#PAGov: Meet Tom Corbett, “The Maverick”

Photo Credit: Keystone Politics

In Tom Corbett’s “Building a Future” ad, the governor focuses on his “job creation” performance and if you want a recap of the advertisement, PoliticsPA has a parroted response by the Corbett campaign and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association.  PoliticsPA writes:

The spot asserts that not only has the Governor’s administration protected jobs in Pennsylvania, its helped create 178,400 new private sector jobs in the last three years through keeping its commitment to low tax rates. As a result, private sector jobs in the state currently stand at the all-time high of 5,078,000.

Outlining drawing businesses and industries back to the state as his primary goal, Corbett pledges to continue his pro-growth policies if re-elected in November.

David N. Taylor, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association believes the state’s rapid growth is due to Governor Corbett and others in the general assembly who promise, as Corbett does, “to grow industry, not government.”

Governor Corbett’s communications direct Chris Pack echoed the positive sentiments of the advertisement in an attached statement.

“Governor Tom Corbett is building a stronger Pennsylvania, and that’s a story we’re excited to tell to the voters. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at a five-year low and we have more people working in the state’s private sector than at any other point in history. Governor Tom Corbett is building a stronger Pennsylvania for our future, and he’s not done yet.”

However, at the end of the advertisement – which was released two days before Governor Tom Corbett line item vetoed his party’s budget – the governor told everyone that he “didn’t come to Harrisburg to make friends.”

So let’s look at that one more time.  Two days before the Governor attacked his own party with a line item veto on their budget, the Governor released an advertisement telling Pennsylvania that he “didn’t come to Harrisburg to make friends.”  One sensible way of approaching this was that Governor Corbett wanted a budget showdown to buck his own party and give off the image that he’s a maverick…

But Tom Corbett isn’t a maverick.  He’s a shitty politician who has had Republican majorities in the House and Senate for three and a half years, and instead of delivering legislative achievements to the voters, he’s done nothing but consistently screwing the pooch during that time.  His legislative goals going into his term were liquor privatization, school vouchers, pension reform, Act 13, lottery privatization and Voter ID.  Three of those five priorities have gotten nowhere, while Voter ID and Act 13 were thrown out by the state supreme court.

And now, since the governor has absolutely nothing to show for his tenure, he’s going maverick against his own party.  How has this approach worked?  Well, he’s managed to piss off both parties. This is what some of them have had to say:

Senate Republicans: “ We are disappointed that the governor has not, to date, been able to work effectively with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate to address important issues impacting our state.”

House RepublicansThe governor’s actions today seem to us to be about politics and not the hard work of governing”

When talking about Governor Corbett using his bully-pulpit, Pennlive wrote:

“Stan Saylor doesn’t have a bully pulpit, the governor does,” Saylor said. “The governor could go into Stan Saylor’s district and say, ‘You need to tell Stan Saylor to vote for this.'”

Saylor said Corbett is the only governor in Saylor’s tenure who has been unable to sway some votes.

 “So far, this governor has not been able to get even some of the Republican members on board with his agenda,” he said.

Politics and exchanges are part of life in Harrisburg, but Corbett “has refused to do the things governors do to get things accomplished,” Saylor said.

“Democratic or Republican governor, horse trading gets done,” he said. “It just comes down to, ‘Does this governor know how to horse trade?'”

Refusing to sign the budget was not a “well-thought-out tactic,” Saylor said.”He needs to bring in the leaders and do what we tell him, not go out on his own and create a strategy that does not work,” Saylor said.

But Tom Corbett doesn’t have a bully pulpit to use.  What House leaders want from Tom Corbett is for Tom Corbett to be a politician, but Governor Corbett is going down the maverick road because the governor’s legislative record shows that he’s a shitty politician.

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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