GOP Operatives Quietly Celebrate Corbett Shakeup

Republican political operatives are celebrating the apparent shakeup among Gov. Tom Corbett’s top staff.

“Friends and family time is over,” said one GOP operative. “It’s time for some professionals who can get the Governor more directly engaged in his own legislative agenda.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that Bill Ward, a long-time Corbett aide, plans to resign from his position as chief of staff. The Inquirer’s report was based on statements made by a high-level administration official who asked to remain anonymous.

Update: It’s official, Ward is out. Corbett will nominate him for a vacancy on the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas, and replace him with his general counsel, Steven Aichele. But as Capitolwire reports, his administration will become effective only if Corbett allows it. Staff has limited ability to independently affect change.

The news comes amid growing calls by Republicans in the state for Corbett to make changes in his staff. In the report from the Inquirer, four anonymous sources said Corbett plans to meet with high-level Republican officials in order to discuss potential staff adjustments.

According to another report from the Inquirer, Republicans have, according to an anonymous GOP operative, begun fearing that “[Corbett will] be a one-term governor.”

More changes could be forthcoming.

Citing Corbett’s inability to form a working relationship with the Republican-led state legislature, the sources said the Republican officials plan to meet with the governor and encourage him to rearrange top-level aides.

PoliticsPA spoke with nearly a dozen Republican party operatives, officials and consultants, each of whom asked to remain anonymous in order to maintain ties with the Governor. Most of them celebrated.

“The lack of leadership from the Governor’s office has been an ongoing problem for the party,” one operative said. “I think we’re all hopeful that new leadership leads to success for the Governor and the party.”

Some of Corbett’s aides have been retained from his days as Pennsylvania Attorney General, a role that is less politically challenging than Governor.

Others are waiting to count their chickens to see which changes the Governor makes and who he brings on.

Said another Republican, “The governor gets it, and he’s delivering on campaign promises. He’s just not selling it. A cloak and dagger operation works for the CIA. Within an administration, it’s a slow-growth cancer.”

13 Responses

  1. “The governor gets it, and he’s delivering on campaign promises. He’s just not selling it. A cloak and dagger operation works for the CIA. Within an administration, it’s a slow-growth cancer.”

    I am not sure he does, what about cutting the state fleet of cars by 15%? Governor Corbett needs cut overhead and not just defer spending on capital projects. We need a leader in the Governors office and somebody that sits at his desk waiting to sign bills that never arrive!

  2. Really,

    I am not a wing-nut or a tea partier, but I would love to see the liquor stores privatized and would love to see prevailing wage limited, have the thresholds increased greatly or even just eliminate the whole pw system. The fact is, there are certain things government shouldn’t be in (selling wine and spirits) and things that are artificially inflating costs for my local government and school district (prev wage.) To me, those are common sense — regardless of party affiliation or where you fall on the political spectrum. Finally, I don’t recall the Gov pushing these things all that hard — that was legislators.

  3. Cut Tom some slack….he gets the budget passed on time, which is the hardest job any governor has. You wing nuts are never happy…you want to index prevailing wage to inflation, and privatize the liquor stores, and enact vouchers….go sell crazy somewhere else you teabagging morons. Ok this is not the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party it is the Republican Party!!!

  4. Why is anyone surprised that Corbett is the simplistic empty suit that we all knew him to be from a decade ago? That it precisely what Asher and Company wanted…and they got it. Much to their dismay. Corbett is exactly as advertised. Don’t blame him. Blame the GOP that gave him to us for AG in 04 and Gov. in 10.

  5. @Kathleen – you realize than in his entire career, Sam Rohrer had 0 bills passed…right? Why on Earth would the Governor want to bring in someone with even less clout in the legislature?

  6. Tom Corbett would do well to bring on the man who should have been Governor in the first place; i.e., Sam Rohrer. With strong leadership and a Republican House/Senate so much more could be accomplished than that which is documented to date.

  7. Everybody needs to tighten there belts! We can no longer spend more than we take in, the game is over. We are now paying for the 8 years of the Rendell / Republican Senate out of control spending. Dan, it may seem like Corbett is being harder on Philadelphia, thats because they got everything for 8 years while the rest of the state suffered!

  8. Governor Corbett would score huge points if he would just go forward with the recommendations from his Transportation Commission. This would create jobs and take care of dangerous infrastructure issues, which would benefit not just PA residents, but also business owners who use our infrastructure. Even on this, he has failed to lead. He was at his best in the aftermath of the flood last year and then disappeared again.

  9. While the Governor has failed to lead in many areas, the Republican Controlled General Assembly have failed, too. Act 130 of 2011 increased debt by $1.6 billion and SB 1480 is on way to add $1.675 billion.

    Where was the Senator from Penn State, Jake Corman, on the Sandusky matter? Did he know nothing? The Corman dynasty has represented Penn State since 1988 and Sen. Jake Corman has voted over $ 2 billion since 2003 to this billion dollar big business tax exempt “nonprofit” corporation and he knows nothing?

  10. Um, he’s delivering on his campaign promises? Really? Like the one to make sure government is responsible for people with disabilities? And he’s doing this by turning away public input from the very people his 20% across the board cuts harm? So was destroying lives, education, the environment, harming children, seniors, people with disabilities, polluting our state and ruining parks, recreation, farming and transportation campaign promises? All taxpayers (well, maybe not the wealthy that get the loopholes) will pay more because these shorted sighted cuts will create greater problems that will cost far more to fix. This Governor seems bent on destroying our state. He only cares about his wealthy corporate funders, and his promises to them, he is not concerned about the people or the state. Shame on him!

  11. Corbett could care less about Philadelphia. Of course, the rest of the House and Senate Leaders feel the same way.

    Hey Philadelphia Delegation: Time to get someone in the mix. Everyone in the top ranks is from Pittsburgh! How could you even let that happen?

    At least take Dermody out. That should be easy, since the entire Democratic Caucus despises his top staffers and are just waiting for a chance to revolt against them.

    Never underestimate the power of a VERY unhappy staff.

  12. …Gov. Corbett was in Philly last week…just because he doesn’t give weekly Eagles analysis doesn’t mean he doesn’t spend time in the city.

  13. Who? Oh, Corbett is our Governor. Does he know where Philadelphia is? It is a great part of the commonwealth. He should visit sometime.

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