October 30, 2014
TODAY WE examine a basic question in the contest twixt Republican incumbent Gov. Corbett and Democratic newcomer Tom Wolf. First let's agree that in races for governor, taxes and spending are front and center. Let's agree that Corbett's less-spending, fewer-taxes approach is popular with a fair percentage of the electorate. And let's also agree that Corbett's principle argument against Wolf is that he'll raise taxes but won't share details. "How much Pennsylvanians will pay out of their pocketbooks [if Wolf wins]
October 27, 2014 |
For nearly half a century, as long as the Pennsylvania Constitution has allowed governors to serve two terms, this temperamentally traditional commonwealth has voted for every chief executive who sought reelection. Polls suggest that could change next week. But why? The Republican governor, Tom Corbett, maintains that his popularity has suffered from four years of hard decisions. His Democratic opponent, businessman Tom Wolf, argues that Corbett is reaping the consequences of a failed tenure.
October 20, 2014 |
YORK, Pa. - Stopping in on an early-morning gathering for veterans Thursday, Tom Corbett moved easily through the sea of older men, gripping their arms and crouching down to listen to their war stories. It was his kind of crowd. Small. Calm. Controlled. Military men - men with simple but poignant values he relates to: honor, duty, and love of country. For a campaign stop, Corbett's message to the vets was as apolitical as it was simple: Tell your story. People need to understand what you have accomplished.
October 10, 2014 |
AT THIS POINT, it might be harder to find a government computer in Harrisburg that hasn't been used to view or transmit porn. Gov. Corbett's press office yesterday released details of disciplinary actions taken against eight Department of Revenue employees for using state computers and email accounts to view or transmit "sexually suggestive" material while Tom Wolf headed that agency during Gov. Ed Rendell's second term. Wolf, a Democrat from York, is challenging Corbett's bid for a second term in the Nov. 4 general election and holds a double-digit lead in the polls.
October 8, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett has been described as "endangered" so often in the past couple of years, it could be mistaken for his first name. Long saddled with low approval ratings in statewide opinion polls, the Republican governor trails by double digits in his fight for a second term. For all his troubles, it turns out that Corbett has plenty of company in misery this year: 11 governors of both parties are in tight reelection races, and analysts foresee the roughest ride for incumbent chief executives since at least 1994, when six lost their jobs.
September 29, 2014 |
"Where's the beef?" That was the question underdog candidate Walter Mondale borrowed from a Wendy's ad to skewer front-runner Gary Hart and his airy "new ideas" in a 1984 presidential debate. In the same vein, underdog Tom Corbett paced the stage in last week's first debate of the Pennsylvania governor's race, demanding that Democrat Tom Wolf provide details of his promises to make the state's personal income tax fairer to the middle class and to increase state funding on education.
September 28, 2014 |
Gov. Christie's travels brought him closer to home Friday night when he stopped in the Harrisburg area to exhort Pennsylvania Republicans to ramp up their efforts to reelect Gov. Corbett. In his 25-minute keynote speech at the Pennsylvania GOP's Fall Meeting, Christie used humor, anger, and Jersey-style threats to rouse more than 600 state party leaders. "Don't disappoint me. Don't make me come back here and get angry," Christie said, eliciting laughs and cheers. "I will go person to person in this room and ask you, 'What have you done for my friend Tom since I was here last?
September 25, 2014
KNOW HOW POLITICS can often be predictable? Well, that's what happened at the Two-Toms debate Monday night in Hershey. Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf followed their respective scripts. The Republican incumbent - trailing in polls and campaign cash and still regarded the No. 1 vulnerable guv in America - took some sweeping swings at his challenger. When you're behind, that's what you do. In response, the Democratic upstart pulled a Wolf-a-dope, leaning on rhetorical ropes, staying calm, happy just to lay a few jabs on the titleholder's chin.
September 16, 2014
A LONGTIME FRIEND and mentor now in his late 70s emailed last week after another poll showed Tom Corbett badly - as in really badly - trailing Tom Wolf for governor. The email asked if Pennsylvania has a political mercy rule. For the unaware, a mercy rule ends a sporting event early if one team takes a lead considered to be insurmountable. Maybe we should think about it. Polls suggest that Corbett is headed toward historic rejection as the first Pennsylvania chief executive unable to win re-election.
September 15, 2014 |
Gov. Corbett took Pennsylvania voters to school last week in "Statistics Class," a 30-second TV spot, complete with bar graphs, that asserts he has increased state education spending to "its highest level ever. " Democratic challenger Tom Wolf "and his special-interest friends," Corbett says into the camera, "have spent millions trying to mislead you that I cut education spending. " Wolf responded with his sharpest attack ad yet, a compendium of news clippings that say Corbett "took an ax" to schools with a $1 billion cut in education dollars that caused 27,000 layoffs and big jumps in local property taxes.