(A brief conversation twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a/k/a BE)
JB: Yo, chief, see TC was in Pittsburgh Wednesday pushing a "compromise" on transportation/mass transit funding?
BE: I did. He held a Rendell-like press conference, visuals and all, standing by a bad bridge, holding a piece of another bad bridge, saying public safety and the state economy are at risk without a fix.
JB: Finally, right? A sensible photo-op to make his point. It's a whole new TC.
BE: But isn't his "compromise" simply asking Democrats to fold and back a Republican plan linking a reduction in the prevailing wage to more money for roads and bridges?
JB: Sure seems that way. While asking lawmakers to work together he also called the GOP proposal to cut union pay on some state projects "abundantly reasonable in my mind."
BE: Yeah, well, if your like most Democrats, whose votes are needed to pass the bill, TC's mind is the only place going after union pay is "abundantly reasonable."
JB: And why, if transportation funds are so critically needed to protect public safety, are Republicans linking union stuff to the issue? I mean the Republican Senate passed a funding measure without such linkage. Why can't the Republican House?
BE: Or, if the House GOP insists on a prevailing wage cut, why not just unlink it, pass it on it's own -- they control the House -- and send it to the Senate?
JB: Good point. Except without the wage-linkage it appears there aren't enough lawmakers in Corbett's own party willing to vote for any new spending for anything.
BE: So public safety takes a back seat to GOP ideological allegiance to no new spending and Democrats' campaign-contribution-driven allegiance to unions?
JB: Yep. Another example of how both parties put their own interests ahead of, in this case, public safety and the state economy.
BE: And how Corbett views "compromise" -- do it my way.
JB: Onward and upward, boss. Our political system at work.