McNickle: A nose-holder re-election for Corbett?
By Colin McNickle
Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The good news for Gov. Tom Corbett as he officially bows his re-election campaign this week is that because so many Democrats are running (at last count it was 735; ahem), the eventual nominee will be battered, bruised and quite possibly broke for the general election campaign.
The bad news for Mr. Corbett, the Republican of Shaler, is that Democrats might just be the least of his worries as he begins the yearlong slog to win a second term.
Oh, indeed, there are some polls indicating Corbett should be a one-term Tom and not even bother embarrassing himself by running again. The Franklin & Marshall College poll, released Friday, suggests a plurality of Republicans (44-42 percent with 14 percent undecided) think the governor, a former federal and state prosecutor, should hang it up.
But the numbers, under prosecutory scrutiny, simply aren't credible. It's a quite small sample (231) of registered voters (versus the more accurate cohort of likely voters) with a very high margin of error (6.4 percentage points). More astute political analysts throw out such results.
Still, things are far from hunky-dory for Corbett among his base. The chatter on the street can be incredibly unflattering. And that's among folks who backed Corbett with not only their votes but their wallets.
There's a “tone-deafness” about him, one stalwart Republican keeps telling me. He was elected to effect fundamental change but the result pretty much has been “a mish-mash of mush,” he says.
Another wag regularly engaged goes even further: “Is Pennsylvania doomed to suffer from wimpy Republican governors?”
It's a direct reference to Corbett's unwillingness to broach, let alone mount the bully pulpit for, such basic and necessary reforms as right to work, barring teacher and transit strikes and fixing Pennsylvania's absolutely abysmal business tax climate, which by one measure has a business tax rate more than 45 percent higher than the national average and pretty much dead last among the 50 states.
And there's the prevailing wage, which over the last half century has needlessly inflated the price of public projects costing in excess of $25,000 by hundreds of millions of dollars by paying above-market wages (i.e., union-dictated wages).
A proposal now wending its way through the Legislature to “reform” it — by raising the project threshold to $100,000 — amounts to what one organization calls a “fig leaf” — and what Mr. Wag calls a “wimp-out” over “an egregious money waster (that) should be eliminated altogether.”
And while allowing it to be tied to passage of Corbett's proposed 28-cent-per-gallon tax hike on the wholesale price of gasoline and diesel fuel, a surefire economic retarder, might be the convivial road to “compromise” to pols, it's the kind of conniving larceny that conservatives should not abide.
All that said, and given that Democrats are such a fractured mess, Corbett might just win re-election, paced by a base holding its nose with one hand and pressing the touchscreen with the other, hoping the tiger changes its stripes but, in its heart, resigned to continued disappointment.
Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- Air force chief: Malaysia jet may have turned back
- SUV flips onto its side on Parkway East
- Steelers defense doesn’t make the grade in 2013 review