Campaign '14
By John Guerriero, Kevin Flowers Erie Times-News staff bloggers
John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers have joined forces for Campaign ’14, a blog about the 2014 races for governor and U.S. House, among others. And you'll read about President Barack Obama, Congress and what's going on in Harrisburg. Check it out and you’ll be a lot more informed before voting in the May 21 primary and the Nov. 5 election.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Tom Corbett’
Posted: August 12th, 2014

Ron Tomalis had become a campaign issue in the race for Pennsylvania governor between Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

So it’s no surprise that Tomalis, special adviser to Gov. Tom Corbett on higher education, has resigned. Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq announced the resignation today.

Democrats had been hammering Corbett on how much work Tomalis was doing in a job that paid  $139,542 per year. Corbett told me last week that Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Bill Cole was wrong in asserting that Tomalis was a “ghost employee.”

“This is just the Wolf campaign trying to create an issue that doesn’t really exist,” Corbett said.

But Democrats wouldn’t let go of the issue. Corbett didn’t need that distraction as he tries to gain traction in the polls.

In a statement, Corbett said, “Ron has been committed to Pennsylvania’s education system since the early days of my administration.

“He has worked closely with Secretary Dumaresq and the Department of Education to shape programs and policies that are in the best interest of students. I thank him for his work and commitment to education,” Corbett said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett has come under fire for allowing campaign staffers to attend meetings in the governor’s office.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

That’s in part because, as state attorney general, he prosecuted state legislators who illegally mixed politics with their elected duties.

A total of 22 House members and staffers from both parties were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges over the use of taxpayer resources for political or personal purposes in a probe that began in 2007, according to the Associated Press.

Critics argue that Corbett is using a double standard, which the governor denied during a campaign visit to Erie.

We’re not using taxpayer resources at all. That’s what the whole investigation that I did as attorney general was about — using state tax dollars to run campaigns.

“They’re there just to weigh in on advice. The option would be to go over and take everybody over to the building where the campaign is, or to repeat it over and over again,” he said.

“They’re just there to give advice. That’s it. They’re not getting any money from state tax dollars,” Corbett said. “Do they get paid by the campaign? Absolutely.”

Still, don’t expect the issue to go away as Corbett is in a tough battle for re-election against Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

– John Guerriero

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2014

Tom Wolf has received an endorsement from Democracy for America, the national progressive political action group founded by Howard Dean.

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Dean is the former Vermont governor, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former presidential candidate.

Democracy for America says it has 51,470 members in Pennsylvania and 1 million members nationwide. Since Dean founded the organization in 2004, DFA said its members have raised more than $5 million and made more than 8.9 million volunteer calls to elect 802 candidates across the nation.

Wolf is the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor, so it’s no surprise that DFA would endorse him. He is running against Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who is seeking a second term in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 29th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young, in their latest “Politically Uncorrected” column, say that  Gov. Tom Corbett is trying something unusual in his re-election campaign.

While Corbett first ran for the governor’s job, they wrote that he took on the culture of Harrisburg – including “exploding budget deficit, bloated bureaucracy and a Democratic Party eight years in office.”

And while running against Harrisburg is “a popular strategy,” they wrote that no incumbent governor seeking a second term has done so until now.

They wrote that running against Harrisburg “might still be Corbett’s best bad choice in a race with few good choices. It’s a strategy born equally of frustration and desperation.”

Here’s the rub. “In running against Harrisburg, Corbett is also running against himself,” they wrote. “In indicting Harrisburg for its failures, he is also indicting himself for his failures. In advocating change, he is risking that voters might change much more than he wants.”

The authors conclude by saying: “Many believe Corbett may go down to defeat in November, but if so, he’s not going quietly.” Corbett, a Republican, faces Democrat Tom Wolf, a businessman and former state revenue secretary, in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 23rd, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett, during his visit to Erie on Tuesday, framed his push for public-sector pension reform in a way that might make property owners take notice.

Corbett said a proposal for “hybrid” reform, for new state and public school employees, isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. “It’s a property-owner bill,” he told business leaders at the Manufacturer & Business Association.

Corbett said property owners are being forced to pay for rising pension costs through higher taxes.

The governor backs a plan that, for those newly hired, would combine a defined benefit program with a 401(k) plan in which the employees could control their investment decisions.

The unions are opposed to the plan, saying it would offer no immediate savings and only limited savings in the future. The unions argue that the state should impose a Marcellus Shale drilling severance tax or roll back corporate tax cuts for meaningful pension relief.

Corbett will have a tough time getting pension reform through the Legislature before the Nov. 4 election, even though the governor is a Republican and both the House and Senate are GOP-controlled.

Corbett also faces a tough re-election task, with Democrat Tom Wolf continuing to lead in the polls. Wolf will visit Erie on Aug. 11.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 10th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley have released their first television commercial since the May 20 primary.

Called “Building a Future,” the ad focuses on what the GOP team calls the state’s rebounding economy under the governor’s leadership.

Corbett’s Democratic opponent, Tom Wolf, the businessman and former state revenue secretary, calls the latest ad misleading. His spokesman, Jeffrey Sheridan, called it an attempt to hide the governor’s “failed record.”

“Tom Wolf is a different kind of leader and a proven job creator,”  Sheridan said in a statement.

Corbett, in seeking a second, four-year term, says at the end of the commercial: ” I didn’t come to Harrisburg to make friends; I came to build a stronger Pennsylvania. And we’re not done yet.”

Of course, the voters will decide that on Nov. 5.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 13th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Remember Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf’s Jeep ad? It was one of the early television ads that introduced himself to Pennsylvania voters, and was later lampooned by Gov.  Tom Corbett in an ad of his own.

Well, Wolf plans to attend what’s being called the “Jeep Invasion,” the opening event of the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, today at 5 p.m.

Wolf, who drives a 2006 Jeep Wrangler, will visit with those attending the festival and talk about his passion for driving the vehicle.

Today’s event will be on Main Street in Butler.

The first Jeep was created more than 70 years ago in Butler.

Wolf and Corbett, a Republican seeking a second term, will square off in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 5th, 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett has picked up an endorsement from a fellow governor.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Corbett’s campaign today announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed the Republican’s bid for a second term.

Perry focused on Pennsylvania’s rebounding economy during Corbett’s tenure that the campaign said has helped create more than 150,000 private sector jobs and has led to the state’s lowest unemployment rate since September 2008. The state’s unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.

Perry also states that Corbett has helped to make Pennsylvania a national leader in the energy industry, the campaign said.

Perry, a one-time Republican candidate for president, campaigned with Corbett in Washington County the day after the state’s primary. Corbett was unopposed for his party’s nomination, while Democrat Tom Wolf easily defeated three other Democrats for his party’s nomination.

- John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 4th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Two more polls spell more bad news for Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election hopes.

A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Democrat and businessman Tom Wolf with a commanding 53 percent to 33 percent lead over Corbett, the Republican seeking a second term. Quinnipiac said that Wolf emerged “apparently unscathed by a bruising Democratic primary battle” with three other opponents.

The poll also shows that 55 percent disapprove of Corbett’s job performance, with 35 percent approving. And 58 percent say he doesn’t deserve re-election, with 33 percent saying he does deserve another four years.

“The election is five months away, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett looks like easy prey for Democratic challenger Tom Wolf,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a  statement.

The full poll results can be found at www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday shows Wolf leading Corbett, 55 percent to 30 percent. PPP said its first poll of the Pennsylvania general election “finds a race that isn’t remotely competitive.”

The polling company said that Wolf’s 25-point lead has more than doubled from the 12-point advantage he had over the incumbent  in PPP’s last poll of the state race in November 2013. The full results can be found at www.publicpolicypolling.com.

“The biggest story in the race continues to be  Corbett’s unpopularity,” PPP said in a statement. “Only 27 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 58 percent who disapprove. But Wolf is proving to be an unusually strong Democratic candidate. He has a +27 net favorability rating, with 47 percent of voters seeing him favorably to only 20 percent with a negative opinion.”

The two polls come on the heels of a  Rasmussen survey that showed Wolf with a 51 percent to 31 percent advantage.

Corbett has said the only poll that matters is on Election Day, Nov. 4.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 2nd, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

The first post-primary poll shows Democrat Tom Wolf with a commanding lead over Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Rasmussen poll of 750 likely voters shows Wolf with 51 percent of the vote and Corbett, seeking a second term, with 31 percent. Fourteen percent remain undecided, while 4 percent prefer someone else.

The survey was conducted May 27-28, shortly after the May 20 primary in which Wolf, a businessman and former state Revenue Department secretary, swamped three Democratic opponents. Corbett ran unopposed for the GOP nomination.

Corbett has said that the only poll that matters in on Election Day, Nov. 4.

And Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, told me last week that he thinks the race won’t be the runaway that many are predicting.

“When people start getting serious in comparing candidates, I think the numbers are going to tighten. It’s going to be a tight race. There is no doubt about it,” Scarnati said.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized