By regulating the charter school funding, Spicka said taxpayers could save $365 million a year.
She wants to create jobs by growing the local economy and get state dollars focused on this district.
“I would like to get Harrisburg to help work on programs that would offer our local, small businesses low-interest loans to grow their business,” she said. “I think we should start talking about the state helping provide training for workers who are out of work because there are a lot of open positions in Franklin County. Workers just need to be trained.”
Spicka, 42, said she never intended to run for office, but she believes Kauffman has lost sight of the needs of his constituents.
“My opponent is a career politician, and he is really out of touch with the families who are living in our district. I am going to be willing to listen to every voter in the district, whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat,” she said. “I will never serve more than four terms. I’m not looking for a cushy job for the rest of my life.”
Kauffman said he’s represented his constituents well.
“I share the values of this community. I grew up here. I’ve absolutely done a good job representing the values of the constituents that I represent from looking to reform welfare, looking to keep taxes low and opposing new taxes by Gov. Rendell over the last several years,” Kauffman said.
The race for the state house seat heated up when Spicka blasted Kauffman for refusing to debate her and for taking per diems.
A debate did take place July 11 at 8 a.m. on WEEO 103.7 FM radio. Talk show host Kelly Spinner moderated, asking eight questions submitted by listeners.
Spicka said neither she nor many community members were satisfied with the radio debate.
A lot of people commented that they wanted a public forum with the opportunity to ask questions, Spicka said.
“I think it was a disservice to the voters of this district that he refused to do that,” Spicka said. “As an elected official, it is his duty to be available to the public and to go out and share his ideas. And if he is so proud of his record in Harrisburg, I do not know why he will not stand by his votes and come out and defend every single vote.”
Kauffman said the debate issue has been settled.
“There’s already been a debate, and it’s on the Web that anyone can listen to. It’s recorded for all to hear,” Kauffman said.
Spicka took Kauffman to task for collecting $52 a day for lunch money.
She said in Kauffman’s first campaign against Doug Harbach in 2004, he made the system of unvouchered per diems a major issue, citing the program as an example of wasteful government spending.
“When families across the state are struggling to make ends meet, should he really be expecting taxpayers to reimburse him $52 a day for lunch on top of his yearly salary of $82,000?” she said.
Kauffman said the per diems are expenses of doing the job.
“They are a legitimate expense of being a representative, and they are very conservative and reasonable,” he said.
Kauffman said arguments about the debate that already happened and costs that are unique to his position are a distraction from the real issues.
Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories profiling candidates and races in the Nov. 6 general election.