2012-04-05 / Front Page

Pa. 9th District Candidate Speaks At Dem Dinner

By Jean Snyder

Karen Ramsburg Karen Ramsburg Fulton County Democrats gave their support to an independent write-in candidate for the 9th Congressional District at their spring dinner Saturday evening.

Karen Ramsburg, a Mercersburg nurse, spoke to the nearly 80 Democrats and guests in attendance at the spring dinner held to rally the party for the upcoming primary election. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-9th) was running unopposed until Ramsburg announced her write-in candidacy as an independent.

During her remarks, Ramsburg explained her position on the economy, the environment, healthcare and education. She also encouraged the audience not to be ashamed of being called “liberals.” She said, “The liberals, through the years, have been responsible for landmark legislation on public education, right to vote, right to work, end to child labor, collective bargaining, interstate highways, environmental laws, the 40-hour work week and the eighthour day.”

Conklin Conklin She spoke about two Americas – the 99 percent and the 1 percent. “The 1 percent runs America for a profit,” she said. She commented on healthcare, saying, “Fifty million in our country are without healthcare and yet we say we value life.” She said that public schools need more equitable funding, generational poverty needs to be addressed, the climate change concept is real, we need to explore alternative forms of energy, and we need to end the endless wars we are engaged in.

On healthcare, she has said, “We have the highest expenditures in healthcare in the world and yet we have the 24th best healthcare system in the world. All of those healthcare systems that are better than America have a public option that enables the public to enroll in a Medicare-like insurance system. Public option delivery systems not only hold down costs more successfully, they have better, more efficient deliveries of service. A public option would lower costs for small business because they wouldn’t have to pay for healthcare premiums or workman’s comp for their employees.”

Dasher Dasher Other speakers for the evening included Democratic Commissioner Irvin Dasher and state Rep. Scott Conklin (D-77).

Dasher echoed many of Ramsburg’s concerns about education and said that since taking office in January, he has gained a new perspective on many things.

Conklin rallied the party lamenting Governor Corbett’s budget cuts that he said includes the plan to close six state police barracks that by next year will leave the police force short 1,000 officers from a complement of 4,400. He talked about a new social services block grant that, while offering more flexibility to counties, will also come with a 20 percent reduction in each area of the grant. “So,” he said, “if you were planning to feed 10 people with the funding, only eight will receive food because of the cuts.”

He urged Democrats, “Remember who we serve – don’t look away, we have a job to do.”

Pennsylvania’s primary election is April 24.

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