Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Why The Race For Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Is Important


In 2012, one of Blue America's favorite candidates was Aryanna Strader, a young woman from Pennsylvania running for a pretty red seat. The DCCC refused to get behind her campaign and Joe Pitts, her GOP opponent, spent $1,208,911 to her $85,079. The biggest expenditure by an outside group was this truck from Blue America. Aryanna didn't win that year, although Pitts soon after decided to retire from Congress. And yesterday Aryanna-- now Aryanna Berringer-- declared that she's running for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.

Mike Stack has the job now. He and his wife were found out through an Inspector General’s investigation to be verbally abusing their house staff in a mansion that is provided to them by the taxpayers. They were also repeatedly demanding that their security detail (assigned PA State Troopers) break the law so that they wouldn’t have to sit in traffic. We wouldn’t want to inconvenience the Stacks now would we?

In an interview after the report was made public, Stack attributed all of these abuses to what he called a “Stack moment” of which he was known for having over the time not only as Lt. Governor but as a state Senator from Philadelphia.

One of the other revelations of the IG report was that the Stacks billed the taxpayers over $4,000 for hotel stays in Philadelphia. Remember the last paragraph? The Stacks live in Philly.

The Stacks are the epitome of how conservatives tag Democrats as “Limousine Liberals.” And right now, Governor Tom Wolf is considered vulnerable in his 2018 re-election. The last thing he needs is a running mate to drag him down. It’s probably why Gov. Wolf ordered the Inspector General investigation in the first place and has since removed the Stacks’ security detail; house staff can only do their work at assigned times under supervision. It’s like the Stacks had a Protection From Abuse order placed on them by Wolf.

PA Lt. Gov. Mike Stack Better Watch His Six
-by Aryanna Berringer

I first want to thank all of you who are apart of the DWT community for taking some time today to learn more about me and my decision to run for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.

Over the past several months I have been watching not only the unfolding of our current Democratic Lt. Governor and how he has taken advantage of his position, but the actions of politicians on both sides of the aisle. It’s hard to miss President Trump. I have to say, it is one thing for me to become frustrated when a Republican’s behavior is corrupt or without morals, but I am even more disappointed when it is a member of my own political party. And that’s where I find myself now in launching this campaign to unseat an incumbent. This is bigger than Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. This is about taking on a system that serves as a catalyst for abusing the public’s trust.

A bit about me to give you a better idea of where I’ve come from.

I grew up the youngest of ten children to a mom who was a waitress (actually she still is; waiting tables part time to make ends meet at 74) and my dad who was a hotel maintenance worker. We were the working poor. I am also a kid who unfortunately had to visit my dad in jail for some poor choices on his part-- that plexiglass divider and black telephone are etched into my memory. But they were learning moments.

As a child of parents in poverty I am forever grateful for programs like the National Free School Lunch and Food Stamps. And as a teenager of parents without health insurance, thanks to funding at Planned Parenthood, I was able to have my first women’s health wellness exam.

All of these experiences and help from my community influenced the person I was becoming.

However, it was now time for me to give back to my country.

Two months after the attacks of 9/11, I joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18. I was under no illusion. I knew I was most likely going to be deployed somewhere in the world. And in 2003, as part of the XVIII Airborne Corp we were basically dropped into Jordan where we, based out of an undisclosed location just miles from the border with Iraq, got to work. It was in that frontline and forward position that I would be on the day we invaded.

Now to fast forward, I am the mother of three amazing kids, am an IT Project Manager and run my own non-profit called American Nutritional Security that is designed to improve nutrition in schools and military installations as a matter of national security (Think President Truman and the creation of the school lunch program, but now we are too fat to fight).

All of this culminates to my new mission of becoming Lt. Governor. For those reading this who are unfamiliar with Pennsylvania governing, the Lt. Gov. is elected independently from the Governor in the Primary. The person who holds this seat traditionally becomes one of the most underutilized executives and it is in large part due to either a lack of vision or a reluctance to truly engage in service to the Commonwealth. Maybe others see it as a stepping stone to running for higher office so they go into it with the mindset of not making any waves. That’s not me. I wouldn’t be here today if I ever took any of those paths.

I will always present my policy ideas and concepts to the public in an attempt to make serving as Lt. Governor a productive partner with the people Pennsylvania.

At the core of my campaign, and if you follow us you will hear and see us repeat this often, we are going at this endeavor with a clear message:Join Aryanna. Help others. Build community.

If we can end each day on this campaign knowing we’ve achieved that, we’ll win in more ways than at just the ballot box.

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