May 22, 2014
IN 167 DAYS, Tom Corbett makes history. He's either the state's first incumbent governor to lose, or he's the state's first incumbent anything to rise from the politically dead. You know his predicament. After three-plus years in office, the Republican former prosecutor is known for education cuts, refusing to expand Medicaid, declining to tax gas drillers, pushing voter ID, trying to privatize the lottery and offending women, Hispanics and gays with public gaffes that drew national attention.
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 1, 2014
OK, DEMOCRATIC voters, here's a little heads-up. Your primary to pick a person to pummel Tom Corbett is entering a new phase. It's a phase that you (who believe that Tom Corbett will be pummeled) need to be aware of. For one thing, it's about to get more visible. You'll see more TV ads, polls and final debates. There's a debate focused on education this evening at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 6 to 8 p.m., carried live statewide on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
April 28, 2014
Who is this person? That's the question being asked by many Pennsylvanians who wonder why Kathleen Kane's actions too often don't match their expectations in electing her attorney general in 2012. Kane stuck another pin into her credibility last week when, having challenged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to take over a bribery investigation involving four city legislators, she pivoted and refused to give him the case files. An e-mailed letter from Kane to Williams' office reportedly alleged that the district attorney has an apparent conflict of interest because at least two of the Democratic legislators accused of taking money from an informant endorsed Williams for election in 2009.
March 13, 2014
PERHAPS YOU'VE noticed Gov. Corbett lately lugging his conservative record from the right over toward the center-left. After pulling polling numbers more often equated with pestilence than politicians, Corbett, who is seeking re-election, suddenly is using his office to seek popularity. As you might imagine - given his past positions/proclamations on women, minorities, gays, the unemployed, the needy and, well, everything - this requires some heavy lifting. The guv just underwent hernia surgery.
March 12, 2014
IS THERE a kinder, gentler Tom Corbett governing the state? Last week, his administration announced changes to policies that suggest that he's more concerned about the plight of low-income people than he's previously let on. Either that, or he's more concerned about his low approval ratings as he runs for re-election. Whatever the case, we're not arguing. The first major change would let up on a job-search requirement that he added to a state Medicaid plan recently submitted for federal approval; this proposal is his alternative to accepting millions of dollars from the feds to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Many Republican governors have refused a federal infusion of money to expand health coverage to low-income people, children, the elderly and the disabled.
February 6, 2014
IT WAS a kinder, gentler Tom Corbett who stood before the General Assembly yesterday to deliver his proposed $29.4 billion budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. No dividing government programs into the "must-haves versus nice-to-haves," as he did in his first budget speech. In that budget, education was clearly a "nice-to-have," because the governor axed state aid to basic and higher education. He did it again in his second year of office as well. That was the old Tom Corbett.
February 2, 2014 |
Five Democrats vying for the nomination to take on Gov. Corbett in November raised $27.2 million last year, and as of Dec. 31 had $25.6 million on hand to spend against each other, according to campaign finance reports filed Friday. Corbett started the year with $7.5 million in his campaign coffers after raising $6.8 million in 2013. The take was lower than his campaign, and some leading Republicans, had hoped, but the incumbent has the luxury of watching a Democratic demolition derby while continuing to raise money.
January 21, 2014
FOR THREE years, Philadelphia has asked for a hand from Gov. Corbett to provide enough money to adequately educate our kids, and to make their education more of a priority than he has shown in the past. On Friday, instead of a hand, he gave us the finger when he cancelled his first-ever visit to a Philadelphia public school. He was supposed to present awards honoring academic excellence to high-scoring students at Central High, but was scared off by a large group of parents protesting his measly support of education - and possibly a student body that was prepared to show their own unhappiness over the bare-bones daily existence that passes for education that the state has provided.
January 19, 2014 |
With a burst of boos and chants of "We Will Vote," more than 300 protesters expressed outrage and disappointment after Gov. Corbett canceled an appearance Friday with seniors at Central High School. The governor changed his plans at the last minute, citing concerns about "any theatrics the adults had planned. " But the theatrics had only just begun. Before 10 a.m., a crowd of parents, alumni, School District employees, and religious and civic leaders began marching from Broad Street and Olney Avenue to Central, expecting to confront the governor about a lack of school funding as he arrived at the high school.