Mar 11, 2010

Tom Corbett, A Contradiction In Terms

GOP gubernatorial front-runner Tom Corbett seems to be getting a little too comfortable as things begin to heat up on the campaign trail this election year. Corbett's gubernatorial campaign has brilliantly masked Corbett's Harrisburg insider status by depicting him as a good government crusader/reformer. Despite the fact that Corbett has been a major political force in Pennsylvania politics since the start of the Ridge administration.

In 1994 Corbet was asked to provide criminal law and policy expertise to the gubernatorial campaign of then-Congressman Tom Ridge. Once Ridge was elected Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett was asked to fill several key roles in service to the Commonwealth which eventually led to his appointment as Attorney General.

Despite his campaign finance connections to state GOP power players like Governor Ridge, former President Pro Temp Bob Jubelirer and former House Speaker John Perzel, Corbett himself has managed to distance himself from all the political corruption scandals that have plagued many state lawmakers by indicting 12 democratic members of the state legislature and two of their aids who received illegally $4 million in bonuses for campaign work. Despite the pending indictments Corbett still accepted campaign contributions from the very same people he he was indicting. Former Speaker of the House John Perzel even held a campaign fundraiser that Corbett attended weeks before Perzel was indicted.

Perhaps the most laughable pillar of Corbett's my hands are squeaky clean gubernatorial campaign is how he has manage to distance himself from the illegal 2005 pay raise scandal. Corbett has even gotten away with criticizing his primary opponent state Representative Sam Rohrer for voting for both the 2005 pay raise and the 2001 pension legislation. At a recent gubernatorial forum in Philadelphia he blasted his republican primary opponent Sam Rohrer for his support for the pension increase.
From the Philadelphia Daily News: "The only political shot of the night came from Corbett, when asked about the state's burgeoning public-pension crisis. He noted that some of the participants in the forum had voted to raise state pension benefits - a veiled reference to Rohrer."
His criticism of Rohrer's legislative voting record on the pension issue and the pay raise issue is laughable because Corbett himself benefited from both of Rohrer's votes. Corbett gladly accepted the pay raise that Governor Rendell negotiated for executive offices in 2005 knowing full well the pay raise was illegal and that it violated the state's constitution.

At the time the pay raise was passed I didn't hear of any outrage radiating from the Attorney General's office. I don't remember Tom Corbet, the state's chief law enforcement officer, holding press conferences saying hey wait a minute we need to investigate the legality of these unvouchered expenses. We never seen any grand jury indictments from the Attorney General's Office resulting from the overwhelming evidence of collusion between the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government.

Corbett is a candidate that seems to love having his cake and eating it too. At a recent state budget hearing Corbett warned state lawmakers of potential layoffs if the Attorney General's office budget wasn't increased despite his gubernatorial campaign calling for dramatic cuts in state spending.

But these contradictions are only the tip of the iceberg for Tricky Tom Corbett. I just cannot allow myself to support a candidate where the more you learn about him the more confused you become.


  1. Randy this is a fantastic article. Thanks for posting on the SWPA for Sam FB page.

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  3. Oh Randy, on a second read I have to say that you said it so well. When Corbett attacks a good man like Sam, there's much I feel tempted to say, but as I am directly representing the campaign, I have agreed, per Sam's wishes, to focus on the people, the message and the mission rather than the opponent. Sam is passionately focused on the issues, and on working with the people to turn Pennsylvania around, and I respect that from the bottom of my heart. So for now, I live vicariously through you. Great job.

  4. Actually TOM CORBETT was quoted recently stating that HE the Attorney General "would have voted against the Pay Raise" as "He knew it was Unconstitutional"

    However, as reported, CORBETT actually accepted $30,000 in Unvouchered Expenses..apparently Forgetting it was illegal. He should have pulled out that little copy of the PA law he carries and claims to have read. Then again maybe he was in space cadet mode and will be voting for medical marijuana.

    It seems that Tom Corbett finds telling the truth to Pennsylvanians to be INCONVENIENT when he is running for the top office in the state. Considering the fact he has claimed he will have an "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" administration you have to wonder how he can do that when he is already throwing up SMOKESCREENS

    SAM ROHRER on the other hand has been upfront with voters and took them through his decision process on the bill both before and after the bait-and-switch move in that midnight rewrite by party leadership. SAM REFUSED ANY COMPENSATION since doing so would have violated the law.

    Jack Wagner, was a PA Senator at the time...and ALSO voted for the pay raise. Did he take the increase? Guess we will find out!

  5. Couldn't have said it better myself Randy

  6. Ed Geary11:07 AM

    Mike, that is just flat out wrong. Only legislators get those "unvouchered expenses" (i.e. collecting the raise instantly).

    The payraise (that yes, Sam voted for) didn't kick in for row offices until the beginning of their next elected term.

  7. your article fails to mention that Corbett charged republicans as well. What he is doing takes guts. No other AG had the courage to take on the legislature the way that Corbett has. Voters are thirsty for this type of leadership. Sam R seems like a great guy. He simply does not have the appeal or name recognition across the state to win. At this point, all his campaign can accomplish is take votes away from Corbett and hand them to the Democrats.

  8. This is ironic. I think Rohrer is a real contradiction in terms when he calls himself an authentic conservative after he voted himself a pay raise and voted for the pension disaster.

  9. rekane- you sound like a party hack. voting for Sam in the primary will not hand votes to the Dems. You are confused and should seek professional counseling.