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.
May 25, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - When word spread late Monday that a federal judge was poised to issue his long-awaited opinion on the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's same-sex marriage ban, Gov. Corbett sensed what it would say. Given rulings in other states, the Corbett administration expected U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III would strike down the state's 1996 law defining marriage as between men and women, according to sources close to the governor....
May 22, 2014 |
Tom Wolf, the wealthy small-town businessman who sold himself as an outsider, cruised to the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor Tuesday, dispatching three rivals after a dominant television advertising campaign. Wolf, 65, was beating five-term U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord by a 3-1 ratio, with more than four-fifths of precincts counted statewide. Katie McGinty, former state environmental secretary, trailed. "This can't be a place that does good things for you if you have the right connections, if you live in the right place, if you look the right way," Wolf told about 1,000 cheering supporters at a minor-league baseball stadium in York.
May 18, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Lamenting that the Democratic Party has experienced a difficult four years under Gov. Christie, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney called Friday for a return to progressive politics in New Jersey as the party seeks to take back the governor's mansion in 2017. "We need a governor whose focus is Main Street, not Pennsylvania Avenue," Sweeney (D., Gloucester) told a luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel during the New Jersey Democratic State Committee's 18th annual conference.
May 17, 2014 |
For those seeking to become Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, the biggest campaign challenge might well be getting voters to realize they actually are running for something. People aren't necessarily interested in the race for lieutenant governor, and in fact might not even realize that the office is an elected position, State Rep. Brandon P. Neuman (D., Washington), said with a laugh. Neuman, 32, has some experience with the frustrations: He is one of five vying for the Democratic nomination in next week's primary election.
May 16, 2014
THE NEXT governor of the state needs to be transformational. Under Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania has regressed with policies that have inflicted widespread damage to education, health and the economy. He has made major cuts to education, has refused a Medicaid expansion that would bring millions to the state and, more importantly, provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of people, and refused to make frackers pay their share via an extraction tax. Most bothersome is that these moves don't seem to follow strong political convictions of any type, other than an absurd tea-party pledge to not increase taxes.
May 12, 2014 |
More than $45 million has flowed into the race for Pennsylvania governor, campaign records show, highlighting once again the importance of big-ticket donors in a state with no limits on contributions. The latest reports, filed Friday, showed Gov. Corbett's four prospective Democratic challengers had collectively raised $35.5 million and spent $31.1 million through Monday in their bid to win the May 20 primary. Together, the Democrats are poised to easily eclipse the $31.5 million spent in the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign, one of the state's most expensive.
May 6, 2014 |
NEWARK, N.J. - On one level, the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Cory Booker as mayor of New Jersey's largest city is a local political contest with the candidates debating issues familiar to urban America: intractable violent crime, a struggling school district challenged by charter schools, a perpetual battle to attract development and create jobs. Behind the scenes, though, the May 13 nonpartisan election is shaping up as a battleground for a bigger prize: control of Essex County and, in turn, an edge in a possible Democratic primary for the next gubernatorial election.
May 5, 2014 |
Nobody loves you when you're ahead. Nobody, that is, except the voters. Just ask Tom Wolf. With little more than two weeks until the Democratic gubernatorial primary, the soft-spoken York County cabinet king is crushing in the latest poll, leading the three other candidates by at least 25 points. So it's open Wolf-hunting season for Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord, even Republican Gov. Corbett. Katie McGinty, the former state environmental secretary, has stayed largely out of the cross fire.