CHAMBERSBURG – State Senator Doug Mastriano was on the local morning radio show, First News with Pat Ryan & Michele Jansen, today February 10. The talk, on NEWS TALK 1037FM, hit on the state budget, increases in minimum wage and voting on amendments to the governor’s power, State Senator Doug Mastriano asked Republicans to stop fighting themselves.
The discussion began with the budget. Mastriano called Governor Wolf “out of touch with reality. People are suffering. Normally in a crisis in a family situation, you tighten the belt. Instead the governor comes out in light of the catastrophic year he had thanks to a lot of his policies” with an “ambitious budget like nothing happened.”
The Senator believes increasing the minimum wage will hurt non-profits and small businesses.
“That’s going to be a death knell to them,” Mastriano said. “The economy should drive the wages. Let’s say he gets his 15 bucks. Is that enough for Philly? Is that enough for Schuylkill County, Elk County, Fulton County? Why can’t the economic drivers depict what’s the right wage for the right area?”
Michele Jansen added that the “flexibility of how you pay your employees is so important to success and productivity and being able to make a business survive. As you said small businesses can’t take this.” Mastriano said the Democratic Party is “not what it used to be.”
It’s “no longer the party about the common people. They’re not about the working people of this country anymore. They have turned their backs on small businesses. And they are enabled by a willing press.”
He pointed to the case of John Fetterman, who recently announced his bid for State Senator Pat Toomey’s seat.
Mastriano said Fetterman gets “all these glowing reviews of this person who’s so awkward and says nothing. Crickets. Crickets on his combination of free speech. If I said something so ridiculous, stupid and ignorant it would be all over the front page. I drink my coffee the wrong way and I get a headline of how evil I am, but Democrats get the free pass here.”
Mastriano reminded listeners of the history of the Democratic Party.
“Let’s not talk about Jim Crowe, let’s not talk about the KKK, let’s not talk about slavery and which party is behind all that. It’s interesting how it’s cast aside. We get no grace and mercy on our side, so as Republicans, we need to stick together,” he said.
Mastriano is frustrated that the Republicans can’t seem to stand together in the midst of the struggle. “We’re too busy fighting each other and squabbling over these little issues. We have puritanical members in our party who think they’re the only perfect republicans. They’ll slay anybody who votes the wrong way just one time. Just stop it,” he urged.
He called for Republicans to come together and find common ground so “we can get a candidate that’s going to be viable in the face of a media that loves Fetterman.”
Jansen brought up the importance of voting in the primary election in May on the constitutional amendment to limit the governor’s power for an emergency declaration. She told voters not to be discouraged or “think they’re vote doesn’t count. This is going to be really important.”
Mastriano added that he knows “people are discouraged because of what went down in November. Just simply by asking questions, millions of us were ridiculed and mocked. Baseless claims of voter fraud. I’d like to know how they’re baseless – nobody investigated them. We were mocked and ridiculed by the governor for asking those questions and by Fetterman.”
People have been saying they’re not going to vote ever again, but that won’t help, Mastriano said.
“One election and just it didn’t go the way you’d hoped is no reason to quit,” he noted. “You’ve got to get out and vote.”
At the moment, the governor has emergency powers in perpetuity, according to Mastriano. “Ninety days long and he can self-renew without any input from the general assembly.”
Mastriano said they “worked really hard together with the House” to get this constitutional amendment across the line. It will be on the ballot in the May primary election.
“If you vote the affirmative, for a yes on that, it limits all future emergency powers for three weeks and to renew them is not automatic,” Mastriano noted. “It has to go to a simple majority of the House and Senate. That is giving you back your power and giving you the voice.”
Jansen added that she also hears people say their votes don’t matter. She urged listeners to “look what happened with the House. They thought they were going to lose. They actually picked up 12. So votes matter. It doesn’t always go the other way.”