Monday, February 8, 2016

Big-monied donor slams Corbett for lack of leadership

Big-monied donor slams Corbett for lack of leadership



Big-monied donors aren't usually the chatty types.

But in an unusual move, Scott Wagner, a York County businessman who has given generously to Gov. Corbett and other GOP candidates, has taken to his blog to not just chat, but lay it all out on the line: he's frustrated with the governor.

The title of his blog rant, first reported by PolitcsPA: "It's leadership, Stupid." In it, Wagner laments what he calls "a leadership vacuum" in the governor’s office. In short, he contends Corbett hasn't gotten done what he said on the campaign trail he would do: changes to workers compensation regs, pension reform, school vouchers, and liquor privatization, among other things.

He also slams Corbett for having no business experience, and for hiring people in his administration who have no business experience.

"Tom Corbett came to Harrisburg with no practical business experience," Wagner wrote. "He is an attorney who methodically worked his way through the political ranks by gaining favor with party leaders.

He continued: "The bottom line is this. There is no substitute for leadership. Successful business owners provide leadership every day. For the sake of PA’s prosperity, Gov. Corbett had better figure this out, or else a historic opportunity for our state will be lost, and he will be a one term governor."

Reached for comment, Wagner, president of Penn Waste Inc. in York, contended the governor has done nothing to make his life as a businessman any better in Pennsylvania. What's more, he said he has had a hard time getting anyone in the administration to listen to what he has to say.

"It's like he's missing in action," said Wagner, a conservative Republican. "I know he's out there doing certain things, but he hasn't done a single thing to help me run my business better ... I'm not the only businessperson who feels that way."

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley had this to say in response:

“In the last year and a half, Tom Corbett has closed a $4.2 billion budget deficit, passed two on-time state budgets, saved the unemployment compensation system, passed tort reform, saved the Philadelphia refineries, made strides in securing the first-ever ethane petrochemical plant in the northeastern United States, presided over the first growth in manufacturing jobs in a generation, and overseen an economy with 73,000 new jobs, all without tax increases.

“Scott Wagner’s inability to see this as progress," said Harley, "raises valid questions about his ability to identify leadership.”

Asked whether perhaps he was unfairly laying all the blame on Corbett for not getting certain items on his agenda done - it takes two to make laws, after all, the governor and the legislature -- Wagner stuck to his guns: "If he was hired by GE or Microsoft or Google, and he was the CEO and he wasn’t doing his job, they would make a change pretty quick ... Tom Corbett needs to be the CEO of Pennsylvania - and do his job."

To read Wagner's blog post, use this link:



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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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