Revealed: The Secret to Governor Wolf’s Family Stuffing Recipe!

So just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, I got a link from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office with his family’s stuffing recipe. Stuffing is something that people tend to be particular about, and I was naturally curious what Wolf’s family would be stuffing in its turkey. The link gave me the answer: butter.

That’s right. Butter is the secret ingredient—and how—in this treasured family recipe. Read more »

Wolf, GOP Battle Over Refugees

Photos: Associated Press

Photos: Associated Press

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Harrisburg Republicans are unhappy with Gov. Tom Wolf’s welcome to Syrian refugees — but he’s got Ed Rendell’s support.

“Republican lawmakers are pressuring Gov. Tom Wolf to stop accepting Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania out of fear that deadly terrorists attacks like those in Paris will happen here,” PennLive reports. “The governor has to realize this could be a life and death situation with radicals,” said Rep. Ron Marsico. “The danger is real and the safety of Pennsylvanians is at serious risk.” Wolf’s response? He couldn’t keep them out, even if he wanted to. “Despite the implication of some, states do not have the authority to refuse to accept refugees that are admitted by the federal government.”

Ed Rendell, talking on Rich Zeoli’s radio show, defended Wolf: “Remember who these people are. These are people who fled ISIS. They fought ISIS. When ISIS started rampaging in their country, they fled. I think it’s fair to assume that they’re not ISIS sympathizers. Now, would I be worried that some people who once the announcement was made that we’re taking people, that some people would try to jump in and get into the group? Sure. But people who fled and have been in refugee camps for six months, nine months, a year, I think it’s fair to assume that they hate ISIS too.” Read more »

In Refugee Crisis, Tom Wolf Reminds Us He Was the Right Choice

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)

Tom Wolf challenged Gov. Tom Corbett for office last year. Wolf won.

Well, good for Gov. Tom Wolf.

It hasn’t been an easy rookie year for Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor. He’s been faced with a Republican-controlled legislature that has goals pretty much the opposite of his, with the result that the annual budget — due in June — is still unfinished. He’s taken (ahem) a little bit of flack for that.

But on Monday, he made me glad he’s our governor. Read more »

Obama, Wolf Say Syrian Refugees Welcome

President Obama speaks during a press conference in Turkey. (

President Obama speaks during a press conference in Turkey. (

In the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, President Obama and Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf said today that the nation — and state — will continue to accept refugees from war-torn Syria.

They promised, however, that the open-door policy would be accompanied with an eye on security.

“Even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks,” Obama said in a press conference in Turkey. “We also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves, that’s what they’re fleeing. Slamming the doors in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.” Read more »

ThinkFest Recap: Tom Wolf Says a Budget Deal Is “Almost There”

Tom Wolf at ThinkFest on November 6th.

Tom Wolf at ThinkFest on November 6th.

ThinkFest is streaming live all day. Watch ThinkFest here.

Days after the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to borrow $250 million to stay open as the state’s budget impasse drags on, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said on Friday that he and the GOP-controlled legislature are “close” to hammering out a deal.

“I think we’re almost there,” he said. “I think we’re very, very close.”

But he didn’t explain why he feels so optimistic. Read more »

Tom Wolf Defends His Choices in Pennsylvania Budget Standoff

 Gov. Tom Wolf arrives for a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, at the Southport Marine Terminal Complex in Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf arrives for a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, at the Southport Marine Terminal Complex in Philadelphia.

Tom Wolf wants you to know he’s not overly stubborn. He wants you to know he’s fighting for the right things. He wants you to know that he can, in fact, govern the state of Pennsylvania.

Or, at least, he wants me to know.

You might remember that about three weeks ago, I wrote a column with the headline, “No, Tom Wolf Can’t Govern Pennsylvania.” I basically argued that the state’s budget standoff had gone on too long, and that it was time for the governor to make some compromises, accept a “half a loaf” victory, get a budget passed, and move on.

The column wasn’t greeted well in Harrisburg. I got a call from the governor’s spokesman about an hour after it published at, and he gave me an earful. And that, I figured, was probably that.  Read more »

Pa. Budget Woes Deepen; Senate Starts Vacation

State Auditor Eugene DePasquale on Wednesday warns against further budget delays.

State Auditor Eugene DePasquale on Wednesday warns against further budget delays.

We’ve all gone on vacation knowing we left a little bit of work undone. But the Pennsylvania Senate has us all beat: It’s starting a two-week vacation without having passed an annual budget that was due all the way back in June.

The beginning of the break coincided Wednesday with a blistering noon news conference by State Auditor Eugene DePasquale, who warned that the state’s schools were approaching a half-billion dollars in borrowed money simply to stay open while Gov. Tom Wolf and legislators remain deadlocked over the budget. Those costs, he said, could double if there’s not a budget by Thanksgiving. (Philly schools have already borrowed $275 million, and are poised to borrow more in December, DePasquale said.)

“At a minimum this is a distraction for our school districts, and at its worst, it’s a downright emergency,” DePasquale told reporters. Further delays in passing a budget will cause the situation to “go from bad to borderline disastrous.”

Read more »

Mayor Nutter Says It’s Time to Disband the School Reform Commission

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter walks down a blocked off Market Street, with City Hall in the background, in Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, before Pope Francis' trip. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

(Editor’s note: This is a developing story that will be updated.)

In a major education policy address, Mayor Nutter called today for the dissolution of the School Reform Commission, the state-created board that has overseen the School District of Philadelphia for the last 15 years.

“In my opinion and based on my experience – it is time to end the SRC.,” Nutter said. “It’s time for it to go.”

He called for a transition to a local school board comprised of nine members, five directly appointed by the mayor, four picked by the mayor from a list of 12 nominees prepared by City Council. And he proposed making the shift by September, 2017.

Why? Nutter cited two reasons. City control of its own schools will, he believes, increase community commitment to the district. Second, “Local control also eliminates confusion over who is responsible for what,” Nutter said. “Over the last 8 years, we’ve seen a revolving door of leadership everywhere but our local government – three governors, five Secretaries of Education, five School District Superintendents, six SRC Chairs and 17 SRC members.”

“Returning to local control means the voters of this city know who to hold accountable for educational outcomes – the Mayor.” Read more »

Pa. Senate Exploring Removing AG Kathleen Kane; Tom Wolf On Board

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks with members of the media after her arrangement before a district judge, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Collegeville, Pa. Prosecutors added a new perjury count and other criminal charges Thursday against Kane, saying they found a signed document that contradicts her claims she never agreed to maintain secrecy of a grand jury investigation in 2009, before she took office. The Montgomery County district attorney charged her with felony perjury and two misdemeanors — false swearing and obstruction — based on a signed secrecy oath she signed shortly after taking office in early 2013.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks with members of the media after her arrangement before a district judge, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Collegeville, Pa..

The Pennsylvania Senate will look into removing embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office, Senate democratic leader Jay Costa said today. And Gov. Tom Wolf is on board with the plan.

“As Governor Wolf has said for months, he believes Attorney General Kane can no longer serve as attorney general and has called for her to resign,” Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan emailed. “With her law license now suspended, the governor’s administration has been engaged with Senate leadership to discuss ensuring that the citizens of Pennsylvania have an effective and properly functioning Office of Attorney General.” Read more »

No, Tom Wolf Can’t Govern Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf's hopes of ending Pennsylvania's 99-day-old state budget impasse were dashed Wednesday when nine of his fellow Democrats joined all House Republicans to vote against his revised plan to raise billions in income and gas drilling taxes.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks with members of the media Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

A year ago today, as Tom Wolf’s never-in-doubt campaign to unseat Gov. Tom Corbett wound down to its final weeks, I asked a simple question about what would happen after the election: Could Wolf actually govern the state of Pennsylvania?

It wasn’t a mean-spirited question, just a problem of math: Even with overwhelming support getting into office, Wolf — a Democrat, remember — was likely to face an overwhelmingly Republican legislature. Governing is hard. Governing when your rivals control one of the other branches of government? Not impossible, exactly, but excruciatingly difficult.

A year later, we seem to have an answer to the question: No, Tom Wolf is not a very good governor. At least, not yet. Read more »

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