A look at Metcalfe’s L-G run

Nine Republican candidates will be on the ballot for lieutenant governor this spring – including conservative firebrand Daryl Metcalfe.

The Butler County state Representative, says he doesn’t view the L-G’s position as a partnership with the governor. He’s vowing to take either Tom Corbett or Sam Rohrer out, if they take office and raise taxes. “If the governor goes the wrong direction – whoever it is – I will take that governor on in the next primary and take him out of the political office in which the people had placed him. In which he would have violated their trust if he does do those things such as increasing spending, increasing taxes or violating our freedoms.”

The party’s endorsed candidate, Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, disagrees with that approach to the job, saying, “I’m not interested in using the lieutenant governor’s position as a weapon.”

So can Metcalfe win? He’s drawn heaps of attention — sometimes from overseas — for controversial comments about gays, lesbians, Muslims, veterans who support cap-and-trade legislation, and several other topics. He argues he’s also built up solid support from the state’s grassroots conservatives by focusing on issues they care about, “from Second Amendment coalitions, to those who are strong supporters of family values – the marriage between a man and a woman, protecting life. And the fiscal issues I’ve been working on. To try and reduce spending and reduce taxes. I’ve got a lot of folks across the state that support the work I’m doing to try and stop the excessive spending.” In a 9-way race, that conservative support could lead to victory.

Political scientist Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College still gives the advantage to Cawley, saying the party endorsement carries weight in a race like the lieutenant governor primary, where voters aren’t paying close attention to the candidates.

You have to imagine Team Corbett isn’t thrilled about the possibility of sharing a ticket with Metcalfe, though — Democrats would certainly churn out mailer after mailer reprinting his more controversial comments and positions. The Tribune-Review’s Brad Bumsted takes a look at that scenario in his weekend column.

Corbett puts out reform package — other gov candidates to appear at afternoon forum

Attorney General Tom Corbett’s campaign has unveiled its reform package. The press release is below.

Nothing too new here — Corbett says he’ll eliminate WAMs and per diems, reduce the state’s vehicle fleet and move toward a tw0-year budget process, among other measures. These policies have been part of the GOP front-runner’s stump speech for awhile now. He’s promised to introduce legislation carrying out the measures during his first week on the job.

In other gubernatorial news, the United Way is hosting a candidates forum this afternoon at the Harrisburg Hilton. The focus will be on the non-profit agencies who were hurt by last year’s 101-day budget impasse. (Here’s a story I did for NPR on that issue last summer.) Every candidate but Corbett is expected to attend. The forum starts at 1:30.

Pittsburgh – Speaking before a crowd of Pittsburgh-area business leaders, Attorney General Tom Corbett today unveiled the first of his plans to turn back on the power of Pennsylvania’s economy with the release of his government reform policy platform that focuses on changing the way things are done in Harrisburg. “To create real economic growth in Pennsylvania and put hard-working Pennsylvanians back to work, we must start from the foundation up and fix the government that guides it,” stated Tom Corbett. “I will provide an open, transparent, accountable and trustworthy government that finally puts the taxpayers of this great state first.”

Tom Corbett announced that he will spend his first week as Governor working with members of the General Assembly to introduce his plan to reform state government. “We will immediately begin the process of reforming Harrisburg and putting the people back in the people’s government,” said Corbett.

The highlights of Tom Corbett’s reform plan include:

  • 100% transparency in state government so taxpayers know how their money is spent
  • Reducing the size and cost of state government with a 10% reduction in administrative operations
  • Eliminating WAMS and discretionary funds
  • Eliminating state government paid per diems
  • Reducing the state automotive fleet to help save taxpayers $72 million per year
  • Moving to a biennial budget
  • Zero based/performance-based budgeting to make sure state agencies meet their performance goals to determine their funding
  • Capping the General Assembly “Leadership Funds”
  • Sunset and audit of state boards and commissions
  • Consolidating state services to make state government more efficient
  • Ensuring that state legislators help pay for their own healthcare plans
  • Banning political contributions and gifts during the procurement process

Tom Corbett emphasized that as we work to build trust and accountability in state government, Pennsylvania will be better positioned to grow good, family-sustaining jobs and reduce the tax burden on Pennsylvanians. With Pennsylvania facing near double-digit unemployment, Corbett says we have to work to get our business climate in order. Pennsylvania has an enormous amount of resources and Corbett says it is time we turn them into an innovative economy that makes Pennsylvania globally competitive: “As governor, I will work with you to harness our energy potential, grow jobs and economic development opportunities, build a transportation infrastructure to support our economy and better prepare our children for tomorrow’s jobs.”

“I am running for Governor because it is the time for leadership in Harrisburg, leadership that doesn’t just talk to Pennsylvanians, but listens and does the right thing,” declared Corbett. “Leadership that makes decisions in Harrisburg based on what’s in the best interest of Pennsylvanians. And that is how I plan to govern.”

To view Tom Corbett’s government reform plan in its entirety, visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.

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