Pro-Life Coalition of Pa. Questionnaires for Candidates for Governor and U.S. Senator

"March 31 Pennsylvania Governor Candidates' Forum Video"

May 17, 2022 Primary Election

 

Our Priority: Electing a Pro-Life Governor

 

          A pro-life Governor can have a huge impact in advancing the legal protection of children before birth from abortion in Pa.

          The Democrat Party Governor Candidate, Josh Shapiro, is an ardent supporter of abortion.  He has even, as Pa. Attorney General, joined the lawsuit against The Little Sisters of the Poor to force them to fund abortifacient and contraceptive drugs.

 

          Our Committee seeks to nominate the best pro-life Republican candidate to defeat Shapiro in the November 8, 2022 General Election.  For reasons explained below, we believe that candidate is Dave White.

Summary

          A summary of the position of the candidates is as follows:

 

                   Joe Gale

                   Charlie Gerow

                   Melissa Hart

                   Doug Mastriano

                   Dave White

                   Nche Zama

                   Lou Barletta*

                   Jake Corman*

                   Bill McSwain*

 

                   (*indicates support for rape and incest exceptions)

 

The Relevance of Rape and Incest Exceptions

 

          The "rape and incest" exceptions remain the principal temptation for many "pro-life" candidates.  Since approximately 75% of Pa. voters support such exceptions, the rejection of such exceptions requires significant political courage.  More importantly, a consistently pro-life position, based in the inalienable right to life of every child in the womb, requires the rejection of these exceptions.

 

          Thus, a "pro-life/rape and incest exceptions" candidate rejects this right and his or her opposition to legal abortion depends on whether the expectant mother consented to the sexual activity that led to the conception of the child, rather than the child's inalienable right to life.

          Nevertheless, many "rape and incest exceptions/pro-life" candidates have won election with the support of the Pa. pro-life movement and have compiled extensive pro-life records.  An example is U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.

          However, our experience also indicates that "rape and incest exceptions" public officials, particularly in Executive positions, sometimes have significant failures because of their inconsistent "pro-life position."  An example is former Gov. Tom Corbett.

 

          Thus, while our movement will continue to support "pro-life/rape and incest" candidates against pro-abortion opponents (because such support advances the overall mission of the pro-life movement, which is to have every child welcome in life and protected by law), our priority should remain to support consistently pro-life candidates.

 

Political Viability

 

          While the pro-life movement has an obligation to accurately describe the record and/or positions of candidates, we also have an obligation to make our efforts meaningful.  We seek to make a difference on the outcome of current and future Elections - and not just provide information.  Thus, the criterion of "political viability" is important and fair to consider.

 

          There are currently only four candidates (Barletta, Mastriano, McSwain and White) polling over 10% and thus have any realistic chance of winning the Republican Nomination for Pa. Governor.  Only two of these candidates (Mastriano and White) have a consistently pro-life position.

Why Senator Doug Mastriano is Likely to Lose (by a Large Margin) to Josh Shapiro

 

          In May 2018, the Pa. GOP nominated Pa. Scott Wagner, an outspoken, even brash, "Republican Establishment Shaker-Upper."  Scott carried some considerable "political baggage."  (Our Committee supported his opponent, Paul Mango, who lost 42-37% to Wagner.)  Scott lost to Gov. Tom Wolf in the November 2018 General Election by about 20%.

 

          Doug also carries some considerable "political baggage."  (We use this term to describe personality traits and/or association with issues/events/other persons that detract the attention of voters from a candidate's positives - and his or her opponent's negatives).

          The following is a listing of some of Doug's political baggage.

 

1.  His March 2020 Call to publicly identify Pennsylvanians who had contracted the COVID virus.

 

2.  His attendance at an QAnon Event (click here for more info).

 

3.  His presence at the January 6, 2021 Rally, part of which became a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

4.  His selection of Teddy Daniels to be his Lt. Governor running mate, who has recently been banned from his home because of accusations of domestic abuse against his wife (click here for more info).

5.  Others to Come?

          The large spending in TV advertisements and mailed materials by Josh Shapiro and the Pa. Democrat State Committee to support Doug Mastriano's election serves to confirm Mastriano's significant difficulties to win a General Election against Shapiro (click here for more info).

A Recommendation to Vote for Dave White

 

          Following the November 2021 Election, we leaned toward supporting Bill McSwain or Charlie Gerow.  Bill is from Chester County and is a former U.S. Marine Officer and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pa.  He is a proven social conservative by opposing "safe injection sites" in Philadelphia and protecting the public posting of Ten Commandments at the Chester County Courthouse.  Pa. also has a history of electing former Republican U.S. Attorneys to be the Governor.

          Charlie Gerow is a skilled Communications Specialist, a pro-life Republican activist, who has served in the leadership of transforming the Pa. Republican Party into a pro-life Party.

 

          Dave White only entered public service as a Delaware County Councilman from 2017-2019.  He is a Member of the Steamfitters Building Trades Union.  As a high school graduate, Dave started his own heating and air conditioning business and grew it into a multimillion-dollar business with 85 employees.  Dave has taken a totally pro-life position based on his Catholic Faith, and his, and his wife Debbie's, experience in raising their special needs son, Brian.

 

          Even though starting as a relatively political unknown, Dave has demonstrated a winsome personality, a winning pro-life and secular conservative message, and adequate financial resources.  Because of these assets and his Southeast Pa. appeal (where statewide Democrat candidates usually win large margins), I join the many other pro-life and secular Republican political activists who are recommending a vote for Dave White because he is, in our judgment, the best pro-life candidate to defeat Josh Shapiro.

 

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate Race

 

          All four of the Democrat candidates (John Fetterman, Malcolm Kenyatta, Alexandria Khalil, and Conor Lamb) have a strongly pro-abortion position.  All the Republican candidates assert a pro-life position.  Nevertheless, differences do exist among them, which is summarized by the following report.

 

U.S. Senate

                   Kathy Barnette

                   George Bochetto

                   Sean Gale

                   Carla Sands

                   Jeff Bartos*

                   Dave McCormick*

                   Mehmet Oz*

 

                   (*indicates support for rape and incest exceptions)

 

          I particularly do not recommend voting for Dave McCormick because of his record of strong support for "same-sex marriage" and his refusal to oppose federal government policies advocating treating children and teens with gender dysphoria with "transitioning drugs" and/or surgeries.

 

          Mehmet Oz has received significant criticism for his prior non-pro-life positions.  But, after numerous meetings with pro-life leaders across Pa., we agree that, although we are likely not to vote for him in the Republican Primary Election, he would be an acceptable nominee.  In the April 20, 2022 meeting with him at his Campaign Office in Lower Moreland with two other leaders and me, he particularly articulated a willingness, as a medical doctor in the U.S. Senate, to expose and resist the policies that promote the vast harms of treating gender dysphoria with drugs and genital mutilation, as well as the harvesting of body parts of babies killed by abortion at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  He has recently placed his positions in writing by completing our U.S. Senate Candidate Questionnaire.

 

A Recommendation to Vote for Kathy Barnette

 

          Because of Kathy Barnette's participation in our Southeast Pa. pro-life movement, her leadership for Pa.'s Heartbeat Bill, her personal story of being conceived in rape when her mom was eleven, and her excellent 2020 Campaign for the U.S. House in Montgomery County, most other leaders in our Southeast Pa. pro-life movement and I continue to support Kathy Barnette's candidacy.

 

Lt. Governor and Local Races

 

          All nine Republic candidates for Lt. Governor assert a pro-life position.  (All three Democrat candidates are pro-abortion.)  But we have not done any detailed analysis of their positions or questioned them.  Our organization did work extensively with Jeff Coleman when he served as a pro-life leader in the Pa. House.

 

          With two exceptions, we did not do detailed analysis or make recommendations concerning contested Southeast Pa. Republican Primary Elections for U.S. House, Pa. Senate, or Pa. House because of the political viability of the candidates and/or because they all have similar positions.

 

          One exception is that we recommend voting for incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick's opponent, Alex Entin, in the 1st Congressional District, which is all of Bucks County and a small portion of Montgomery County, in the May 17, 2022 Primary Election.  We make this recommendation because (despite Brian's majority pro-life record) he continues to support the very pro-abortion "Equality Act."  This legislation re-defines "sex" in our federal civil rights laws such that banning abortion and/or abortion funding becomes a prohibited act of "sex discrimination."  This legislation also eliminates conscience protections for pro-life healthcare providers.

          The other exception is in the 31st Pa. House District in the Newtown area in Bucks County.  Jennifer Spillane has taken a pro-life position, but her opponent, Bernie Sauer, has declined to take a public position on issues of concern to our organization.

 

Special Election in Northeast Philadelphia

          A Special Election is occurring on May 17, 2022 for the 5th Pa. Senate District, which primarily covers Northeast Philadelphia, because earlier in 2022, the incumbent, John Sabatini, accepted a judgeship from Gov. Wolf.  Pro-life Republican Sam Oropeza is running against pro-abortion Democrat Jimmy Dillon.

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