news-sanders040816-01

Bernie Sanders

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania voters will have some tough choices to make on who they think should become the next president, represent them in Congress and in the state legislature.

In the race for president, both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are preferable than Republican front-runners businessman Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Trump has been reckless in his rhetoric on immigration, temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country and on a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Cruz is so far right he is more conservative than Ronald Reagan in his tea party zeal to slash government. Cruz says one of his top priorities is to abolish President Barack Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act which has helped millions of Americans gain access to health care.

John Kasich

in Republican primary

In the Republican primary, Ohio Governor John Kasich, a conservative who has worked with African-American state legislators on police reform is easily the best GOP choice.

In the Democratic primary, the choice is tougher. Clinton is a former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator from New York and former First Lady. Sanders is a U.S. Senator, former congressman and former mayor.

Bernie Sanders

in Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders offers an inspiring message and bold vision for America without the excessive baggage of Clinton, which is why Sanders is our choice for president in the Democratic primary.

Clinton has on many occasions exercised bad judgment on critical issues including her avid support for her husband’s draconian 1994 crime bill which led to a major increase in mass incarceration of African Americans. She may not be responsible for signing the crime bill but she strongly supported it. She has since apologized for her support including her use of the race-coded term “super predator” to describe Black males involved in crime. But her previous stance raises serious questions.

She also exercised bad judgment in giving highly paid speeches to Wall Street, whose reckless speculation help lead the country to the worst recession since the Great Depression. In foreign affairs, she supported the invasion of Iraq and has publicly advocated a far more aggressive approach toward Syria than President Barack Obama. Obama and Sanders opposed the war in Iraq. Sanders is also a strong advocate of Palestinian statehood, which requires considerable courage. The New York Times describes Clinton as more hawkish on military matters than Obama and most Democrats in Congress.

Since his days as a student at the University of Chicago protesting against segregation in public schools in Chicago and throughout his political career, Sanders has supported policies and programs that would be in the best interest of all Americans and African Americans, specifically. He has been a consistent fighter for a more just and equitable society.

The killing of unarmed Black men by police officers in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore and elsewhere have finally brought the important issue of police brutality and mass incarceration to the national dialogue.

Sanders takes a strong stance against police abuse and misconduct without demonizing good police officers. He has called for demilitarizing local police departments and holding police officers accountable for misconduct and abuse.

His support for free tuition at public colleges and universities would disproportionally help African Americans and would have a major positive affect of alleviating poverty.

His critics say Sanders proposals are too ambitious, costly and would never get through Congress. They are right that most of his proposals would not pass the current Republican-controlled Congress. His proposals will not happen overnight. But Social Security was also once seen as impossible.

But most of Sanders’ proposals including free tuition at public colleges and universal health care are not new and are already well established government programs in European countries with far less wealth than the United States.

Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate

Regardless of who wins the presidency, there will be need for a new Congress to get anything done.

Senator Pat Toomey joined with some of his more conservative Republican colleagues in the senate in opposing Loretta Lynch for U.S. Attorney General. He opposes holding a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died in February. Lynch, who overcame Toomey’s opposition, and Garland, are highly qualified.

There are several Democrats seeking to replace Toomey in the Senate. We endorse Joe Sestak, former Navy admiral and former congressman, to be the Democratic nominee. Sestak lost to Toomey in a close election in 2010, despite having many Democratic Party leaders opposed to him because of his independence. Sestak did well in an election year where Republicans rode tea party anger against Obama to take control of Congress. On the issues, Sestak and his closest rival, Katie McGinty, are not far apart, but Sestak has the experience and proven record in Congress.

Chaka Fattah for Congress

Congressman Chaka Fattah also has a proven record in Congress and has earned another term to represent the Second District in Philadelphia and Cheltenham Township. Fattah has been an effective champion for people in need and longtime leader on urban and educational policy. His GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has contributed nearly $2 billion toward the educational advancement of low-income students.

As a senior member in Congress, Fattah has been in the position to help steer money back to his district and the region.

Despite his considerable accomplishments, a cloud of a 29-count federal indictment for allegedly paying his bills with public and charitable funds make this endorsement of Fattah an extremely difficult decision.

But Fattah is constitutionally entitled to due process. Former congressmen have been indicted on racketeering charges before and have been acquitted. It would be a disservice to Fattah’s years of public service and his constituents if Fattah was abandoned now only to be found innocent of the charges against him.

Josh Shapiro

for Pa. Attorney General

Kathleen Kane has secured her place in history as the first woman to be elected as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. But a once-promising political career has been squandered by her management style and conduct in office. Kane has been charged with illegally leaking secret grand jury material to a reporter, allegations she strongly denies. Kane’s law license has been suspended and the state legislature has considered removing her.

Fortunately, Kane has decided not to run for re-election.

We believe the best person in the Democratic primary to replace her is Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro. Shapiro, chairman of the board of the third-largest county in the state, chairman of the state Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and a former four-term state representative, has the management, legislative experience and demonstrated intelligence and integrity needed to reform the Attorney General’s Office.

In other races, the Tribune endorses the following candidates:

Joe Torsella for State Treasurer

Torsella has a proven record in managing people and budgets as chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, chairman of the National Constitution Center and deputy mayor of Philadelphia for policy and planning in the Rendell administration.

Representative in Congress

Robert Brady, 1st District

Brendan F. Boyle, 13th District

Senator in the

General Assembly

Lawrence Farnese Jr.,

1st District

Sharif Street, 3rd District

Vincent Hughes, 7th District

Representative in the

General Assembly

Angel Cruz, 18th District

W. Curtis Thomas, 181st District

Jordan Harris, 186th District

James Roebuck, 188th District

Donna Bullock, 195th District

Rosita Youngblood,

198th District

Stephen Kinsey, 201st district

Mark Cohen, 202nd District

Ballot Questions:

Proposed Constitutional Amendment #1: Amending the mandatory judicial retirement age

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges and justices of the peace (known as magisterial district judges) be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years, instead of the current requirement that they be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 70? Vote Yes

Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2: Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to abolish the Philadelphia Traffic Court? Vote No.

The Traffic Court should be reformed, but not abolished.

Proposed charter change Question #3 (Bill No. 150573-A): Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation, appointment, powers and duties of an independent Commission on African-American Males, which would study and recommend responses to challenges facing African-American males in Philadelphia? Vote Yes.

The study should hopefully lead to proposed policy changes that will lead to better educational and job opportunities for African-American males.

(4) comments

jonlouie123

VOTE YES on the Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2, NOT NO. The Philadelphia Traffic Court has already been reformed! The Traffic Court is now just a vestigial object and the traffic court no longer operates in capacity. The Philadelphia Municipal Court has been handling all traffic violations since 2013.

ssdd

Thank you, Philly Tribune! Remember folks, it's not just enough to vote for the nominee and President, we need to vote for Bernie's delegates as well as the right Congressional Representatives and Senators. We also need to vote in EVERY election, not just this one. Federal, state, municipal...it all matters immensely and it's the only tool we have to save America from the vultures running it. Our country is dying because our leaders know that they can do anything they want and we're too apathetic to turn out to vote them out (aka FIRE THEM) when the time comes. They know they can get away with not representing us. Let's change that dynamic! Let's take our country back!!!

sayamen

A great choice, and a hard one. But Joe Sestak has shown a determination for integrity, a determination to litterally walk the walk by going not only to the big city but the small towns in between, not to talk but to listen--how rare is that?

Please consider voting for him, and ask your friends to vote and ask their friends!

While Ms. McGinty is a decent person, she was hand picked by the big money in the Democratic party because Joe Sestak wouldn't agree in advance to pass whatever legislation they told him too. Passing up money to do what's right is integrity of a sort too few politicians have. With your help he can overcome.

The big money in the Democratic party unfortunately has spent millions to try to defeat him, making allegations FactCheck and newpapers say are unfounded. it takes people turning out and voting in numbers to overcome the effect of multi-milliondollar advertising.

Look on voting for him as a way to send a sign not only to Mr. Toomey but to the money bosses who want to tell people what to do, a signal to Democrats to be bottom up Democratic, not top down say-we're-democrats.

Thank you for reading this, and have a wonderful Sunday and Election Day.

kaywheeler

I loved your brilliant analysis of Senator Sanders.It got me inspired! Politicians bought and paid for by Wall Street—AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--.Students in great debt for an education – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--.Pollution of environment with fracking & fossil fuels – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--.Crime law that disproportionately incarcerates Black Americans – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--.Campaign financing system that results in Oligarchy – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT.--Regime change foreign policy – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--Trade agreements that starve out USA workers – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--.Inadequate banking regulations after Recession – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT--. Deferred Infrastructure repair and updating – AMERICA IS BETTER THAN THAT.

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