Two things were immediately apparent Saturday night at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center, where five of the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates participated in a forum. One, they all think Corbett SUCKS. Two, there’s a pretty good chance our next governor is from the Philly area. Katie McGinty’s from the Northeast and lives in Wayne, Allyson Schwartz resides in Jenkintown, and Rob McCord makes his home in Bryn Mawr.
Here’s the video:
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State police crunched some numbers and figured out they were spending more to protect Suzanne Cawley than–get this–than they were for Jim Cawley! Wait, who and who? Exactly.
From July through the end of September, the state police paid $81,000 in travel expenses to protect Suzanne Cawley, or $20,000 more than for her husband’s detail. The reason: Suzanne Cawley resumed working in May as a full-time real estate agent in New York City, a job that required her to spend several days at a time out of state.
Nobody really knows who the Lieutenant Governor is, let alone what he does, so it makes sense that protection of his more-anonymous wife would be relaxed. In fairness, it was the Cawleys themselves who requested this relaxed treatment, citing their own fiscal responsibility. Now, if only the Corbetts themselves were more conscious of the problematic trips they were taking. [Inquirer]
Gov. Tom Corbett penned an op-ed in the Inquirer today delineating all the wonderful progress the School District has made since it began rotting from the inside out last year, and he reiterated the rationale of why he released the $45 million—a rationale as ambiguous as his prerequisites for its release.
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Radio station WITF reports that Terry Mutchler, the state’s open records chief, slammed Gov. Tom Corbett Monday during a speech to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. At issue: Corbett’s remarks—since apologized for—comparing gay marriage to incest between a brother and a sister.
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On Friday morning, I saw the unsurprising headlines exploding all over social media: “Governor Corbett compared gay marriage to incest!!!”
I was about to share one such story on Facebook, along with a comment to the effect of: “Just one more reason for us to hate on Governor Corbett.” I’m not a fan of the 46th leader of our state.
But then I decided to watch the video for myself. And it’s just not that simple. Read more »
Kenya: Training ground for all our most successful political leaders. Former Rendell DEP Secretary John Hanger has just been profiled in the Inky, where it was revealed that–gasp!–he was born in Kenya. (“Hanger was born in Kenya, immigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 12 in 1970, and became an American citizen in 1977.”) In all seriousness, this man actually was born in Kenya. Which means the inevitable truthers will have to pretend he was actually born in America and is lying about his birthplace to secure Pennsylvania’s communist/anti-colonialist vote.
Corbett must really be worried about his re-election chances (if not the uninsured of Pennsylvania). Several outlets are reporting that he will go ahead with the expansion of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion (more on that here) which he’s been dithering/changing his mind about for months. EXCEPT: He’s pretty much refusing to call it an actual “expansion” and vows that significant reforms have to be made to Medicaid before implementing said Obama policy that must not be named. Since the initial reports came out, his administration has said that he’s not actually going for the expansion, but instead, seek some sort of a private sector solution that would achieve some of the same goals (ostensibly).
One option could be to utilize private-sector health plans, rather than increase Medicaid enrollment. Iowa and Arkansas are considering such an approach. That would enable the states to get federal money for backing expansion and buy private insurance for low-income residents.
So, to recap: It looks like Corbett will expand Medicaid in some way to cover more low-income people who are uninsured. But he won’t call it that and will try to do it in a more private sectory-way. Stay tuned.
Speaking Tuesday, Tom Corbett rejected a desperate plea for $45 million in state funds to help close Philly’s gaping school budget hole.
Corbett’s budget secretary, Charles Zogby, said the money would not be available until the teachers’ union signs a contract that includes substantial “fiscal savings and academic reforms.” “The law is clear,” Corbett reiterated during an appearance in Chester. “Until that takes place, there can be no release of funds.”
Carrots and sticks; desperate times and desperate measures. It’s a Race-to-the-Top-style strategy, in other words. Which is only going to endear the Corbett administration more to the teachers unions. [Inquirer]
The head of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Richard Allen, has been under scrutiny lately for negotiating in secret to open up drilling on an 18,000 acre swath of Loyalstock State Forest. Just this week, a coalition of environmental groups demanded the terms of the proposal to be released, along with a set of public hearings that would typically accompany such a project.
But that’s not why he was a fired. (Or asked to resign, technically speaking.) According to the Inquirer, Allen was shown the door for sending a racially insensitive email to his wife, also a state employee, in which he made a play on words using the word “colored.” As the Inky notes, Allen is the sixth member of Corbett’s cabinet to resign in the past nine months. [Inquirer]
Are there any Pennsylvanians on the federal terrorist watchlist receiving welfare assistance? And if so, how can we prevent them from getting it? Those are the questions two Republican state senators–Joe Scarnati and David Argall–posed to the state’s Department of Welfare chief this week. They asked, by the way, because the Boston Marathon bombing suspects received state aid in Massachusetts, which for obvious reasons, set off a conservative firestorm. Here’s the problem with such a policy.
1. It’d be very hard, politically and legally, to change the welfare laws in the state to exclude people for being suspected of terrorist proclivities. Governor Corbett’s means-testing was controversial enough…
2. If such a policy were enacted, said suspected terrorists would stop receiving welfare benefits. And soon enough they would figure out they were on the federal terrorist watchlist. Which would defeat much of the point of having them on the list at all.