Sen. Casey encourages students to vote on campus visit


Sara Holthouse

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey speaks to Allegheny students Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in the Henderson Campus Center. Casey encouraged students to vote this November.

With Election Day approaching, senators are traveling throughout their home states and encouraging people to vote. Sen. Bob Casey paid a visit to Allegheny’s campus as one stop on his re-election campaign.

Hosted by the Allegheny College Democrats, Casey spoke to students and community members about his plans for re-election at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Henderson Campus Center room 301/302.

He also encouraged everyone in the room to vote on Election Day.

“I’m grateful you are all willing to be here today,” Casey said. “You spent time to be engaged and sometimes even a little enraged at what’s been happening. You’re participating by more than just voting in the election, you’re participating by your presence, by your activism.”

Vice President of College Democrats, Jason Ferrante, ’20, introduced Casey.

“He’s been a champion for workers, seniors, children and middle class families,” Ferrante said.

Much of Casey’s work has been focused on health care and climate change.

“(Health care) is the number one issue in my senate race for sure,” Casey said. “There’s a big divide between my opponent and me, almost no common ground.”

Part of that divide is caused by the debate over Medicaid and some changes that Republicans are trying to make.

“I’m really angry with what Republicans are trying to do with health care,” Casey said. “They seem to believe that the whole system should change. My opponent and I are on very different pages with this. We never had a law saying that insurance companies cannot deny you treatment if you have a preexisting condition. That was a fundamental change in American law. We got that in 2010, now they’re trying to change that.”

Addressing climate change, Casey described the opposing opinions of other candidates. His opponents in the Republican Party do not want to do anything to try and stop or fix climate change, and Casey thought that was not a good plan of action.

“(My opponent’s side) says we don’t need to have any changes, we can just let it play out,” Casey said. “I’m not in that camp. I believe the science has proven that it is a threat to human life. I’m in the let’s do something about it category.”

Casey conveyed his ideas about the political position that the country is currently in, saying that in the past things were better when Democrats and Republicans worked together. He expressed his idea that maybe that has to happen again for things to change.

“There are times when both parties can work together,” Casey said. “(Together) we got a spending bill that caused the biggest increase in child care block rates ever. Ten thousand one hundred and thirty-one kids in Pennsylvania have child care this year that didn’t have it last year.”

With Democrats and Republicans working together, the Pennsylvania senate also got more money to help battle the opioid crisis, along with money for infrastructure and Title 1 schools in rural areas.

Contributed by Kelsey Evans
Dominic Bell, ’21, Kelsey Evans, ’20, Sen. Bob Casey, Enrique Lopez, ’20, and Melanie Torres, ’21 pose for a group photo after Casey’s visit to campus on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.

Casey communicated how people in the country think the political climate is currently the worst it has been in history. Casey said he disagrees.

“We have had times in our history that have been at least equally acrimonious,” Casey said. “I always remind people that Federalist John Adams called Federalist Alexander Hamilton the incarnation of evil, and they were in the same political party. I don’t think we’ve quite gotten that far yet.”

Casey again encouraged the audience to vote on Nov. 6. He also gave a piece of advice to members of the audience, specifically those who really wanted to make a difference in the political system, telling them to run for office themselves in the future.

“The last thing I’ll say is we need more people in your generation to not just participate and vote, but to run for office,” Casey said. “We have more new candidates now then we’ve ever had. We also have more women running than ever before. So, who’s next?”