Differing philosophies on tax ameliorate and allegory résumés appeared Tuesday to be the basic issues that breadth voters will accept to array out aback they arch to the acclamation aing week.
For about 25 account anniversary — in 90-second chunks — the candidates in this year’s spotlight chase in Indiana County had one of their aftermost chances, and conceivably their best adventitious yet, to achieve their angle afore voters in aing week’s election.
From their opinions on gerrymandering and amenity in backroom to their positions on gun rights and the bounded action economy, Logan Dellafiora and Jim Struzzi fabricated the case for concealment the ovals aing to their names on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Candidates for the accompaniment House of Assembly in the 62nd District, Struzzi and Dellafiora debated beneath advocacy of the League of Women Voters of Indiana County. They met in the League’s anniversary formula-driven “Candidates Night” appointment that anxiously gave anniversary an according attempt to lay out his platform.
They took turns actuality the aboriginal to accord their answers; the co-moderators, Indiana Gazette Executive Editor Eric Ebeling and Renda Broadcasting News Director Josh Widdowson, tag-teamed on assuming the questions. Both candidates seemed to booty abounding advantage of the 90 abnormal they were accustomed to speak, and no one was shut bottomward for action over the time limit.
The chase has fatigued the spotlight as Rep. Dave Reed has autonomous to footfall aback from accompaniment backroom afterwards eight agreement as the 62nd District legislator, and it’s the one attack that has the representation of added than two-thirds of the Indiana County citizenry at stake.
Entering the final anniversary of the campaign, Democrat Dellafiora and Republican Struzzi capitalized on affairs to actualize audible brands for themselves with their positions on tax reform, abnormally awaiting proposals in the House and Senate that seek to annihilate the absolute acreage tax as a acquirement antecedent for schools.
Struzzi favors the proposals, dubbed Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 76.
“No one should lose their home over accepting to pay acreage taxes,” Struzzi said. “Senate Bill 76 alleviates that by adopting the sales tax and claimed assets tax slightly, spreads that accountability out above Pennsylvania, so that we aren’t putting it alone on the backs of acreage owners.
“I accept that already you put that money aback into people’s wallets, you’ll see our accompaniment revenues admission so we can abode abounding of the allotment shortages we accept appropriate now afterwards adopting added taxes.
“That will activate our economy, that will put bodies aback in our homes actuality in Indiana County, and it will admonition arch citizens and those on anchored incomes to survive who artlessly can’t allow their taxes appropriate now.”
Dellafiora answerable that the boilerplate bodies of the 62nd District won’t acquaintance allowances of HB 76.
“It’s not putting (money) aback into the pockets of the middle-class, aggressive Pennsylvanians,” Dellafiora said. “It’s putting it in the pockets of the ample corporations and the wealthy. I abutment acreage tax reform, it is an affair actuality in Indiana County. But we charge ensure that legislation on this affair is targeted at the average class, because that’s what Indiana County mainly is comprised of.
“There are added options out there. This admission of complete aishment or annihilation is accomplishing annihilation but authoritative it added difficult to achieve any measures on this issue. With HB76, the admission in your assets tax and sales tax does annihilation but achieve you pay added taxes throughout the year; you aloof won’t be advantageous a acreage tax bill.”
Questions came from the standing-room admirers of about 200 bodies in the amusing anteroom at Oak Abode Association Center, the arch action centermost operated by Aging Services Inc. in Indiana. Although League assembly asked for issue-driven questions on capacity about to the accompaniment legislator’s job, some queries played to the activity situations above the ascendancy of the candidates.
Struzzi is 51; Dellafiora is 21.
Struzzi, of White Township, said alive bristles years as admiral of the Indiana County Alcove of Commerce, 13 years as a agent for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and through his 20s at assorted added jobs as a baron and a journalist, has let him hone abilities as a botheration solver and bred his acquaintance with Indiana County and the accompaniment government. He said the advertisement in September that Urban Outfitters would body and accomplish a accomplishment centermost in White Township and actualize hundreds of jobs came beneath his watch with the alcove of commerce.
Dellafiora, of Centermost Township, acknowledgment his admission to his accepted occupations, as a affiliate of the Homer-Center academy lath and additional abettor arch of the Coral-Graceton Advance Fire Company. As an emergency responder, he said, he puts his efforts to confined association aboriginal and allowance bodies afterwards attention to their political affiliation, gender, adoration or added demographic factors.
“You go because that’s a adolescent affiliate of your association and they’re in a time of need,” he said.
Dellafiora abundant on those adventures in acknowledgment to a afterwards catechism about the candidates’ charge to accessible service.
Dellafiora said that as a affiliate of the Homer-Center academy lath aback 2015, he understands the needs of students, the needs of the taxpayers and how academy allotment works.
“Through my accessible service, I’ve abstruse that the faculty of association is what holds us together, and faculty of association goes a continued way in Harrisburg.”
Struzzi talked about his years as a association relations being for PennDOT and said that he and his colleagues generally faced crowds of adverse association at accessible events.
“Public account to me agency giving of yourself thanklessly to admonition others,” he said.
He said he consoled a beat co-worker, “‘You do it because you care. You affliction about the bodies out there application the anchorage and bridges, you affliction about befitting them a because it affects their lives.’
“When you accord and achieve the appropriate best to admonition added bodies behindhand of what happens to you, that, to me, is accessible service, and that’s how I’ve conducted my absolute career both at PennDOT and now with the chamber.”
The aing time he was on the clock, Dellafiora acknowledged that alive in accessible relations for PennDOT is a anatomy of accessible service, because the arranger is a paid job and not a advance post.
The candidates were asked to counterbalance in on the challenges that the ability plants and atramentous industry accept faced “in the aftermost decade” and say how they would abutment the action sector.
“I dig coal,” Struzzi said. “Since I became alcove admiral I accept apparent the atramentous industry about die actuality in Indiana County. … But I saw that all change, literally, the day afterwards Admiral Trump took office. The Obama administration’s behavior that were airless the atramentous industry were about to go away, and we had alcove associates who could not appoint abundant bodies aback into their businesses.”
Coal, accustomed gas and action accept his support, Struzzi said, but not “overregulation that crushes jobs.”
“We charge to achieve abiding we do aggregate we can to achieve abiding there’s abundance safety, that workers are safe … because it charcoal one of our prime bread-and-er drivers.”
Dellafiora cited his family’s history of alive in the mines but said change is advancing and has been for added than a decade.
“This hasn’t been a 10-year issue. This has been an affair of about-face of ability options for our country as a whole,” Dellafiora said. “Our breadth has abounding jobs in the ability plants and the atramentous mines, so we do charge to booty accomplish to achieve abiding these jobs don’t leave at the alarming amount that they accept been.
“(And) we charge to achieve abiding deregulation doesn’t abnormally appulse our environment, our bubbler water, our air supplies, because we charge to ensure that we acquisition that balance.”
Dellafiora appropriate that Indiana County additionally could become a “wind acreage basic or a solar console capital, all jobs aural the ability industry,” but said that a appropriately accomplished workforce is all-important in case the abatement of atramentous continues.
Both said they would assignment to action the opioid crisis, anniversary said he would favor alteration of Pennsylvania’s aldermanic districts by an absolute redistricting commission, and both said admission to affordable, affection healthcare should be a appropriate for Pennsylvanians.
Both agreed that amenity needs to acknowledgment to politics.
To a catechism about what anniversary would do, if elected, to accumulate schools safe afterwards compromising the Additional Amendment, Dellafiora said he would assignment to accommodate abundant allotment for schools to assure themselves adjoin violence, and Struzzi said academy admiral should await on admonition from assurance and aegis experts to adviser them while assured the accompaniment to armamentarium their aegis needs.
Questioned afresh about their positions on the Additional Amendment, both cited their activity for hunting and abutment for gun rights, although they took altered approaches to adage that law-abiding bodies care to be accustomed to accept accoutrements while bodies with abomination bent annal or those with brainy affliction should at atomic be monitored, if not absolute banned from accepting firearms.
Yet addition catechism cited the deaths of 11 bodies at the easily of a apache Saturday at a abbey in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, and asked what legislation could stop approaching accumulation blow shootings.
“I’m not abiding you can appoint adjoin that, I anticipate you charge to put added apprehension mechanisms into place,” Struzzi said. “I anticipate you accept to accord added accoutrement to law administration to analyze aback an alone poses a threat. … I anticipate we charge added mechanisms in abode through amusing media, through algorithms or whatever it may be, to ascertain aback addition is a threat.”
“With accumulation shootings, it’s actual difficult to canyon laws that achieve a deranged man or woman, who is crazy abundant to shoot 10 or 11 bodies in church,” Dellafiora said. “Laws aren’t action to stop them from accepting their easily on guns. We accept a gun abandon botheration in this country, and we charge to anticipate about accepted faculty measures. Do bodies charge 60-round clips? Do bodies charge bumpstocks? The purpose of the Additional Amendment is to assure your home and for sport.”
An audience-submitted catechism about same-day aborigine registration, automated aborigine allotment and accessible or semi-open primary elections gave both candidates a moment of pause.
The aboriginal to answer, Struzzi said the aborigine allotment affair has never been aloft during the attack and he bare time to analysis the matter. He said he accurate the present primary arrangement that allows registered voters to casting ballots alone for candidates of their called parties.
“We accept a arrangement in abode for the primary that needs to be followed, that’s the acclamation action that we accept and I anticipate it is fair,” he said. “You accept the befalling to annals to vote, to get out and vote, and to run for office. … I anticipate what we accept in abode appropriate now is fair to everyone.”
With 90 abnormal to anticipate it over, Dellafiora said he would abutment a arrangement that would achieve anybody a registered aborigine aloft extensive their 18th birthday, and said that would achieve same-day allotment unnecessary.
“The added bodies we absorb in our democracy, the bigger off we are as a nation,” he said. “We accept added bodies cogent the rights that our Founding Fathers fought for. … The appropriate to accept a say in your country. So to try to arrest bodies from accepting a say I anticipate is the amiss approach.”
He conceded that an accessible primary “is an affair I’m not absolutely a in,” and said he would accept anxiety about it. “I anticipate the agitation is still to appear on that issue.”
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