Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Brothers Paterno

Sons of JoePa square off in debate over funding higher education.

The Brothers Paterno

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

JB: Yo, boss, didya see that Corbett's proposed 50 percent cut in higher education has the Brothers Paterno squaring off in public?

BE: The Sons of JoePA? The Scions of Mount Nittany?

JB: Those are the ones. Scott Paterno, a lawyer, consultant and former Republican congressional candidate, argues that Penn State shouldn't get any state funding, that it's big and self-sustaining and that its share should be spread among the 14 state colleges and universities in the State Sytem of Higher Education.

BE: Guess that would be the GOP position, eh? Less gubment. Let the markets be free.

JB: Pop would be proud. You may remember JoPA gave a seconding speech for the first President Bush at the National Republican Convention in New Orleans back in `88.

BE: A true Central Pennsylvanian.

JB: Now the other brother, Jay, the PSU quarterbacks coach who was a surrogate speaker for the Obama campaign in `08, takes a different position on Corbett's cuts.

BE: A rift within la famiglia. A donkey among the elephants.

JB: Si. Jay says each of the 96,000 Penn State students attending the main campus or any of its satellites should get a mailer showing what the loss of state money means to their tuition AND what it would mean to their post-graduate debt load.

BE: Interesting.

JB: JayPA says recent university numbers show average post-grad debt at $27,000 and that the cuts would push that to $32,000.

BE: From third and long to fourth and long.

JB: PUNT TEAM! Jay also notes that it's a good thingthat  prison costs don't get cut in Corbett's budget. He says neglecting education can lead to a need for more cells.

BE: So all those empty college dorms could come in handy. Who's right on this?

JB: Well, I'll report, you decide. Scott's op-ed piece appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News yesterday. Here it is. Jay wrote a column for Here it is. Let me know what you think.

BE: What do YOU think?

JB: It's between the brothers, OK? Grrrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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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