Rep. Allyson Schwartz takes on Tom Wolf over $4 million loan to his gubernatorial campaign

Posted: April 12, 2014

U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz on Thursday said that all of her campaign contributions are reported so anybody can ask questions about who may be trying to influence her, but gubernatorial rival Tom Wolf's $4 million loan from M&T Bank is a different matter.

There is no requirement for a candidate to report details of personal loans. Schwartz said the public should know because such a large obligation could constrain him as governor.

"What's his relationship with that bank? Who is he indebted to?" Schwartz, a Democrat from Montgomery County, said. "It may be fine. I just want it to be transparent."

Schwartz made the comments during a meeting with The Inquirer's editorial board the day after she challenged Wolf during Wednesday night's debate among Democratic candidates for governor to come clean on the loan.

Wolf, a York businessman, promised he would release documents with the terms of the loan, such as collateral. During Wednesday's debate he said the collateral for the $4 million loan did not involve assets of his corporation, the Wolf Organization. His required state financial disclosure forum lists the interest rate at 3.18 percent.

Wolf had been saying he contributed $10 million of his own money to his campaign for governor, but The Inquirer reported April 4 that a portion of his bankroll was in the form of a loan.

During an hour-long session with the editorial board, Schwartz said that her accomplishments in the state Senate and U.S. House make her the best prepared of the four candidates running for the Democratic nomination.

Schwartz also disputed the notion, prevalent in some Democratic political circles, that she would be vulnerable in a statewide general election because of her identification with abortion rights, dating to her founding of a Philadelphia women's health clinic in the 1970s.

"I think we should stop worrying about that," Schwartz said, adding that support for access to abortion is the majority opinion in the state.

"It's time for us to stop thinking about Pennsylvania as being so behind, because it's not," she said. "Look, President Obama ran ads in Western Pennsylvania on Planned Parenthood. Now he didn't do that because he was a risk taker. He did it because he knew that Pennsylvanians across the state supported women's access to health services, including abortion."

Besides Wolf and Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental secretary Katie McGinty are running for the Democratic nomination.

tfitzgerald@phillynews.com

215-854-2718

@tomfitzgerald

www.inquirer.com/bigtent

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