Nutter's shadow in Harrisburg

As Mayor Nutter made the rounds in Harrisburg Tuesday, continuing his lobbying campaign in support of the city $3.8 billion budget plan, he is being trailed.

Al Schmidt, the Republican candidate for City Controller, has been shadowing Nutter with stops of his own, to argue that Nutter and City Council have not made enough cuts in the city budget before coming to Harrisburg to ask for favors. Nutter is asking the the legislature for changes to the pension plan and the authority to increase the sales tax from 7 percent to 8 percent. Nutter's budget also calls for a two-year delay in contributions to the pension plan -- essentially a loan -- that also requires legislative approval.

"This is no different than borrowing money to pay operating expenses with a promise to pay back with future tax revenue," Schmidt said in a Power Point presentation made to Senate Leaders including Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, (R., Delaware), Majority Whip Jane Orie (R., Allegheny), and Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery). "This is NOT good government."

Schmidt, who is a long-shot to unseat Democratic incumbent Controller Alan Butkovitz in November, said he wanted to provide a counterpoint to Nutter and the Democrats' penchant for spending and raising taxes while destabilizing the already shaky pension fund. "All we’re asking is to let Philadelphia live by the same rules as every other county," Schmidt wrote in his presentation. "City flat-out spends too much money."

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