The Next Page: A stump speech for Lynn Swann

Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor

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From RODGER MORROW: Remember that bruising '75 AFC Championship game against the Raiders, when you got nailed with a concussion and wound up spending two days in the hospital? Then, a week later, you came back to set a Super Bowl yardage record in four amazing catches against the Cowboys -- and walked away with the game MVP?
Well, Swanny, you need to do that again, this time on the hustings. Here's an opener to get you rolling ...


Stacy Innerst, Post-Gazette

It's half time in Harrisburg.

It's time for Pennsylvanians to make a choice: Is the current game plan working -- or do we need to make a change?

My opponent has been telling you that Pennsylvania is holding a comfortable lead at the half ... that his well-oiled machine in Harrisburg is executing perfectly ... that we just need to run out the clock for another five weeks ... and another four years.

Well, the guy in the governor's mansion may believe he's in the lead -- so much so, in fact, he recently took $200,000 out of his campaign war chest and signed it over to another candidate.

But are the voters of this commonwealth in the lead? Are they headed for victory? Is the governor's game plan working for them?

Well, my fellow Pennsylvanians, it's half time.

Time for a little soul searching.

Time to ask yourself how your government's been doing out there on the field.

Are you getting a dollar's worth of service for every dollar you pay to support the salaries of your state officials?

Are you enjoying the property-tax relief my opponent promised to deliver when he came to office four years ago?

Is your job more secure? Does your economic future look brighter? Are you seeing new industry springing up across the state?

Is the revenue base of your state and municipal governments solid and secure -- or is it built on a mirage of slot machines and casinos?

Is your government getting people off the welfare rolls and into good, productive jobs?

If you can't answer a resounding "Yes!" to those questions ... then maybe it's time to consider a new game plan for the next four years.

And maybe -- just maybe -- it's time to consider that what's been good for Pennsylvania's governor hasn't necessarily been good for Pennsylvanians.

Four years ago -- when my opponent was campaigning for his present job -- he pointed proudly to the so-called "Philadelphia Miracle" he helped create as mayor.

Well, here's how The Chicago Tribune recently described the state of that "miracle": "In the suburbs of Philadelphia ... voters are confronting an economic conundrum. Most statistics say the nation's economy is flourishing, with low unemployment, high productivity, and new jobs. But many people who live here on the banks of the Delaware River ... say they are struggling to get by."

In fact, a few days earlier, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the latest FBI statistics, ranking Philadelphia number one among big cities in the United States when it comes to violent crime.

When The Inquirer asked a top criminologist -- Professor Lawrence W. Sherman at the University of Pennsylvania -- what accounted for the high crime rate ... do you know what his answer was? He said: "We have the poorest population."

The most violent big city in America ... with the poorest population. That's where my opponent's "Philadelphia Miracle" stands today. Can we look forward to the same kind of "Pennsylvania Miracle" in a few years' time?

Let me put it another way: Can we afford the same kind of Pennsylvania Miracle?

I think you know the answer.


Rodger Morrow is a former speechwriter for President Gerald Ford and Gov. Dick Thornburgh. He runs The Writing Company, a communications firm in Sewickley ( rmorrow@writingcompany.com ).


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