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Franklin Co. Democrats have hope for Nov. 7 election

October 19, 2006|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Three weeks and counting until the Nov. 7 election, Franklin County Democrats were sounding ebullient Wednesday night about their chances of unseating Republican incumbents.

Andrew Alosi, the nominee for the 89th District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, told the approximately 50 people at the party's fall dinner at the Waynesboro Elks Lodge that many voters have learned to pronounce his name as he campaigned door-to-door.

"I'm going to teach Rob Kauffman to sing 'Alosi' whenever he's singing the blues on election night," the candidate said, referring to the GOP incumbent. "It's time for a change in Harrisburg."

Alosi echoed a theme that worked well against several incumbent state legislators in the May primary - cutting perks.

"I've made a commitment not to accept any perks," Alosi said of the vehicle, gas and mileage expenses allowed legislators. The candidate said he has also not accepted any contributions from "special interest groups."

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Kauffman, elected in 2004, was criticized by Alosi for not supporting passage of the bill to raise the state's minimum wage.

"It's not the best tax reform, but it's a beginning," Alosi said of Act 1, a bill to shift some local school funding away from property taxes. Kauffman also was criticized for supporting an alternative tax reform plan that Alosi said would have broadened the state sales tax to include food and clothing.

Tony Barr won the Democratic nomination for the Ninth District to the U.S. House of Representatives as a write-in candidate after no Democrat filed to run in the May primary. His opponent is U.S. Rep Bill Shuster.

"I've had enough of the lies. I've had enough of the weak leadership. I've had enough of the shifting blame" by Republicans, the special education teacher from Blair County said.

Barr called Internet rumors that terrorists might be planning to use "dirty bombs" at football stadiums this weekend "an October surprise" meant to scare voters and said the Bush administration and Congress have failed in five years to secure the country's border against such a threat.

Barr took jabs at the GOP on the issues of family and moral values.

"What family would leave 46 million of its members ... uninsured?" Barr said of health care coverage. "What person of any morals would sexually hurt young boys?" he said, referring to the scandal involving former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley.

Barr said he will need "drop-out Democrats," those who usually do not vote in mid-term elections, to come and vote if he is to win.

In the Ninth District, Republicans have a substantial edge in registered voters over the Democrats, a challenge Alosi also faces in the 89th District.

Photo by Don Aines

Deborah Weihl, left, and Dottie Potter talk with Ninth District U.S. House of Representatives candidate Tony Barr at Wednesday's Franklin County Fall Democratic Dinner.

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