Every vote counts no matter what the election. The upcoming elections in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania on November 2nd, 2010 this holds particularly true. For those of you that have been reading my recent op/ed articles, I’m sure you’ve gathered that the most important issues are government spending and school reform. There are enough issues to write a book right now, so for the sake of this article I will just include those two issues while introducing who is running in this election.
I realize that democrats and republicans rarely see things the same way, but this year it appears that the candidates truly are black and white on the issues. No gray area this election. According to the polls, so are the voters because two candidates are running neck and neck, and the rest have huge gaps. This is why it is so important to get out there and have your voice heard. Your vote always counts, but this election November 2nd in Philadelphia, your vote will make the call on who wins this election. The candidates that are not neck and neck need a high turnout to change the direction they are going in, so no matter how you look at it, you are very important in the upcoming elections.
Pennsylvania Governor Candidates and a Brief Summary of Where They Stand on Those Two Very Important Issues
Dan Onorato-Democrat-Dan Onorato is a former accountant who has campaigned against government waste since he ran for Allegheny Council Controller in 1999. This is still his top priority. While he pushes to reduce government waste and payroll, he pushes to lower county property tax. You can view his stance on government reform at Dan’s Vision . One example of how Onorato plans to clean up government spending is to sign an executive order to implement a total ban on gifts, meals, tickets, travel, entertainment and other perks. I’m sure there are many government workers who would not appreciate this. That’s why it is so important to get out there and vote. As for schooling, Dan Onorato understands the importance of education and the problems lower income districts face. He plans to continue with the school funding formula signed by Governer Ed Rendell in 2008 right here at our own Upper Darby High. This formula allows funding to schools and the ability to improve schools without raising property taxes.
Tom Corbett-Republican-On Corbett’s website, the only information I could find on a solid thing he wanted to implement to reduce government waste was that over a ten year period he will reduce the state automotive fleet by 20 percent. Under the issue of reducing size and cost of government it is simply stated he wants to reduce government size by 10 percent. When it comes to a ban on gifts and perks, he only plans to implement a ban on these during the Procurement Process. Corbett also states on his website he will have all legislatures “participate” in the expense of their healthcare. Other than these few things, the reform Corbett mostly speaks of is by allowing taxpayers to see where all money is going. As for education, Corbett’s plan is to allow funding to link directly to each child and allow children in failing schools to go to whatever school they want to. It does, however, fail to mention the long waiting lists which will be in place. Instead of improving schools across the board, and ensuring quality education for all by using funding responsibly, he wants to implement the school vouchers which at first glance is welcome by any parent. That is until they find out what this will entail. Already overcrowded schools will have to make room for more, money will have to be used for transportation to out of district schools, schools which are now running smoothly will be overtaxed and ultimately end up doing worse because of the influx of students. Long-term, this plan just doesn’t make sense.
The difference in the campaign websites for these two candidates were startling. Onorato’s website is based on the issues in great detail and his past record. Corbett’s website in the beginning appears you can’t even enter unless you sign up to receive email from the site. Then, I found small print that says I could skip that and enter. Once in the site, one is bombarded with ads. That I can see on TV, I want information. I would advise everyone to enter both Corbett’s and Onorato’s websites and really read between the lines. Get your impression and follow through with your vote. Despite the fact that Corbett’s site isn’t very strong on any issue, he is still ahead by a large amount right now. If government waste and education is important to you and your family, your vote is extremely important.