Hi - I'm Brad Koplinski and I'm a candidate for Lt. Governor in Pennsylvania in the May 20th Democratic primary. I have been an attorney with the Federal Government and have been a Harrisburg City Councilman since 2008. I have helped run John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Arlen Specter's Pennsylvania campaigns. I'm a strong Progressive and am for a moratorium on new drilling permits for natural gas extraction in our state. I have been endorsed by the National Organization for Women, the Sierra Club, and Humane PA.

My proof: http://imgur.com/a/BY1Da

Additional information about my stance on current issues can be found here:

Campaign updates can be found on both my twitter and Facebook pages:

Let's get this cleared up right now - Definitely one horse sized duck!

Gotta run for now - gotta knock some things out and will answer more later! Thanks!

Comments: 357 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

tuframnedox29 karma

Thanks for the AMA, Mr. Koplinski. Representing Hershey here.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I have a hard time trusting that anyone who has spent any length of time on Harrisburg's self-important city council that has wasted the better part of a decade infighting and complaining than taking care of the city.

Harrisburg is a small city with big city problems, and from blight to crime, it's not getting any better. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics, and no figure you throw at me is going to convince me that the city is headed in a positive direction.

Nevertheless, I have always respected you and found you to be one of the few decent, hardworking people on city council. How can you convince me that you're the right man for the lieutenant governor position?

Edit: Would you rather fight one incinerator-sized Tom Corbett or 100 Tom Corbett-sized incinerators?

BradKoplinski201421 karma

The Commonwealth was going to roll over Harrisburg with a cookie cutter, cut and paste Act 47 plan that would have not solved our city's problems and would have harmed the region in the end. I and my colleagues had to stand up against that to protect the taxpayers, make Wall Street take a haircut and have the Commonwealth come up with some new ideas to help our municipalities. The debt has been eliminated - the receiver has been removed. We all need to show that Harrisburg is a great and safe place to work, live and play.

A tougher question to be sure - but I am going to go with 100 Corbett sized incinerators.

kingof2ndchances27 karma

So it seems like you don't want to privatize alcohol sales, but you support legalization of marijuana. If legalized, would you want state control over marijuana sales or would you let that be privatized?

Also, is there any non-religious basis for shortened Sunday sales on alcohol?

BradKoplinski201432 karma

Yes - the state stores should also sell marijuana.

I am fine with enhanced sales on Sunday.

silentstaid18 karma

Philly here. I can't believe no one has asked this yet - what's your feelings on the current state of affairs with the FCC and net neutrality? Granted, I understand that it comparatively doesn't have much bearing on your potential position, but I'm curious because simply by virtue of you choosing to do an AMA and (likely) understanding the importance of the Internet.

edit: typos.

BradKoplinski201437 karma

I am for Net Neutrality - the Internet should be an open medium for communication - not allowing net neutrality is discriminatory and detrimental to innovation.

boredasyupyup16 karma

Just trying to represent Pennsylvania's youth here... What's Lt. Governor and why is the Delaware River so darn cold?

BradKoplinski201431 karma

Lt. Governor is the number two elected official in the state. It does primarily six things.

1 - Act as acting Governor or move up to the office should something happen to the Governor

2 - Chair the Local Government Advisory Committe

3 - Sit on the PA Emergency Management Agency

4 - Chair the Board of Pardons

5 - Chair the Marcellus Shale Commission

6 - Serve as President of the State Senate

The Lt. Governor is nominated separately in the May 20th Primary and then Gov and Lt. Gov candidates are merged as a ticket to run as a team in the Fall election.

I have never been in the Delaware River - but your comment seems like a dare somehow - so I will have to try it sometime and see how cold it is.

thedealerkuo15 karma

1)PA is the last state in the northeast to ban gay marriage. are you in favor of legalizing gay marriage?

BradKoplinski201428 karma

Yes - we are an island in the Northeast - not just on marriage equality, but also on anti-discrimination. We need to pass HB/SB 300 right now to make sure that people cannot be discriminated against in the workplace or in housing and other capacities because they are in the LGBT community.

Brad_Wesley13 karma


The Philadelphia gun club engages in horrific live pigeon shoots. These shoots are illegal under PA law, however the gun club's members are politically connected and the police and prosecutors don't do anything about it. Live pigeon shoots are barbaric. If elected will you put an end to this?

To learn more, go to: http://www.sharkonline.org

BradKoplinski201411 karma

Yes - I have been endorsed by HumanePA for my work on dog fighting and dog tethering. We need to stop pigeon shoots in PA and I will work to do that.

LyleChiperson13 karma

What's your stance on gun laws and the 2nd Amendment?

BradKoplinski2014-1 karma

I have respect for the 2nd Amendment - but we need to have sensible laws that prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. We need universal background checks and greater funding for mental health concerns, as well as reinstating the assault weapons ban. I have a 100 percent rating from Cease Fire PA and helped pass Lost and Stolen legislation in Harrisburg.

nik-nak33311 karma

Do you support taking redistricting responsibilities away from the state legislature and using a neutral, third-party to draw district lines?

BradKoplinski20144 karma

Yes I do. Here in PA and elsewhere - Democrats don't need to gerrymander to win - they just need fair lines. Pretty much only Iowa and Colorado do it the right way.

azrael3378 karma

Mr. Koplinski. Thank you for doing this AMA. As a resident in Enola, PA and an active member of several PA based organizations I have a few questions on the state of Pennsylvania regarding a few key items.

Has there been any formal investigations from the state into the possible public health effects of Hydraulic Fracturing? If so, what are those findings and how is the capital addressing this to the public?

Currently, all physicians in Pennsylvania have to pay into MCare, but if other providers are allowed to practice independently, will they also have to pay into that catastrophic fund?

Is Pennsylvania doing anything to curb inflating tuition costs for higher education? Are there going to be an increase of grants with PHEAA?

The city of Harrisburg is trying to turn a corner after disastrous 20 years concerning the incinerator debt and the hugely unpopular mayor Linda Thompson. This is where the capital building sits at. What is the state doing to help turn around that city? It seems like more citizens are trying to make a renaissance in Midtown then anywhere else in the city.

Last, but not least, I want to know what your thoughts are on the future of Pennsylvania.

Thanks again for doing this. It's much appreciated.

BradKoplinski201411 karma

My pleasure. Good to hear from Enola.

The DEP has taken some measures to look at public health effects of frackin - but much more needs to be done and we need more significant funding to look at the health effects of fracking.

I need to do more research into that particular area of the MCare issue and I will. I believe we should move towards a Single Payer plan. Vermont has initiated one and we need to monitor what happens there.

As you know, I pushed back on the Commonwealth regarding their lack of assistance to Harrisburg. We said no to their Act 47 plan (the only city to do so) and made them come up with a better plan that made Wall Street take a haircut and not put the burden on the taxpayers. We sold the incinerator and have eliminated the debt.

We are the 6th largest state/commonwealth in America and we need to act like it. We don't seize the opportunities we have here and utilize its greatest resource our people. We need to fully fund education and make sure our economy is strong. We are the CommonWealth of Pennsylvania and we need to act like it, so we can all benefit from it.

Job6018 karma

What do you think will happen to the PA voter id laws going forward? How do you think about getting out the vote for midterm elections?

BradKoplinski20147 karma

With Governor Corbett choosing not to pursue an appeal of Voter ID to the PA Supreme Court - that issue is dead. However, there will continue to be attempts by the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters in our state and across the country, with initiatives to change the Electoral College, gerrymander our legislative lines and prevent changes to allow easier voting and access to the polls.

I think that Governor Corbett and his policies will be the best motivator to increase turnout among Democrats in the November election. Of course, we will have a strong Democratic nominee - but Corbett's destructive policies have affected the people here negatively and I believe they will come out to vote in large numbers.

ATZ07 karma

Do you support or are you opposed to the new PA Supreme Court ruling authorizing warrantlesss searches on vehicles?

BradKoplinski201420 karma

No I don't think agree with the warrantless searches ruling.

BradKoplinski20146 karma

Sorry - I don't agree with the ruling.

BradKoplinski20144 karma

Sorry - I don't agree with the ruling.

angrath7 karma

Brad, do you believe Bigfoot exists?

BradKoplinski20145 karma

Of course.

arkanemusic2 karma


BradKoplinski20144 karma

Absolutely UFOs.

ozftw7 karma

Hello Mr Koplinski! Unfortunately, being from Australia, I haven't the faintest idea what issues are pertinent for Pennsylvanians, but have you ever considered becoming the Prime Minister of Australia? Our current one is a complete dud and from the couple of minutes I spent perusing your website, I'm already convinced you would do a better job.

Also, I noted the internet in-jokes (banana for scale, horse-sized duck) in your post - do you spend much time online in communities such as Reddit/Imgur? Do you have any views on the FCC proposals? Thanks!

BradKoplinski20142 karma

I can't say I have ever considered becoming Australian Prime Minister, but I can answer your other questions: Online communities and social media are a valuable communication resource to me, so my campaign and I try to spend enough time on social media to stay connected to Pennsylvanians. And as far as the FCC proposals, I support net neutrality.

fatguyinalittleboat6 karma

Considering the dismal state of affairs in the City of Harrisburg, what do you consider your most helpful accomplishment as a councilman?

BradKoplinski20145 karma

Standing up against the cookie cutter, cut and paste Act 47 plan that the state was pushing down on our city. I stood up and said no and we made the Commonwealth come up with a better solution, but pushing back on them and then working together.

themouth4 karma

Hi Brad,

Yorker here. Random question: Who has the best head of hair in the PA House?

BradKoplinski20146 karma

Tough call but Kevin Schrieber.

Jamie544 karma

Do you consider Hillary Clinton to be good for the "strong progressive" cause?

BradKoplinski2014-3 karma

Secretary Clinton is good for the progressive cause. The progressive movement is truly pushing the conversation - progressing it, if you will with the Pennsylvanian and American public. We have seen this on marriage equality and marijuana reform specifically. I think that she helped push the progressives in certain directions on positions and the progressives have pushed her in the same way.

semi_colon6 karma

Are you interested in drug policy reform beyond just marijuana?

BradKoplinski20142 karma

I support the legalization of marijuana primarily, wanting a portion of the revenue to go toward treatment and rehab from addiction to harder drugs. The real drug problem is not marijuana: it's hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. Legalizing marijuana would stop the racially imbalanced treatment of those with marijuana-related charges and could give us the resources to get to work on the real problem.

intellicourier3 karma

It can be quite hard, even for a plugged-in political watcher, to choose a candidate for Lt. Governor. What sets you apart from your opponents? Also, have you served any other parts of the state besides the city of Harrisburg?

BradKoplinski20142 karma

I have worked campaigns statewide, most notably my own campaign - I have been to all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties and know the state very well. That happens to be something that sets me apart from the rest of the candidates, being the only one who been active in all counties, as well as the only Democratic candidate this year to get petition signatures from every county. I am the only one to support a moratorium on natural gas drilling until we know what chemicals are in the fracking fluid, and the only leader calling for a state single-payer system. I'm the most progressive of the candidates, and that's why I am supported by Sierra Club, National Organization for Women, HumanePA, the PennAg Dems, the PA Young Democrats, and over 250 Democratic leaders across the state.

PublicAccount12343 karma

What's your opinion on Pennsylvania's laws surrounding primary voting (that only those registered as X can vote in X's primary)?

BradKoplinski20141 karma

I think we should expand voting access in many ways - I believe that we should keep the party voting structure the same - meaning only Ds can vote for Ds and Rs for Rs, etc. However, I believe we should have same day registration so people can register for a party or a new party on the same day as the vote.

caparza3 karma

What is your view on net neutrality?

BradKoplinski20148 karma

I am for Net Neutrality - the Internet should be an open medium for communication - not allowing net neutrality is discriminatory and detrimental to innovation.

laidback882 karma

Why are you awake so early on a Friday?

BradKoplinski20145 karma

I am up pretty early most days anyway - but there are only four days left until our election - so we got lots to do and we better be up early.

Thereswaldo1012 karma

What is your favorite book?

BradKoplinski201410 karma

As a candidate that has traveled to all 67 counties in Pennsylvania - definitely On The Road by Kerouac - although I am more of write my thoughts on napkins instead of toilet paper.

eliza_doolittle_2 karma

I've heard you were on Jeopardy! Can you post us a pic???

BradKoplinski20148 karma

I don't have a pic handy - but it was in June of 2000 and the final jeopardy question was - This State Capital Means Sheltered Harbor - you have 30 seconds to answer

DPick022 karma


Do I win steak knives?

BradKoplinski20149 karma

Very good - I won a year's supply of Turtle Wax - one can. No foolin.

jokerZwild1 karma

What is your stance on abortion? Just because you are a Dem, one does not automatically assume you are pro-choice considering it is a women's right to choose.

BradKoplinski20141 karma

I am pro-choice. I helped enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act when I worked at the Dept of Justice. Recently, I was asked by Harrisburg's Planned Parenthood to pass a 35 foot buffer zone to keep protesters 35 feet away from the sidewalk, driveway and front door. Because while protesters should have Freedom of Speech, there were concerns about violence and the clinic needed a buffer zone law.

the_great_danton1 karma

Born and raised in Erie here. I feel like my part of the state is often ignored by the politicians, the vast majority of whom are from the Southeastern part of the state. What is your experience with Erie? Do you have any ideas how to improve the city?

BradKoplinski20142 karma

I have been to Erie eight times during this campaign. I know that Erie (the fourth largest city in the state) and the Northwest is a vital part of our Commonwealth and deserves more respect from the state.

In looking at it from a fiscal standpoint, Erie has done a very good job in maintaining a solid financial footing, while still having a relatively modest budget. The Commonwealth should help Erie and all of our municipalities by giving them incentives to regionalization, giving them more ways to generate revenue without having to beg the state for permission and provide more for educational spending, so the burden doesn't come down on local taxpayers, who are constantly seeing their property taxes go up unnecessarily.

mscharfie1 karma

How do you feel about budget cuts in the public school system?

BradKoplinski20141 karma

You don't cut education - period.

The state is supposed to give fifty percent of school funding to local school districts - it is now in the 20s. The effect on this puts pressure on our school districts who must decide to cut band or sports, lay off teachers or close schools. We need to fully fund education and have full day kindergarten as well.

Logicalas1 karma

Is there someone telling all politicians to do an AMA on Reddit now?

BradKoplinski20142 karma

Unfortunately, there is not, but I am happy that many are doing so! I am in favor of transparency and good communication, including the use of social media and forums such as these.

-JustAGuess-1 karma

I'm a little late, but I'm here from Elizabethtown! Mr. Koplinski, would you consider joining up with the democratic gubanatorial candidate to run with after the primary's, much like Corbett and Cawley did? Perhaps, Wolf Koplinski 14?

BradKoplinski20142 karma

As a matter of fact, I DO plan on it! Running as a ticket together is the legal standard, and I wouldn't have it any other way than winning the general election as a team

Antikv1 karma

Let's settle this once and for all. Pittsburgh or Philly?

BradKoplinski20147 karma


Lumpy_Space_Princess1 karma

Is there any place in the city budget for some pothole repair? I can't believe I haven't blown a tire yet in some places. Parts of 3rd street, and Forster by the state museum, and I'm sure a hundred other places, that's just where I happen to drive every day. I understand if there isn't, but I mean... dang.

Also, as a 25-year-old state employee - am I realistically going to get anything out of this pension I'm paying into?

BradKoplinski20141 karma

This was a particularly tough season for potholes. I have seen them in every county I have traveled this year. There is a budget for potholes in the public works department and steps have been taken by the city to mitigate them.

Yes, I believe so. We need make sure we keep our promises to employees that have paid into the system and were told they would get a good pension for their service.

Smeagolegal-1 karma

What motivated you to be a politician? Narcissism? Do you actually believe a Lt. Gov. can serve as a catalyst for actual change? Why a moratorium? Why not just ban fracking? The horse sized duck comment, are you really that nerdy?these are my questions.

BradKoplinski20148 karma

I saw some things in my city that weren't getting done and so I ran for City Council in 2007. Similarly, I believe that my experience in municipal government can help other boroughs, townships and cities get a better relationship with the Commonwealth and I want to be the conduit for that. So, yes, it can be a catalyst for change on these and other issues.

We have 6700 wells currently in the state. Those are active and under contract between companies and property owners. A moratorium will halt new permits until we find out what is in the fracking fluid the industry is pumping into our land, we have better regulations to protect property owners and have better inspections of our pipelines and we get a severance tax, so the industry pays its fair share.

On policy stuff - yeah pretty nerdy. Thanks for the questions.

PatrickSprayze-11 karma

Brad since your gonna be a Lt. can you force all high school dropouts to join the military?

BradKoplinski20144 karma

I don't think I can do that. Maybe if the office were called General Governor. . . .