Wolf Highlights Inland Port Infrastructure for PA Job Potential

Tom Wolfe holds election rally at Aliquippa Elks Lodge

Tom Wolf, right, shakes hands with Beaver County commissioner Joe Spanik before an election rally on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at the Aliquippa Elks Lodge on Brodhead Road in Aliquippa.

By David Taube

Beaver County Times

Oct 26, 2014 HOPEWELL TWP. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf visited Beaver County again on Sunday, calling the election a chance for voters to say what they are not and what they could be.

The York County businessman echoed a recent campaign statement that Pennsylvania’s job creation was the worst in the country since 2011, based on federal data, suggesting the state could capitalize on its port access as one economic possibility. He also repeatedly stated that residents shouldn’t take polls too seriously.

Speaking to 60-plus people at Aliquippa Elks Lodge 1221 on Sunday, he said the upcoming election is a chance to move Pennsylvania and the country in the right direction.

“If you want to look at Pennsylvania over the last four years, it’s really a clinical test of the last 40 years,” Wolf said. “What we’ve been told over the last 40 years is ‘The real world is an unfair place. Let that 1 percent take over, and they’re going to show us wonderful things.’

“It hasn’t worked,” he said.

Wolf has visited Aliquippa or Hopewell Township several times in the last few months, and Aliquippa Mayor Dwan Walker said Wolf’s third visit on Sunday meant he was now family. He visited Aliquippa Elementary School on Aug. 25 and the Aliquippa Junior-Senior High School on Oct. 13.

Multiple local elected officials called him the state’s next governor, such as Beaver County Commissioners Chairman Tony Amadio.

Amadio also said he and other commissioners have fought for years to have the state replenish budget cuts, including visiting Harrisburg. He said he was disappointed to see the morale in schools.

State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-16, Ambridge, said that when Ed Rendell was governor, Cabinet members reached out to him within six months of Matzie taking office. With Gov. Tom Corbett, he’s had 30 to 40 words with his Cabinet members, he said.

“When you don’t have that type of relationship … you’re not going to move forward,” Matzie said.

Regarding business, Wolf described the role of government as “limited” for a “free-market economy.” His campaign has stated a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas extraction could generate $1 billion in 2015.

He said after the rally that he would use a severance tax for: sending money back to localities to take the place of Act 13 impact fee money; funding the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure the industry is regulated correctly and responsibly; funding sustainable energy efforts such as tax credits and low-interest loans and grants; and hundreds of millions of dollars in educational investments.

But he also told attendees that coal creates a lot of good jobs, and timber, agricultural land and fresh water are significant resources.

Wolf also spoke about how the widening of the Panama Canal could change transportation dynamics in the country, and Pennsylvania could use its ports in Erie, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to its advantage.

“If you’re governor of a state like that, you want to go out and tout that,” he said.

While Wolf has repeatedly had large leads in polls, he said the only poll that matters is the one on Nov. 4.

“Go out and vote,” he said, “because this is our chance to actually move this state in a direction I think we all deserve.”

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