Corbett’s Self-Inflicted Loss Is Lesson For Wolf, Republicans

The GOP tidal wave was massive, with Republicans winning from coast-to-coast. Preeminent among them was a man who, after achieving a stunning 10-point victory in America’s sixth-largest state, instantly became a leading contender for vice-president — and perhaps one day something even higher.

It was 2010, and Tom Corbett had just become governor of the critically important swing state of Pennsylvania. With near-record Republican majorities in the legislature, he had it all, poised to usher in a new era of prosperity and help the Keystone State regain its former glory.

Four short years later, Corbett was humiliated by being the only Republican incumbent in the country to fall, and the first governor in modern Pennsylvania history to lose re-election. Even more unfathomable, he lost in the biggest GOP landslide since Herbert Hoover was President.

Now, two words say it all: “Tom who?”

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Five Predictions for Tomorrow’s Election

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Predicting this year’s election results isn’t that hard. But perhaps more important than the returns are the reasons behind the vote, since understanding the electorate’s mindset provides insight into what direction the country will take.

The American people have always accepted their government not being efficient. After all, democracy — free people governing themselves — is not a particularly efficient system. Just the best.

But for whatever reason, things have become exponentially worse. Now, there is a pervasive feeling that we have returned to the Jimmy Carter years, where nothing seems to work because the system is utterly broken.

Examples abound: the Obamacare website failure was a multibillion dollar fiasco; the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s website repeatedly crashed after the recent airbag recall; the CDC’s response to Ebola was fraught with amateur mistakes; NASA cancelled the shuttle program without a replacement, and its latest rocket exploded in spectacular fashion; the immigration crisis continues unimpeded; and the Secret Service’s multiple failures, including its inability to literally lock the front door to the White House, makes them look like the Keystone Kops. And the list goes on.

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Tom Corbett Is About to Make History

What? Me worry?

One way or another, Gov. Tom Corbett is about to make history.

Win, and he’ll have secured an improbable come-from-behind victory of a magnitude almost never seen in American politics. He spent much of the campaign around 20 points behind challenger Tom Wolf in the polls; those numbers have tightened lately — could Corbett pull off a political miracle?

Lose, and he’ll be the first Pennsylvania governor to fail to win re-election since the state started permitting two terms in 1968.
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President Obama Will Be at Temple on Sunday

President Barack Obama will headline a campaign event for Tom Wolf on Sunday at Temple’s Liacouras Center. Sunday’s event is at 4 p.m. — so good on Wolf for making sure it does not conflict with Sunday’s 1 p.m. Eagles game. The election is next Tuesday.

Tickets to the Obama/Wolf rally at the Liacouras Center are free. They can be picked up at any one of Wolf’s district offices, including 1337 Castle Avenue in South Philly and 1212 Walnut Street downtown.

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Top 10 Pennsylvania Careers Destroyed or Damaged by the Jerry Sandusky Scandal

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Now that Seamus McCaffery has retired from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, it’s worth asking: How many significant Pennsylvanians have had their careers destroyed or derailed because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State?

The line between Sandusky and McCaffery isn’t a straight one, of course, but: The “racy emails” that ultimately led to his suspension then retirement were discovered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office as it investigated whether her predecessor, Tom Corbett, had done a sufficient job of investigating the Sandusky case in the first place. No Sandusky, no Kane investigation, and maybe McCaffery is spending this week on the bench instead of vacating it.

Here are the Top 10 careers that have been destroyed or damaged, either directly or indirectly, by the Sandusky scandal, ranked by a combination of their relative importance to the entire state and the damage done to their careers. As you can see, the fallout has spread beyond Penn State and fairly widely across several branches of Pennsylvania state government.
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Tom Corbett Signs Anti-Mumia “Revictimizing” Bill

At the site where Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner was shot and killed in 1981, Gov. Tom Corbett today signed a bill today that would let crime victims sue convicts for seeking publicity or money. The bill is a direct response to Mumia Abu-Jamal, giving a graduation speech at Goddard College earlier this month.

Even people with only a cursory understanding of the legal system can guess this bill is on incredibly shaky footing — two lawyer friends of mine called it “laughably unconstitutional” — and will end up in the courts sooner rather than later. Last week Joel Mathis called the bill’s language “so broad as to be meaningless” and “a violation of the First Amendment.” Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, agreed.

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What Happened to 93,000 Pennsylvania Workers?

Let us first acknowledge the good news: There are more people employed in Pennsylvania than there were a year ago. There are fewer unemployed. The unemployment rate, as a result, is 5.7 percent — a number that sounds almost normal for a normal economy.

If Gov. Corbett wants to take a victory lap, we can’t blame him.

But….

There’s one number in today’s labor statistics that is really bothersome, and it’s this: There are 93,000 fewer Pennsylvanians seeking work now than there were a year ago.

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