By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three of the four Democrats seeking to replace the outgoing Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District took part in a debate in Rhawnhurst last night. Their differences were often subtle but not when it came to campaign finances.

When the moderator brought up a finances charge already made against former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies by rival State Senator Daylin Leach, he was ready to pounce.

“But even tonight, she’s not prepared, unless she is. Maybe she can correct me, to explain how she wrote checks for $75,000 more than she had and didn’t spend illegal money. It’s just not possible.”

Margolies didn’t take the bait.

“Senator Leach has filed an FEC complaint. We will be filing an answer to that complaint and then we will wait to see what the FEC does,” she said.

The third candidate, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, attempted to distinguish herself:

“I’m not having any trouble with my campaign finances.”

The minimum wage was an area of general agreement on a proposal to raise it nationally to $10.10 an hour, which Margolies likened to the buck-thirty-something it was in the ’60’s.

“Adjusted for inflation it should be about $10.10, and I would say at a minimum that’s where I would like it to start.”

Dr. Arkoosh agreed:

“Here in the Philadelphia area, the living wage for a single adult is $10.10 but I would like to see it go higher, to at least $12, ideally to $15,” so people can afford families, she said.

Senator Leach, who has already proposed a $12 state minimum, acknowledges that some critics think such a measure might cost jobs.

“If you could pay people a dollar a day, you could hire lots of people to do lots of things, but that would be awful,” he said.   Leach says wages ought to be above the poverty level.

All three promised to support the eventual Democratic nominee.

 Listen to the full candidates’ debate in this special CBS Philly podcast (runs 79:52)…



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