Corbett Legacy Is GOP Do Not Lesson

Corbett Legacy Is GOP Do Not Lesson
By Chris Freind

The GOP tidal wave was massive, as Republicans won from coast-to-coast. Preeminent among them was a man who, after achieving a stunning 10-point victory in America’s sixth-largest state, instantly became a leading contender for vice president — and perhaps one day even something higher.

It was 2010, and Tom Corbett had just become governor of the critically important swing state of Pennsylvania. With near-record Republican majorities in the Legislature, he had it all, poised to usher in a new era of prosperity and help the Keystone State regain its former glory.

Four short years later, Corbett was absolutely humiliated by being the only Republican incumbent in the country to fall, and the first governor in modern Pennsylvania history to lose re-election. Even more unfathomable, he lost in the biggest GOP landslide since Herbert Hoover was president.

Now, two words say it all: “Tom who?”

Let’s put the results in perspective:

Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate by flipping nine seats (Louisiana’s runoff election is a done deal), and possibly, though not likely, 10, as Virginia’s race is extremely close. Congressional Republicans added to their majority, controlling more seats than at any time since 1932.

In Pennsylvania, senate Republicans bolstered their ranks by winning three seats, now controlling 60 percent of that chamber. And the House GOP picked up eight seats, standing at a whopping 119 members (102 is a majority).

Most embarrassing for Corbett is that every other incumbent governor won. The GOP was even victorious in the deep “blue” Democratic strongholds of Massachusetts, Maryland, and President Obama’s home state of Illinois.

But there is a silver lining. Corbett’s defeat — one entirely of his own making — can serve as a blueprint for what not to do. And make no mistake. He didn’t lose because he was too far right, as the left propagates (the overwhelming GOP gains prove that). Nor was it the (incorrect) perception that he cut public education spending. Such simplifications would be too easy. The loss was an across-the-board failure by a governor way out of his league, one who should never have run in the first place, and certainly shouldn’t have been renominated by his out-of-touch party hierarchy.

Here’s a post-mortem looking at the real reasons for Tom Corbett’s defeat. Regardless of party affiliation, failure to learn from these mistakes will result in history repeating itself.


1. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association (RGA), said it best discussing the election: “We had great candidates … governors who get things done win votes. Rick Scott in Florida, Paul LePage in Maine, Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Rick Snyder in Michigan.”

Noticeable absent was Corbett, because, using Christie’s rationale, Corbett was A. a terrible candidate and B. he didn’t “get things done.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Sidenote: An issue that could dog Christie is why, as RGA chairman, he gave $6 million in donor money to a Corbett campaign that was beyond hopeless — especially when that money may well have been enough to propel Republican candidates to victory in Connecticut (15,000 flipped votes would have changed the outcome) and Rhode Island (6,000 votes). Fiscal responsibility isn’t limited to government, and throwing that amount of good money after bad was seriously irresponsible.

2. Corbett seems to truly believe he fought gallantly, sacrificing himself by doing the right things for Pennsylvania. He said, “I am proud of what we did,” and complained that he was hurt by taking on issues “no one else would touch.”

Sorry, but that’s bull. He didn’t “do” anything. Getting blown out doesn’t earn Tom Corbett the right to conveniently write his own flowery epitaph.

Here’s the truth behind Corbett’s historic defeat:

He didn’t govern as a conservative, nor moderate. He didn’t govern at all.

He failed miserably at his two big initiatives: pension reform and liquor privatization. Despite the vast majority of Pennsylvanians favoring both, he continuously alienated Republican legislative leaders and got nothing.

His communication and oratory skills, comparatively, made John McCain look like Daniel Webster.

He disingenuously trumpeted his “achievement” of balancing the budget all four years. Hello? The budget gets balanced every year, no matter who’s in power, because doing so is a constitutional requirement. People saw right through that gimmick.

He spent four weeks on the campaign trail trying to undo four years of silence on the education issue. Way too little, too late, as he was forever branded an enemy of public education. Making matters worse, he failed to enact any education reforms.

His claim of not raising taxes is patently false. Among his several tax increases, the gasoline tax he strongly championed will, when fully phased in, give Pennsylvanians the highest fuel prices in the nation — by far. This job-killing tax flies in the face of his campaign rhetoric claiming to have helped “free enterprise” thrive.

And he made no effort to lower some of the nation’s highest corporate taxes, keeping Pennsylvania’s business climate near the bottom of the barrel.

He talked about being fiscally responsible, yet gave sweetheart deals to the state’s public sector unions, and used taxpayer money to build ships in Philadelphia that had no buyers, and a new stadium for the Yankees’ AAA baseball team. And his awarding of lucrative state contracts to big-dollar campaign contributors rivaled that of former Gov. Ed Rendell.

He resembled Don Quixote for whimsical pursuits of irrelevant issues, from attempting to privatize the lottery and outsource its management to a foreign firm (why?) to frivolously suing the NCAA for its sanctions against Penn State — which Corbett himself had approved.

He abandoned his signature issues of Voter ID and banning gay marriage, infuriating his base while not gaining himself a single “moderate” vote.

He strong-armed the Republican State Committee to endorse a candidate for U.S. Senate who had supported Barack Obama and former Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, angering the GOP rank-and-file.

Above all, he could not shake the biggest albatross around his neck: The wide perception that his handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation was politically motivated. Thousands of former supporters could no longer back a man whom they felt prolonged a child predator’s time on the streets. And Corbett’s steadfast refusal to answer reasonable questions on that issue incensed many voters that much more.

If you didn’t know better, listening to Tom Corbett’s concession speech gave the impression that Pennsylvania’s problems were unique — that no other states faced the same types of education, transportation and fiscal issues. But as we know, they all do. So how could Republican governors in those states “get things done,” but Tom Corbett struck out on all counts?

Because he lacked the attributes that make for an effective Governor: competence, transparency, effective communication, being scandal-free, and, above all, trustworthiness.

Got that, governor-elect Wolf? Your 15 minutes have just begun. Good luck.


Corbett Legacy Is GOP Do Not Lesson

Pennsylvania Monitors Ebola For 100

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is monitoring about 100 people for signs of Ebola, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Most are those who recently spent time in Ebola-stricken West African nations albeit three are Pennsylvania residents who shared  an Oct. 13 flight from Cleveland to Dallas with a nurse who later tested positive for the virus.

None have tested positive for Ebola and that their risk of getting it is very low, according to Department of Health spokewoman Spokeswoman Aimee Tysarczyk.

She said the department is in touch with each person daily.

So kudos for Gov. Tom Corbett for staying on top of the matter.

Hat tip Bob Guzzardi

Not that Bob is going to vote for Corbett.

Pennsylvania Monitors Ebola For 100


Pennsylvania Monitors Ebola For 100

Corbett Third Debate Vs Wolf Tonight

Regina Scheerer reminds us that the third and final debate between Gov. Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf will be 7  tonight, Oct. 8,  on C-SPAN or on your computer at

We are obviously not big fans of Corbett  but he does trump a guy in bed with Pennsylvania’s anti-child educational establishment and whose  political backer is a California billionaire who wants to shut down Pennsylvania’s refineries, mines and stop the extraction of its natural gas.

You don’t think the PSEA is anti-child? Why does it exalt those who harm children for money? You don’t think a school strike harms children? You don’t think it’s about getting more money?

Corbett Third Debate Vs Wolf

Corbett Third Debate Vs Wolf

Corbett Says Common Core Will End

Embattled Gov. Tom Corbett released a statement yesterday, Sept. 8, in which he called for public review of the Common Core plan being implemented in Pennsylvania.

“Though Common Core began as a state-led initiative to ensure our public schools met the educational standards needed in the 21st century economy, the process has been overly influenced by the federal government,” Corbett said.  “Common Core has become nothing more than a top-down takeover of the education system.  It is nothing more than Obamacare for education.”

The release says this is the “final phase in his nearly three year effort to permanently roll back” the plan, which it says was implemented by Ed Rendell.


We say better late than never.

We say you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind’s blowing.

And we guess we won’t feel bad about voting for him now.

In other election news, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has edited out of his ads an endorsement by Washington County (Pa) attorney and former Common Please Court judicial candidate Alan Benyak after it was revealed he appeared as “Mr. Cannibal” in a movie called “Breeding Farm” which has been described as a “twisted porn” film.

There are descriptions of the movie available and of what Benyak does, but we think we will leave them out.

Those crazy Democrats. The entire party should be just put to sleep out of mercy. Mercy for the nation, that is.


Corbett Says Common Core Will End

Corbett Says Common Core Will End

California Billionaire Backs Wolf

California Billionaire Backs Wolf  –Maybe I’ll be voting for Tom Corbett after all.

Tom Wolf, the opponent of Pennsylvania’s embattled incumbent governor, is getting a  $50 million gift from Tom Steyer, an uber-liberal  billionaire from California who is fanatically opposed to the extraction of gas from Marcellus Shale.

Steyer is also promising to cough up another $50 million for Wolf via his NextGen Climate Action PAC.

If Wolf’s friends are people like this 1-percenter he’s not fit to be governor.

California Billionaire Backs Wolf

California Billionaire Backs Wolf


Corbett Wins LOL

CorbettCott Final Insult

Corbett Wins LOL

Incumbent Gov. Tom Corbet in yesterday’s Republican primary handily beat a guy who was not officially on the ballot and had rejected fundraising.

Where retiree Bob Guzzardi’s name appeared on the ballot due to the lateness of the Supreme Court decision ruling him ineligible, Guzzardi tallied, unofficially,  well over 10 percent of the vote getting  14.46 percent (3,501 votes) in Allegheny County and 17.45 percent  (4,051 votes) in York County.

York County also had 1,410 actual write-ins while Allegheny had 842. Many if not most likely went to Guzzardi.

Where Guzzardi’s name did not appear on the ballot — which included the ring suburbs of Philadelphia — there were, unofficially, 1,199 write-ins in Chester County or 6.91 percent;  and 218 in Delaware County (1 percent).

Montgomery County and Bucks County did not release write-in tallies although the “name removed from ballot” button was hit 38 times in Montco and 135 times in Bucks. The under vote for Corbett in Montco was 6,054.

Corbett got 368,995 votes statewide. His running mate, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got 395,845.

We should note that Democrat winner Thomas Wolf got 484,495 votes in the D’s highly contested primary.

Guzzardi deserves only praise. He ran on principle and to give the many Republicans displeased with Tom Corbett  a choice. That the governor feared his candidacy is obvious in the steps he took to disqualify him.

Will the Guzzardi people, many of whom are activists, get behind Corbett this November?

If Corbett changes his position and stops the Common-Core based Pa Core Standards, yes, at least for this one.

If he doesn’t, this vote goes to Libertarian Ken Krawchuk.

A word of advice, Governor, get Peg Luksik’s endorsement.


CorbettCott vs GasCott

Don Adams of the always brilliant Independence Hall Tea Party Association proposed a “GasCott” during a recent appearance on WHPT’s Dom Giordano show.

He’s encouraging Pennsylvanians to fill their tanks in New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware in response to the gas tax hike imposed last November by our Republican-led state government that will give our state the highest gas tax in the nation by 2018.

Don, by the time the full tax takes effect encouragement will not be needed to fill up in other states.

To  make our anger known in the short-term, we propose a CorbettCott. Leave Gov. Tom Corbett’s name unchecked during the May 20 primary election while voting for the down-ticket.  If enough Republicans do this, maybe a cleansing gale could be started to blow away the corrupt (insert an appropriate noun) who run the state party.

CorbettCott Final Insult

CorbettCott, The Final Insult

Guzzardi Announcing Write-in Campaign

Guzzardi Announcing Write-in CampaignGuzzardi Announcing Write-in Campaign

Bob Guzzardi will be appearing on The Robert Mangino Show on KDKA in Pittsburgh, 8 tonight,  May 2, where he is expected to announce a write-in campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The state Supreme Court, yesterday, overturned a Commonwealth Court decision and threw Guzzardi off the ballot on a rather bizarre technicality.

Many counties are distributing absentee ballots with Guzzardi’s name due as the delay in the Supreme Court’s decision forced them to go to press.

Votes for Guzzardi on those ballots will be counted as write-in votes.

The show’s call-in number is 866-391-1020. It can be listed to live at this link.

Guzzardi Announcing Write-in Campaign

Guzzardi Decision Revealed Fear

Guzzardi Decision Revealed FearGuzzardi Decision Revealed Fear

Yesterday’s (May 1)  Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision throwing retiree Bob Guzzardi off the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot was 5-2 with Max Baer and Debra McCloskey Todd dissenting.

The ruling overturned an April 15 decision by Commonwealth Court Judge  Mary Hannah Leavitt,

The Supreme Court’s rationale was that Guzzardi  did not timely file a Statement of Financial Interests with the State Ethics Commission.

It was the type of petty reasoning that ended for most of us with grade-school playground games, and indicated that Guzzardi’s no-money campaign — he was purposely refusing all donations — actually might have beat the incumbent Tom Corbett.

Guzzardi had initially filed the statement with the Department of State.

Judge Leavitt had  noted that the procedure changed this year;  the directions for submission were confusing; and Guzzardi’s campaign was given incorrect information by “a Department of State employee with apparent authority” that he only needed to file with that department rather than submit a separate filing to the Ethics Commission.

She  noted the Department of State issued a receipt to Guzzardi that it shouldn’t have as he was filing with them the original rather than the required copy.

She noted that Guzzardi promptly corrected the omission upon learning of the problem.

The Supreme Court, solidly in the pocket of the state’s power brokers, found none of these things mattered. It was better that thousands of Pennsylvanians be disenfranchised over a laughable technicality than the status quo of the money flow be threatened.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, a house organ of the establishment, reported Guzzardi as raising less than $5,000. Great journalism. The phrasing should be that he spent less than $5,000. The campaign was entirely self-funded. As noted, he was not raising money. He was refusing donations.

Corbett’s faction spent close to six figures in their fight to keep Guzzardi off the ballot.

The two weeks the Court took in making the decision forced many counties to issue absentee ballots including Guzzardi’s name. Votes cast for Guzzardi on those ballots will be counted as write-in votes for him.

For those wishing to write in Bob’s name  use Robert Guzzardi.

You know a lot of Republicans are going to pointedly not hit Corbett’s button at the polls and Pennsylvanians are sure learning how to use that write-in option. It would be cosmic humor of the highest magnitude if Guzzardi ends up beating him.




Supremes Kill Guzzardi Campaign

Supremes Kill Guzzardi CampaignSupremes Kill Guzzardi Campaign


The insurgent primary challenged that terrified Pennsylvania’s feckless incumbent governor is over.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has thrown Bob Guzzardi off the ballot for May 20, Guzzardi just announced .

The Pennsylvania Republican leadership challenged the 68-year-old retired businessman’s petitions scant minutes before the deadline forcing the self-funded campaign to hire a lawyer to show that those who signed had been eligible to do so and to defend a bizarre claim that the phrase “semi-retired businessman and lawyer” as his job description was somehow fraudulent as he was no longer practicing law.

Oh, and that he violated a technicality as to which paper-please bureaucracy he was supposed to file his stuff.

His lawyer, Gretchen Sterns, did a fantastic job at the hearing before Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt who found rather conclusively in Guzzardi’s favor on April 15.

But apparently the fix was in. An appeal was filed and the decision desired by the party powers came though.

Expect a Democrat to be in the Governor’s Mansion next January. Power-hungry fools whose arrogant stupidity leads to shooting fleas with cannons deserve to lose.

What did they have to fear from a retiree who was pointedly refusing campaign donations?

By the way, did you see where the same bunch is trying to take out man-of-the-people Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe?