Friday, September 4, 2015

Corbett cabinet shares connubial commitments

They say bald eagles mate for life. So, too, it seems, do Gov. Corbett's nominees for top administrative posts.

Corbett cabinet shares connubial commitments


They say bald eagles mate for life. So, too, it seems, do Gov. Corbett’s nominees for top administrative posts.

Of 21 cabinet or cabinet level positions named by the new governor so far, virtually all are married and — in a statistic-defying feat — most are celebrating anniversaries well into the double digits.

As press releases began to roll out after Corbett took office Jan. 18, evident at the bottom of each was a line of data about length of marriage and number of children.

For instance: agriculture secretary nominee George Greig, a Crawford County farmer, and his wife, Christine, have been married for 15 years and have six children.

In one case — perhaps a Harrisburg first — Corbett nominated a husband and a wife for top positions: Chester County power couple Carol Aichele as secretary of state, and her husband, Stephen Aichele, as general counsel. The former county commissioner and her lawyer husband have been together a whopping 39 years.

Only two agency chiefs named thus far are not hitched (though one is engaged). Corbett has yet to announce his picks for secretary of labor and industry and the department of conservation and natural resources.

So we had to ask: is the mentioning of each appointee’s years of wedlock and number of offspring a conscious Corbett-directed promotion of family and marriage?

No, said the governor’s chief spokesman, Kevin Harley. He said the decision was entirely his own. Harley said he added those facts because he’d wearied of having to track down piecemeal answers to reporters’ questions about nominees’ marriage status.

As for the boss: Corbett and his wife Susan were college sweethearts who tied the knot 38 years ago.

So, while he may have built his reputation as a crime-fighter, some could argue that Corbett might better be dubbed “the love guv.”

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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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