Hey, Rob, drop the line!
By Brad Bumsted
Published: Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Pssst! Rob McCord: Stop calling the state Treasury the “McCord Treasury.” The state's treasurer, who some believe is near certain to run for governor, referred to the “McCord Treasury” six times in a recent interview (on KQV Radio). But it's not the “McCord Treasury” — it's the taxpayers' treasury.
McCord is a competent treasurer. He's professional and brings business savvy to the office. There has been a marked improvement in how the public is treated. Information and forms are easier to obtain. “Customer friendly” comes to mind.
McCord took office in January 2009. He was re-elected in 2012. Being on the statewide ballot twice is an advantage in the crowded field of Democrats seeking to defeat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
McCord is an Ivy Leaguer — Harvard and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. But he's not snooty.
“I think (McCord) is likely to run,” says G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College.
Other candidates include former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katy McGinty and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz. Many, including Schwartz, think Schwartz is the favorite. Former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf might self-fund his campaign. John Hanger, another former DEP secretary, is working hard to be noticed. There are others, such as Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, Max Myers, a former pastor from Mechanicsburg, and four or five question marks.
One question mark is former two-term Auditor General Jack Wagner. He's a former Pittsburgh City Council president and a state senator — fresh off losing the Democrats' mayoral primary.
Madonna considers McCord and Schwartz as the top tier, along with Wagner, if he jumps in. Wagner, like McCord, has won statewide office twice. McGinty, Wolf and Hanger are a tier below, he says.
While McCord's victories in two statewide races might give him some name recognition, keep in mind that they are extremely low-profile contests.
McCord “put together a strong campaign team — months after he was re-elected,” says Keegan Gibson, managing editor of PoliticsPA. “And he filed a form with the Pa. Department of State to form a committee called ‘McCord for Governor.'
“McCord has acknowledged that he is running in every private conversation McCord has had with party insiders,” Gibson says. “All that's left is a public announcement.”
McCord usually is politically savvy. But referring to the taxpayers' vault as the “McCord Treasury” is not good politics.
Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media (717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
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