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Doyle brings Mummers to campaign stops

Mike Doyle, the Democratic candidate in the 170th Legislative District, brought some entertainment to retirement communities last week.

Political news: Mike Doyle, the Democratic candidate in the 170th Legislative District, brought members of the Ferko String Band to perform at two retirement communities last week. Source: Tom Waring

Mike Doyle, the Democratic candidate in the 170th Legislative District, last week brought some entertainment to two visits to retirement communities in Somerton.

Doyle, who is challenging Republican Rep. Martina White in the Nov. 6 election, is a member of Ferko String Band. He brought a few fellow band members to perform at the FOP Senior Center on Thursday night and the Ephraim Goldstein Apartments on Saturday night.

Doyle spoke of the health challenges facing his dad and grandmom. He opposes legislation that would require Medicaid recipients to work.

The candidate, sober since 2013, is most passionate about addressing the opioid epidemic. He said his addiction almost cost him his marriage.

“I know firsthand what it does to families,” he said.

Doyle noted the increase in opioids in the 66th Ward, consisting largely of Parkwood, likening the numbers to those in Kensington. He favors more access to treatment and an increase in mental health therapists, including tuition assistance for people who go into that field.

“We need to generate more funding to adequately address the opioid epidemic,” he said, supporting a tax on natural gas drilling.

Doyle, a saxophone player, and the other Ferko members played favorites such as On the Way to Cape May, Baby Face and Happy Days are Here Again.

If elected, he plans to give his victory speech in his Mummers costume.

Doyle will hold a fundraiser with former Gov. and Mayor Ed Rendell on Wednesday night at Katie O’Donnell’s.

The city election commissioners last week unanimously approved pay raises for election board workers.

“I know firsthand that Election Day is long and that the weeks leading up to it can often be stressful,” said chairwoman Lisa Deeley. “I know that they feel underappreciated, overworked and underpaid. This raise sends a message to the election boards that we appreciate their work and dedication, which should have a positive effect on filling the vacancies.”

Commissioner Al Schmidt said, “Election board workers make Election Day possible. It is important that we compensate them for their hard work. This is an important step toward retaining those election board workers we already have and recruiting others to serve in this critical role.”

Workers will receive an extra $20. The new rates are $120 for judges of election, $115 for majority and minority party inspectors, clerks and machine operators and $95 for bilingual interpreters.

The raises will go into effect for the Nov. 6 general election.

Scott Wagner, the Republican candidate for governor, last week announced a plan to combat the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania during an address to the York Rotary Club.

Wagner’s plan would dedicate $15 million to performance-based treatment and recovery initiatives.

The plan calls for recouping money from pharmaceutical companies that have not paid for an epidemic Wagner said they have helped exacerbate.

“Combating the opioid crisis ultimately comes down to having enough resources and using them wisely,” Wagner said. “My plan will ensure that the investments we make to curb the epidemic are encouraging innovative treatment and recovery programs that work, and we will be able to drive more dollars into these efforts by finally having the courage to take on the drug companies that have gone unaccountable for far too long.”

Jeff Bartos, Wagner’s lieutenant governor running mate, added, “I have had the privilege to travel across the commonwealth over the past 20 months and meet thousands of people. Throughout this time, I cannot recall a day when the opioid crisis was not discussed, nor can I remember a day when I did not meet at least one person who was personally impacted by the opioid crisis. Scott and I are committed to solving this crisis, and it starts with collaborating more with local governments and expanding treatment and prevention programs. A crisis that impacts so many Pennsylvanians can only be solved with leadership that is committed to ensuring all stakeholders are on board with our proposed initiatives.”

The Philadelphia Young Republicans delivered 200 backpacks with supplies to students throughout Philadelphia. Source: Philadelphia Young Republicans (left)

The Philadelphia Young Republicans last week delivered 200 backpacks with supplies to elementary school students throughout Philadelphia.

Among the schools receiving backpacks was William Loesche School, 595 Tomlinson Road.

“This is now the second year that the Philadelphia Young Republicans have been able to use politics to make a real impact in our community,” said Ross Wolfe, chairman of the Philadelphia Young Republicans. “I am very proud of those inside and outside of our organization who contributed to this cause. With everyone so focused on what is going on in Washington right now, we hope this event reminds people in both parties that politics should focus on helping the community.”

City Councilman Al Taubenberger and an aide, John Perzel Jr., took part in the deliveries.

“Yet again, those in the Republican Party here in Philadelphia demonstrated their commitment to helping the community. I truly want to thank each individual who donated to or supported this effort,” said Bryan Leib, Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District and Philadelphia Young Republicans board member, who helped organized the project. “This project is in line with the message that I have been promoting during my campaign: that we need to put parties aside and use our political efforts to help the community where and when we can.” ••

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