Democrat Paul Drucker, who is running to win the State House seat he lost to Republican State Rep. Warren Kampf says he never supported tolling PA Route 422. The tolling question played a central role in the 2010 Drucker-Kampf race. The two are squaring off again this November in a race to represent the 157th District.
That district covers Phoenixville as well as parts of Tredyffrin and Easttown.
Phoenixville Patch asked readers to send in their questions for Drucker and the article that follows is the result, including Drucker's comments about tolling 422.
Kampf will also answer questions from Phoenixville Patch readers.
We invite TE Patch readers to submit their questions for Drucker and Kampf in the comments section at the bottom of this article. We'll submit them to the candidates so they can address issues of concern to TE readers.
While most national politicians rely on up-to-the-minute micro polls to know where they stand with voters, in the comparative analytic vacuum of a state-level race, 157th District challenger Paul Drucker says he makes a point to listen especially closely to his constituent's concerns.
We took him at his word.
When Phoenixville Patch sat down with the Democrat in his Bridge Street campaign headquarters on Wednesday (look for the full story sometime next week), we put to him a series of questions we got directly from readers on our Facebook page.
From tolling 422 to train service in Phoenixville, to a fracking moratorium in the South Newark Basin, below is the Q & A between Phoenixville Patch readers and Paul Drucker.
Mike Lelli asks "isn’t this the same guy who wanted to put a toll road up on 422?"
Drucker: I never supported that. That’s not what I said. I support fixing 422. I support…the Schuylkill Valley Metro. I do not support doing things by just saying ‘no.’ 422 is a mess. I don’t support waiting until the bridges fall and the beds collapse before we do something. Marcellus Shale is a huge potential source of funds. We need to fix 422, we need to pass the transportation bill—which my opponent voted against—and we need to create jobs. That’s what I’m in favor of doing
Rebekah Laughlin Bowser asks "what does he think about the Bill 1263 that was added last minute into the fiscal code giving the area under the South Newark Basin the extra protection of "further studies" prior to drilling for shale gas? If elected, would he make efforts to expand this and provide the entire state these same protections?"
Drucker: You have a couple issues in that bill. I don’t think you could ever fault taking your time to do something when there’s potential for irreversible damage. On the other hand, I am particularly upset by the fact that the house Republicans passed…their Marcellus Bill, where they restricted every municipality from here and kingdom come from passing their own regulations with regards to the Marcellus issue. And then, they pull a post-midnight sneak attack to siphon out Montgomery and Bucks for special treatment. I don’t like that approach…I’m not saying the exception is not appropriate, I’m saying it should not be done post-midnight. It’s not appropriate to be done without thought. I don’t see any reason why one area should be singled out above another.
I think, instead of doing this legislatively, that we ought to fund the DEP, instead of defund it. So [now] they have the capacity to monitor and control and contain and do what they’re supposed to do. So that this is not an issue. I don’t know that this is an appropriate legislative function. I think we need to ensure that the agency that’s charged with monitoring this issue is properly funded so that they can monitor this issue. And that’s not what’s happening.
Jeff Cronin asks "what would he do to bring Septa train service back to Phoenixville, especially if we get that minor league ballpark?"
Drucker: I happen to be on the board of directors for TMAC (Transportation Management Agency of Chester County). I also happen to be on the subcommittee for the TMAC study of the route 29 corridor. And in that study, it’s the Greenline…which is light rail from King of Prussia to Paoli, and going through Phoenixville. I am a strong advocate of light rail everywhere. It gets people off the roads…it does all sorts of good things. I don’t see any downside to it...If we build a stadium in Phoenixville, it’d be a serious transportation issue.
Barry Cassidy asks "conscience versus constituency? How does he balance?"
Drucker: Fortunately I haven’t had that problem yet. I am blessed to live in a progressive district whose values are, to a great extent, the same as mine. So I have not had that problem. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t anticipate having that problem.
Shawn Proctor asks "how could the same person who created the original Star Wars trilogy be responsible for the next three? Especially considering all of the extra time he had to work on them?"
Drucker: I think Han Solo was too old to make another movie…[and] have you seen Leia lately?