State Representative Rob Kauffman has refused to debate Susan Spicka on numerous occasions for a variety of reasons. Subsequently, Spicka is holding a series of Kauffman-less public forums where she has been explaining her views on a variety of subjects. Most recently, Spicka held a “Kitchen Table Conversation” with voters, and made the following point, among others:
As a taxpayer, I also find it simply incomprehensible that last year Representative Kauffman voted for a state budget that provided nearly $280 million in casino revenue to the PA Race Horse Development Fund. Don’t get me wrong, I love horses. But the horse racing industry is a privately owned industry that since 2009 has been receiving an average of $225 million dollars a year in public subsidies. Eighty percent of that money is used to pay out larger purses to winning horses.
This year, Governor Corbett wisely suggested using $72 million of that money to help fund other government priorities, but Representative Kauffman voted for a state budget that gave all the money back to the horse industry. After nearly a billion dollars in public support, the horse industry should be able sustain itself without continuing to draw on hundreds of millions of dollars per year in public funds. After all, welfare should be a hand up, not a way of life, for Pennsylvania corporations.
Spicka explained that she is hearing from families in the 89th district what it means to be fiscally conservative, and Rep. Kauffman isn’t reflecting their values. Spicka explained that families in the 89th General Assembly District “expect thrift and prudence from our state government, and rightly so.”
Rep. Kauffman, according to Spicka, portrays himself as a fiscal conservative, but does not vote like one.
Spicka concluded her forum by saying that “the heart of fiscal conservatism is about spending each and every one of our tax dollars wisely, and making tough choices to protect what is important and cut what is not.” Spicka pledged to “bring some much-needed kitchen table conservatism to our state capitol, and when I see waste, or misguided spending, I will not be afraid to stand up and say loud and clear for all of us, ‘That’s just not right!’”
Instead of protecting the winnings of victorious horses, Spicka said, we should be protecting funding for schools and social services, which Rep. Kauffman has voted to slash.
Equity before equine, so to say.