April 16, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA Democrats face an interesting choice in the April 24 primary election for an office no Pennsylvania Democrat ever won. And that office, state Attorney General, tends to spawn candidates for governor. Of the four Republicans who've won it since it became elective in 1980, three - Ernie Preate, Mike Fisher, Tom Corbett - later ran for governor. So the outcome of next week's race between former Bucks County U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and former Lackawanna prosecutor Kathleen Kane could not only give Democrats a shot at history but also set the stage for a future contender.
March 25, 2012 |
Regional Democrats may be inclined to skip the polls April 24, given the paucity of contested primary races and so much focused on the GOP presidential candidates, but that would be a mistake. Republicans own the store in Harrisburg, and Tom Corbett, who ran on his attorney general record of prosecuting conniving legislators - always a crowd-pleaser - has turned out to be the most conservative governor in modern history. In 15 months, Corbett and the GOP-controlled legislature have taken a battering ram to basic civil rights.
March 16, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - The voting public's approval of Gov. Corbett may be eroding, damaged by his push to cut college aid and his support for new rules for women seeking abortions. And the headaches for the governor may be just beginning. Corbett found himself in the middle of a national furor this week when he affirmed his support for a rule requiring women to get a fetal ultrasound exam before they could get an abortion. Corbett said this week he wasn't worried that the requirement would be too intrusive, as long as it was only an external exam.
March 15, 2012 |
ARRISBURG - The voting public's approval of Gov. Corbett may be eroding, damaged by his push to cut college aid and his support for new rules for women seeking abortions. And the headaches for the governor may be just beginning. Corbett found himself in the middle of a national furor this week when he affirmed his support for a rule requiring women to get a fetal ultrasound exam before they could get an abortion. Corbett said this week he wasn't worried that the requirement would be too intrusive, as long as it was only an external exam.
February 10, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - During his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Tom Corbett made the funding of an Arlen Specter library in Philadelphia the punch line of a campaign ad about wasteful government spending. Think of that funding, Corbett said in the television ad, "next time you hear we have to raise taxes because there's nothing left to cut. " Now, the joke may be on him. This week, Gov. Corbett signed off on a $1.9 million state grant for the library that will house Specter's papers and memorabilia - along with an office for the former Pennsylvania senator.
February 8, 2012 |
When a governor says little, every word counts. Referring to Pennsylvania's complicated and costly relationship with its most vulnerable citizens, Tom Corbett speaks only of a generic Welfare with a capital "W" - code for women having babies they can't afford. "Welfare," Corbett reminded in yesterday's somber budget address, "does not produce wealth. " Then he went on to cite an uncharacteristically harsh quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt calling government aid "a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
January 27, 2012
NOW THAT we've learned that the Corbett administration is considering that applicants for food-stamp assistance undergo asset examinations and meet strict financial criteria to receive it, I suggest that the governor think of applying that standard to other recipients of state welfare. He could start with the corporations that benefitted from his generous tax break last year. Could they prove a need for it? How many jobs did their bonus create? Should those corporations be allowed to have no more than $2,000 in savings to get their welfare from the state?
December 20, 2011 |
Legislation to toughen Pennsylvania's sex offender laws will be signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in Harrisburg this morning. By expanding reporting requirements for convicted sex offenders, Pennsylvania will become the 15th state in compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. That federal law was named for the boy whose aduction and murder in 1981 led his father, John, to become the longtime host of the Fox TV show America's Most Wanted . The connection is why the legislation, which toughens the state's "Megan's Law," has been called "the Adam Walsh Bill.
November 16, 2011 |
Gov. Tom Corbett this summer approved a $3 million state grant to The Second Mile, the charity founded by suspected child molester Jerry Sandusky, despite knowing about the sex abuse investigation that later resulted in charges against Mr. Sandusky. The grant is now on hold, said Mr. Corbett's spokesman, Eric Shirk. The grant would have helped pay for the first phase of the "Center for Excellence" at The Second Mile, which Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach, founded in 1977 to work with troubled children.
November 10, 2011 |
Who will run Penn State , now that president Graham Spanier has been ousted amid the child-rape scandal ripping Joe Paterno's football program? " Tom Ridge would be perfect," ex-Gov. Ed Rendell , a past Penn State trustee, told me Wednesday. "You need someone to come in with instant credibility and perfect integrity. Tom Ridge fits the bill. For a relatively short stint, he would be a great way to begin the rehabilitation process. " In the interest of party equality for ex-pols in highly paid, state-funded college jobs, what about my former colleague Paul Davies' suggestion that Rendell take the top post at Temple University after president Ann Weaver Hart's planned retirement?