August 13, 2014 |
As Gov. Christie travels the country to support Republicans running for governor, he also is charting a course that could bear on his ability to seek the party's nomination for president in 2016. Christie has traveled to 21 states as chairman of the Republican Governors Association - a tally that will grow to 26 by the end of the month, according to the RGA. The governor is due to head to Maine on Tuesday and Alabama and Mississippi on Wednesday. Among the states Christie has visited are several with early primaries and caucuses that will be key to the 2016 contest, including Iowa and New Hampshire - trips that drew wide media attention - and South Carolina, where Christie is expected to head in September.
July 21, 2014 |
Four years ago, Joe Szalwinski knocked on doors and "passed out more fliers than I can count" to help elect Tom Corbett governor of Pennsylvania. This year? "I'll probably vote for him, but I won't work for him," said Szalwinski, 58, a tea party voter from Fishtown. He was disappointed that Corbett had abandoned the legal fight after a federal judge threw out the state's ban on same-sex marriage, and by the governor's willingness last year to put extra money into Philadelphia schools.
July 7, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - As the first week of a new fiscal year came to a close Friday, Gov. Corbett still had a decision to make: whether or not to sign the $29.1 billion spending plan that doesn't include one of his top policy priorities - overhauling the state pension system. Corbett could sign or veto the plan - or do nothing and let it automatically take effect. For the governor, facing a difficult reelection in the fall, every option carries risk. But few emerged unscathed from the annual budget tussle, one that ended with some extra dollars flowing to public education and a new per-pack cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help the city's ailing schools.
June 18, 2014
Rep. Greg Vitali mischaracterizes Gov. Corbett's actions with regard to state forest leasing ("Listen to the people on drilling gas tax," June 12). The governor issued a new executive order that prohibits leasing of any state park or forest land that will result in additional surface drilling activity. Gas can be accessed from adjacent lands using underground, horizontal drilling a mile beneath the surface. Corbett announced his policy in the light of day nearly four months ago, and it has been discussed at legislative hearings and citizen meetings with state park and forest officials.
June 16, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Sometimes, the car defines the candidate. Three decades ago, it was Sen. Tom Daschle tooling around South Dakota in his beat-up Pontiac Ventura. More recently, Scott Brown drove a sparkling pickup truck to victory in a 2010 Senate race in Massachusetts and, this year, resurrected the truck for a Senate bid in New Hampshire. Now, the Pennsylvania governor's race has a standout vehicle: Tom Wolf's Jeep. The Jeep Wrangler, a 2006 model with 80,000 miles on it, has gone campaign-trail viral.
June 12, 2014 |
A POLITICAL-action committee set up to help Gov. Corbett win re-election received nearly $1 million from a billionaire casino investor barred from making political contributions in Pennsylvania. The Republican Governors Association, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, reported receiving $1 million for its federal political-action committee on Dec. 31 from Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. The group immediately moved $987,844 of Adelson's money into its "RGA Pennsylvania 2014 PAC," according to a state campaign-finance report filed Jan. 31. Pennsylvania's gaming law prohibits casino owners in the state from making contributions to candidates for state office or political-action committees in Pennsylvania.
June 9, 2014 |
In what seems to be a reprise of four years ago, hundreds of thousands of dollars are pouring into the race for Pennsylvania governor from company executives with ties to the state's burgeoning natural gas industry. But the donations, almost entirely to Gov. Corbett, are flowing with one key difference: The stakes are even higher for both the companies' fracking profits and the Republican Corbett, one of the country's most vulnerable governors. Corbett is being challenged by Democrat Tom Wolf, a York County businessman who has pledged to add a 5 percent tax on fracking.
June 5, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - No one quibbles about the size and cost of Pennsylvania's government. The numbers speak for themselves: With a budget of roughly $280 million and about 2,600 staffers, the state legislature is among the biggest and costliest nationwide. Proposals to shrink it bubble up every now and then, but none have gone this far before: On Tuesday, a Senate committee passed resolutions to eliminate 55 legislative seats, four judgeships - even the office of lieutenant governor. The vote was an incremental step on a path that could take years.
June 1, 2014 |
NASHVILLE - Gov. Christie on Friday defended his decision to award raises to more than two dozen staffers this year, saying he had trimmed the overall Governor's Office budget by $240,000 since the start of his second term in January. "People who take on more responsibilities deserve more pay," Christie told reporters at a restaurant in Nashville before he was to deliver a keynote speech at the Tennessee Republican Party's 2014 Statesmen's Dinner. "And, in fact, if my budget in the Governor's Office is a quarter-million dollars less than it was when I was sworn in, I've done the right thing, and I'm showing that we're sacrificing the same way I'm asking other people to sacrifice in difficult budget times," Christie said.