IB Lt. Gov. Candidate Scorecard
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DemocracyBudget ProcessEducationAbortionGun ViolenceImmigrationBerks Detention CenterTax FairnessCriminal JusticeWhy You?
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CandidatePartyDo you see a need for protecting or strengthening this country's democracy? What would you propose at the state level?Tell us your views about the budget process in Harrisburg. Do you have specific suggestions for change?Describe your vision for public education in Pennsylvania. What, if anything, should be changed about school funding -- and how?Do you support a woman's right to have an abortion? What actions would you take in office to advance your position?Do you intend to address gun violence in Pennsylvania? Be specific in discussing various measures that have been proposed.Tell us your views on immigration, DREAMers and TPS holders, and sanctuary cities?What do you think about the Berks Detention Center, and what steps would you take to advance your position? Do you believe the Pennsylvania taxation system is fair? If not, what changes will you advocate to make it so?Should criminal justice reform should be prioritized by the state government? If so, how? Please tell us how you will win this race, why our members should support you, and how you plan to accomplish your goals once you are elected.
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Nina AhmadDAbsolutely. Protecting our democracy is always important, and increasingly important given the current political times we are experiencing. At the state level, we need to safeguard the liberties Pennsylvanians deserve from any and all threats coming from the federal level. This means a variety of actions, from dismantling mass incarceration to ensuring access to reproductive care and pay equity. Immigration, and a welcoming stance towards new arrivals, is a key tenet of American democracy. We can and should make the path to citizenship more accessible for immigrants and we should fiercely protect DACA and those who are eligible for DACA. I support Governor Wolf’s Citizens First Ethics Reform Plan that would prevent lawmakers from being paid during budget impasses. California provides its lawmakers with a tremendous incentive to pass a budget on time. State law doesn’t provide for a temporary or stopgap budget if a final budget isn’t passed by the established deadline. In the event legislators blow through that deadline, they don’t get paid. The Pennsylvania governor has the power to convene and adjourn the Legislature under "extraordinary occasion" as outlined in the state constitution--the failure to pass a budget should qualify as an "extraordinary occasion," thereby forcing legislators to reconvene to resolve the budget.Education plays a central role in social mobility, and one’s ZIP code should not determine the quality of education or one’s level of education. I believe we need reform at all levels of education, from pre-K right up to college including establishing a robust vocational track. We need to offer universal pre-K to our youngest Pennsylvanians. In Philadelphia, we were able to achieve this, and I know that we can make it happen statewide. Access to high-quality early education can make a significant difference for the most at-risk youth and set them on a path to attaining higher education and higher salaries. Funding should not depend upon the income of the community that a school is in- this system further entrenches the inequalities between the rich and poor. Yes. As a woman and leading women’s rights activist, I believe that no restrictions should be placed on a woman’s right to choose. I will work to ensure that health care decisions are between a patient and their doctor. To preserve and expand access to reproductive care, I will fight for a single-payer healthcare system that makes abortion more affordable for lower-income women. As your Lt. Governor, I will use my office to advocate for policies that reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable communities and across the state. My proposals include:
-Mandate criminal background checks on all gun sales, so we can instantly check the criminal history of a gun purchaser.
-Ban military assault weapons and gun modifications like “bump stocks,” which effectively convert firearms into automatic weapons.
-Prohibit those convicted of domestic violence, whether of a spouse, a non-spouse partner or other family member, from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
-Close the terror loophole and ban gun sales to those on the terrorist watch list.
-Recognize gun violence for what it is: a public health epidemic.
I understand immigration because I am an immigrant. After surviving a violent War of Liberation in Bangladesh (in South Asia), I came to the United States when I was twenty-one and put myself through college and graduate school. Since my arrival in our country, I have dedicated myself to serving Pennsylvania and the United States through research, entrepreneurship, activism, and public service. I am lucky to be a striking example of the benefits that immigrants bring to our country and will fight for the rights of others to have similar paths to citizenship.
Almost a million Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients face an uncertain future and the threat of possible deportation. Many of these immigrants know only this country. They succeeded in school, served in our military, and are now working as educators, conducting research, providing healthcare, and giving back to their communities. I will work tirelessly to ensure that these Americans are able to remain here and eventually become citizens. I know that the legal path to entering the United States is broken, antiquated, and in desperate need of reform.
Many immigrant families are being torn apart by ICE raids of questionable legality, detained for months on end in private detention centers with inhumane conditions, and in some cases, returned to countries where they may face violence, persecution, or years in prison. “Sanctuary” cities like Philadelphia that seek to protect these immigrant communities from such abuses are under assault by the current administration. In Harrisburg, I will support the reform of our immigration laws, and make sure the existing laws are enforced in a humane – and constitutional – fashion in Pennsylvania.
The existence of such a facility is appalling and the Center should be closed immediately. Immigrant families deserve a path to citizenship, not to be forcibly held in horrible conditions and suffer the psychological trauma of awaiting deportation. I support Governor Wolf’s team’s efforts to revoke the Center’s state license to operate, and will work with that team to renew those efforts to strip the license away from a facility that does so much damage to vulnerable people. The current flat tax on personal income is regressive, as it places unfair tax burden on low earner tax payers. I support a progressive tax where the marginal tax rate increases with income. A progressive tax structure would generate increased income tax revenues for the Commonwealth so as to provide personal exemption which help those in lower end of the income bracket, meet its obligations of higher education and infrastructure funding for all citizens.
I would support changing the current flat corporate income tax rate to a progressive tax structure that would include 3 tax brackets with increasing marginal tax rates, starting at a lower-than-current corporate income tax rate in the lower bracket. Such a progressive tax structure would provide tax relief to small and growing business where it is needed and have larger corporation pay their fair share. Moreover, I support a statewide tax on the shale drillers that would generate at least $250 million in new revenues.
Yes, criminal justice reform should be one of the top priorities of the state. For far too long in this state, we have had an unequal system of justice. When drug addiction primarily affected communities of color, it was treated without mercy, and addicts were met with punishment instead of treatment. These communities were devastated by a school-to-prison pipeline that took juveniles out of classrooms for minor offenses and forced them into cycles of poverty and prison. I know we need to change the system if we’re ever going to achieve true equality. We need to end the “war on drugs,” stop-and-frisk, and other policies that have been designed to push people of color into jail. We need to provide an alternative to prison for non-violent crimes, eliminate mandatory minimums, take on the school-to-prison pipeline and take sensible steps to reduce criminal activities like restoring the legal sale of marijuana. Moreover, I oppose the death penalty in all cases. I categorically oppose the use of for-profit prisons, and believe we need to eliminate cash bail for all but the most heinous of circumstances. It will also be critical to review why there is such a high probation recidivism rate resulting in further incarceration.We have an experienced and strong campaign team along with a growing network of on-the-ground organizations that will help propel us to victory. We will raise and spend more money, communicate with more voters, and be more effective and efficient than any other candidate in the race. Additionally, 70% of the vote in this race comes from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the 5 county area. The data has proven that as soon as voters learn about me and my platform, they like me. I will be traveling extensively and using TV ads to get my message to every voter in these areas and across the state. Furthermore, we will win this race by connecting with and energizing voters who have historically been disconnected from the political process. For too long, the voices of women, people of color, and immigrants have been ignored in our politics. As an immigrant woman of color, Nina knows how important representation is for everyone’s voice to be heard. We will win by carefully listening to and representing the voices of those who have been ignored for too long. We hope that your membership will support us because they support diverse representation in state politics and because they believe that we can stand together against Donald Trump and his destructive policies that seek to further marginalize and disenfranchise voters. Once elected, I hope to use the skills that I gained as Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia for Public Engagement to bring in the voices of many marginalized groups in the state. As Deputy Mayor, I oversaw the Millennial Advisory Committee (which I instituted), the Youth Commission within the Office of Youth Engagement, the Commission for Women (structured during my tenure) within the Office of Engagement for Women, the Commission on Asian American Affairs, and the Office of Black Male Engagement, including President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Commission on African American Males. These experiences including and uplifting marginalized people in Philadelphia will empower me to act similarly as Lieutenant Governor.
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Joe BartosR[did not respond]
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Kathy CoderR[did not respond]
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Kathi CozzoneDEnsuring fair elections is critical to our democracy. Instituting an independent, bipartisan commission for legislative redistricting will keep election maps fair and honest, and limitations on campaign donations will level the playing field. Additionally, voting reforms, like same day registration and no-excuse absentee balloting, will encourage higher voter turnout.We need to spend more on proactive programs, which cost less over time, than on short-term reactionary programs.The current over-reliance on standardized test scores to allot funding leaves the schools most in need without the resources necessary to provide students a quality education. Analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data could direct funding where it is most needed.Yes. We need to focus on enforcement, ensuring that women’s healthcare is protected not just in name, but also in deed.We need to put an end to gun violence. School shootings, gang violence, suicide. It is an epidemic. We can pretend a good guy with a gun cancels out a bad guy with a gun, or we can live in reality. In addition to raising the purchasing age and eliminating inconsistencies like the gun show loophole, we need to ban the purchase of automatic and military style weapons by private citizens.We need to provide support and stability for our immigrant communities. DREAMers, TPS holders, DACA recipients all need and deserve our help. This is not an American issue, this is a human issue.The Berks County Detention Center is harmful to children and to families. It is an inhumane travesty. As Lieutenant Governor, I will continue advocating for community-based solutions.With so many loopholes, it is easy for companies and high-earning individuals to wriggle out of paying taxes. Eliminating these loopholes is the first thing we need to tackle.Yes. As state above, public school funding, job training, and affordable housing all contribute to economic success, and are all necessary to achieve any meaningful criminal justice reform. Additionally, the creation of diversion programs for non-violent offenders is a cost-effective means of lowering prison populations. These programs should include behavioral and mental health services, as those suffering from mental illness spend two-and-a-half to eight times longer in prison than their non-mentally ill counterparts.In addition to representing over 500,000 people as Chester County Commissioner for the past decade, I also serve on the Chester County Workforce Development Board, which develops policies and programs to assist the un- and underemployed, and am active in the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), and currently serve as the First Vice President. Additionally, I serve on two statewide advisory committees - the Statewide Geospatial Coordinating Board, which helps develop state policy for sharing data collected on land use and topographical features, and the Joint State Government Task Force Advisory Committee, where I researched voting technology and made recommendations for improvements. As an elected official already serving in the executive branch of government, and with my statewide activities and understanding of the complex relationship between the state and local governments, I am uniquely qualified for this position.
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John FettermanDYes. I am supportive of Governor Wolf's plans for voter reform, which includes same day voter registration, automatic voter registration, and gerrymandering reform (among other things). We need to make it easier for people to vote, not harder, as well as making sure that their vote counts, with fair maps and districts.The gridlock in Harrisburg is hurting Pennsylvania. Delaying the budget (like of what has been seen in years past) puts a threat on the livelihoods of our most at-risk neighbors and community members. Budget delays cause delays in funding for education, community programs, social welfare programs, among other things. We need more compromise and working together in Harrisburg, for the people, and less political divisiveness.

One specific suggestion that I have is the creation of a “Fair Districts” map for our state legislature. When leaders are elected that represent a fair district, we have the opportunity to create a legislature full of representatives that truly represent the needs of Pennsylvanians, and have the opportunity to lower the political divisiveness.
The reality in Pennsylvania is that your zip code determines the type of education you receive, and that is plainly, just not right. A student attending school in a wealthy neighborhood, compared to a student attending school in a poorer neighborhood, will statistically get different educations. This needs to change.

My vision for public education is one that offers an equal education to every child and young adult in Pennsylvania. Increased funding and more attention to our teachers, students, and staff in our public schools will help create the change we need.

One specific change would be the offering of Pre-K to all children in Pennsylvania. I like to use the ‘Soda Tax’ in Philadelphia as an example of how to fund this. By paying a few extra pennies per pop, every child in Philadelphia has the opportunity to attend Pre-K and jumpstart their education, which has positive ramifications on their continued education and lives as a whole.
Unequivocally Yes. As Lieutenant Governor, I would use my office as an advocacy position to make sure that a woman’s right to choose is protected and never in danger in Pennsylvania. In the case of having to exercise my duty as a tie-breaking vote in the State Senate, I will always vote in the favor of a woman’s right to choose.I have always been in favor of common sense gun reform, which includes the banning of military style assault weapons. My job as Mayor of Braddock was founded in the fight for gun reform after two of my students in my GED program were shot down and killed. Through effective community policing measures and working together with Council, Braddock went 5 ½ years without the loss of life due to gun violence; a statistic that was unheard of in Braddock.

We need to do more as a society to make sure guns are not in the hands of the wrong people. This includes such moves as stricter background checks, banning military assault weapons, and making sure domestic abusers don’t have access to guns. The aftermath of Parkland has been energizing in the path to common sense gun reform, but we must work together to make sure change comes.
My wife, Gisele Fetterman, was a DREAMer when she was brought to America from Brazil at a young age. If her mother hadn’t have brought her here illegally, then I wouldn’t have my amazing family that I have today. It is unfortunate that cities like Philadelphia must protect their immigrant communities, but I fully support those cities and jurisdictions that are doing the right thing and protecting the status of immigrants from ICE.The Berks Detention Center is completely un-American, and it’s an embarrassment to Pennsylvania.I believe that we need to advocate for policies that help our working class community members over those in the wealthy top 1%. By creating a taxation system that helps the middle and lower class succeed, we create a society that benefits all. I always say, “we are all better off, when we are all better off”, and I believe a taxation system that benefits the working class creates a more equitable society.Yes it should

One example of how we as a government can start creating criminal justice reform is legalizing marijuana. Our prisons are filled with non-violent drug convictions, and dis-proportionally affects the African-American community. By legalizing marijuana, and expunging past records of non-violent drug convictions, we are taking a first step to reform criminal justice.

We also need to fix the school-to-prison pipeline. Circling back up to the education question, proper funding and the introduction of Pre-K for all, we can help stop the school-to-prison pipeline in the beginning, in the classroom.
Our campaign is running a true grassroots race that has over 4300 small dollar donors and has been campaigning in all parts of Pennsylvania. We feel it is important to reach out to all voters of Pennsylvania, because all voices need to be heard. I want to be a champion for the forgotten communities, like my own, all across Pennsylvania. This is why it’s important to me to be a campaign funded by small dollar donors all over Pennsylvania and to visit as many communities as possible.

I would like your members to support me because I will be an advocate for the issues that are at the forefront of our party. Whether it’s a women’s right to choose, fighting for a livable wage, protecting union rights, or fighting to end mass incarceration, I will be a strong voice in Harrisburg. I am honored to be endorsed by labor unions, such as the United Steelworkers, as well as several small town mayors from across Pennsylvania. I want to be a champion for the working class and for the forgotten communities and I hope you support my candidacy on May 15th.
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Ray SosaDYes. I do consider our democracy is under attack. What our last presidential election showed was that foreign powers could influence our private affairs as a country. Furthermore, our President will not take decisive action against future hacking. At a state level we can strengthen our election systems and legislate to actively prevent hacking of our state election systems.I do consider that Republican control is hurting our chances for a balanced budget. We have to close the hundreds of tax loopholes that keep us from having the right revenue. We must have fair taxation so that our budget is not balanced by going into debt.I consider that our school system is severely underfunded. I am in favor of a slight increase in state sales taxes. This will greatly reduce the property tax liability on our homeowners and guarantee permament funding for schools by legislation. Let the tourists pay for our schools.I support a woman's right to choose. I also consider that the state must offer protections to healthcare workers and facilities that provide abortion services. So that we can offer a safe vehicle to women so they can exercise their right to choose.Yes. Assault weapons, military style weapons and accessories to make guns automatic do not belong in the hands of civilians. We must deepen our background checks and automatically refuse people with a history of violence or mental health issues.I believe DREAMers and TPS holders should always be given a path to permanent citizenship. I advocate for the halting of deportations and the dividing of families by the present administration. I believe that sanctuary cities should stand up to the bullying by the federal government. They are supposed to offer safe heaven. This is in case of non violent or criminal offenders. I think this ICE detention center represents the worst approach to immigration policy in the country. Being the only facility in the US to be able to hold immigrant families indefinitely, I consider it to be unnecessary and a human rights violation. No. I think our system at present does not have a fair tax structure. We keep balancing the national budget on the backs of the middle class and when we get a little subsidy we are supposed to be happy. There is a lot of room for fairness and improvement. The trickle down economic model has never worked. At a state level we have to close the Delaware loophole and the hundreds of other corporate tax loopholes in Pennsylvania. We must also help our farmers and rural areas with fair taxation that is crop specific, the state must invest in infrastructure and broadband. This so our farmers can compete at a national level. Governor Wolf and Senator Casey agree that it is not only justifiable for the state to invest on our farmers but necessary. What do states that have a thriving farming community have in common? A balanced budget year after year.Yes. Our criminal justice system is lopsided towards incarceration of minorities. We are sitting in a massive recidivism rate of over 70%. We must provide compulsory education for our prisoners and the state should bear the burden of post prison opportunities for ex convicts. Our prison system must migrate from a punitive approach to a rehabilitative approach.I will win this race with qualifications. I have been appointed by three US Governors in leadership positions ranging from emergency management to criminal justice system. At present, I am the only candidate with statewide government administrative experience. I am also a minority and I understand the struggles of sectors in the community that have been ignored for too long. I should be endorsed by Indivisible Berks because I have the necessary experience and I am the only candidate with a solid position on the farming community. My family has been in farming for two generations. I plan on accomplishing my goals by using the power of the office of Lieutenant Governor as an advocate for fair treatment of our farmers, fair treatment of our prisoners, fair treatment for our schools and opportunities for our middle class.
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Mike Stack (incumbent)D[did not respond]
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Diana Irey VaughanR[did not respond]
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