Announcements‎ > ‎

General Election 2016: Pennsylvania Statewide Candidates

posted Oct 21, 2016, 12:02 PM by Church Office   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 12:04 PM ]
In our commitment to follow Jesus Christ we must do more than just show up for Mass on Sunday morning, we must
bear Christian witness in all we do – in our homes, in our work and recreation, in our interaction with the world around
us, and in the public square.

Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education,
housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and
marginalized in all these areas. But being 'right' in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct
attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders
suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the
human community. If we understand the human person as the 'temple of the Holy Spirit' -- the living house of
God -- then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks
on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house's foundation. These directly and
immediately violate the human person's most fundamental right – the right to life.
– From Living the Gospel of Life, No. 22 with original emphasis (Pastoral Statement, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1998)

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) neither supports nor opposes any candidate for public office. In an effort to
educate voters, the PCC gave the statewide candidates the opportunity to make their positions known on key specific
issues important to Catholics.

 Attorney General Auditor General State Treasurer
 Joshua D. Shapiro (D)
John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R)
 Eugene A. DePasquale (D)
John A. Brown (R)
 Joseph M. Torsella (D)
Otto W. Voit, II (R)

ANOTE: Candidates DePasquale and Torsella did not respond to the survey

1. What is your position on increased funding for Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits (OSTC) if the state budget includes an increase in public school funding?

Shapiro (D) Support
Rafferty (R) Support*
Brown (R) Support*
Voit (R) Support*

2. Which statement reflects your position most accurately?
     1. I support legalized abortion.
     2. I oppose legalized abortion in all circumstances.
     3. I oppose legalized abortion, except when the life of the mother is in danger or the pregnancy is a result of rape or                incest.

Shapiro (D) 1
Rafferty (R) 3
Brown (R) 3
Voit (R) 3

3. What is your position on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide health insurance to children in Pennsylvania who are undocumented immigrants?

Shapiro (D) Support
Rafferty (R) Oppose*
Brown (R) Oppose*
Voit (R) Oppose* 

4. What is your position on amending Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws for housing, employment and public accommodation to include sexual orientation?
     1. They should include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” as protected classes, no exceptions.
     2. They should contain specific provisions to protect the religious liberties of religious institutions and the rights of                  conscience of business owners.
     3. No change is necessary.

Shapiro (D) 1
Rafferty (R) 3*
Brown (R) 3*
Voit (R) 3*

5. What is your position on increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates as a means to provide greater access to care for Medicaid-covered individuals?

Shapiro (D) Support
Rafferty (R) Support*
Brown (R) Support*
Voit (R) Support*

*Indicates comments were provided. See footnotes.


Question 1. Brown – I support this program because I believe that families deserve this support to pursue a religious education. 
                     Rafferty – This is a terrific program and I have always supported. Voit – I believe that families deserve this support so they can take                                                         advantage of opportunities presented by religious schools.

Question 3. Brown – I oppose the use of taxpayer dollars, but I believe that this is an opportunity for private charities to step in to offer support.                                     Rafferty – I oppose the use of taxpayer dollars but this is where charities need to step in.
                      Voit – I oppose the use of taxpayer dollars for undocumented immigrants, but I believe that this is an opportunity for private charities to                                       step in to offer support.

Question 4. Brown – If there is to be a law, this provision should definitely be included. 
                     Rafferty – If there is to be a law, this provision should definitely be included.
                     Voit – If there is to be a law, this provision should definitely be included.

Question 5. Brown – The poor deserve care and I believe that health care professionals deserve to be adequately compensated. 
                     Rafferty - Health care professionals deserve a fair reimbursement and the poor deserve care. 
                     Voit – Health care professionals deserve to be adequately compensated for caring for the less fortunate and I believe our society has an
                               obligation to help those who can’t help themselves

ttorney General Auditor General State Treasurer