Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Take stock in Fred

WILKES-BARRE – In his low-budget, low-profile run at the 117th District seat in the state House, Democratic candidate Fred Nichols Jr. is relying heavily on two strategies: a plan to lower taxes and fresh publicity tactics.
At an editorial board meeting on Thursday, he introduced what he called a “historic” fundraising vehicle, where a $10 donation buys contributors a sheet of paper that rewards their contribution with valueless “campaign stock.”

But, Nichols’ Web activity has dragged him into controversy in the past. In 2002, he resigned his position as chief of police in Shickshinny 11 months after an online personal ad featuring him brandishing a handgun was revealed on TV news.

The main problem he sees in the district is skyrocketing school and property taxes. He supports a legislative bill that would eliminate school, property and nuisance taxes in exchange for increasing the real estate transfer tax by 2 percent, replacing local 0.5 percent income taxes by raising state income tax by 0.5 percent, and lowering the sales tax one percentage point to 5 percent, but broadening it to cover almost all purchases.

He faces Republican candidate Karen Boback in the Nov. 7 election.

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