Cody isn't your typical PA politician. For one thing, her pockets aren't lined with donations from the gas companies. Both of her opponents, Tom Corbett (GOP) and Dan Onorato (Dem) have received scads of money from the natural gas industry. According to Marcellus Money Corbett received $372,720 and Onorato $74,300 - most of it in the past couple years.
For another, Cody has called for a moratorium on further natural gas extraction. She wants the state to have time to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the environment, water, animals, agriculture... But all we hear, Cody told the Times Tribune last week, "is candidates regurgitating the industry spin that there have been no confirmed cases of contamination. We know better!"
What does Cody want to see happen in her state? Aside from a moratorium, she'd like to see a severance tax. Landowners, says Cody, shouldn't have to pay taxes on the wealth that the gas companies will extract. Cody is not in favor of "forced pooling" - landowners should have the right to reject a lease. And Cody would like to see local municipalities retain their zoning authority.
The problem, Cody told me in an October 1 interview, is that her state government seems to be in collusion with the gas corporations. This was highlighted during the recent "Intelligence Bulletin Scandal" when Cody revealed to the press that the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), contracted to collect intelligence for the OHS, was targeting anti-drilling activists for surveillance.
These are law-abiding citizens exercising their rights to protest what their government is doing, Cody explained. She is concerned that law-abiding citizens are being depicted as "eco-terrorists" and lumped onto a watch list that was sent out to - best estimate of James Powers (head of the OHS) - some 800 people including universities and gas industry representatives and lobbyists.
You can read more about Cody's platform and her bid for office at her website.