Can Tom Wolf Govern Pennsylvania?

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Polls suggest that Tom Wolf will almost certainly be the next governor of Pennsylvania. But will a Governor Wolf actually be able to govern?

It’s not a silly question. If he takes office, Wolf will likely contend with a Republican-led legislature in both houses. (There’s some hope among Democrats that they can flip the Senate, but that still seems a long shot.) One need look no further than Washington D.C. to know that the combination of a Democratic executive and a GOP legislature can produce an excess of gridlock. Voters will presumably want Wolf to enact an agenda, but how far can he get with it?

“Wolf,” said Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, “is going to have his hands full.”

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Wolf, Corbett Spar in Final Debate

Democratic party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, left, and republican Gov. Tom Corbett before a debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodney Johnson,WTAE-TV, Pool)

Democratic party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, left, and republican Gov. Tom Corbett before a debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodney Johnson,WTAE-TV, Pool)

The third and final gubernatorial debate between Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf was held Wednesday at WTAE-TV studios in Pittsburgh. Here’s what the media is saying about the final exchange:

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Pa. Governor’s Race: Wolf Keeps Big Lead Over Corbett in Latest Poll

Tom Wolf, the Democratic candidate for governor, continues to hold a huge lead over Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the latest Franklin & Marshall poll. Wolf leads Corbett 49 percent to 31 percent among Pennsylvania’s registered voters and has a larger lead (54-34 percent) among self-reported likely voters.

About 1 in 5 voters are undecided.

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Actor from Tom Wolf Ad Was In Torture Porn Called Breeding Farm

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This is a screenshot from a Tom Wolf for Governor television commercial that was removed from YouTube on Monday afternoon. The man seen here is Alan Benyak, a Pennsylvania actor who is also an attorney. And his previous screen credits include a torture porn called Breeding Farm.

BuzzFeed reported on the unfortunate work history on Monday. In the Tom Wolf commercial, Benyak was seen talking about Wolf’s past in the Peace Corps.

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Governor Tom Corbett’s Campaign Aides Met With Him in Office

In what has to be the early frontrunner for the most boring scandal of the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, Tom Corbett is now under fire for meeting with campaign aides in his office numerous times since taking office in 2011. Oooh!

People, obviously, may be upset by this. But even a lawyer for former House Democratic Whip Mike Veon, still imprisoned on a 6- to 14-year term after the “Bonusgate” scandal prosecuted by Corbett, can only muster up that it “certainly is an appearance of impropriety.” Veon was convicted of using taxpayer money to reward campaign workers. Certainly Corbett should probably avoid meeting with campaign workers in his office so articles like this aren’t written. But will this particular small fact sway anyone’s vote? Probably not.

Corbett, for his part, says he’s done nothing wrong. His campaign manager says his behavior is laudatory! He “continues to set an example of how to balance his political and office schedule,” Mike Barley said. Campaign staffers and the governor talk most often by phone, anyway, he says.

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