Former state treasurer Rob McCord briefly wore a hidden microphone to tape conversations with political donors in cooperation with federal investigators before stepping down from the job and pleading guilty to extortion last year, the Inquirer revealed on Thursday.
The story asserts that investigators used McCord’s cooperation to gather information on Valley Forge Investment Corp., a company that helped other firms get public financial contracts and collected fees when they did. The story doesn’t reveal any additional wrongdoing by McCord, who has yet to be sentenced for the crimes he admitted last year. Read more »
On Monday, Republican Councilman David Oh reminded the public that lawbreaking isn’t exclusively a Democratic affair. In a settlement agreement with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Oh admitted to taking an illegal campaign donation in the 2015 primary election and agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for his violation.
And with that, the City Council At-Large race this November got a lot more interesting. Read more »
Let’s be fair here: Given the expense of big-time college athletics, it probably cost way more than $13,500 apiece for Penn State to earn each of the 111 victories that were eventually erased from Joe Paterno‘s record following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
But the legal bills for the fight to restore those victories have come due, and PennLive reports today the final tally amounts to about $1.5 million — or, roughly, the aforementioned $13,500 per restored victory. Read more »
Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to extort campaign contributions during his 2014 campaign for governor.
This comes as no surprise: McCord admitted in a video last month that he tried to strong-arm two potential donors, telling them he could make it difficult for them to obtain state contracts if they did not give money to his campaign.
Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord is planning to plead guilty to federal charges related to an incident that took place when he ran for governor last year.
Robert Welsh, McCord’s lawyer, said in a statement that the charges have not been filed yet, but they will involve “his attempts in the spring of 2014 to raise campaign contributions from two potential contributors.” Welsh says McCord “[communicated] that if they failed to make campaign contributions, he could make it difficult for them to do business with the Commonwealth.”
McCord also issued a video statement (above) Friday in which he apologizes to the residents of Pennsylvania.
[Update: 7 a.m., January 30th] Details continue to drip out about the reported investigation that may have prompted the abrupt resignation of State Treasurer Rob McCord. The Morning Call reports that the investigation into McCord is being run by the FBI’s Harrisburg office and, according to their source, “it’s been [going on] a while.”
[Update: 5:45 p.m.] Gary Tuma, Rob McCord’s spokesman, says, “This is not a matter on which the Treasury Department can comment. Treasury routinely receives investigatory subpoenas or requests for documents from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It has been the department’s policy to cooperate with and fully respond to all law enforcement inquiries, and to honor the confidentiality of any such inquiry. We defer to the law enforcement authorities on whether to comment on, or even confirm, any such inquiry.”
Action News confirms that Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord, who announced Thursday he is stepping down from the job, is currently under federal investigation.
Sources tell Action News that the wide-spread probe is examining the alleged theft of campaign and other funds.
A call to Governor Wolf’s office for comment was not immediately returned.
[Original] Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord will resign, he announced today. He sent Gov. Tom Wolf a resignation letter saying he will return to the private sector; his last day will be February 12th.
Chief counsel Christopher Craig will handle the state treasurer’s duties until a replacement is found. McCord’s resignation means the governor gets to appoint a new state treasurer, who then must be approved by a majority of the State Senate.
Election Day is almost here! Tuesday is Pennsylvania primary day, so politicians will be ceding television commercial breaks back to their usual occupants (ads for drugs, beer, cars, etc.) for a few months — until general election commercials start.
For the past month, seemingly every commercial break has been clogged with ads that are ridiculous in one way or another. (Another possibility: I just happen to watch a lot of TV that’s generally aimed at old people.) I guess I’m tired of them, but I’m going to miss the ridiculousness of a lot of the spots. Maybe it’s because they all use the same cliches, but there’s something about political commercials that is just hilarious. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable ones from this election season.
During the course of the campaign to be the Democratic nominee for governor, Philly Mag and Phillymag.com profiled or interviewed all the candidates for governor. (In the case of pot-promoting John Hanger, we even interviewed a candidate who wouldn't last long enough to make it to the election. ) Rather than put you through the grid of positions that each candidate similarly holds, we're picking our favorite moments from each encounter. Remember to vote on Tuesday!
Let's talk a little bit more about jobs. You do say that you want to help new businesses get started here and you also want to attract out-of-state companies to Pennsylvania. Yet you also want to end big tax breaks for big companies that are doing pretty well already. Without those breaks, how do you incentivize companies to come here and grow here?
Well first you pull back on the breaks that have nothing whatsoever to do with job creation.
Those of us who've run a lot of businesses know that when it comes to entrepreneurialism, young dogs hunt, old dogs beg. So the young dogs are out there working hard, trying to create jobs, trying to find customers. It's the big, stodgy, old companies that simply are trying to get a subsidy essentially in exchange for political support. Not for job creation, that we need to address.
You want to institute a new funding formula for state schools, one that takes into account number of students served and the cost of instruction. Here's another chance for you to distinguish yourself from Tom Corbett — because he's also criticized the funding formula lately and he's called for a commission to fix it. How do you think your approach might be different from his?
Tom Corbett only needs to have a little chat with himself and say, "Tom, stop gerrymandering the school formula." "Okay, Tom! I will!" The fact that the funding of our schools has become a political back-room deal is brought to you, totally, by Tom Corbett. And it just… it strains belief a little bit too much that now he's aghast about it. When Ed Rendell was in office, we — like just about every other state in the union — had an objective, transparent school funding formula based on common sense things like "What's the population in this school district?" "What's the average income in this school district?" "What's the percentage of students with special needs in this school district?" In a McGinty administration, it will be that transparency, that accountability and that common sense that will come back to the fore and push out what Tom Corbett has done, which is to make our children's future a matter of political arm-wrestle.
Now she begins to get recharged: “I’ve actually found, and I think this is true, it’s almost palpable, the degree to which people think my being different is a positive.” Suddenly Schwartz is speaking fast and aggressively again, her natural style: “And you have to have a lot of confidence not just in yourself but the people you’re talking to. And I don’t have to tell people I’m a woman—they know it feels different to them. But they are pretty excited about that.”
Allyson Schwartz is staring at me, intense, her eyes glazing over. It’s a moment on the heels of her character being challenged—but she seems to be feeling, too, what she so badly wants, right there for the taking, after a career of push-push-push. She wants to be governor for herself, of course, and just maybe for the rest of us as well.
“The fact is, my style is different. It’s different because I’m a woman; it’s different because my history is different. It’s different because I’ve come up through public service for different reasons, a different starting point.
“And there’s absolutely no reason why Pennsylvania won’t vote for me for governor. And if I believed that they wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
The primary is, of course, about choosing a candidate who can best represent the party against the Republican incumbent in the fall. How are you different from — how are you better than — Tom Corbett?
I think I'm uniquely qualified to go toe to toe against whoever the other side puts up because I've actually done this. And when they pretend or try to speak for those of us who have built businesses, who have employed people and met payrolls, I could actually come right back and say "Actually, maybe some of the things you think work for business might not work as well." I've done this. I've worked in the trenches. I'm a lifelong Democrat and everything I've done and seen in my business career has reaffirmed me as a Democrat. And I think that would be something that would be somewhat unusual in politics and state politics that would make me a good candidate.
We’re now at the stage of things where the only appropriate thing to do is jokingly reference M.C. Hammer album titles. Because the latest poll centered on next Tuesday’s Democratic primary election shows that frontrunner Tom Wolf is, uh, still running up front: Harper Polling says he commands the support of 50 percent of likely voters.