Across party lines in Pennsylvania’s urban, suburban, and rural communities, we have all suffered as a result of the Wolf-Fetterman administration. The state budget has soared, taxes rose, businesses are boarded up from unnecessary Covid lockdowns, children are severely behind in their academic progress, and police are left locking up the same criminals time and time again.
This administration should also be recognized as one of the worst in terms of handling the pandemic. They sent Covid-positive patients to nursing homes, shut down businesses, and closed our schools. At the same time, the three most powerful elected officials in Pennsylvania took care of themselves instead of helping their constituents who elected them. The governor granted an essential-business exception for himself. The lieutenant governor continues to illegally hang flags outside of the Capitol, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro stands on the sidelines while allowing this unconstitutional behavior to happen.
Citizens across the commonwealth were so disgusted with the current administration and their handling of the pandemic that two constitutional amendments were passed last year to prevent the governor from acting unilaterally during emergencies. Despite the amendments, the administration continues to enact illegal policies that are not supported by the Pennsylvania Constitution, and it has wasted taxpayer dollars by issuing a statewide mask mandate for all schools, taking it all the way to the State Supreme Court only to have it struck down.
Regardless of their political affiliation, constituents across the state are weary of living in survival mode, which is not sustainable or preferable. While we might not agree with Jeff Bezos on many issues, I fully support one of his ideas and believe that it is the right advice for Pennsylvania: “We can’t be in survival mode. We have to be in growth mode.” It is well past time to get out of survival mode and move to growth mode in our commonwealth. The good news is we have the chance to make some serious changes in 2022. Elections for the next governor, lieutenant governor, and U.S. senator will take place in November and should not be taken lightly.
It is well past time to get out of survival mode and move to growth mode in our commonwealth.
I believe the top five priorities of any worthwhile candidate should include: getting everyone, especially parents, back to work; providing a world-class education for every student, regardless of zip code; making Pennsylvania the most dynamic economy in the country, with good-paying jobs; building strong communities where every Pennsylvanian feels safe in their home and business; and ensuring election integrity, where voters trust our system and ballot harvesting is a crime met with serious punishment.
None of these important issues have been addressed by Shapiro, now the Democratic candidate for governor. Instead, he has identified the following top five priorities if he is elected to office: legalize marijuana, alleviate student debt, protect a women’s right to choose, fight climate change, and protect your right to vote (this last one is disingenuous at best: what we need is election integrity).
From my perspective, his priorities are truly unbelievable. As residents across the state scrape together pennies to keep up with surging inflation, Shapiro publishes priorities that have very little benefit for most Pennsylvanians. How can he ask to lead the state when he is unwilling to address the weak recovery from the pandemic, severe learning loss for our kids in public schools, and a soaring crime rate?
Our beautiful commonwealth is struggling and desperately in need of elected officials who are unafraid to stand up for me and you. It cannot be someone who wants to impose a far-left agenda. Rather, we need a leader who understands the real-life needs of real people. You have the power to decide the direction of Pennsylvania, and I hope that you will take it seriously. Let’s get out of survival mode and allow our parents, children, business owners, and taxpayers to once again grow and thrive.
Horsham resident Clarice Schillinger is a candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.