Could Dems Take Back the Pa. Senate?

Even though Gov. Tom Corbett faces a steep climb to re-election — Tom Wolf has all but been coronated in some quarters — the assumption in most quarters has been that the Legislature will remain safely in GOP hands.

No so fast.

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5 Reasons to Vote (No Really!) For Tom Corbett

Barring some disastrous circumstances, I can’t really see myself voting for Tom Corbett’s re-election in November.

Then again, you probably can’t either.  Polls consistently show the Republican governor down about 20 points or more to Tom Wolf, his Democratic challenger, and while there’s plenty of time to narrow the gap, it’s hard to imagine that Corbett has any news up his sleeve that will suddenly make him attractive to an electorate that’s found him so unattractive for so long.

Understanding Corbett’s predicament is easy: He didn’t prioritize education the way he should’ve — in Philly, he seemed more interested in breaking the teachers union than in educating kids.The state economy is anemic, even by the anemic standards of post-recession America. His fracking policy seems designed to serve energy companies instead of the people of his state. It’s not a great record.

And then there’s this:

Still, it’s easy to imagine scenarios under which the last four years could’ve been worse. My home state of Kansas, for example, has been getting an example of what happens when the GOP id is unleashed — and it’s left almost nobody happy.

So in the interest of fairness — and just to see if I could — I’ve scrounged up five reasons Tom Corbett might deserve re-election. Maybe.

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Attacks Heating Up in Race for Pennsylvania Governor

This is the new ad from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, bashing challenger Tom Wolf over how his company moved to Delaware. Problem is the Wolf Company says it pays its corporate taxes in Pennsylvania and that it does not take advantage of the “Delaware loophole” that lets companies avoid it. About 70 percent of Pennsylvania companies take advantage of this loophole.

The other part of Corbett’s ad is kind of weird, too. Part of it’s fine: Tom Wolf was Secretary of Revenue under Ed Rendell and testified on behalf of the proposed tax increases (but they failed). But he didn’t make tax policy as revenue secretary. It’s kind of like blaming the head of the IRS for high federal taxes.

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Court Delivers Blow to Tom Corbett, Drilling Industry

A Pennsylvania court upheld the rights of municipalities to regulate drilling, delivering a setback to Tom Corbett, the Republican legislature and the drilling industry. In December, a state court ruled that a 2012 law unconstitutionally restricted towns from regulating where oil and gas facilities can be located.

The state won on some points. For example, the court “confirmed that state regulators can be required to notify public water suppliers but not private water well owners of drilling-related spills.” Also, it upheld the limits on what doctors can tell the public about proprietary chemicals used in the extraction process. Yay?

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