State Treasurer and gubernatorial hopeful Rob McCord in a speech today unveiled his $1.3 billion education spending plan while dishing out a few barbs at Gov. Corbett.
McCord said he wants to use a new gas extraction tax to make sweeping new investments in public education, including full day kindergarten, science and math programs and teacher development.
“Pennsylvania public education rescued me and there is no reason why every single Pennsylvania child should not have the same educational opportunities that I had,” said McCord.
McCord said he struggled with dyslexia as a child and it was a Philadelphia public school that gave him the help he needed to go on and get a degree from Harvard and a masters from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Joined at the head table by the two leaders of the state's teacher's unions, McCord said the state could raise as much as $3 billion by 2019 for schools if the state imposed a 10 percent tax on natural gas extraction.
McCord must prevail over four other candidates in the May primary in order to face Corbett in the fall.
York businessman Tom Wolf is currently leading in the Democratic polls followed by U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz.
McCord also said he supports traditional Medicaid expansion as the moral and most cost effective approach to providing health care for the uninsured. He called Corbett's alternative proposal to Medicaid expansion "boneheaded.
He also jabbed the governor as someone who “literally doesn't understand” the public pension system.
Asked afterward if he thought Corbett was “intellectually up to the job” – McCord replied: "I know the difference between people who are fully engaged in their work and enjoy their work and enjoy hearing competing points of view and people who are just trying to walk a line dictated by talking points.”
The Corbett campaign dismissed the criticism as a desperate move by a trailing candidate.
“Rob McCord has proven he doesn’t have the temperament to be governor and today is just one more example,” said Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley in an email. “His classless display falls right into line with starting a 'foul-mouthed' fight at the Democrat State Committee and it reeks of a desperate candidate seeking some attention as he is fallen well behind his primary opponents.”
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