SEPARATE BUT EQUAL WAS RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN 1954

UNDER THE RADAR DEMOCRATIC VICTORY



PA Governor Tom Wolf


Remember the tsunami of Republican victories in the November 2014 elections when they managed to take control of the Senate and won additional state Governorships to bring their total up to 31 of the fifty states?  Of course. We all do.  Well it came as a surprise to me that there was one state Governor’s election that saw a switch in the other direction – from Red to Blue.  Somehow I missed this and in an election that gave scant – read ‘No” – cause for celebration, this should have been front page news.  Governor Tom Wolf (D) was not only elected Pennsylvania’s Governor, he was elected because he promised to increase public school spending and raise taxes.  Yes, he did and did it when many Red state Governors were promising (and in the case of Kansas, delivering) to cut taxes and he was the only one to unseat a sitting Republican Governor.  Apparently the folks in Pennsylvania have better common sense than the residents of Kansas.

BRYN ATHYN HOME
For Wolf and the voters, the disparity among school spending – schools in wealthy areas got more money than schools in poor areas – was the major issue he campaigned on.  According to WAPO Pennsylvania has the largest gap of any state between what rich and poor schools receive in funds.  For example, Bryn Athyn in wealthy, suburban  Montgomery County, spent $26,675 per pupil while Mount Carmel, located near Ashland, PA, in coal country, spent $8,660 per pupil.    Per pupil spending in urban Philadelphia rings in at $13,077 just about half of what Bryn Athyn spends.

MOUNT CARMEL

Pennsylvania’s legislature is, and has been, Republican controlled and under former Republican Governor Tom Corbett, elected in 2011, $1 billion in education funding disappeared and more than 20,000 education jobs were lost.   Apparently Wolf recognized that this was not especially good for your ordinary Pennsylvania resident and polls indicated that education was the top priority.  Wolf crafted his campaign on the notion that your zip code shouldn’t determine how much money your school receives.  Plus, he campaigned on the novel idea of increasing taxes on gas production, personal income and state sales taxes.  AND HE WON, proving, I guess, that straight talk rather than political bullshit can actually be a successful campaign platform. 

So there you have it.  In an otherwise disastrous election cycle for all those Democrats who ran against Obama, here’s a guy who told folks what the real deal was and prevailed.  Now the Pennsylvania State Legislature is still Republican controlled (recall that they were among those Red State Legislatures who adopted Voter ID legislation) and are not exactly cooperating.

But my take away from this rather stunning “upset” is that maybe it’s time for Democrats to man up and actually be honest with the American voter.  You know, things like “cutting taxes” really doesn’t create jobs, taxing the wealthy won’t collapse the economy, and climate change – whether from natural cycles or from man made causes – really will cost us trillions of dollars if we continue to ignore it.  So let’s all make sure that from now until the 2016 elections we keep up the pressure on Hillary and every other Democrat up for election to be straight with the American people and tell the truth.  In fact, just the other day, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley called Marco Rubio’s economic blueprint “bullshit!”  No lie. He really did! For me, this kind of honest “assessment” needs to be adopted as a blueprint for every Democrat.  Let’s make sure we hear much more of this brand of honesty and common sense applied to all the destructive Republican “policies” from now until November 2016.

Have a good day!


PS: It’s cold again in DC.  Well, not cold exactly but our highs for the next five days don’t get above the mid 60’s.  Having returned to DC just two weeks ago after being treated to two weeks of 101 to 105 degree daily high temps, I call this COLD!

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