March 21, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Call it the Big Sell. In the hours leading up to what is widely expected to be a historic vote Thursday on whether to privatize alcohol sales in Pennsylvania, activity has intensified behind the scenes as much has it has on the House floor. Lobbying in the hallways. Phone calls from the governor. A frantic numbers game - are the votes there? Whose mind needs changing, whose arm needs twisting just a bit harder? Such a frenzy of lobbying hasn't been seen in the Capitol on a single issue - other than the annual budget - since Gov. Ed Rendell's days.
March 12, 2013
THERE'S IRONY HERE. Tom Corbett, who ascended to the governorship on the wings of law and justice, faces the prospect of law-and-justice issues clipping his re-election odds. At least a half dozen legal snarls set to unfold in coming months can put the guv on the wrong side of stuff with real political impact. And when I say "wrong side," I don't mean legally. I mean, excuse the word, optically - what it looks like and how it plays as he seeks a second term. The issues are Corbett-generated.
March 6, 2013 |
IT WAS THE hottest ticket in town when the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped the puck for hockey's outdoor Winter Classic at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field on New Year's Day 2011. And Tom Corbett was among the spectators. But the incoming governor didn't pay a dime for his seat at the game, or for a Winter Classic brunch - together worth $472, according to state records. Instead, the tab was picked up by lobbyist Robert Kennedy, vice president for governmental affairs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
February 26, 2013
ALLYSON SCHWARTZ used to be known as "Sen. Scarf. " This was during her days in the state Senate, where she served 14 years, and - as you likely figured out - almost always wore a scarf. These days, during her fifth term in Congress, she's wearing something else: a change of heart for a chance to make history. In November, even December, Schwartz seemed certain that she wouldn't challenge Tom Corbett for governor. Now she seems certain that she will. "It is my intention," she tells me, to give up her House seat and take on T.C. Why the change?
February 20, 2013 |
Few are more steeped in Pennsylvania party politics than Democratic power broker David L. Cohen. The Comcast executive vice president has long been known as the go-to fund-raiser for Democratic candidates. He is credited as the chief strategist behind former Gov. Ed Rendell's successful political career, and President Obama in 2011 described him as a "great friend. " Now, just as the 2014 governor's race is beginning to heat up, Cohen says he will likely back Republican Gov. Corbett's reelection campaign.
February 4, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - For the first time since he was elected, Gov. Corbett is heading into his budget address this week hiding few, if any, political cards. Unlike the first two years of his tenure, there are no guessing games. The governor has spent the last few weeks crisscrossing the state, leaving little room for interpretation: He wants to rein in the skyrocketing costs of public-employee pensions, and he wants to find money for roads, bridges, and mass transit. And if he can squeeze in privatizing Pennsylvania's much-maligned liquor system while he's at it, so much the better.
January 28, 2013 |
A path laden with political and legal land mines lies ahead for Kathleen Kane's promised investigation of actions taken by one of her predecessors as Pennsylvania attorney general - Gov. Corbett. Experts warn that Kane's inquiry into Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case could damage Corbett's administration, demoralize career professionals in her own office, and complicate the prosecutions of the three remaining defendants in the Sandusky case, all former officials of Pennsylvania State University.
January 11, 2013
I HAVE LIVED and worked in Philadelphia all my life. I have paid taxes on my home for over 55 years. The only things I have asked for in all that time have been trash removal, safe streets and police and fire protection. Now Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers tells us that updating our EMS system would be "a long, arduous process, a costly process. " Stop telling us why things can't be done - just get them done! And while we're talking about the Fire Department, Mayor Nutter, give the firemen their raises.
January 3, 2013
TO: GOV. TOM Corbett Re: 2013. Just want to offer a heads up. In the event your fine staff hasn't mentioned it, 2013 looks like a bear of a year - politically and policy-wise. I mean you've got stuff hanging over you like multiple pianos on slowly-shredding ropes, any one of which could, well, I'm sure I don't have to paint you a picture. Long-neglected issues could come crashing down sooner rather than later. Public pension costs, for example, and transportation funding are about to eat up the state budget.