November 26, 2014
EACH YEAR Pennsylvania hands out $5.5 billion in subsidies for basic education that follows a formula which is outdated and ignores the realities of local school districts. To use just one example: districts that have lost students in recent years get the same amount of state subsidy, even though they are educating fewer children. And don't even talk about making allowances for such factors as poverty. In fact, in 2007, a "costing-out" study commissioned by the legislature concluded that the state's public schools were underfunded by $4.38 billion.
November 16, 2014 |
The wave was even bigger than it looked on the networks' election-night maps. Republicans picked up so many seats in state legislatures that the party will control 68 of the nation's 98 partisan chambers come January - the most since 1920, a time of flappers, bathtub gin, and the Model T. They'll have legislative control in 30 states, to 11 for the Democrats. Counting Republican governors, the GOP will dominate the governments of 24 states (to six for Democrats). By one calculation, that means about 48 percent of the U.S. population will live in states where Republicans can drive their agenda without significant Democratic opposition.
November 8, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Joe Paterno "probably" should not have been fired, Gov. Corbett said Thursday. In his most expansive comments since the child-sex-abuse scandal erupted at Pennsylvania State University three years ago, the governor said that Paterno "technically complied with the law" in dealing with pedophile Jerry Sandusky and that university trustees should have let the iconic coach end his career when the season did. "They probably shouldn't have...
November 6, 2014
NO ONE can call this week's election a mandate for "same old, same old," at least not in Pennsylvania, where Tom Wolf made history by breaking the two-term governor charm that's been in effect for nearly 70 years. The problem, of course, is that he will preside over a Legislature that doesn't exactly embrace the new - one that provided obstacle after obstacle to a governor who shared its majority political party. How it will react to Wolf, who is a Democrat with an ambitious agenda, much of which runs counter to their agenda, is of course the question of the hour.
November 5, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Call it the Paterno factor. Throughout the day, members of a group called Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship donned PSU gear and went to the polls to vote against Gov. Corbett. They did this not because they necessarily liked Tom Wolf any better - but out of protest. Protest over Corbett's handling, as attorney general, of the investigation into serial child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky. Protest over how he dealt with Pennsylvania State University, and its legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, after he became governor and state prosecutors brought charges in the case.
November 4, 2014 |
Voters in Pennsylvania are poised Tuesday to either make Republican Tom Corbett the first governor to lose reelection in the modern era, or hand him a historic comeback victory against Democrat Tom Wolf. New Jersey voters will choose a U.S. senator and decide the Philadelphia area's hottest congressional contest. Those are the region's marquee races in a midterm election that, nationwide, could shift the balance of power in the Senate and reflect a growing dissatisfaction with officeholders from the statehouse to the White House.
November 2, 2014 |
Tom Corbett is about to make history. On Tuesday, the Republican will either be the first Pennsylvania governor to lose a reelection try since the 19th century, or he will overcome a double-digit polling deficit with an unprecedented late surge. Corbett and Democrat Tom Wolf have entered the mobilization stage of the campaign, traveling the state to push their partisans to turn out, a harder task in a midterm race than in a presidential year. Both are bringing high-powered motivational help to the region Sunday evening.
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.