Monday, February 8, 2016

King Corbett

An internal Corbett administration memo seeks to lift the incumbent Guv by trashing other Guvs, including former PA Republicans and GOP leaders in other states.

King Corbett


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Well, boss, Team Corbett got the new year off to a great start by serving up a thick slice of self-promotion at the expense of others.

BE: What did I miss?

JB: You rarely miss a thing, oh great one, and neither does my colleague Jan Murphy of the Harrisburg Patriot-News. She scored a scoop by getting hold of an internal Corbett memo that trashes past and present Guvs to make himself look good. Murphy's piece ran New Year's Day.

BE: Sounds like further proof that campaigning never ends.

JB: Bingo! The memo, written by Corbett's deputy chief of staff, Luke Bernstein, a former state GOP committee honcho, claims Corbett's first year was "one of the most productive" in America and much better than the first years of his predecessors, Democrats AND Republicans.

BE: Oooh, going big, I see.

JB: Yep. It was, writes Murphy, written as talking points for Corbett's friends and staff and notes that Tom Terrific not only outdid former Democratic Guv Rendell but that lesser lights like GOP Guvs Thornburgh and Ridge raised taxes and legislative pay and Ridge "failed" to pass school vouchers.

BE: Wait, doesn't legislative pay go up automatically? And didn't Corbett fail to pass vouchers?

JB: Details, details. Plus, pay raises weren't automatic back then. And why would a talking-point memo mention a failture? The whole point is nobody's better than Tom.

BE: I'm not sure tearing down others is the best way to build yourself up.

JB: What are you, nuts? Read the memo. The other Guvs can't compare. Take GOP Ohio Guv Kasich. Failed to limit collective bargaining. Or GOP Wisconsin Guv Walker. "Faces a possible recall."

BE: But Corbett didn't try to limit bargaining and...

JB: YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT! Corbett is king! In just one year he's made PA a land of milk and honey! He didn't raise taxes! He passed a budget! He's better than those past pretenders!

BE: What about state stores, and shale and vouchers and highway funding, those education cuts and...

JB: Bow down, citizens. All hail King Corbett!




Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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