Corbett tacking to the center?

RON TARVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Evans: Hands off his cupcakes.
RON TARVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Evans: Hands off his cupcakes.
Posted: May 23, 2014

FOR THE third time in three weeks, Gov. Corbett has surrendered on a controversial public policy that new Democratic nominee Tom Wolf could have used as a potent point of political attack.

Coincidence? Or an example of an incumbent candidate moving to the middle of the political spectrum just as the general-election campaign begins in earnest?

Corbett on Wednesday said he will not appeal a ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III that struck down the state's 1996 ban on same-sex marriage.

Corbett, who opposes same-sex marriage and once compared it to incest during a TV interview, said an appeal by the state "is extremely unlikely to succeed."

The governor on May 8 said he would not appeal a Commonwealth Court ruling that overturned the state's Voter ID law.

Corbett, who pushed for the law, said he would work with the state General Assembly to address issues that prompted the judge to overturn it.

And Corbett on May 1 softened his position on medical marijuana, calling for "new legislation that would allow a research-based pilot program with leading children's hospitals" in the state.

Medical marijuana is the only issue where Corbett changed his position on public policy.

He still supports voter ID and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. He's just not going to pursue legal appeals to reinstate them.

Wolf took advantage of Corbett's announcement Wednesday to deliver a backhanded compliment followed by a full-faced political slap. Wolf applauded the "important step toward inclusion and fairness" and then knocked Corbett for devoting "time and state resources to defend an indefensible policy."

Although Corbett seems to be tacking to the center, his right flank remains deeply unimpressed.

"Once again, Gov. Corbett has failed to finish the fight," proclaimed state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican and frequent Corbett critic.

CBK's record stands

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz's primary election-night concession message to supporters lamented that "the political pundits, the media, the Harrisburg establishment couldn't believe a woman could serve as governor - couldn't even imagine it."

She claimed - incorrectly - in that email to have performed in the primary "better than any Democratic woman running for governor has ever done in Pennsylvania history."

The late Catherine Baker Knoll, then state Treasurer, in 1994 took 20 percent of the Democratic votes in a seven-way primary election for governor won by Lt. Gov. Mark Singel.

Schwartz on Tuesday won 17.6 percent of the vote.

A Schwartz spokesman yesterday said the email was sent before the final votes were tallied. He also cited stories in the Daily News and Philadelphia magazine to justify Schwartz's claims that the media could not imagine a woman as governor.

Those stories explored the use of gender by Schwartz, who spoke frequently about the "good ol' boy" network and her foes. They didn't question whether a woman could do the job.

Let them eat cupcakes

State Rep. Dwight Evans festooned his Election Day lunch at Relish with a three-tiered platter of cupcakes decorated with campaign literature and copies of his book, "Making Ideas Matter."

Don't get grabby.

A sign said the cupcakes were "For display only."

Evans doesn't have to worry about ticking off hungry voters. He was unopposed in Tuesday's primary and has no general election Republican challenger.

He assured us the cupcakes were meant to celebrate his 60th birthday last Friday and guests were allowed - eventually - to gobble them up.

"They had to look at them," he said. "Then you can eat them."

Quotable

"Stewart has apparently never been to Philadelphia, where a decade of development has transformed our dining and nightlife scenes into an abundant array of world class options that aren't overrun with overpaid Wall Street j---offs and where you won't need to sell your first born child to get a table."

- From a resolution yesterday sponsored by 13 members of City Council, knocking "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart for his anti-Philly rant this week.


Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/phillyclout

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