Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Oops! Is Tom Corbett "the Rick Perry of Pennsylvania"?

Oops! Is Tom Corbett "the Rick Perry of Pennsylvania"?

Probably not...because Rick Perry's been re-elected by the people of his state three times. But it does feel like the knives are out for Gov. Corbett as his plans for a 2013 turnaround don't seem to be materializing, and when it comes to the great and powerful Daily News columnist John Baer, the first cut is the deepest. In today's column, Baer turns around Corbett's famous pledge to make Pennsylvania the Texas of natural gas to wonder if instead Corbett is becoming "the Rick Perry of Pennsylvania."

I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to say "oops" or "ouch."

The column makes some dead-on points about Corbett;s woes -- I almost feel sorry for the guy: For example:

Commonwealth Court last week ruled that Corbett was wrong to cut basic health care to tens of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians in 2011.

If the administration appeals, picture a headline, "Corbett Fights Court on Helping Poor."

This dovetails with his, so far, refusal to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act even as other conservative Republicans (Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Gov. Rick Scott) embrace it. Sticking to his guns burnishes a far-right, uncaring image at a critical time in his tenure.

Read the whole thing -- there are five more predicaments facing Corbett just like this one.

Meanwhile, Corbett has finally been responding piecemeal to my froint-page article from last week about the gifts that he accepts from lobbyists and business executives with an interest in what goes on in Harrisburg. It seems to be what the Richard Nixon administration famously called "a modified limited hangout." In one report, he makes the somewhat bizarre and tortured -- in my allegedly biased opinion -- argument that there's nothing wrong in accepting free jet travel from a businessman who benefitted from a bill he signed because the bill passed unanimously.

In aniother report, he said this:

"We've been following the law," said Corbett. "Code of conduct is not law."

Shorter version: I'm not folllowing the Code of Conduct. As noted early, the penalty for violating the code of conduct goes up to termination, and the governor can't really fire himself. That's up to the voters, and this tweet late this afternoon from Public Policy Polling -- admittedly, a Democrat-leaning outfit, nonetheless seems to sum up the bigger picture:

Tom Corbett's already awful poll numbers have gotten worse since January- now trails every Democrat we tested against him

Oops indeed.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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