Monday, June 14, 2010

Damsker Campaign Kick Off

Ruth Damsker, candidate for the 12th state senate district, currently held by Stewart Greenleaf, kicked off her campaign this weekend.

The 12th district is includes Upper Southampton, Warminster and Warrington Townships in Bucks county and Franconia, Hatfield, Horsham, Lower Gwynedd, Lower Moreland, Montgomery, Upper Dublin, Upper Gwynedd, and Upper Moreland townships in Montgomery County, and the boroughs of Ambler, Bryn Athyn, Hatboro, Hatfield, and North Wales.

Damsker was elected a Montgomery County Commissioner from 1999 through 2007. Prior to that she was Cheltenham Township’s Finance Office and Township Controller.

Her kickoff was well-attended. Upper Dublin Township Commissioner Sharon Damsker (Ruth's daughter-in-law), Upper Moreland Township Commissioner Lisa Romaniello, Montgomery County Controller Diane Morgan, and Bill Wallace, candidate for the 24th state senate district, were there. Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel acted as master of ceremonies and Congressman Patrick Murphy served as guest speaker. The entertainment was provided by a gentleman playing the soprano saxophone.

Joe Hoeffel was greeted warmly and a number of people made a point of talking with him. Hoeffel introduced all the dignitaries, including Congressman Patrick Murphy, whose remarks were more of a campaign speech than an introduction of Damsker.

Murphy said Hoeffel is the conscience of the Democratic Party. He said we want to help our neighbors and to stand for what is right. People are right to be ticked off. We are spending too much on the war. Over 8 million people are unemployed, but if we had not passed the stimulus it would be 20 million. Those supporting the tea party have no problem spending $3 billion on the war in Iraq but don’t want to spend $1 billion at home. We voted for the stimulus because it was important to do so. Bush / Fitzpatrick economic policies incentivized sending jobs overseas. We need to invest here at home. The stimulus sent $1.9 million to the Abington School District, $1.2 million to the Upper Dublin School District, and $956,000 to the Upper Moreland School district. It provided millions to Montgomery County weatherization and road improvements.

He mentioned his infant son was being baptized the next day (Sunday) and mentioned his Catholic faith. He pointed out that he believed in limited government and that women should be able to make their own medical decisions. He also said that if we have the best scientists in the world we shouldn’t tie their hands. Touching on foreign policy he said that Pat Toomey wanted to cut all foreign aid including aid to Israel.

At this point he introduced Damsker. She pointed out that her opponent has been in office for 32 years. His party is in the majority but that bills don’t go anywhere in the state senate. The state house passes good bills but they get stuck in the state senate. She said we need to search for additional revenue and pointed out that Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn’t tax cigars and smokeless tobacco. She wants to eliminate the Delaware loophole that lets companies avoid paying state tax. While Pennsylvania has the second largest deposit of natural gas in the country the state senate won’t look at extraction taxes. Damsker values education and points out that her daughter is a teacher. She points out that she was the tax collector for Cheltenham Township for 12 years. She says we need to do the right thing.

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