U.S. House rivals Murphy, Maggi spar over jobs, earmarks
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy and Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi squabbled in their only televised debate on Tuesday over how to preserve Medicare, lower unemployment and deal with earmark spending in Congress.
“They have not reduced spending down there, and they want to continue giving the top 2 percent, the millionaires and the billionaires, tax breaks,” Maggi said. “We need to make sure the richest of the rich pay their fair share.”
Murphy said that would stifle economic growth and hiring.
“Instead of businesses investing in new employees or new equipment, they're sending that money to the government,” Murphy said.
WPXI-TV host Ellis Cannon moderated the hourlong debate in the station's Summer Hill studios. It aired live on PCNC.
Murphy, 60, an Upper St. Clair Republican, is seeking his sixth term in Congress.
Maggi, 62, a Democrat from Buffalo Township, is mounting his second bid for Congress. Maggi, a former sheriff and state police trooper, lost a 2002 bid in the Democratic primary.
WPXI aired attack ads from both candidates during the debate.
In one of the ads and during the debate, Maggi said Murphy is “out of touch” with his constituents in the 18th Congressional District because he supports vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget plan, which Maggi and other Democrats contend would raise senior citizens' health care costs by $6,400.
“It's simply false,” Murphy said. “As far as being out of touch with my district, my district didn't want me to vote for the health care bill, I didn't … he said he would not vote to repeal the bill.”
Maggi took issue with that, saying that he wants to change Obamacare and that Murphy should be finding ways to reduce government spending.
“Instead of being here pointing fingers, you should be doing things,” Maggi said.
Maggi said Murphy supports deficit spending through earmarks.
“That's interesting, because I have sitting on my desk in Washington, D.C., a request from (Maggi) to get $26 million to build an interchange on Interstate 70 in Buffalo Township,” Murphy said.
Maggi later said that infrastructure projects offer legitimate reasons to create earmarks.
Murphy noted that Washington County's government, during Maggi's term, has increased spending and commissioners' salaries. He rejected Maggi's accomplishment of passing nine balanced budgets.
“There's a law that requires him to balance every budget, and every year that he's been in office, he's actually increased spending,” Murphy said.
Fundraising has been lopsided in the incumbent's favor.
Maggi had $103,595 and spent $568,404 this year as of Oct. 17; Murphy had $539,629 and spent $2 million, a great deal of it to defeat a challenger in the primary. Since ascending from the state Senate to Congress in 2003, Murphy has defeated his opponents by wide margins.
The redrawn 18th Congressional District covers southern Allegheny County and portions of Washington, Westmoreland and Greene counties.
Voter registration in the district favors Democrats (51 percent) over Republicans (38 percent). The remaining voters are independents.
Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates showing interest in starting pitcher Masterson
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger remains in concussion protocol
- Downtown barbershop target of racial-slur graffiti
- CPR helps revive Heinz Field worker with cardiac arrest
- In letter to Congress, former national security experts back settling Syrian refugees
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
- Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
- South Connellsville pedestrian dies
- Authorities recover rifle used to kill Westmoreland police officer
- Pitt’s Whitehead, Ollison grab ACC rookie of the year awards