Lynne Abraham endorses Leach in primary

Lynne Abraham

Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham has endorsed state Sen. Daylin Leach in the 13th Congressional District Democratic primary.

“As a lifelong Philadelphian who has served the city as its district attorney for 19 years, I know how important it is to have strong representation in Washington. We need a tireless advocate for our city — for our communities, our schools and for good jobs — and I know Daylin will be that advocate. He’s the only candidate running who has a proven record of always standing up for what he believes in and for what is right, and that is why he has my support,” Abraham said.

Leach said he is “humbled” to have Abraham’s support.

Meanwhile, Daily Kos, the leading national liberal blog, also endorsed Leach.

“This primary gives us the chance to bring one more stalwart progressive to Capitol Hill — a true leader. Leach has a strong and lengthy track record of not just supporting progressive principles but leading the fight for change,” said Joan McCarter, a Daily Kos member.

The site referenced many of Leach’s accomplishments, including his work on standing up to voter identification, championing marriage equality, raising the minimum wage and preventing the shackling of pregnant prisoners during childbirth.

As part of the endorsement, Daily Kos described state Rep. Brendan Boyle as “the only anti-choice candidate in the primary,” and recalled former Rep. Marjorie Margolies labeling herself a centrist. Boyle considers himself pro-choice on abortion, though he had a pro-life position when he ran for the state House in 2008, according to an article in the Northeast Times. His opponents in the congressional primary have criticized him for what they see as a mixed voting record on the issue.

Leach released a new campaign ad featuring women discussing Boyle’s record on abortion.

“As a woman, as a mother and as a grandmother, I know that Brendan Boyle in Congress will be bad for American women everywhere,” said Diane Payne, a Northeast resident and retired teacher who is featured in the ad. “We can’t risk electing someone to be our next member of Congress who will side with the Tea Party in Washington when they try to defund Planned Parenthood again or make it harder for women to get the healthcare they need. While Boyle seems to have recently flipped on issues of abortion rights, and now is saying he supports a woman’s right to choose, I don’t think we can trust him, and I for one don’t believe him. That’s why I’m supporting Daylin Leach — because he is the only candidate with a proven track record of standing up for choice and for women’s health.”

Also last week, Leach sent a letter to Margolies, asking that she release all records of campaign funds. Previously, he sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission, claiming that she illegally spent money in the primary that is supposed to be saved for the general election.

The Margolies campaign has said it did not illegally use campaign money.

In his letter to Margolies, he called on her to drop out of the race if she does not release her records.

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Margolies last week opened a field office at 7718 Castor Ave. in Rhawnhurst.

The candidate was joined by three of the five ward leaders who’ve endorsed her: Bill Dolbow, Janice Sulman and John Sabatina.

“She knows the ropes. She knows the people,” Sabatina said of the former congresswoman.

Margolies, who served in 1993–94, supported bills that banned assault weapons and created the Family and Medical Leave Act.

“We got things done,” she said.

A voter handed Margolies a piece of campaign literature mailed by Dr. Val Arkoosh, who is part of the four-person primary. The piece criticized Margolies’ past positions on Social Security and Medicare. She called the literature “intellectually dishonest” and “bulls — -.”

“I do not think we should raise the retirement age,” she said.

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Brendan Boyle received the endorsement of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

“We have been very impressed with Rep. Boyle’s work in our community. In his time as a state lawmaker, he has demonstrated his commitment to community service,” said the Rev. Terrance Griffith, president of the Black Clergy. “We strongly believe that he’s the best choice to represent the 13th district in Congress.”

Griffith also noted Boyle’s focus on city community development, contending that he is the only candidate talking about the importance of rebuilding urban neighborhoods.

Boyle said he is privileged to have the support of “a distinguished group of community leaders and advocates from across our region.” He said they have shared priorities that include access to a quality education for every child, a reduction in the growing income gap and elimination of poverty in communities.

“In a Congress where the majority of members are millionaires, we need representation that will address the pressing problems in our communities, particularly in low-income and minority neighborhoods,” Boyle said. “Leadership on issues such as education, raising the minimum wage and fighting poverty doesn’t come from candidates who are physically or economically detached from the neighborhoods that need help from Congress. It comes from electing people who have the life experience and drive to fight for working families and communities.”

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Danny Savage, a former city councilman running in the Democratic primary in the 2nd Senatorial District, supports a bill that would create universal pre-kindergarten programs and make kindergarten classes mandatory for all Pennsylvania school districts.

House Bill 2148 is being sponsored by Brendan Boyle, whom Savage refers to as “a friend and supporter.”

“It’s shameful that Pennsylvania is one of only six states nationwide that does not require kindergarten in all of its schools,” Savage said. “Study after study has proven the importance of early childhood education in setting our children on the road to academic success and a better quality of life as adults. As state senator, I will make education a cornerstone of my legislative priorities for the people of the 2nd district. I applaud Rep. Boyle for championing this important piece of legislation and am grateful for his support of my candidacy.”

Savage pointed to recent research that has shown that enrollment in an early education program improves a child’s ability to learn and socialize throughout his or her entire academic career.

The candidate said he understands and sympathizes with families who cannot afford private early education options.

“The state education system has a moral responsibility to make early childhood education an attainable reality for everyone, not just those capable of sending their kids to private schools,” he said. “As state senator, I will fight for as long as it takes to make it happen. The future of our children should not be sacrificed in the name of trimming state budgets.”

Savage is challenging Sen. Tina Tartaglione in the primary. Tomas Sanchez, husband of City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

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Tartaglione rallied with supporters on Saturday afternoon at Frankford and Cottman avenues.

“We have a lot of support all through the district,” she said. “It’s all about the working people.”

The well-funded Savage has been mailing literature criticizing Tartaglione on issues such as missing votes, accepting salary and pension increases and sponsoring resolutions such as Mushroom Month and Canada Day.

Tartaglione said she helped pass the last minimum wage increase in 2006, when it went from $5.15 an hour to $7.15. She wants to raise it to $10.10 and include a cost-of-living adjustment. She’d also like to increase the “tipped” minimum wage to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage. That’s the wage paid to waitresses and some other workers.

The incumbent described the proposed privatization of the state liquor store system as “not a good idea” because it’s a money-maker every year. And she is a fierce opponent of Gov. Tom Corbett’s plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery.

“Every dollar that comes through that lottery goes to senior citizens,” she said. ••

Daylin Leach