Pennsylvania 2014 Gubernatorial Elections: Democrat Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. (Photo Credit: Politico.com)

By Conor Brooks, President, and Isabel Gibson Penrose, Vice President, Gettysburg College Democrats

Tom Wolf is the best candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. We are in a precarious situation because of Tom Corbett, who has been our state’s governor for the last four years. This election will determine whether we are able to regroup and move forward or whether we will stay in free fall.

Under Corbett, Pennsylvania has dropped from 7th to 47th in the nation in job growth. Funding for public education has been cut and the minimum wage has remained at an unlivable level. Corbett has refused to increase Medicaid, forfeiting 2.5 billion dollars in federal spending and almost 10,000 jobs. He wasted public money by fighting marriage equality in the Pennsylvania courts and has actively worked against anti-sex discrimination legislation, including bills that would prevent people from being fired from their jobs or kicked out of their homes for their sexuality – both of which are currently legal in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Corbett ended the moratorium on fracking in state parks, endangering some of our state’s most picturesque lands and healthy wildlife.

Tom Wolf has spent his life working and running his own small business in the private sector, and he knows the struggles of economic uncertainty and the importance of treating employees with respect. He has practiced and will support equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, as well as the right of workers to organize. Tom Wolf has emphasized the importance of Medicaid expansion throughout his campaign. He has always said expansion should have been accepted as soon as it was proposed, and will be accepted in the Wolf administration. Tom Wolf supports President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act, the Pennsylvanians who need it most on Medicaid expansion, and women on reproductive rights, including the right to choose.

Wolf has been vocal about his support for marriage equality and has pledged to strike down homophobic legislation. In the Wolf administration the moratorium on fracking in state parks will be reinstated, ensuring the protection of our land. Tom Wolf will also instate a five percent extraction tax on all gas taken from Pennsylvania land. There is currently no extraction tax in Pennsylvania, meaning companies based in Southern and Midwestern states can drill in our lands, take the profits from our natural resources, and leave the mess for us to clean up. Part of this extraction tax funding will go directly toward environmental protection including research on renewable energies and increased levels of regulating fracking to ensure the safety of the practice.

These reasons could be enough to win your vote. But the reason we will be casting our votes for Tom Wolf on November 4th is his policy initiatives in education. As governor, Tom Wolf will act on his belief that every child deserves a world-class education (including pre-kindergarten) by instituting a Fair Funding Formula and reforming Pennsylvania’s charter school system. His first goal is to restore over one billion dollars in cuts taken from education over the last four years. We believe a governor who is passionate about education is best the governor for our state. We believe in Tom Wolf.

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Author: Isabel Gibson Penrose

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