Successful Candidates Forum Held for Two Legislative Districts
The LWV Indiana County, along with co-sponsors Renda Broadcasting and the Indiana Gazette, held a successful candidates debate October 21, 2014, at the Oak Place Community Center, Indiana PA.
Debating were Representative Dave Reed, Republican and challenger Kevin Freeberg, Democrat, candidates for Pennsylvania’s 62nd Legislative District, and Republican Cris Dush and challenger Robert Toby Santik, Democrat, candidates for Pennsylvania’s 66th Legislative District.
Following opening remarks by LWV Indiana County president Sherene Hess, candidates had 90-seconds to answer questions in a round robin format. The Indiana Branch of the American Association of University Women provided light refreshments.
In an article posted October 22nd in the Indiana Gazette: CAMPAIGN 2014: House candidates tackle issues during voter forum, reporter Chauncey Ross noted that of the 10 questions posed in the hour long debate, a few legislation-specific topics gave the candidates a chance to markedly distinguish themselves from the others.
All said they would favor legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, under strictly enforced conditions.
None said they thought it’s acceptable for employers to pay women less than men for doing the same work.
Some made distinctions in the way they would like to see gun control laws made effective, while all said they support the Second Amendment and the enforcement of restrictions already on the books.
Freeberg used the question to call for more support for mental health services and schools “so they can deal with people with mental illness,” he said.
And Santik said Pennsylvania ought to mark drivers’ licenses with firearm possession restrictions imposed on the holder, so a gun dealer would be alerted by licenses presented as identification for a gun purchase.
When asked about Pennsylvania’s voter identification law — which now requires only first-time voters to present ID — Santik, Dush and Reed all said they favor it.
Pennsylvanians readily present ID to buy cigarettes and alcohol, even to rent a kayak at Yellow Creek State Park, Reed said, so “it is not unreasonable to ask voters for ID.”
Dush and Santik both said ID helps to combat fraud.
“It used to be that everybody knew each other at the polls,” but not so much today, Dush said.
But Freeberg called it “a solution looking for a problem.”
“There is virtually no voter fraud in Pennsylvania,” and the law serves to disenfranchise people who are inconvenienced by having to get an acceptable ID.
Further, he said Pennsylvania should extend its election over several days to give more people a chance to get to the polls.
“We should be making it easier, not more difficult to vote,” Freeberg said.
To read the full article, log on to http://www.indianagazette.com/news/indiana-news/campaign-2014-house-candidates-tackle-issues-during-voter-forum,20821014/.