Friday, July 3, 2015

POSTED: Monday, June 22, 2015, 5:33 PM

The Republican senator who once threatened to use a baseball bat on his colleagues and compared union leaders to Hitler didn’t hold back Monday from slamming Gov. Wolf’s budget agenda.

“I know that I, as well as the rest of my colleagues, really want to give Gov. Wolf the benefit of the doubt. But I can tell you so far it’s not looking good,” Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York) said during a speech at the monthly press club luncheon in Harrisburg.

Although he called Gov. Wolf a “nice guy,” Wagner said the governor is just pushing the “tired” democratic agenda of “higher taxes, higher spending, and bigger government.”       

Madison Russ @ 5:33 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 4:54 PM

In politics, they say, perception is everything.

That adage may have momentarily been lost on Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai when he held a press conference last week to highlight how much money Pennsylvania has raised in the last year through its impact fee on natural gas drillers.

Angela Couloumbis @ 4:54 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 5:40 PM

It could have been a feel-good moment for Gov. Wolf's embattled nominee to head the Pennsylvania State Police - and at a time when he could really use one.

Acting State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown is facing a confirmation vote by a Senate committee tomorrow, and whether its members give him the green light or not is a toss-up. A good chunk of the controversy surrounding Brown has been generated by his decision to wear the State Police uniform, despite the fact that he didn't go through the agency's academy training.

Angela Couloumbis @ 5:40 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 6:15 PM

Gov. Wolf has appointed a top aide's former law partner to an influential position on the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge commission.

Wadud Ahmad, a partner in the Philadelphia-based law firm of Ahmad Zaffarese, was tapped last week by Wolf to sit on the commission, which has since made him its vice-chair. The commission oversees 20 bridges over the Delaware River linking Pennsylvania and New Jersey (7 toll bridges and 13 toll-supported bridges), a $54 million operating budget, as well as millions of dollars in construction, architectural, legal and bond work, among other contracts.

Angela Couloumbis @ 6:15 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2015, 9:32 PM

Gov. Wolf's chief of staff thinks legislators are trying to a pull a fast one by limiting pension benefits for everyone but themselves.

Katie McGinty was not shy about making that point when she spoke at the monthly press club luncheon in Harrisburg Monday.

Angela Couloumbis @ 9:32 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2015, 5:51 PM

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has given her new chief of staff authority over personnel decisions, according to documents, effectively giving him jurisdiction over the two women who reported he made unwanted sexual advances toward them.

In an e-mail last week, Jonathan Duecker, who Kane promoted to the high-profile post last month, informed colleagues that he will now oversee hiring (and, presumably, firing) decisions, yanking that responsibility away from Kane's first deputy, Bruce Beemer.

Angela Couloumbis @ 5:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2015, 1:57 PM

It's a new two-year session, and Pennsylvania's Women's Health caucus is back with a lengthy list of bills aimed at strengthening women's rights.

The proposed measures would affect pregnant, nursing and working mothers, as well as victims of domestic violence, the caucus' co-chairs said Monday.

Angela Couloumbis @ 1:57 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 6:51 PM

It’s as though a gallon of bleach was poured over a year's worth of financial disclosure forms.

After years of accepting tickets to sporting events and galas, trips to exotic locales (for government business of course) and other freebies at the expense of third parties, Pennsylvania lawmakers turned in largely squeaky clean score cards for 2014.

Angela Couloumbis and Ben Finley @ 6:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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