Blog: Page 25

Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt’s Story: Why I Will Support Governor Wolf (Guest Blog)

By Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt I first met Governor Tom Wolf in April of 2016, when I spoke at a press conference at the State

By Dr. Erica Goldblatt Hyatt

I first met Governor Tom Wolf in April of 2016, when I spoke at a press conference at the State Capitol. As a mother who made the heartbreaking decision to end a pregnancy after 20 weeks’ gestation, I was increasingly advocating against proposed legislation attempting to restrict women’s reproductive rights. In 2016, Governor Wolf, likeminded legislators, patient advocates and I publicly opposed HB1948, which specifically targeted the difficult and painful decisions women like me were forced to make on behalf of our unborn children.  This bill, which later evolved into SB3, sought to criminalize abortion providers and restrict women across Pennsylvania with no exceptions for rape or incest. In my case, I would have been forced to carry a baby with a rare and deadly abnormality to term if the pregnancy continued. While we deeply loved and wanted our son Darby Joss, my husband and I knew that we could not responsibly bring a child into the world only to experience horrific suffering with no hope of recovery. As a result, ensuring that bills like HB1948/SB3 would never become law became a call that I felt compelled to answer. Thankfully, Governor Wolf was on the side of women, as he always has been. He went on the record stating that should the legislation come to his desk, he would veto it.

When I met Governor Wolf that first day, I was unable to say much more than “Thank you.” In fact, in our multiple meetings since, I have been able to say little else. I am so grateful for Governor Wolf’s commitment to protecting my rights as a woman and mother. Abortion bans rob us of our self-determination and freedom to make decisions for our own health and bodies and, in my case, the decision to protect our unborn children from excruciating pain. Governor Wolf clearly understands that reproductive choices can only be made by women who must bear their consequences alongside loved ones, religious advisors, and expertly informed physicians.

When I thanked him, Governor Wolf told me, “I have two daughters. I could never imagine taking this important choice away from them”.  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the health of women like me would not fall into the hands of politicians they would never even meet.  A few weeks later, I received a hand-written note from the Governor, thanking me for my advocacy in the press conference, which ultimately resulted in the tabling of HB1948. It meant a great deal to me that my actions mattered to the Governor, and that he took the time to express his appreciation.

Unfortunately, in 2017, SB3 made its way through the House without any opportunity for public testimony. Governor Wolf promised to veto that bill too, because enacted, it would have resulted in the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. But the bill did reach his desk, and I proudly stood beside him once again on December 18, 2017, when he made good on his word to ensure that no woman, family, or abortion provider would suffer the cruel and unusual punishment the bill proposed. As he stated repeatedly, “Pennsylvania will not play games with women’s healthcare in our Commonwealth”. With the stroke of his pen he vetoed the bill.

During a tumultuous time in the nation’s history, Governor Wolf continues to stand by his word and his commitment to social justice. He is willing to enact change, whether it is vetoing dangerous, toxic abortion legislation or ensuring that the Pennsylvania congressional districts are redrawn in order to ensure the democratic process that underpins this great country remains as fair and unbiased as possible. Governor Wolf doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. These days, it’s increasingly rare to find a politician that follows through on his promises. Pennsylvania constituents always know where Tom Wolf stands. There’s never any bait-and-switch where he’s concerned and he always follows through.

I will support Governor Wolf’s reelection and continue to speak out on his behalf because his track record already speaks volumes: under his plan for Pennsylvania, our beautiful state is growing and thriving. After all, he’s already expanded Medicaid and increased enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program. He’s on top of the opioid epidemic. He’s taking care of seniors. All told, he is a governor for the people, ensuring that we the people are heard by our elected officials, making sure that they are accountable to us and not special interest groups. For these reasons and more, I believe in Governor Wolf. I can’t wait to see what he does with his second term.

Governor Wolf Marks Major Milestone at Port of Philadelphia

On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey joined federal, state and local leaders to celebrate the recent arrival of the first two super post-Panamax cranes at The Port of Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey joined federal, state and local leaders to celebrate the recent arrival of the first two super post-Panamax cranes at The Port of Philadelphia.

According to KYW News Radio:

“Local, state and federal officials, along with dock workers, say two enormous new cranes rising from the Port of Philadelphia will keep them competitive with other top-notch ports. And, recent infrastructure improvements will translate to nearly 7,000 jobs.”

Throughout his time in office, Governor Wolf has been dedicated to investing in the PhilaPort, which is one of the most substantial job creation opportunities in the area and has generated more than $100 million in state and local tax revenues annually.

“My administration is working hard to invest critical dollars in improvements at PhilaPort, so that we can create thousands of jobs and grow the economy of this region, and the entire commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf. “Pennsylvania’s Ports are vital to the economic success of Pennsylvania, and I am proud to say that the continued success of PhilaPort is one of my administration’s highest priorities.”

Check out the video below to learn more about the Port of Philadelphia and the important role it plays in the lives of Pennsylvanians!

Looking Back At Wagner’s Disastrous Senate Career in Harrisburg

To: Interested Parties From: Beth Melena, Communications Director for Tom Wolf for Governor RE: Looking Back At Wagner’s Disastrous Senate Career in Harrisburg Date: May

To: Interested Parties

From: Beth Melena, Communications Director for Tom Wolf for Governor

RE: Looking Back At Wagner’s Disastrous Senate Career in Harrisburg

Date: May 31, 2018

 

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Scott Wagner is resigning his Senate seat in order to pursue his own political ambition. It is clear that Scott Wagner is only interested in furthering himself, but his resignation does not erase his long record in the Senate of putting special interests before children, seniors, and hard-working Pennsylvanians.

In fact, just last week, Scott Wagner skipped critical floor votes designed to protect children from predators, domestic abusers, and deadly chemicals in order to attend a corporate policy summit hosted by the Republican Governors Association designed to benefit big business. While Wagner routinely brags about signing the front of paychecks, he signed the back of a taxpayer-funded paycheck after failing to show up for work and protect our children.

This is just the latest example of how Scott Wagner has spent his time in the Senate as the very worst of Harrisburg. Let’s review some other ways he has put special interests ahead of Pennsylvanians while working in Harrisburg.

Severance Tax

There’s no greater example of Scott Wagner’s obstructionist tactics and penchant for putting special interests ahead of Pennsylvanians than his opposition to the severance tax. No one has done the bidding of big oil and gas more than Scott Wagner. Wagner was even caught conspiring with House Republican leadership to kill a severance tax to hurt Governor Wolf’s re-election, and reports show that big oil and gas has spent over $60 million dollars on lobbying and political donations to avoid paying a commonsense severance tax. Scott Wagner has repeatedly sided with big oil and gas lobbyists over Pennsylvanians.

Seniors

As Senator, Scott Wagner has supported policies that would be detrimental to our seniors, making it much more difficult for them to receive the care they need and to support themselves financially. He wants to gut Medicaid, leaving Pennsylvania seniors without health care and forcing them out of nursing homes. On top of this, Wagner also supported taxing seniors’ retirements and advocated for Donald Trump’s plan to charge seniors an age tax on their health care plans.

Education

Scott Wagner championed Harrisburg Republicans’ cut to public education by $1 billion, which lead to mass teacher layoffs, cuts to important programs like pre-kindergarten, and larger class sizes. Wagner even advocated for laying off 10% of all teachers in Pennsylvania.

Health Care

As Senator, Scott Wagner called for rolling back Medicaid expansion, which would take health care away from 720,000 Pennsylvanians including 125,000 people receiving treatment for substance use disorder. He has put pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry ahead of ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to affordable, quality health care. Wagner has also supported Donald Trump’s crusade to destroy the Affordable Care Act, which would kick millions off their health care, raise costs for middle-class families and seniors, gut protections for people with preexisting conditions, and increase premiums for Pennsylvanians.

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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ICYMI: PennLive: Wolf campaign: Scott Wagner ducked votes on Megan’s Law, domestic abuse for politics

* Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election

* Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election campaign launched a lacerating attack accusing the York County pol of putting his political ambitions ahead of the public good.

* In an email blast to political reporters, Wolf’s camp charged that Wagner skipped key votes tightening up the state’s Megan’s Law statute and expanding domestic violence protections so he could attend a conference in New York City put on by the Republican Governors Association.

* This isn’t the first time that Wagner has taken heat for missing votes.  Last December, former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Paul Mango charged that Wagner missed more than 100 votes between 2015 and 2017.


PennLive: Wolf campaign: Scott Wagner ducked votes on Megan’s Law, domestic abuse for politics

By John Micek

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Barely hours after Republican Scott Wagner announced he’d be giving up his Senate seat to focus on his gubernatorial run, Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election campaign launched a lacerating attack accusing the York County pol of putting his political ambitions ahead of the public good.

In an email blast to political reporters, Wolf’s camp charged that Wagner skipped key votes tightening up the state’s Megan’s Law statute and expanding domestic violence protections so he could attend a conference in New York City put on by the Republican Governors Association.

Wagner’s decision to resign, coupled with his attendance at the the RGA conference “proves that he is the very worst of Harrisburg,” Wolf’s spokeswoman, Beth Melena, said. “Scott Wagner is only interested in furthering his own political ambitions, but his resignation does not erase his long record of supporting education cuts for our children, rolling back health care for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, and throwing seniors out of their nursing homes.”

Wagner was among the confirmed list of attendees at the RGA’s “Corporate Policy Summit,” at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel on East 48th Street. The summit ran from May 22 to May 23.

On those days, Wagner was absent from the Senate for votes on three bills, according to roll calls posted on the Legislature’s official website

Wagner did not cast a ballot on legislation sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, to fix constitutional problems in Megan’s Law that were raised by the state Supreme Court.

If left unaddressed, some three-quarters of the 20,000 people now required to register might be removed from the list, according to published reports.  The bill passed on a 48-0 vote on May 22. State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, did not vote on the bill, according to a Senate roll call.

That same day, Wagner was also the lone no-show for a vote on a bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Mensch, R-Montgomery, making it a separate crime to commit an act of domestic violence in front of a child. That bill passed on a 49-0 vote.

Wagner didn’t cast a ballot for legislation sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, requiring carbon monoxide detectors in child care facilities including boarding homes for children. That bill passed on May 23 on a 49-0 vote, Senate roll calls show.

In a statement that did not actually address the GOP nominee’s absence, Wagner’s spokesman, Andrew Romeo, said that Wagner has “never missed the chance to cast the tie breaking vote in the Senate,” while Wolf has “singlehandedly blocked legislation time and time again to appease his special interest donors.

“While Scott and his colleagues worked hard to pass comprehensive pension reform, comprehensive liquor reform, legislation to combat the opioid epidemic and even legislation to protect innocent human life, Tom Wolf vetoed all of those bills,” Romeo continued. “Scott knows the people of Pennsylvania are tired of the gridlock and he now views it as his sole responsibility to run a campaign focused on them and to veto Tom Wolf’s second term.”

In follow-up messages, Romeo acknowledged that Wagner missed the votes because he was in New York at the RGA function.

This isn’t the first time that Wagner has taken heat for missing votes.

Last December, former GOP gubernatorial hopeful Paul Mango charged that Wagner missed more than 100 votes between 2015 and 2017.

Without directly addressing the issue, Wagner’s campaign downplayed the attack, calling it a “a desperate attack from a flailing campaign.”

Wagner went on to defeat Mango and Pittsburgh attorney Laura Ellsworth in the May 15 Republican primary.

Read the piece here.

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