Sunday, October 31, 2010

GOTV Rally in Ambler with Rick Taylor and Rendell

This afternoon a number of elected officials gathered in support of State Rep. Rick Taylor (D-151), who is running for re-election this year. It was a beautiful crisp fall day. These are my notes from the rally.

Montgomery County Democratic Chair Marcel Groen started the festivities. He mentioned some of the local officials present, including Mayor Bud Wahl and Bob Pesavento, President of the Upper Dublin Township Board of Commissioners. Other local elected officials were present but not named. Groen introduced Ruth Damsker

Ruth Damsker, candidate for state senate in the 12th district. She said everyone knows what needs to be done. We need to preserve what has been done for open space. We also need to tax Marcellus shale.

Next up, State Rep. Josh Shapiro (D-153), whose district contains part of Upper Dublin Township. He said if the GOP wins a majority in the state house it will mean we didn’t go our job here. Rick Taylor is key. We need to make the gas drillers pay for cleanup. We need to keep communities safe.

Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel welcomed the crowd and introduced Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.

Schwartz said we need everyone to come out and vote. Ambler is a great place. Rick Taylor is responsible to the community. She cited his work on the Willow Grove Naval Air Station as an example. Not only is Taylor a good legislator but a really good person.

Taylor himself took the microphone. We have the heart we have to get the votes. Nothing is more important than education. The GOP wants to gut education. On Marcellus shale, the state senate walked way without getting anything done. He and his campaign have knocked on over 30,000 doors.

Gov. Ed Rendell arrived in a big bus. He said Rick Taylor has the courage of the heart of a lion. On the statewide elections, Dan Onorato [Democratic candidate for governor] and Joe Sestak [Democratic candidate for Senate] are within the margin of error in polls and can win. We should go out and talk to people and motivate voters. Allyson Schwartz has done a great job with CHIP; 4 million more kids are now insured. With the Lilly Ledbetter Act women now can receive equal pay for equal work. Credit card reform means no more families put in the poor house. We took the middle man out of student loans. The health care reform bill isn’t perfect but it protects us in many ways.

Rendell continued, saying that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus bill kept unemployment lower than it would have been otherwise. The stimulus worked. The GOP seems to think the health care reform bill was written by the devil. We are the only developed nation without universal health care. The Congressional Budget Office says the health care reform bill will cut the deficit 20 trillion dollars [not sure this amount is right and did not catch the time period this would cover.] With the bill, young adults can stay on their parents coverage until they are 26. There is no cap on coverage, and insurance companies can no longer drop people when they get sick. Let’s not be ashamed of what we’ve done.

He said we cannot even get a vote in the state senate on taxing Marcellus shale. Tom Corbett [Republican candidate for governor] is against a severance tax because he has received nearly a million dollars from the drilling industry. On the state level Rendell said he has targeted programs that work, pre-kindergarten and full day kindergarten, free after school tutoring; he said Pennsylvania is the only state to make substantial progress in all areas on educational tests. We’ve tone a good job. The tea party has some scary ideas. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, in line to be chair of the government oversight committee under a Republican majority, has said she would issue subpoena after subpoena. President Obama didn’t do that when he took office. John Boehner, in line to be speaker of the house if the Republicans win a majority, campaigned for a candidate who posed in a Nazi uniform. Mitch McConnell has said his top priority is to keep President Obama from getting anything done.

Rendell ended by saying that like long distance runners we need to find the energy to sprint at the finish line.

Personal notes: I’ve been a fan of Rick Taylor since his first run for office in 2006. My favorite photo of him is when he took on Tom Corbett for using subpoena power to try and find out who owned a twitter account.

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