The Philadelphia Jewish Voice
The Delaware Valley's Progressive Alternative
Volume 1 - Number 2 - August 2005
IntroductionEach issue, the "In Their Own Words" column will feature a prominent politician speaking directly to our readers on issues of concern to the Jewish community.
Last month Chuck Pennacchio was interviewed by our own editor Neil Greenberg. His opponent in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate is Bob Casey. Please stay tuned for an article from the Casey camp.
This month we are proud to present an interview with Lois Murphy of Lower Merion who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 6th district against the incumbent Republican Jim Gerlach.
Lois Murphy was narrowly defeated by Jim Gerlach in the 2004 election in a race decided by the smallest margin (49%-51%) of all races last Fall. It is anticipated that this rematch will be one of the most competitive races of the 2006 election season.
ContactTony Heyl [email protected]
PJV: Why are you running for Congress?
Lois Murphy: I am running for Congress because I believe our community deserves a representative who reflects our values and our priorities. You deserve a representative in Congress who will fight every day for your priorities and never stop working to improve our quality of life in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We urgently need representatives who will focus on reducing the costs of healthcare, creating greater economic opportunity, preserving our environment, and strengthening our security at home and abroad. Yet, I am outraged that Jim Gerlach and the current Congress aren't focusing on these urgent priorities. Instead they are spending their time making it harder for families to obtain relief from bankruptcy when a job or health care crisis occurs, weakening environmental protections, and promoting an energy bill that doesn't invest enough in alternative energy sources and instead gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil and gas companies. I would focus on the issues important to people in our area, including improving our health care system, strengthening our schools, protecting our environment and assuring that we are safe and secure here in the United States.
PJV: What is your position with regard to Israel?
Lois Murphy: I fully support America's commitment as an ally to Israel, both militarily and financially. A safe and secure Israel serves our common interests. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel serves as an example of freedom that we hope will be replicated throughout the region. The Israeli people have always been good friends to our nation and I greatly value this friendship and the special relationship we share with the State of Israel. As a Member of Congress, I will be a champion for Israel's interests and well-being.
PJV: How will you address the issue of separation of religion and state in Congress?
Lois Murphy: Faith is an important part of life for millions of Americans. It is also very personal. Part of protecting people's ability to freely express their faith and beliefs is ensuring that the government does not appear to be supporting one religion over another. People of faith should be active in government, but government should not be active in religion. I was dismayed recently when Jim Gerlach joined a majority in the U.S. House who voted against a measure to respect religious freedom and to address aggressive proselytizing at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
PJV: What is your feeling on the way that Congress is handling America's finances?
Lois Murphy: One of the most important things that we are missing in Washington is a serious commitment to fiscal responsibility and accountability. While we must continue to make every effort to fight terrorism, this Congress did nothing to make certain that we will continue to have the financial resources available to keep America safe and secure. Over the last three years, the country has recorded the three worst deficits in history. Even though the deficit for 2005 is improved at $333 billion, it remains the third largest on record and no long-term steps have been taken to assure continued improvement. We need to take the smart steps to take our country out of the red and put it into the black. In order to have true national security, you need financial security, and I will work to make that a reality in Washington when elected to Congress.
PJV: Thank you!
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