The leaves are falling, the skies are gray, a chill is in the air. All signs are pointing to fall. For all you registered voters missing the festive spirit of Halloween, might I suggest another national day of autumnal civic duty to fill that pumpkin-shaped hole in your heart — Voting Day! The midterm election coverage has reached a fevered pitch, with voters everywhere waiting with bated breath to see who will represent them on the national, state, and local stages. If you’re getting sick of following the horse race, have no fear: we here at The Tartan have compiled a strictly non-partisan, strictly fact-based, and strictly informative voter guide, so you can step into the booth on Nov. 6 with confidence.
If you used your SMC mailbox to register, you can vote on campus in the Wiegand Gym in the Cohon Center, otherwise visit http://www.alleghenycounty.us/elections/voters.aspx for polling places and sample ballots. This information is largely compiled from the voting guides of the League of Women Voters and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bob Casey, Jr., Democratic Party
Top Issues: “Increasing access to affordable health care, protecting the programs Pennsylvanians depend on, and helping working families get ahead.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: The two-term incumbent, Casey has come out strongly against President Trump, while his website lists a platform including, among other topics, improving worker’s rights, greater investment in education, and infrastructure modernization and improvements.
Lou Barletta, Republican Party
Top Issues: “Keeping Pennsylvania’s families safe, protecting Pennsylvania jobs, and standing up for the men and women who serve our communities.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: The former mayor of Hazleton, PA and a U.S. congressman since 2011, Barletta is a strong supporter of President Trump, with his website listing, among other topics, Barletta’s pro-life stances, support of the Second Amendment, and opposition to sanctuary cities.
Neal Gale, Green Party
Top Issues: “1. Remove Corporate, PAC, lobbyist and other special interests’ money from the political process... 2. Generate the political will...to implement a transition from our existing fossil fuel economy to a 100% renewable energy economy, acknowledging the existential threat that climate change represents. 3. Reform our economic model to favor all of our citizens, not just the wealthiest 1%.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: According to his website, Gale, the manager of a “low income energy affordability program,” is running on the Green Party platform of promoting grassroots civic engagement, transitioning to 100% renewable energy, and global denuclearization, among others.
Dale Kerns, Libertarian Party
Top Issues: “Balanced budget amendment, bringing war powers back to congress, a Criminal Justice Reform/Addiction is Not a Crime Bill” (Ballotopedia)
Positions: Kern, the founder and president of the nonprofit Little Angels Foundation, stands for free trade, relaxed immigration laws, and a non-interventionist foreign policy, among others.
District 18, U.S. House of Representatives:
Mike Doyle, Democratic Party
Top Issues: Creating jobs and strengthening economy, federal education and job-training programs, funding for science and infrastructure, and protecting net neutrality.
Positions: According to his website, Doyle, the 12-term, unopposed incumbent Congressman, is a strong supporter of the environment, access to “affordable, high-quality health care,” and a foreign policy based on diplomacy.
Governor of Pennsylvania:
Tom Wolf, Democratic Party
Top Issues: “Investing in our Kids and Schools...Grow Jobs and Support Workers...Protect our Seniors and Access to Health Care.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: According to his website, Wolf is against drilling in state parks, has restored $1 billion dollars in education cuts, and has banned his administration from accepting gifts, among others.
Scott Wagner, Republican Party
Top Issues: “Overhauling government impositions...eliminate property taxes...retool and redesign [the] education system.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: According to his website, a major goal for Wagner is to “free business owners from regulations and burdensome processes,” as well as “sign legislation to eliminate the school taxes on your home.”
Paul Glover, Green Party
Top Issues: “1. Shift the State budget toward ecology and justice... 2. Fully employ all Pennsylvanians to rebuild cities, suburbs, and farms... 3. Permit formation of community based medical cooperatives.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: Wagner supports a change to instant runoff/ranked choice voting, as well as “reduce the costs of living by rebuilding our cities toward balance with nature, expand Medicare to all...end the student debt scam, [and] replace nuclear power,” according to his website.
Ken V Krawchuk, Libertarian Party
Top Issues: “[To] veto every tax increase, aggressively use the line item veto, eliminate property taxes and reduce the corporate tax.. addiction should be treated as a medical issue, not a criminal one... to help save lives, the right to keep and bear arms should be strongly supported because gun control kills.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: According to his website, Krawchuk would like to veto all tax increases, end property taxes, “end the state monopoly on education”, decriminalize marijuana and pardon non-violent drug offenders, end parole for violent offenders, and support the right to bear arms.
Pennsylvania Legislature 23rd District (South and Central Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Hazelwood, and Glen Hazel):
Dan B. Frankel, Democratic Party
Top Issues: “1. Protect the fundamental civil rights of Pennsylvania men and women… 2. Promote reforms to the healthcare system that support full access to health care for all Pennsylvanians... 3. Supporting measures that enhance public health and make our communities safer.”
Positions: According to his website, Frankel, the 23rd District incumbent since 1999, is “dedicated to promoting urban and environmental issues,” and sits on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s boards of directors.
Jay Ting Walker, Green Party
Top Issues: “Lead a regional and eventually statewide discussion on ending fracking in Pennsylvania and develop a plan to transition...to 100% renewable energy by 2035...2. Advocate for and pass statewide single payer healthcare...3. Advocate for and pass a ban on lobbyist gifts to legislators.” (League of Women Voters)
Positions: According to his website, Walker, a DSA member and vice president of the Allegheny County Transit Council, is for ending gerrymandering in Pittsburgh, banning fracking, and free college tuition, among others.
Make sure to get to the polls on Nov. 6, and show off those stickers!