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Tomorrow, as Americans, we have an opportunity - and a responsibility - to make a decision about the future of our country.

Will we continue the misguided war in Iraq, or will we adopt a timetable for bringing our troops home? Will we continue the $12.7 billion cut in federal funding for higher education, or will we give low-income students the opportunity to succeed? Will we protect our environment and strive toward energy independence? Will we invest in the potential of science to cure debilitating and terminal illnesses through embryonic stem-cell research?

Tomorrow, you can vote for Democratic leaders who will say yes to a concrete exit plan from Iraq, to providing adequate funding for education and to investing in our future through clean energy and stem-cell research.

Pennsylvania's current senator, Rick Santorum, is the third-ranked Republican in the U.S. Senate who votes with President Bush 98 percent of the time. He has said that intelligent design "is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes."

He believes that the "right to privacy ... doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution." Sen. Santorum has voted against funding to reduce teenage pregnancy through education and contraceptive services and against the addition of sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes.

We can no longer allow Pennsylvanians to be represented by this man. Democratic nominee Bob Casey will push for a clear exit strategy from Iraq, ensure adequate funding for education at all levels and invest in clean energy sources that reduce our dependence on foreign oil - and we need to elect him to the U.S. Senate.

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell has already demonstrated the type of results that Democratic leadership can achieve.

He has increased Pennsylvania's investment in public education by $1.2 billion. He is leading the way in protecting and renewing Pennsylvania's natural resources, bringing hundreds of millions in grants for environmental cleanup efforts and spearheading Pennsylvania's recent adoption of the California emissions standards for automobiles.

His investments in economic development have caused IBM Business Consulting Services to name Pennsylvania as the top destination for new projects in all of North America. In fact, Pennsylvania now ranks 15th in the nation for job growth, up from 41st just four years ago, and 130,000 more Pennsylvanians are working now than when Gov. Rendell took office. And he has done all of this while closing a $2.4 billion budget deficit and cutting the cost of government in Pennsylvania by $1 billion through increased operational efficiencies.

If you believe in effective leaders who want to invest in our future; if you believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to get a good education, access affordable health care, live on a healthy planet, receive the best medical treatment science can offer and make choices about what to do with your body or who to love; if you believe that it is time to bring change to America, then vote for the Democratic ticket in tomorrow's elections.

Re-elect Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and state Rep. Jim Roebuck, and send Bob Casey to the U.S. Senate.

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