White, Darragh to debate Thursday in Somerton

Democratic support: (From left) State Sen. John Sabatina Jr., Matt Darragh, State Rep. Mike Driscoll, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle and State Rep. Kevin Boyle attended a rally in support of Darragh’s bid to dethrone State Rep. Martina White.

State Rep. Martina White (R-170th dist.) and Democrat Matt Darragh will square off in a debate on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. at Somerton Youth Organization, 1400 Southampton Road.

Times staffers will serve as moderator and timekeeper.

Any 170th Legislative District residents who want to submit a question for possible use at the debate can email them to pronews@bsmphilly.com

Please include name and address.

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On Saturday, Darragh hosted a unity rally for labor and local Democrats at the Plumbers Local 690 hall.

Hundreds of people attended from Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, Plumbers Local 690 and SEIU.

Also in attendance were U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. John Sabatina Jr. and state Reps. Kevin Boyle and Mike Driscoll.

Supporters knocked on doors afterward.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Business Manager Gary Masino said, “Matt Darragh is the real deal. He grew up in a union household. He understands labor’s struggles. You never have to guess where he stands when it comes to labor issues. He will always stand with labor.”

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The House Democratic Campaign Committee is criticizing passage of state Rep. Martina White’s bill that would hold cities and municipalities liable for damages caused by illegal immigrants living in so-called “sanctuary cities” in the state.

White introduced House Bill 1885 after Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney declared Philadelphia a sanctuary city — meaning that the city will not turn over illegal aliens to federal officials.

The bill passed, 136–55. Local representatives voting for it were White, Republicans Tom Murt and John Taylor and Democrats Mike Driscoll and Ed Neilson. Democrat Jason Dawkins voted against it. Democrats Kevin Boyle, Mark Cohen and Dwight Evans did not vote.

House Bill 1885 is in the Senate.

The HDCC accused White of engaging in “aloof political posturing.”

“Rep. White’s legislation could have horrific consequences to the City of Philadelphia and other municipalities in the commonwealth,” said HDCC Executive Director Nathan Davidson. “While Philadelphia taxpayers dutifully pay their taxes, Rep. White is proposing legislation that would hold hostage over $2 billion in state funding that keep our police on the beat. I will note that Rep. White fueled the flames of gridlock through the Republican budget impasse of 2015, and again she is playing politics with our tax dollars.”

Davidson claimed that only a massive property and wage tax increase would keep Philadelphia firehouses and police stations open.

“I hope Rep. White is prepared to take responsibility for her actions when her constituents start getting their tax bills. It is no surprise that Rep. White is attempting to score last-minute political points. True leaders do not play politics,” he said.

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Last Friday, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey held an event with members of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 and other supporters at FOP headquarters on Caroline Road.

Among those in attendance were John McNesby, president of the local FOP, and City Councilman Brian O’Neill.

Earlier, Toomey was endorsed by the city and state FOP; the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association; International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO; National Association of Police Organizations; and Council of Prison Locals C-33, AFGE. Corrections U.S.A. last week endorsed Toomey.

In addition, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association announced that it is presenting Toomey with its Legislator of the Year Award.

“It’s rare that a freshman senator can make a mark in a Congress plagued by politics and inaction,” said FLEOA legislative director Don Mihalek. “Since Sen. Toomey was elected, he has fought tirelessly for law enforcement and the safety of all Americans. With Sen. Toomey, all Americans are served by a rare senator that fights ‘non-stop’ to keep them safe.”

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U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, will represent Hillary Clinton at a town hall at Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.

Cardin will discuss the impact of the presidential election on the Jewish community. The public is invited.

“As our community prepares for the presidential election, our Social Action Committee invited representatives of both the Democratic and Republican parties to speak as an educational service,” said Jacques Lurie, executive director of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim. “Sen. Cardin will speak on behalf of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and will answer questions from the audience. We hope to have a speaker from Mr. Trump’s campaign scheduled soon.”

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Voters will decide on a city ballot question and a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The city question reads, “Should the City of Philadelphia borrow One Hundred Eighty-Four Million Three Hundred Three Thousand Dollars ($184,303,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?”

The proposed constitutional amendment reads, “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?”

That’s a complicated way of asking if the retirement age for judges should be raised from 70 to 75. ••