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Scanlon Defends March With ‘Defund the Police’ Activists in LWV Debate

When Republican challenger David Galluch called her out for marching with ‘Defund the Police’ advocates in a Black Lives Matter event, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Montgomery/Philadelphia) did not back down.

“I have marched, however, in vigils and protests of the murder of George Floyd,” Scanlon said. “I think the more pertinent question is, where were you?”

“Marching behind a bloody American sign flag that says ‘You see stars and stripes we see prison bars’– that doesn’t send the right message on the 4th of July,” Galluch shot back.

That was just one of the several fiery exchanges between the two candidates during a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters on Monday.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlan participates in a Black Lives Matter march on July 4, 2020.


Galluch scored points on skyrocketing inflation and rising crime while Scanlon touted her experience in Congress, as a lawyer, and as former school board president.

Scanlon, first elected in 2018, said she was a volunteer for more than 30 years before running for Congress and had represented people who could not afford a lawyer.

She said she voted to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and passed the “first infrastructure and gun violence bill in decades.”

Galluch said he grew up with a single mother, went to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated sixth in his class, and volunteered to defuse bombs, which he called “the best choice I ever made in my life.”

“Our leaders have failed us. We’re facing inflation. We’re facing historic crime increases. We need change and we need a new direction. I would like to bring a new bipartisan approach, a collective rebirth in the American spirit,” he said.

Answering a question, Scanlon said, “Constituent service is key.” District residents are 25 percent African American and include 12 percent immigrants. She “embeds” her staff members in state representatives’ offices.

“In the 30,000 doors that I knocked on many people say, ‘I don’t know my congresswoman,’” Galluch said. He noted that a bridge in Ridley Park has been closed for repairs for eight years. “It’s choking off access to the business district.”

Scanlon said she knows about the bridge and is working with local and state officials to fix it fixed. “It’s a complicated process,” she said.

(from left) Kevin Foevinger, with Main Line TV, League of Women Voters moderator Jane Mogil, David Galluch, and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.

Moderator Jane Mogil mentioned rising crime, with more than 1,000 carjackings in Philadelphia this year, and that Scanlon was a carjacking victim.

Scanlon attempted to shift blame by labeling crime a national problem and suggesting lax gun laws are responsible — though states with less restrictive gun laws have lower crime rates than Pennsylvania. She also highlighted her vote for a bill to ban lawful gun owners from purchasing what she described as “assault weapons,” a category that includes some of the most commonly owned rifles in Pennsylvania. “Unfortunately, with the Senate filibuster, that hasn’t gone through the Senate,” Scanlon said.

Galluch opposes the gun ban and called out Scanlon’s participation in a march that included “Defund the Police” activists.

“I believe in putting common sense over politics,” said Galluch, who noted that he has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. “That starts with supporting police on crime. I think we need to support our police. I think we need to fund our police.”

Then the Republican brought up Scanlan’s participation in a march

“Scanlon marched with ‘Defund the Police’ on the 4th of July behind a bloody American flag sign. She has endorsed out-of-the-mainstream policies like eliminating cash bail and she has stood with DA Larry Krasner” when (Krasner) said, ‘We do not believe just arresting people for guns is a viable strategy to reduce shootings.’”

Scanlon denied she advocated for defunding the police.

“I have marched, however, in vigils and protests of the murder of George Floyd,” said Scanlon. “I think the more pertinent question is, where were you?”

“Marching behind a bloody American sign flag that says ‘You see stars and stripes we see prison bars’– that doesn’t send the right message on the 4th of July,” Galluch responded.

Scanlon said that event was organized by the Collingdale mayor and “faith leaders,” and she suggested the photo was being used as a political smear against her. “The photo was shared by dark money groups supporting your campaign and cropped out the police officers marching with us,” she said.

In fact, the photo is prominently displayed on Scanlan’s Facebook page.

Asked about gun safety Galluch said, “We need investments in school safety and to enhance mental health.”

“I don’t think it makes sense for us to be having a conversation about having new laws if we’re not enforcing the laws we have on the books,” said Galluch.

“Congresswoman Scanlon has been silent on this. Philadelphia is not enforcing the laws on the books, and that crime is not only leading to spikes in violence. Two hundred children under 18 have been killed in Philadelphia this year. That’s a shame. That’s unacceptable.”

Scanlon said she had been “working on gun safety for more than 20 years” and voted on legislation to “stop the flood of guns on our streets,” including ghost guns and AK-47s.

“Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues back the gun lobby instead of children’s health,” Scanlon said. She has worked with Delaware County’s district attorney on a program that reduced gun violence in the city of Chester by 40 percent, she said.

“We need a Senate that will actually support the laws our population wants, and for that reason, we need to get rid of the filibuster,” said Scanlon.

Galluch said, “Congresswoman, since you’ve been in office, Philadelphia has set a new record for murders every year. In 2019, we had two murders in Upper Darby. In 2021, we had 21 murders in Upper Darby. Since you have been in office, and since Larry Krasner has been in office, murders and gun violence have been exploding. You’ve failed to control this violence, you’ve failed to support our police, and you’ve failed to demand that we have the commonsense enforcement of laws like if you’re a felon, you go away the first time if you’re caught with a firearm. Why would you not call out Larry Krasner for his position?”

“Since 2020, isn’t that when you moved here?” she quipped.

Asked about Medicare and Social Security, Scanlon said those are “earned benefits that people are entitled to.” She claimed Republicans want to cut Social Security, raise the retirement age, and cut Medicare.

“I’ve worked with folks with disabilities and seniors for decades to be sure they have what they need,” she said. “We can’t just go cutting those funds willy-nilly. I’ve sponsored legislation to protect social security and make sure it continues well into the future.”

Galluch said his mother can’t survive without Social Security and pledged to support those programs.

He said Scanlon was referring to a study, not an official plan endorsed by the Republican Party.

“Inflation is the greatest threat to our seniors,” he said. “It erodes the value of their Social Security. We’ve seen what inflation has done to their 401ks and their hard-earned savings.  I think the best way to care for our seniors and people on a fixed income is to get the cost of essentials down, the cost of gas down, the cost of groceries down.”

“If there was a silver bullet, I am quite sure we would do it,” Scanlon said.

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DelVal Pols Debate Impact of Latest Inflation Hike

When news broke that the Consumer Price Index hit a higher than expected year-over-year 8.3 percent rate, the stock market tanked. That was not good news for an incumbent president and his party just weeks before the midterm election.

Even worse, the cost of groceries “rose 13.5 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 1979,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The indexes for shelter, medical care, household furnishings and operations, new vehicles, motor vehicle insurance, and education were among those that increased over the month.”

President Joe Biden amplified the Democrats’ angst by hosting a White House Rose Garden celebration of the $739 billion so-called Inflation Reduction Act the same day the report hit. The celebration featured claims of fiscal success and a song by 1970s singer James Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Penn Wharton Budget Model found the legislation’s impact on inflation would be “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

So, how are Delaware Valley elected officials and their midterm opponents reacting to the latest inflation news?

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) noted the Biden administration’s positive talk about inflation being under control missed the mark.

“The ‘consensus’ was wrong. Today’s inflation report shows what American families knew to be true: prices are still rising,” Toomey tweeted. “Americans are paying significantly more for essentials than they were one year ago: 13.5 percent more for groceries, 6.2 percent more in rent, 23.8 percent more for energy.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz said, “Pennsylvanians are getting slammed by higher and higher prices everywhere they turn as the inflation rate continues to tick up. There will be no relief in sight as long as we continue electing tax and spend Democrats like Joe Biden and John Fetterman. My opponent, John Fetterman, would only make this worse by funding radical ideas like the Green New Deal while raising taxes on the middle class.”

Fetterman did not respond to a request for comment about the new inflation report.

His fellow Democrat, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), attended the White House legislative victory party, tweeting from the scene: “The #InflationReductionAct is a major victory for America’s families and for our planet–advancing the people’s interest over the special interest. Great to mark its historic passage at the White House with my friend @RepDean!”

Scanlon’s GOP opponent David Galluch did not see it that way.

“I grew up with a single mom who sacrificed to make ends meet. The current leadership in D.C. is refusing to provide real solutions at the expense of families like the one I grew up in,” Galluch said.

“While working families continue to be squeezed by inflation, President Biden and Congresswoman Scanlon take a victory lap for passing the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ a bill that did not lower inflation or provide ‘immediate relief,'” he added.

Another DelVal Democrat facing a GOP challenger in Congress, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, has publicly complained about the Biden administration’s poor handling of inflation. She responded to the bad news by taking to Facebook and reminding voters she has her own plan.

“A little while back, I asked Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, to join me for a telephone town hall to talk about the root causes of inflation and what we can expect in the coming months,” Houlahan wrote. “We discussed the global shockwave of the pandemic and its lasting impact on our global supply chains. As one of the few members in Congress with a background in supply chain management, I used that experience to create my Inflation Action Plan.”

Guy Ciarrocchi, the former CEO of the Chester County Chamber who is challenging Houlahan, was unimpressed. “Inflation is the number one issue to everyone. Well, it’s the number one issue to every not named Biden or Houlahan.

“Biden and Houlahan created this mess with wasteful spending and forcing us to import energy from our enemies.  I campaign every day to offer hope, to change this—and will work even harder in Congress to use common sense to fix their mess that is crushing our family budgets.”

Houlahan posted this message on Facebook: “Yesterday’s inflation report is a reminder that inflation doesn’t go away overnight, and it also confirms what we have been feeling at home—price relief is not where it needs to be, and that’s making things harder for Pennsylvanians.

The report showed that even though gas and energy prices continue to come down, those cost savings were offset by other sectors including medical care.

Christian Nascimento, the Republican running against Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) said, “If we needed any reminding about the challenges our economy is facing, August’s 8.3 percent CPI increase has confirmed one thing: the Democrats’ policies are not working.

“Whether it is increased taxes, increased spending, increased hiring at the IRS, or the redistribution of student debt, Joe Biden’s policies are harming the economy, and Madeleine Dean and congressional Democrats that vote 100 percent of the time with the president are enabling this damage,” Nascimento said.

A frequent criticism of the inflation legislation is that it is actually a green energy and health care spending plan, not a strategy to cool an overheated economy. Dean appeared to confirm that view.

“Grateful to be with my brother and my son as we celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act at the White House,” she posed on Facebook. “This legislation will make our largest-ever investment in climate action; lower prescription costs, including capping Medicare insulin at $35; ensure the biggest corporations pay their fair share; and reduce our nation’s deficit.

“For our families. For our planet. For our future.”

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Delco Rep. Scanlon Caught Violating STOCK Act

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon violated the federal conflict-of-interest law with late reporting of her husband’s stock trades.

According to Business Insider, Scanlon’s husband sold four stocks in February 2021 collectively worth up to $95,000, and exchanged up to $15,000 in shares of DuPont de Nemours early that same month.  Scanlon did not file a disclosure form until Aug. 12, 2022. However, trades of more than $1,000 must be reported within 45 days under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012.

The law is supposed to help prevent representatives and senators from enriching themselves via insider information they glean while serving in Congress. Many have become millionaires while serving the public.

Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), a lawyer, was first elected in 2018 after  Republican Rep. Pat Meehan stepped down amid a scandal. She won both a special election and general election for that seat.

“In preparing her most recent financial disclosure report, Rep. Scanlon discovered that certain transactions in her husband’s retirement account, which is managed by a financial advisor who has discretion over the account, had not been reported in a previous filing,” said her spokeswoman Carina Figliuzzi. “Rep. Scanlon was unaware of these transactions and took immediate action to report them, pay the $200 late fee, and implement additional procedures to ensure that such transactions will not be overlooked in the future.

“Rep. Scanlon does not trade individual stocks and is a proud original cosponsor of the Ban Conflicted Trading Act to ban congressional stock trading and ensure accountability,” Figliuzzi said.

“Leaders should walk the walk,” responded David Galluch, Scanlon’s Republican challenger. “When it comes to representing working families, Mary Gay Scanlon has opted for the other route — talking the talk. The biggest challenge facing most families right now — and the one they’re most concerned about — is financial survival.

“Congresswoman Scanlon just voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, which the non-partisan CBO concluded will have no effect on inflation. She just voted to raise taxes and costs on working families. She just voted to hire 87,000 new IRS agents.

“As working families are experiencing economic hardship like never before and facing the specter of greater financial scrutiny from the government, we find out that Congresswoman Scanlon and her husband traded up to $110,000 in stocks—one and a half times more than the average family in PA-05 makes annually—that went unreported for over a year, violating the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012.”

Trust in institutions like Congress has plunged over the past two decades, and the result has been a rise in populist politics from both the Left (Sen. Bernie Sanders, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman) and Right (Former President Donald Trump.) According to the latest Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who say they have little or no confidence in Congress has soared from 17 percent in 2002 to 57 percent today.

“I have talked to tens of thousands of people and most say the same thing: ‘I feel like there are two sets of rules — one for those in power and another for the rest of us.’ Unfortunately, this lends credence to their claim — rules for thee but not for Mary G,” Galluch said.

How members of Congress and their families handle investments has gained new attention in the wake of reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband has made millions on well-timed trades of stock impacted by upcoming legislative action.

“The Pelosi family’s pattern of appearing to use her speakership for their own personal financial benefit continues to raise red flags,” Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust, told FOX Business.

Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Dan Meuser (Dallas, Pa.) and Mike Kelly (Erie), have run afoul of the conflict of interest stock reporting law as well. And Philadelphia Democrat Rep. Dwight Evans was also among scores of congressional members snagged for failing to disclose a stock sale.

After public outcry, a push to strengthen the largely impotent STOCK Act it has gone nowhere.

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As Military Struggles to Find Recruits, DelVal Pols Tout the Benefits of Service

David Galluch

When the colonists declared their independence from Great Britain 245 years ago, citizens rallied to form the first Continental Army led by Gen. George Washington.

Since then, many citizens have answered the call to serve in the military, and the benefits of that service can last a lifetime.

Today, however, the U.S. military is struggling to attract recruits. And the number of people in the key age demographic for enlistment who can meet minimum requirements is shrinking.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Congress in April only 23 percent of young people ages 17 to 24 are qualified to serve, down 29 percent in recent years. And NBC News reported only 9 percent of those eligible would even consider joining, the lowest number since 2007. All branches are struggling to meet their recruitment goals.

“We recognize that we are in a very challenging recruiting environment, in competition with our fellow services and the private sector for the top talent we need to serve as the next generation of Navy leaders and warfighters,” said Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham, director of public affairs for the Navy Recruiting Command.

The Navy’s goals for fiscal year 2022 recruits are 33,400 active enlisted service members, 7,400 reserve enlisted, 2,468 active officers, and 1,350 reserve officers, he said.

An Army spokesperson said, “This is the most challenging recruiting market in the last 20 years. In FY22, Army recruiters are facing a tight labor market, a decrease in the propensity of the American population to serve, and a shrinking pool of qualified military applicants.”

In a 2021 survey, the Army found 75 percent of today’s youth (16 to 28 years old) know little to nothing about the U.S. Army. Its Enterprise Marketing Office (AEMO) has two new creative campaigns running now to generate awareness among young people and to address the common misperceptions about the Army lifestyle, as well as motivate receptive prospects.

Both the Army and the Navy are offering incentives to join.

But beyond the immediate satisfaction of meeting a challenge and serving one’s country, the benefits of joining the military can last a lifetime.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

“I grew up in a military family, moving nearly a dozen times before I graduated high school,” said Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks), a third-generation veteran who served in the Air Force. “But when I was old enough, I decided to raise my right hand, too—in large part because my father and grandfather both instilled in me the value of serving our country in uniform.

“There’s a saying in my family to be of our’ highest, best use’ whatever that may hold. I know there are many young students and Americans out there wondering what their highest, best use is right now, and I hope they’ll consider a career in the military. It provided me the discipline, work ethic, and degree (thanks to ROTC) to pursue careers in business and non-profits after I separated from the service.

“Now, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’m working incredibly hard to make sure our service members and their families are taken care of,” said Houlahan. “In fact, I’ve led efforts to improve pregnancy care for our servicewomen, provide paid family leave for all in uniform, increase pay, and more. To anyone out there considering serving in uniform, please know we will be stronger as a nation and a world should you choose to be part of the greatest military in history.”

State Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford) went to Duke University on a Navy ROTC scholarship, then joined the Marines. Both his father and stepfather flew Cessna O-1 Birddogs as forward air controllers during the Vietnam War, so he grew up “steeped” in the lore of the military and living on Air Force bases.

He joined the military because “it was a family tradition of service to our country,” he told Delaware Valley Journal.

During Operation Desert Storm, Williams also flew 56 missions piloting F-18s (the same plane featured in the movie “Top Gun Maverick”) and “did the exact same mission, forward air controller, as my dads did in Vietnam. Williams was “racing around the desert at 200-feet marking targets for bombers up at altitude.”

Rep. Craig Williams

After the war, he became a flight instructor at Pensacola, went to law school under a military program, and became a judge advocate general (JAG). Williams served as head prosecutor at Camp Pendleton and deputy legal counsel to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the War on Terror. He was the head prosecutor for the Marine Corps Reserves.

Williams, who was decorated for valor, retired from the military as a colonel in 2015 after 28 years of service. He served as a prosecutor in Denver and then came to Philadelphia to join his wife, Jennifer Williams, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

“I never see it as helping me,” he said. “I see it as duty to country.” But he adds the things he learned have helped with his career path and “helped form who I am, this person steeped in service and duty to something bigger than oneself and I try to teach that to my children.”

“I think all these things are very sweet,” he said. “The 4th of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, for people who have been in combat, are particularly significant events.”

“I’ve lost friends in the service. I’ve lost my best friend,” he said. “It’s hard for people who haven’t served to understand.”

Sometimes hearing the National Anthem brings a tear to his eye.

“We recognize on Memorial Day people who have given their lives for us. The 4th of July is the same,” he said.

Dave Galluch, a Republican running for Congress for the 5th District in Delaware County, also has a family history of serving in the armed forces. Galluch attended the Naval Academy. He was later selected for Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal, a special operations job. He served in the Middle East and Somalia, where he was assigned to Seal Team Four.

“My family has a long history of military service,” Galluch said. “I’ve had relatives fight in every war in our nation’s history. They sacrificed for the things that are supposed to unite us all — the things that represent the best of who we are. I felt a weight to carry on their legacy and do my duty to my family and country.

“In the military, I saw the best our country has to offer and what we are capable of achieving when we realize we are stronger together,” said Galluch. “I learned how to lead, how to make tough decisions, and how to subordinate my own concerns to those of the men and women I was serving alongside.

Rep. Tracy Pennycuick

“I don’t care what else I do or accomplish in my life. Leading our nation’s special operators in harm’s way will always be what I’m most proud of. My experiences in the military are central to who I am, how I view this nation, and what leadership is all about to me,” said Galluch.

Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Gilbertsville) said, “I initially joined the military as an enlisted medic as a way to pay for college. I found that I loved the structure and discipline of the military, and ended up going back to college and earning my degree. I spent 26 years in the U.S. Army, and my military service taught me so many life lessons—never give up, never ask your soldiers to do anything you wouldn’t do, always take care of your soldiers first, mentor and guide your soldiers to achieve their goals….are just a few. The military set me up for success as it gave me the groundwork to be a leader.”

Pennycuick is running for the 24th District state Senate seat now held by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Bucks/Montgomery/Berks), who is retiring.


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GOP Challenger Says Scanlon Gets Natural Gas Issue All Wrong

The Republican hoping to unseat Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia) thinks she and President Joe Biden are getting the natural gas issue wrong.

Republican David Galluch says he will fight to not only encourage the sector but expand it.

“We have more natural gas under our feet than Saudi Arabia has oil,” says Galluch. “Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel there is, and if you liquefy it, it gets even cleaner.”

And, he notes, it keeps hundreds of thousands of people working across the state.

“The job multiplier for the energy sector is 18.3. That means for every one job we create in the energy sector, we create 18.3 jobs downstream,” says Galluch. “We are talking construction, manufacturing, high-skill, high-productivity, high wage enhancing employment, a lot of it union and skilled labor.”

Biden has pushed for what he calls “good-paying union jobs.” Still, the president’s critics say his energy and environment plans are threatening union jobs. Many of the workers impacted by Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline were union jobs, for example, part of a package of anti-oil and gas policies Biden put into place when he first took office.

“There is nothing wrong with investing in and developing alternative forms of energy,” said Galluch. “But if we are doing so at the expense and well-being of working families or driving up the price of fossil fuels to wean people onto different sorts of energy production, I do not think that is the right answer,” says Galluch. “Putting working families through a world of hurt in this inflationary environment more generally is not the right answer.”

Pointing to Scanlon’s voting record, Galluch added she has been against the energy sector from the very beginning.

“Not just her voting record, but even her lack of advocacy I should say for an energy producer in our own district,” Galluch noted. “Monroe Energy in Trainer supports the employment of about 9,000 people in our region and they are really being hurt by a broken regulation called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

Scanlon–in office since 2019–has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the AFL-CIO. She voted for the Build Back Better Act, which includes multiple bans on drilling and energy development while spending more than half a trillion dollars on green energy plans.

Neither Scanlon’s office nor her campaign responded DVJ’s emails seeking comment. Galluch said he was not surprised by Scanlon’s silence.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.)

“A representative who valued Monroe Energy’s presence in the district would have been lobbying the Biden administration to alter the terms of the RFS, but the Biden administration kept the RFS,” said Galluch. “The administration renewed it last week in its current form, which puts 9,000 of those jobs in jeopardy, so I think Congresswoman Scanlon’s lack of action and lack of public advocacy for changing the RFS says all you need to know about her stance on energy.”

Monroe Energy may not be the only thing up for debate in this election. A $6.4 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal is proposed for the city of Chester. If constructed, the plant would provide more job opportunities for working people and families in the Fifth District. Penn LNG is responsible for the project and claims the operation will be “the greenest and cleanest” export facility of its kind in the nation.

“People in the community of Chester should have a say,” Galluch noted. “We need to openly debate this, it should not be done behind the scenes, and it has to be a transparent process.”

Still, Galluch said that, “If we make the case properly” and show the economic benefits, people will see the positives of having the LNG plant.

“We know as our own energy production has been curtailed, the reliance of our allies on our foes for energy, specifically Russia, has put them in a very vulnerable position,” Galluch, a Navy veteran, said.“So, I think if we explain to people, ‘Look, there are safe ways to ensure that we do not pollute the environment, we do not make a community unsafe, that we are going to benefit from it economically, and then we’re going to benefit from it from a national perspective,’ I think people are going to see that this is a step in the right direction for us.”

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