Early Returns: 70% of Privatization Panel are Corbett Donors

Laura Olson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the story about Governor Tom Corbett’s appointees to the panel charged with charting a course toward privatizing various state services.

A glance at state campaign finance records shows that the majority of Gov. Corbett’s new privatization panel contributed to his campaign coffers during the last election cycle.

While many of the donors forked over smaller $500 or $1,000 checks, the more interesting statistic is that the names of all but seven of the 24 task-force members appear on Corbett’s fundraising reports. (That’s in a report search for their names only, not including family members or co-workers.)

Those 17 donors appear to have donated at least $234,750 directly in their names, with the largest portion of that – about $103,500 – from Philadelphia GOP mega-donor Bob Asher. Lewisburg businessman John D. Moran Jr., who heads a warehousing and logistics company, is listed as contributing $45,750 and another $38,000 in donated transportation services.

And the PA Dems wasted nary a moment blasting the bad optics of the choices:

“Tom Corbett created another vehicle to reward his donors and corporate special interests,” said Mark Nicastre, a spokesman with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in a statement yesterday. “Tom Corbett’s privatization task force is stacked with donors and special interests. The most likely result is a path to more profits for Tom Corbett’s donors, but worse services for Pennsylvanians.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article indicated that the panel would focus on wine and spirits privatization. That is not correct. The panel will look at ways to privatize a variety of state services.

7 Responses

  1. Keep the Wine and Spirits stores.
    If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Never sell an asset. What happens went Corbet is out of office and we are stuck with his bad choices for the sake of his friends?

  2. This is the last republican ,wealthy,corporate grab of America.Our public created and maintained services(postal,as well as our states services).Once these are raped it will be a new day of lower standards of living for most.However a new source of money for a few.Corbetts not going to get re elected,but he is going to do the most permanent damage before then,and then there after,he will be coddled by the corporate nepotism that he’s been compromised by his oath as an elected official.

  3. The Pennsylvania Lottery is always re-designing the business. We don’t consider ourselves as state government but a business and we run it as a business. And the fact is that there has been remarkably innovation in our Product Delivery, Marketing, Retail Service and basic operating model in this sector in the past 5 years. State-run lotteries are generally considered to be very successful enterprises and we make significant contributions to state funds with the largest no-tax revenue source. And as long as the money keeps on coming in, there seems little reason to question our performance.

    The Pennsylvania Lottery is the largest contributor and only state Lottery that designates all of its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Thanks to loyal Pennsylvanian players, the Pennsylvania Lottery has been able to contribute more than $22.6 billion to programs making significant contributions to state funds. If Pennsylvania Lottery is able to free up the constraints which could dramatically improve Lottery performance as passing Keno with legislators it would be another sector that we can increase revenue and other venues included partnering with Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in providing Lottery self-service terminal in over 600 of their locations throughout the entire state as our Instant Terminal Vending Machine (ITVM) and Play Central Terminal (PCT).

    Pennsylvania Lottery has many ideas in enhancing revenue, increasing efficiency and improve customer service with the help and knowledge of over 230 employees we have succeed for over four decades and continue to thrive with all the obstacles that had been put on this bumpy road but surely the numbers don’t lie. Why fix something that’s not broken? On December 31st, 2012 about 160 state employees will find out if they will lose their job including their family members will suffer the consequences of Pennsylvania Lottery being privatized because of the voice of one man. It would be logical to privatize if the numbers where to be poor and not meeting the goals being faced.

    While others fill their pockets others will have to search for a new job. I’m not worry but it’s a shame that those that have put over 15 – 35 years with the state will have to retire or look for a new job. Will Pennsylvanians trust privatized company to run their state funds? These are the questions as a citizen of Pennsylvania should be asking themselves before we turn our funds to a non-USA company.

  4. Ever since the unions got rid of the Company store in the old mining towns, the corporations have been trying to re-establish entrenched monopolies over basic municipal services. Privatization encourages the abuse of democracy by uncontrolled greed. Since Corporations are people too, ala, the Citizens United Case, it will be Corps Gone Wild! Beware People, You can remove your elected officials in 4 years, but the company to which you giveaway disadvantage leases or to whom you giveaway monopolies on your services, parking, T-pkes or bridges . . . never goes away. Eternity is an awful long time for a Spanish Company to run the PA Turnpike.

  5. Isn’t Bob Asher a convicted felon? I’m surprised to see someone who’s served time in a federal prison for racketeering named to an important commission like this. Can someone explain why he, instead of any of 10 million other Pennsylvanians, was appointed?

  6. The appointment of Joe Watkins is interesting. Just last week, Politics Pa does a piece with Watkins as a potential candidate for Auditor General. Now Corbett puts him on a high profile task force looking to streamline and make more efficient, state government. Question is, was that the Governors way of tacitly endorsing Watkins for Aud. General? Just an observation.

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