Candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Paul Mango stopped by the Cadet Restaurant and then at the Ford City VFW Post 4843 in Pattonville last Saturday to meet with veterans and local residents.
Mango, who has lived in Pine Township in Allegheny County for the past 30 years with his wife and raised five daughters there. He defined his message as being simple.
“We need to restore the dream of America to the people of Pennsylvania by bringing our jobs and our children back home. That’s the whole theme of my campaign,” Mango said.
“I’ve been out talking to thousands of Pennsylvanians. They want to be inspired again. They want to achieve the dream of America and they have been denied that over the last couple of decades.”
Mango said he has spent six months putting over 70,000 miles on his car in discussing issues with residents across the Commonwealth.
“They told me they have five priorities: (1) Bring our jobs and our children back home. Let’s have an economy that works. (2) Fix education – it’s failing our kids! (3) Healthcare premiums have doubled in the last three years – let’s make it affordable again. (4) The drug overdose epidemic is killing our neighbors and some of our loved ones. (5) And let’s bring fiscal solvency back to Harrisburg.”
Mango criticized Governor Tom Wolf for lack of leadership during his first term of office.
“There are over 1,000 years of political experience in Harrisburg, but there are not two days of executive leadership. He is the chief executive of the Commonwealth. It’s as if (Wolf) is in the witness protection program – he is nowhere to be found on (issues of) the budget, on the economy, on opioid overdose where we are losing 100 Pennsylvanians every week. I know what he is not doing – he is not leading the good people of Pennsylvania.”
Mango pointed to his record of successful leadership over his adult life.
“I started out my career as a military officer. I went to West Point. I learned about leadership. My business experience was working with large multi-billion dollar organizations which had lost their way. They couldn’t serve their customers effectively. They were too culturally restricted to make the change even if they knew what they needed to do. That sounds a lot like Harrisburg to me.
“I am the only candidate in this race that has developed and published a plan for the future for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I have never been associated with an organization that has high aspirations that doesn’t define where it wants to end up five years or ten years from now. We have already done that and we feel we owe that to the people of Pennsylvania to get them to understand what we stand for before they cast the vote.”
Mango said that although President Trump’s tax cut initiative is good for the country, Pennsylvania may still have some problems attracting industry.
“Although the federal corporate tax rate is lower, I’m concerned about the State corporate tax rate here in Pennsylvania. We are effectively the highest in the country. We are going to stick out like a sore thumb. We add another 10% – that’s what our corporate tax rate is. So I’m concerned that America is going to do a lot better under President Trump’s tax reform, but Pennsylvania may not because our state corporate tax rate is so high.”
Mango also had some ideas on dealing with healthcare costs across the state.
“You have to put the consumer back in the center of the healthcare system and get the government out of the center. I spent 25 years in healthcare, so I understand this pretty deeply. Under Governor Wolf in the last three years, the premiums in the individual market have doubled. Deductibles have gone up substantially, and choice has gone down. That’s what Obamacare delivered to us. 224,000 Pennsylvanians, because they could not afford Obamacare, last year paid a penalty for not being able to afford healthcare that was supposed to be affordable. Washington is not going to solve this problem for us. We need to solve this problem for ourselves. There are opportunities for us to take charge of our healthcare system. Our Governor has not requested those from the federal government. and design a system that will meet the needs of Pennsylvanians that will be cheaper, faster, better, We (need to) ask the health providers and insurers in the state to do that and together we will get that done.”
As Mango addressed the crowd of approximately 25 veterans at the VFW, he encouraged them to sign a petition that he said he will deliver to the NFL.
“AMVETS wanted a full-page ad in the Super Bowl brochure that was very simple: a picture of the American flag with the words ‘Please Stand.’ The NFL denied them the opportunity to put that ad in the book. The NFL said they do not support political statements in the NFL. What have they been doing for two years with all these guys kneeling during the National Anthem? If those aren’t political statements, I don’t know what is. We are asking for signatures on a petition that we are going to send to the headquarters of the NFL before the Super Bowl saying we protest the fact that they are not concerned about our veterans and they are concerned about a bunch of other causes that are much less worthy than our veterans.”
Republicans running against Mango include Pittsburgh lawyer Laura Ellsworth, State Senator and businessman from York County Scott Wagner, and PA House Representative Mike Turzai. The winner will attempt to unseat incumbent Governor Tom Wolf in the November 2018 election.