Sen. Doug Mastriano's page titled “The Plan” has 14 star-shaped bullet-points with most having only a sentence or two of explanation. His Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's page titled “Policy” contains 18 button links to full pages with three to four paragraphs or more expounding on his ideas.
Mastriano kicks off his plan attacking the current Governor’s policies during the pandemic and questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election. He makes no bones about wanting to eliminate the “no excuses” mail in ballots and drop boxes and requiring voter ID.
On the second amendment he plans to “make Pennsylvania a ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary,’ where our rights will be protected against misguided federal bureaucrats that want to disarm law-abiding citizens.”
He is a proponent of the heartbeat bill and will take funding away from Planned Parenthood and expand adoption counseling.
Under the bullet-point of “Safe and Secure Communities” is perhaps his most in-depth section. He believes it is the “government's top job is to provide for the safety of its citizens… hold(ing) elected officials accountable for enforcing the law and prosecuting crime.” He said as governor if he didn’t think they were doing their job he’d remove them. “Mastriano will support law enforcement by ensuring they have adequate funding. He'll keep violent criminals behind bars where they belong and he'll strengthen penalties for repeat offenders and those convicted of violent crime. He'll also support funding for additional prosecutors in high-crime areas. Mastriano will clean up Pennsylvania's worst neighborhoods and he won't hesitate to assist local law enforcement with State Police and National Guard to protect law-abiding citizens and businesses during periods of mass unrest and riots.”
Mastriano then bashed President Biden’s immigration policies and vowed “Pennsylvania will never be a sanctuary state for Biden's illegal immigrants, and he'll hold Pennsylvania's elected officials accountable for cracking down on the fentanyl being snuck across our southern border, which is taking the lives of 15 Pennsylvanians each and every day. He'll send immediate notice to the Federal Government informing that Pennsylvania will no longer receive chartered flights or buses with illegal immigrant passengers. He'll ban the use of public benefits for illegal immigrants and sign legislation that strengthens and expands the "E-Verify" law to ensure employers cannot hire illegal immigrants. Mastriano will also place a fee on the millions of dollars in remittances that are sent out of state by non-citizens and use the revenue to provide tax relief for legal citizens.”
On schools he immediately questioned teacher’s ability to teach and “believes parents have a fundamental right to know and control what their children are learning in school.” He will push for transparency of the classroom “and work with the legislature to establish a universal "Parental Rights" statute in the law.” He said he’ll also “ban Critical Race and Gender Theory Studies in Pennsylvania schools. On day one, Mastriano will place an immediate ban on biological males in girls' locker rooms and restrooms. On the same day, Mastriano will ban biological males from competing in girls' sports.”
On the idea of public and private school’s he “believes every Pennsylvania child is entitled to a top-notch education and that, when schools compete, it promotes excellence. While he'll make sure public schools are well-funded, he'll also fight like hell to provide them with the competition that will make them great.” He said he wants school choice “so that no child is trapped in a failing school ever again.”
On energy he compares regulation as shackles and blames democratic leadership bluntly. “On day one, Mastriano will pull Pennsylvania out of Tom Wolf's disastrous "Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative." He'll encourage investments in the natural gas and coal industries, and he'll lift Tom Wolf's unreasonable regulations, taxes, and fees on these industries. Under Mastriano, Pennsylvania will drill and mine like it should, and Pennsylvania will prosper.”
Mastriano is calling for lowering and, in some cases, elimination of taxes “Mastriano believes the property tax on homeowners is an unfair burden and he'll immediately establish a Property Tax Elimination Taskforce to find a way to get this burden off of hardworking Pennsylvania homeowners. Mastriano will work with the legislature to slash the gas tax and lower the corporate net income tax rate to attract business to the commonwealth.”
He also hopes to eliminate over 50,000 regulations from the books and speed up permitting in hopes to attract business and industry. He also plans to attack the previous administrations spending demanding they “audit the previous five year's budgets to identify areas of waste and abuse. He'll propose a 2023 budget that keeps reckless spending in check,” he says.
He caps off his plan page with a familiar "swamp" reference vowing to clean up Harrisburg supposed corruption. “Mastriano's administration will prohibit public officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists and special interest groups. He'll work with the legislature to create law that will eliminate the "revolving door" of lobbyists who lobby from the inside, and prevent political consultants from registering as lobbyists.”
Josh Shapiro’s “Policy” page he has broken down topics starting off with: Abortion Rights, Black Economic Equity, Creating Good Jobs and Expanding Job Training, Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Cutting Costs, Disability Rights, Education, Energy and the environment, Healthcare, Housing, Infrastructure, LGBTQ+ Rights, Rural Communities, Senior and Eldercare, Spurring Inovation, Supporting Small Business, Voting Rights and Worker’s Rights.
In stark contrast to Mastriano, Shapiro believes in making voting more accessible and the election integrity has been upheld. “Josh would know. Because as the Attorney General who stopped Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine and overthrow Pennsylvania’s election, Josh went to court dozens of times to defend Pennsylvanians’ right to vote and ensure every legal vote was counted — and he won. More than a year after votes were cast in the 2020 election and two legal, bipartisan audits confirmed Pennsylvania’s results, Josh continues to defend our election as Pennsylvania Republicans bring a sham “audit” to the Commonwealth.”
Shapiro is also on the exact opposite side gender identity as his opponent noting “Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast without comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This means that LGBTQ+ individuals can be discriminated against across the Commonwealth in many sectors, including employment, housing, credit issuance, education, and various public accommodations.”
Shapiro’s website emphasizes the need to increase infrastructure through fixing roads, bridges and expanding high speed internet in order to push for more business growth for both small and large industries. “Currently, over 800,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to high-speed internet and approximately 36 percent of Commonwealth farms reported not having any internet access in 2021.” He also looks at affordable housing as a priority to a stronger commonwealth.
Also in stark contrast to Mastriano, Shapiro believes that a woman’s right to choose is hers to make. He warns that his winning the governor seat may be the only way to preserve a woman’s right to her own health decision.“Our Democratic Governor’s veto pen is the only thing standing in the way of Harrisburg Republicans’ attempts to ban abortion, pass dangerous Texas-style laws, and put women’s health at risk”
Shapiro spends a lot of real estate on his website on individual human rights and equality. He sees infrastructure advancements are also elevating the poor and under-served communities. In his section “Black Economic Equity” it is stated “Josh knows that when Black Pennsylvanians do better, our entire economy grows. As Governor, Josh will lift families out of poverty, build economic opportunities and wealth, increase housing stability and homeownership, and address health inequities in Black communities.”
On crime and law enforcement, Shapiro holds up his record as Attorney General. He wants to expand law enforcement's ability to properly handle their role in the communities, giving them tools to handle crime and reform. "Josh will continue to keep our communities safe by working with law enforcement and spearheading smart, data-driven criminal justice reform that will make our Commonwealth safer and more just.
He will work to improve public safety and reduce recidivism by reforming probation and parole, funding indigent defense, and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
He will also invest in addiction prevention programs and expand treatment options so that non-violent offenders can access the support they need. As Governor, Josh will reform the cash bail system for non-violent offenses while maintaining strict standards of accountability for violent crimes, continue to oppose mandatory minimum sentences and the death penalty, and reform Pennsylvania’s costly and broken probation and parole system."
Shapiro got specific when discussing taxes and cost on his website. "Josh will issue gas tax refunds of $250 for every personal passenger vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, up to four per household (or $1,000). He’ll eliminate the state cell phone tax – specifically, the gross receipt and sales tax on cell phone service.
By eliminating this 11% state tax, we can reduce Pennsylvanians’tax burden by $317 million and save folks money on their monthly cell phone bill. Lastly, Josh will lower household costs by expanding the Property Tax and Rent Rebate program, increasing the maximum rebate to $1,000 and making the program available to over 275,000 more eligible people."
day one as Governor.
Shapiro is a proponent of renewable energy, in time "Josh will invest in clean energy while creating thousands of good paying jobs for Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth. He’ll promote solar projects and adopt measures to increase access to renewable energy sources. Shapiro will invest to plug abandoned wells across the state to curb emissions and create jobs, and invest in zero-carbon technology and provide financial incentives to help bring zero-carbon technologies to commercial readiness."
To learn more about Doug Mastriano visit: doug4gov.com/the_plan.
This article focussed on the two front runners in the race for Governor. There are three other candidates vying to be the next leader of Pennsylvania.
Matt Hackenburg is the Libertarian Candidate. You can learn about their campaign at matthackenburg.com.
The Green Party candidate is Christina DiGiulio. Information on their campaign can be found greenslate2022.com/governor.
The final candidate from the Keystone Party is Joe Soloski. Their website is joesoloski.com