state politics

Wendell Potter Apologizes to Michael Moore

Tomorrow, I will be visiting New York City to go to an event that will feature both Michael Moore and Wendell Potter. I already have the endorsement of Quentin Young of Physicians for a National Health Program, and I would like to add these two single-payer supporters to the list.

Passing single-payer healthcare is one of the most important things I seek to do if elected to the state assembly.

Watch the Keith Olbermann interview with Wendell Potter and Michael Moore:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xlpcDnr7eM

Governor Rendell and the Hidden Costs of Casinos

Governor Rendell has grown increasingly isolated as a politician still openly advocating for the development of SugarHouse and Foxwoods casinos in Philadelphia. Not only has he dismissed and become increasingly hostile to the residents who oppose these developments but he has also failed to provide a solid cost/benefit analysis to back up his claims of the economic benefits of casinos.

Governor Rendell claims that casinos will bring 7,000 new jobs into the city while an independent study by Temple economics professor, Fred Murphy, shows casinos could create net job loss of 5,900 jobs. Rendell has budget only .001% of casino revenue to deal with gambling addiction when it could cost the city up to 2,000 times more to deal with the impact of those new addicts. Many of the studies done to date give no estimate for costs of things like reduction in property values, medical emergency services and other municipal costs, reduction in taxes from businesses that close due to competition with casinos and the opportunity cost of using the Delaware Riverfront for other projects.

These numbers have led many people to believe that the figures that the Governor has been using to promote casinos as a panacea for the economy are grossly overstated and misleading. For the past few weeks, Casino-Free Philadelphia has been on a campaign to create more accountability to the hidden costs of casinos. On April 10th, Casino-Free Philadelphia will be gathering at the Governor's Philadelphia office for a "debate-in," (like a sit-in) and plan to stay at Rendell's office until he agrees to a debate on the costs/benefits of casinos. Casino-Free is inviting any member of the public who wants to come observe the action to show up on April 10th.

For more information go to www.casinofreephila.org or contact Lily Cavanagh at lily@casinofreephila.org.

Turning the Suburbs Blue

The suburbs surrounding Philadelphia have long been regarded as a Republican stronghold. Moderate Republicanism, perhaps best personified by Sen. Arlen Specter, has ruled the day. This has begun to change as the Pennsylvania GOP has moved farther and farther to the right. Democrats have a good shot at winning the majority on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners as more suburbanites turn away from the Republican Party.

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