Sunday, February 7, 2016

That's Nutts!

Corbett turnpike hire should raise questions.

That's Nutts!


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

JB: Didya see that Gov. I'm-gonna-change-the-culture-of-Harrisburg Corbett just hired the father of his closest advisor for a fat state job? Here's today's Inky story.

BE: Well, sometimes you feel like a Nutt. So, the 70-year old pop of Corbett's campaign manager gets to run that well-known patronage bin known as  the PA Turnpike Commission. Maybe cultural change means different things to different pols.

JB: Maybe so. But this sounds pretty familiar. I mean I'm certain the experience that Brian Nutt's dad, Roger, had as head of the state Highway Authority in Jersey makes him qualified to knock back $196,700 (more than Corbett makes) to watch the easy-pass traffic go by. But, come on, there's nobody in the U.S.A., not to mention in Pa., who can do the same?

BE: Apparently not. And wasn't the Nutt son gonna be Corbett's chief of staff?

JB: And was so named until he pulled out to take a job with the political firm, Brabender Cox, that did media for Corbett's campaign. Brian said at the time, he'll continue to advise Corbett.

BE: Guess he advised that his dad would make a good appointee.

JB: He should have advised, since this looks like the same old favoritism that Harrisburg is famous for, that his dad do the job for half the price.

BE: Yeah, that would make it look a little less same-old, same-old, a little more like Corbett means it when he says he's cutting the cost of government.

JB: As it is, Corbett is inviting criticism for not living up to the kinds of reforms he promised. Check out today's editorial in the Harrisburg Patriot. It asks simply "where's the change?"

BE: Well, Corbett did always say the jobs were out there. He's just proving it.

JB: All he's proving is that he's not getting (or not taking) the best advice. Grrrr.

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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