Midstate focus group discusses impeachment, key issues in Keystone State

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A diverse group of people from across the Midstate sat down with ABC27 News Wednesday to talk about the impeachment of President Donald Trump and other key issues in the Keystone State.

The Bartlett Group, a subsidiary of Susquehanna Polling and Research, chose the group and let us ask our own questions. There were four Republicans and four others who identified as Democrat or Independent/Unaffiliated.

“In this case, they all shared one thing in common, which is they’re all interested in elections and what’s happening in our country,” Bartlett Group owner Jim Lee said.

The group first addressed President Trump’s impeachment.

“I don’t really think he’s gonna be going anywhere,” said Nathan Knaub, a Republican.

“We’re wasting millions, millions of dollars with this,” said Cephus Taylor, who identifies as unaffiliated.

“Their job is to go and do what’s best for the country without spewing this venom,” Republican Karen Young said.

The group seemed to agree the impeachment is doing more harm than good.

“It’s probably just polarized people more. Whichever side you’re on, I think it just intensified your feelings,” said independent Fred Behney.

“Nothing is getting accomplished when they’re fighting across the aisle, and I didn’t send them there to do that,” Young said.

The issues quickly pivoted to one’s closer to home, such as a proposal to raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour.

“Giving them the opportunity to get a higher wage at some point after you’ve put in so many years or you show that you can take on more responsibility, that’s a great thing,” Democrat Shelly Scott said.

Some said they want a more gradual increase, as opposed to a state mandate.

“I don’t know what the answer is but I know that our wages need to be more in line with the cost of things,” Republican Christina Crum said.

“From an economic standpoint, the wage makes sense for the work that’s done,” Young said.

Another controversial topic the group addressed was marijuana legalization as a recreational drug. The group seemed to be split.

“It impairs just like alcohol. It’s impairment,” Taylor said.

“Marijuana is not addictive at all in leading to other drugs,” Behney said.

“I think it would open up a whole new economy. We can make clothing with it. You can do all kinds of stuff with it,” Republican Laurie McCabe said.

“We’re spending a lot of money putting people in jail on minor offenses compared to the bigger issues,” independent Jenine Mello said.

Pennsylvania’s wage gap, education inequality, and healthcare were also discussed. A common feeling the group shared was how politics has shifted toward one-liners during debates, and how politicians appear more concerned with the spotlight instead of the issues.

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