Scott Wagner contributed more than $40,000 to put Tom Corbett into the Governor’s mansion, but the businessman and Republican super donor isn’t pleased with the pace of progress. In an op-ed Friday, Wagner says, “Tom Corbett is not a leader. Pennsylvania has a weak CEO in Tom Corbett.”
Characterizing Corbett as a career attorney with little executive credentials, Wagner wrote that Pennsylvania has a leadership vacuum in the Governor’s office.
“Tom Corbett is not a leader. Pennsylvania has a weak CEO in Tom Corbett. There is nothing else that explains PA Republicans’ lack of achievements while historic reforms have been achieved by Republicans in other states like New Jersey under Chris Christie, Indiana under Mitch Daniels, Florida under Rick Scott, Louisiana under Bobby Jindal, and Wisconsin under Scott Walker,” he wrote. He named right to work, workers’ compensation reform and school choice among his examples.
Full disclosure: Wagner is an advertiser on PoliticsPA.
Wagner is president of York-based Penn Waste, Inc. He’s given and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans, most notably Sen. Pat Toomey. A staunch conservative, he briefly considered a run for Congress when Rep. Todd Platts retired this year; in 2010 he contributed significantly to Platts’ Republican challenger Mike Smeltzer.
Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley hit back hard against the accusation that the administration was short on accomplishments.
“In the last year and a half, Tom Corbett has closed a $4.2 billion budget deficit, passed two on-time state budgets, saved the unemployment compensation system, passed tort reform, saved the Philadelphia refineries, made strides in securing the first-ever ethane petrochemical plant in the northeastern United States, presided over the first growth in manufacturing jobs in a generation, and overseen an economy with 73,000 new jobs, all without tax increases,” he said.
“Scott Wagner’s inability to see this as progress raises valid questions about his ability to identify leadership, much less lead.”
Corbett has been praised by Republicans for various accomplishments to date. Prominent conservative Grover Norquist even suggested he was a possible candidate for President in 2016 or 2020.
That said, over the past two years there have been murmurs of dissatisfaction from Republican lawmakers and operatives at the administration’s lack of clarity on certain issues.