Homeland Security and 50,000 more police officers.

Craig Williams [federal]

Craig Williams, former federal prosecutor, Gulf War veteran and current Colonel of the U.S. Marines, is the Republican candidate running to represent Pennsylvania district 7 in the US House of Representatives.

Education: supports returning federal education money to the states and allowing parents to decide the best educational system for their children, streamlining current federal programs to make them more responsive and efficient, providing incentives to schools that emphasize science and math proficiency, exploring the means to promote academic excellence without bureaucratic restrictions and increasing federal scholarships for degrees in science, math, engineering and other emerging areas of world competition.

Health Care: supports providing transparency and clarity about affordable health care choices, empowering patients to address their own specific needs, providing prescription drugs for senior citizens at an affordable cost, emphasizing the critical components of personal responsibility and effective preventive medicine, putting an end to frivolous lawsuits and encourages free-market principles to reduce waste and increase efficiencies for employers as well as patients.

Illegal Immigration: supports securing borders using all assets available and manpower required, opposes amnesty in any of its currently proposed forms, welcomes legal immigration and extending United States citizenship, assisting applicants in learning English, rewarding those applicants who demonstrate a willingness to assimilate into culture and supports prosecuting illegal immigrants.

Energy: supports encouraging new and re-engineered alternatives that provide new, high technology jobs vital to economic recovery, demonstrating global leadership by promoting the production of cleaner, more efficient energy in an environmentally sensitive way, protecting the needy and at-risk populations from price gouging during hard times and sending a message to countries who would monopolize the world’s petroleum interests.

Fiscal Discipline: reduce taxes by making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, eliminate the marriage penalty, repeal the death tax, simplify the tax cod, evaluate and overhaul waste in government spending and illuminate earmarks to public scrutiny.

Iraq War and Global Terrorism: supporting the Iraqi people in their quest for democracy, making sure the military has means and support necessary to accomplish the mission in Iraq and making realistic adjustments to troop deployment.

Crime: supports pursuing drug traffickers, increasing the severity of punishment for identity theft, and increasing federal funding for local law enforcement manpower and technology.

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