Democratic candidates Ann Marie Mitchell and Gwen Stoltz have lots in common. Both are actively campaigning in Bucks County for seats in Harrisburg, both support a woman’s right to choose, and both are facing off against deceitful Republicans.
GOP candidate for state senate Frank Farry, who is running against Mitchell in the 6th Senatorial District, and incumbent House Representative Shelby Labs who faces off against Stoltz in the 143rd House District, are telling voters they’re pro-choice and support a woman’s right to choose. They’re not, they don’t, and their voting records reflect it.
The power of political falsehoods is the high probability that they will be repeated without challenge (like in the Bucks County Courier Times voting guide) – Farry and Labs are depending on this.
With an abundance of pretzel logic, both GOP incumbents twisted their phrasing in an attempt to pacify pro-choice and pro-life voters in their responses to the Courier’s question about abortion.
“It’s very hard for people to stomach rights that you’ve had for 50 years being ripped away,” said Ann Marie Mitchell who is running against Frank Farry for a seat in the Pennsylvania Senate.
The differences between these candidates don’t stop there.
Gwen Stoltz, who is running for a seat in the Pennsylvania House, described her opponent’s tactics: “She’s trying to portray herself as a moderate but she has these really extreme votes.”
Shelby Labs’s votes on the environment and gun control illustrate that extremism. Labs voted against the environment approximately 58 percent of the time according to Conservation Voters of PA and the NRA gave her an A.
Farry fared worse. In addition to receiving an A from the NRA, he also received their endorsement. Conservation Voters of PA scored Farry as having voted against the environment 84 percent of the time.
Both Stoltz and Mitchell advocate for investing in green energy and the many jobs that investment will create.
“PA can be a leader on the environment if we look through a lens of economic development,” Mitchell said. “By investing in green energy and environmentally sound practices like circular manufacturing, PA can keep existing jobs and bring new good-paying jobs to PA.”
What is a good paying job in Pennsylvania? Certainly not one that pays the state’s current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
According to the website Minimum-Wage, a full time worker in Pennsylvania working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $58.00 per day, $290.00 per week, and $15,080.00 per year – and that’s before taxes. The 2022 Federal Poverty Level for a single individual is $13,590.00.
Labs and Farry – after accepting their own cost of living increase that will push their annual compensation into six figures – refuse to back legislation to raise Pennsylvania’s antiquated and cruel $7.25/hour minimum wage.
“They are the sponsors of our little league teams and our neighborhood events,” says Shelby Labs, referring to local businesses while relying on outdated economic data that falsely claims paying employees a living wage would be detrimental to small businesses.
“It should be higher no doubt. I would support Representative Patty Kim’s (D-Harrisburg) bill to raise the minimum wage to $10 and continue to increase it from there,” Farry said, except he hasn’t.
Not a single Republican has signed on to House Bill 345, introduced by Democrats Patty Kim and Stephen Kinsey in April 2021. The bill that holds the potential to reduce poverty across the Commonwealth has languished in the Republican controlled Labor and Industry Committee since being introduced.
“Pennsylvania needs a minimum wage that reflects an actual living wage and that is comparable to our neighboring states,” explained Stoltz. “To stop losing workers to neighboring states, we need to make Pennsylvania competitive.”
For the last 12 years Republicans have controlled the Pennsylvania House and Senate.
Labs’ and Farry’s voting records make their priorities clear, even if their words are not.
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