Auditor General Visit
Pennsylvania Auditor General Visits Main Campus to Discuss Key Political Issues
Auditor General on campus
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discussed key political issues of the day during a talk in the Webb Room at University Center.
Widener University welcomed the state auditor general to campus this week for a discussion of political issues that are key topics under the new administration of President Donald Trump.
Eugene DePasquale, a 2002 graduate of Commonwealth Law, titled his remarks “Pennsylvania Under the Current Presidency,” and he covered a lot of ground, touching on immigration, health care, public safety, support for public education and more. He began his talk by examining statistical information related to the November presidential election, gleaned from Pennsylvania and other states. For example, one poll he said he watched had his campaign up 28 points in Pittsburgh, while Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was up by just one point in the same jurisdiction.
“This was not the usual election, to say the least,” DePasquale said.
He went on to explain while Clinton won Philadelphia and its four suburban counties, she lost Pennsylvania in the Harrisburg and Scranton areas, and the southwestern corner of the state, where rural voters turned out to support Trump. But as an elected official, DePasquale said he is mindful that a strong percentage of Pennsylvania voters cast their ballots for Trump, a Republican, and they also voted for him, a Democrat.
Students join DePasquale tackle political issues over lunch
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale had lunch on campus with faculty, students and President Julie E. Wollman before he spoke about key political issues of the day.
Those voters are people who felt left behind, he said. They are concerned about high unemployment and the opioid epidemic hitting their rural communities. They are Pennsylvanians watching a pool of talented young people leave home to earn their degrees and never return.
“If you want to be a leader, if you want to be engaged civically, these are things we should be thinking about,” DePasquale said. “If you want to be a leader, you can’t forget about them.”
DePasquale touched on several other topics during his hour talk. He said he remains concerned about the rising cost of public education, and he questioned Trump’s decision to drop bombs in Syria last week without seeking prior authorization from Congress. He questioned whether undocumented workers in the United States are taking away jobs Americans really want when they work for very low wages picking fruit, for example.
International student Tsan-Yueh Hsiao said he attended the talk with fellow student Yi-Chia Chao because they were interested in what DePasquale had to say. Both are studying education at Widener. Hsiao said DePasquale’s remarks on immigration resonated with him, particularly the questions about whether nationals truly want the jobs immigrants will do for low pay.
“We also face the same situation in Taiwan,” Hsiao said.