Fetterman, John Fetterman, Pennsylvania discussed on Morning Edition


Edition from NPR news. I'm Steve inskeep. And I'm Leila fauld in good morning. Pennsylvania Senate candidates held their only debate last night, Democrat John fetterman faced Republican mehmed Oz. One is a former small city mayor and current lieutenant governor. The other is a TV doctor. Each has questioned the other's fitness for office, but beyond their personalities is a question of power. The U.S. Senate is closely divided in the way the math works out a democratic win in this one race would give them a good chance to keep control. A Republican win in this one race would sharply increase their chance to regain power. And Pierre's Don Kanye was in Harrisburg to see the candidates. Good morning. Good morning. So what impression did they make? Well, fetterman's health was a big question going in. Recall he had a stroke, almost 6 months ago. He's still recovering. His doctor says he's fit to serve, but he does have some auditory processing issues. So video monitors on stage, provided him with written text of everything being said in real time during the debate sponsored by Nexstar TV stations. Fair to say he did not put concerns, voters may have about his health to rest. He often spoke haltingly. This is his opening statement. Hi, good night, everybody. I'm running to serve Pennsylvania. He's running to use Pennsylvania. Here's a man that spent more than $20 million of his own money to try to buy that seat. Eyes on the other hand was clearly very much at home in a TV studio. It felt like a performance. And while his answers were smoother than fetterman's, he did Dodge questions choosing instead to attack his opponent. So let's talk about the issues they were debating. There's probably no issue more contentious this year than abortion. How did they address that? It was a moment when you could feel I was trying to reach into the suburbs to convince moderate and independent voters that he has a moderate position on abortion. He says he is pro life, but supports exceptions for rape incest or protecting the life of the woman. As a physician, I've been in the room when there's some difficult conversations happening. I don't want the federal government involved with that at all. I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that's always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward. So states can decide for themselves. What he doesn't say is that many states have or may yet pass laws without those exceptions that he supports, including Pennsylvania, where the Republican gubernatorial candidate pledges to do just that. Here's fetterman's response. Roe V wade, for me, is should be the law. He celebrated when roe V wade went down and my campaign would fight for roe V wade. And if given the opportunity to codify it into law, and that was one of fetterman's most direct, most focused attacks on us. Okay, so Democrats want a hammer Oz and other Republicans on abortion as a pivotal issue in these midterms and Republicans have been successfully using crime as a wedge issue. What did that look like last night? I was hit that hard. He accuses fetterman of wanting widespread release of violent criminals. And he attacks fetterman's record from his time as mayor of the small town Braddock, Pennsylvania. But part of the problem is that we have taken away the ability of police to do their job. And that's on John fetterman, because John federman has taken such a harsh position against them. He's undermined them at every level, taken away some of their funding. Fetterman countered that gun violence went down during his time as a mayor, but it's still an issue that polls show works broadly against Democrats. NPR's Don gagne covering last night's U.S. Senate debate in Harrisburg. Thanks, Don. You're welcome. Okay, two Los Angeles city council members are refusing to leave their jobs. Yeah, they're among three lawmakers who are secretly recorded talking about redistricting and political support. And the conversation included racist language, one of the Democrats resigned under pressure from President Biden among others. The other two have not, and though they have not been turning up at work, they're collecting their paychecks. NPR's Vanessa Romo has been looking into that hey there Vanessa. Hi, Steve. So if they haven't quit, I get politicians who refuse to resign, people do that. Why haven't they been showing up at city hall? Well, both have said that they think that it would be very distracting in terms of the process and the things on the agenda of the city council that need to move forward. They also are probably being kept out because of the giant crowds of people who are there who have consistently berated them even when they're not there. So it would be problematic to say the least for them to show up, but they're being paid how much. Well, they make a pretty good salary, according to the California state controller's office, who gets their information from the city's W twos, pay for all city council members is roughly $218,000 a year. They also get lots of other perks. They earn about $66,000 a year in pensions. And on top of that, they also get a city car to drive around and they have budgets for meals and travel expenses. So when you add that all up, it's a pretty staggering figure. Is that a lot more than other city council members and other cities? It's more than what city council members in San Francisco and New York make by about $70,000 and actually the city council members make more than the governor of California. Wow. Right. But the greatest discrepancy is actually between with the city council members make and the people that they serve, especially when you take an even closer look at the incomes of the people who live in Kevin de Leon and Gil se dio's districts. LA is a huge sprawl, obviously, so of course there's going to be a lot of range there

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