ELECTION DAY PREVIEW: 4th District House of Reps
October 11, 2018
As the November election rapidly approaches, many key congressional and senate seats hang in the balance across the country. Not atypically, Pennsylvania finds itself as one of the battlegrounds in the ever evolving Republican vs Democrat fight for majority. In the 4th District House of Reps race, a new district for the 2018 election, Republican Dan David and Democrat Madeleine Dean will square off. The Knight Crier’s Alexis Bamford spoke with both candidates to find out where they stand on some of the most pressing issues facing our nation.
Madeleine Dean in her own words
State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) is running to represent PA-4 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA – Madeleine Dean is a fighter. From opening her own law practice to raising three sons, she never gives up; it was only a matter of time before three-term state representative’s wholehearted detestation of gun violence morphed into actual, tangible legislative change.
“It’s been a passion of mine since I was very young. I just, I see the scourge of gun violence in this country and it’s completely unacceptable to me,” Dean reflected. “I got to the Pennsylvania House and I thought, this is where we can make a difference. If the federal folks won’t pass laws, at least Pennsylvania could lead. And so I formed the PA SAFE Caucus.”
Dean and her fellow lawmakers have since been working to, in her own words, “introduce legislation to try to save lives” while thoroughly respecting the Second Amendment.
Local politics is nothing new to Dean; regardless, she’s eager for the change of pace that would inevitably come with representing Montgomery County at a national level.
“We’ve been all carved up and gerrymandered, diluting our power. . . [this election is] a chance to take my six years in the Pennsylvania House. . . to Washington, D.C. to represent our families, our community, for the betterment of Montgomery County. So I’m very, very excited for this run and to be the [Democratic] nominee,” Dean finished.
Her thoughts on why high school students should vote?
“It’s your future that the elected officials are deciding. When we under-fund education, we’re hurting your chances at a future. When we don’t protect the environment, we’re hurting your chances and your kids’ chances of enjoying a clean environment. So whatever we do will have some impact on your lives. . . it couldn’t be more important that young people stand up, register to vote, work on campaigns, be active, and look up each candidate. Make sure you prize the facts. . . it’s vitally important because it’s your world we are determining.”
Madeleine Dean on the issues, in her own words:
“The priority must be that we see healthcare as a right and make it universal, accessible, and affordable to all.”
“If we allowed. . . Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate with pharmaceuticals, the way we allow the [Department of Veterans Affairs] to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, we would be able to drive prices down.”
“In terms of access to care and driving down premiums. . . we could offer [55-65 year olds] a buy-in to Medicare early, and that would take a difficult portion of the population out of the insurance pool, which would make it cheaper for those within the insurance pool.”
“[We must] get that last seven percent or so of Pennsylvanians who do not have healthcare into the healthcare system.”
Education & Student Loans
“I taught [writing courses and ethics] at LaSalle University for 10 years, and I had the opportunity to work with young people and sometimes some adults, who went back to school to get their education. . . I loved it.”
“I learned a lot in Harrisburg about how we fund education at the state level – and how we fail to fund education at the state level. So as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have fought to increase funding for education and to make sure it is equitable.”
“[Pennsylvania has], sadly, the distinction of being about the bottom of all states in terms of the differential between how we spend money to educate the children of the poor versus how we spend money to educate the children of [the wealthy]. I want to smooth that out, get equitable funding and increase funding so that all our kids have the greatest chance to succeed.”
“Claim your education. . . with your writing and with your life, you should take good risks, smart risks. . . grab every opportunity.”
Economy, Taxes, & Environment
“In Pennsylvania, our corporate net income tax. . . I believe, is too high. I don’t want to discourage businesses from coming here. But I do believe corporations should pay their fair share.”
“When we have gotten into deficits, I have suggested that we might want to balance things out by actually reducing sales tax, because that would drive more money into people’s pockets, which would drive more money into consumer spending, which would increase revenues, and maybe increase income tax ever so slightly, even a tenth of a percent or a quarter of one percent.”
“I would like to fight for legislation that would incentivise businesses, whether that’s by tax breaks or by relocation breaks, to come to Montgomery County.”
“Government can incentivise [clean energy] industries and help, whether it’s startups or ongoing businesses, small and large, make sure they’re developing more and more clean energy. . . it can be a financial incentive of a developmental incentive.”
“Addiction is a disease, nothing to be ashamed of, as difficult as that might be for some families or communities. It is a disease that has cures and treatment, and we need to make sure people have access to affordable treatment.”
“I would decriminalize, for example, marijuana possession.”
“I think our emphasis should not be on the criminal justice system dealing with addiction, but we should get. . . a physical and mental health system in treating addiction.”
“One of the things that we’ve fought for, under Governor [Tom] Wolf. . . [are budget items] that provide funding for outreach for folks who are struggling with the disease of addiction. They’re called Centers of Excellence – we have one in Norristown and Montgomery County, we have a couple in Philadelphia County.”
“We also have to think about prevention. . . we have to work with our doctors and our health providers to make sure that we’re not prescribing that which is unnecessary and risky.”
Public Safety & Mental Health
“What we can do is talk about [mental health] more. Shine a light on the need for mental healthcare. Recognize that there is no reason to shame or be in the shadows as a result of a mental health diagnosis.”
“There should be greater parity of [insurance] coverage for treatment, for cures, for prescriptions that are necessary.”
“I’ve cared about [gun reform] a long time, my whole adult life. I took my kids to the Million Mom March [against gun violence] back in 2001. . . As a teacher at LaSalle University I cared about it because there were way too many guns in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia.”
“I have no interest in changing the Second Amendment. I have no interest in taking away guns – legal guns – from responsible gun owners. I honor the traditions of our culture and this state in particular, for hunting and sport shooting. So I have no qualms saying to folks that it’s not about me trying to take your guns. It is about me trying to pass legislation that will actually save lives.”
“[PA SAFE Caucus] finally passed a bill, just two weeks ago, that is headed to the governor’s desk for signing, that will require the relinquishment of guns for anybody who is the subject of a Protection from Abuse order.”
“Lives would be saved as a result of [preventing] gun use that isn’t appropriate. Illegal gun use, or gun use in the case of a mental health problem. So I just feel passionately that we can and we must do better in this state. And I want people to know I’m not interested in taking away the rights of gun owners.”
“What I try to do. . . is to try to listen to people, make sure my door is open, and help anybody who has had the trauma of sexual assault or sexual harassment.”
“We have to get more women in elective office, and in businesses, at the highest levels. Because if that were the case, cases would not be swept under the rug. And women would be listened to.”
“Teaching the concept of what is consent? Absolutely.”
“I actually introduced legislation that’s sort of a Good Samaritan bill, so that if a young person is a victim of a sexual assault on [college campuses] or witnesses it, but they’re afraid of [punishment]. . . it would say anybody in that position who is doing the right thing in calling something out would [not] be held accountable for other minor violations on campus, such as drinking.”
“Wherever you go in life, make sure that you strive for the highest levels. You speak up when you know you see something that is wrong, when there’s an injustice.”
State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) is running to represent Pennsylvania’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit her website to read more: https://www.mad4pa.com/
Image courtesy of http://rclmn.com/candidates/
Dan David in his own words
Dan David (R) is running to represent PA-4 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY- Dan David is no stranger to tough choices. His stock market research firm, GeoInvesting, “exposed over 50 billion dollars worth of fraud on foreign markets,” he explained.
“What I’ve found. . . [is that] you couldn’t get anything done on a bipartisan basis. You and I can talk to each other, citizens can speak to each other and get things done, but it seems like Democrats and Republicans don’t want to do that,” continued David. “I asked to reform laws about trade with China, [where defrauding American citizens isn’t a crime]. . . just to get that passed, nobody would work with me.”
Instead of discouraging him, though, this perpetual disenchantment with the Washington political machine motivated David to run for office. In his own words, “most of our federal members of Congress have a very local experience, and they understand where they’re from. . . [former Speaker of the House] Tip O’Neill said 30 or 40 years ago that all politics are local, and I agree with that. But in this world, and in this day and age, all local politics are global. . . I’ve learned that a few private citizens, and that one person, can make a difference.”
His thoughts on why high school students should vote?
“High school students are our future, and how they prepare, and how they succeed, is what our country will be. [They] matter a great, great deal. . . you may not think about this as much today, but you likely will have a family you need to take care of. And it’s going to matter to you a great deal then . . even if you don’t have children, you still have family; you have parents, you have brothers, you have sisters. And you want to be able to see their quality of life be a good one. You should care about your quality of life. I get knocked all the time about always talking about money, because I’m a finance guy. . . we are the representation for Montgomery and Berks county, not just to the United States, but to the world. . . it’s important for you to vote, it’s important for you to vote now, it’s important for you to know who and why you’re voting for.”
Dan David on the issues, in his own words:
“Healthcare falls into four different buckets. . . cost, quality of care, outcomes, and accessibility. . . and what Obamacare did is it dealt with accessibility without dealing with cost. [We must make sure that] in dealing with the costs, the quality of the care and the outcomes don’t change.”
“We have 3.2 trillion dollars we spend a year on healthcare, 700 billion of it is overprescribing services, up to and including prescriptions. . . I do suggest a cost oversight process of the entire medical field [to deal with overprescription and administrative costs].”
Education & Student Loans
“What should matter most to our high school students is getting out there and getting a life experience. . . I think more technical training should be involved. I mean, look, plumbers, electricians, computer skills, software engineering. . . that should be taught more in high school in preparation for technical schools. . . there’s a great demand. . . for skilled labor [that does not require a college education].”
“A crushing, crippling [student loan] debt that you’ll carry with you for the next 30 or 40 years is unacceptable, and we need to reform that system. . . for one thing, we could have lower interest rates.”
“Right now the federal government only contributes 8% of the budget to education. And 92% of it does come from the states. So the federal government contributes 8% of the money and they cause 92% of the problems. So if the states are going to pay 92%, they should have much more to say about it.”
“I think my issue with Common Core is it seems to have been conceived so that most students can pass something. And while that’s well and good, it doesn’t challenge our best and our brightest. And we need a curriculum that challenges those who can take on those challenges.”
“One of the things that we’re most admired for by other countries, like China and Russia, is how innovative we are, and when we have these standards that stifle innovation, I think we fall behind.”
Small Businesses & Environment
“People confuse regulation with big regulation. Listen, I’m born and raised in Flint [Michigan], for the first 22 years of my life, and you know, I’m a believer in the EPA, I’m very saddened to this day; my family still lives in Flint, and we deal with that water issue. It’s not solved. . . people are still sick. I have people in my family that are affected by this.”
“[I visited] a small business in Chester County, and [the owner has] 9 organizations he has to report to for any kind of inspection or test. . . what we have. . . is an adversarial relationship between [federal regulatory agencies] and business, because how are [the agencies] funded? They’re funded by fines.”
“We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of regulations that need to be re-looked at. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need clean water; of course we need clean water. . . it doesn’t mean we don’t need clean air. Of course we do. I’m not a climate denier by any stretch; I believe in climate change. I happen to believe it’s man-made.”
“When you look at coal, and you look at gas, and you look at oil, these are our low cost energy leaders. When you look at wind and solar and hydro, they cost a lot more. We need to invest in the latter group and bring those costs in parity with coal and gas and oil, and then we can start switching over. Because if you knock out your low cost leaders, the things that cost more now will go up even more.”
“[Revolutionary changes] of course, never happen because economies can’t absorb revolutionary change. You have to evolve to it.”
“First of all, opioid addiction is a disease. And we have to start treating broken minds like we treat broken bones. . . both can be fixed.”
“It costs nothing, almost nothing, to get addicted to opioids. . . when you’re addicted, to get off the opioids [is] not covered by your medical insurance. So you’ve got to come up with two to five hundred dollars to go see a pain addiction specialist, or an opioid addiction specialist. . . addiction should be covered by insurance as well, so that we can get them off the drugs. And then we need to know where it comes from and how it’s happening. The accountability has been nowhere.”
“Medical cannabis [helps with] chronic pain, but it’s not as addictive [as opioids].”
“Instead of treating the drug-addicted like criminals, let’s treat them like who they are: people that are struggling with a disease that need help. . . drug dealers, and drug distributors, need to go to jail. But drug users really, they’re suffering from self-inflicted wounds.”
Public Safety & Mental Health
“There’s no pretty way to talk about school security, but we need more of it.”
“When we start talking about taking an individual group of guns away, we’re missing the point that most crimes are committed with handguns. . . nobody’s talking about banning shotguns and revolvers. So if you don’t ban those as well, which I don’t think we should do, we still have a school safety issue. [Mental health is] the root of the problem.”
“We treat mental health as something that we don’t want to see, that it’s some kind of disease that’s contagious. . . mental health needs to be compassionately looked at.”
“When people were being bullied when I was in school, they could go home and possibly have a safe space. Now people go home and their phone attacks them. . . we need to bring together a bipartisan group of experts in the medical field, in law enforcement, in the mental health field, and in social media [and allow them to present their findings in an open hearing]. . . and when we have these experts come together and say, this is how we should be treating violence in schools. . . then I think we could come up with a pretty good roadmap.”
“People my age didn’t understand what [vaping] was. . . I think education, in this case for adults, is what’s needed. [Here’s] a situation where we don’t just need to educate the children on the harms and the ills of vaping, but we actually need to educate the adults and the parents.”
“Sometimes we need to shame Congress into doing things.”
Dan David (R) is running to represent Pennsylvania’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit his website to read more: https://dandavidforcongress.com