HD-161: Gov. Wolf to Campaign for Krueger-Braneky

tom wolfThe trouble with last November’s election is that it seemed to send dueling messages.

On the one hand, Governor Wolf defeated Governor Corbett by ten points in the midst of a GOP tidal wave.

While on the other hand, there was a GOP tidal wave, and it swept several new legislators into office.

Both sides feel they have a mandate, so neither wants to give up ground in the budget fight.

Now, however, the parties have a proxy fight.

On August 4th, the citizens of the 161st legislative district will vote to replace retired State Rep. Joe Hackett.

This Saturday, just three days before votes are cast, Wolf will campaign with Democratic nominee Leanne Kreuger-Braneky.

They will hold an event at the Swarthmore train station at 11:00 a.m.

In November, Hackett defeated Krueger-Braneky 56% to 44% but with an open race (and tea party activist Lisa Esler seeking to siphon votes from GOP nominee Paul Mullen) the Democrats believe that they can win.

Nevertheless, this is a risky proposition for Governor Wolf.

In March, the Democrats lost a special in Philly’s 170th district but he steered clear of that race from the beginning.

Now, however, a win might be a minor victory while a loss could be a major blow. Wolf could reap all the blame and Republicans would cite it as vindication in the budget standoff.

At the very least, the Governor’s involvement shows that his top priority right now is to shake up the playing field. This seems to suggest that he currently doesn’t like his status.

25 Responses

  1. Hey, do we get the Homestead Tax Rebate on property taxes, too? Hell yeah, I’ll take that. For the vast majority of us middle class PA residents, it’s a win.

  2. Maybe everyone who voted for the most liberal governor should be given the choice to pay the higher tax rates Wolfie proposed. With his supporters footing the bill, I’d bet that would make the rest of us happy. Put your money where your mouth is.

  3. Really? Wolf’s budget spends billions more than necessary…thus the new taxes that got ZERO votes from the Democrat representatives.

  4. Stop trying to pin some sort of voodoo tax increase to the Wolf budget. It does nothing of the kind. It attempts to offset the property tax burden through changes in sales and income taxes, the same as Repub plans have done. If you’re happy with the property tax structure as-is, just say so.

  5. The most important budget priority to PA families is their own budget. And Wolf’s plan is to bleed $1,000 to $2,000 more in taxes from each family budget PER YEAR. The reps all voted against those taxes because it was made transparent that Wolf’s proposal was a pipe dream bargaining proposal which sold the voters down the river.

  6. I wouldn’t take much stock in a Krueger Braneky loss. Its a long shot. However Dems in House and Senate felt like Wolf did not campaign with or for them in battleground races last year. Nonetheless they have stuck with even him lock step. This is just Wolf saying “I get it now (I will not get my agenda done with this GOP legislature), Ill be with you in the trenches in 2016.” That is when it will really matter. Braneky will go down as an “L” and all the smart Dem analysts already know it.

  7. The vote against Corbett was personal not because of political views. The double digit decreases from 2010 to 2014 in his vote total in about every Republican central PA county showed that.

  8. Abby-

    You should realize that’s not what happened. The Republicans had their own spending plan that didn’t include Wolf’s budget proposals and wasn’t paid for.
    When the Dems tried to add in school funding as an amendment, the GOP and tacked on all Wolf’s tax plans as an amendment, but without his spending priorities.

    So, of course the Dems voted against it. Wolf’s taxes were for his matching budget/spending priorities. No Dem would go along with those taxes, but the wrong spending outcomes. Duh.

    You can be sure that Wolf didn’t want a single Dem voting for that Franken-bill.

  9. 77 democrats voted against Wolf’s budget. That’s 77 out of 77. Which means exactly ZERO democrats supported their governor. So glad he’s out stumping for more democrats! Doesn’t he yet realize he was just voted in because so many people wanted Corbett out? What qualifications does he have again? Failed businessman? Lots of personal money to play with?
    For a party that criticizes the 1% and wants us to all pay more taxes, they really picked a winner. Thank God it wasn’t McGinty though. She did enough damage in the short time she was in the building-imagine what it would’ve been like if she was there another 3 years.

  10. All those stupid voters who don’t want to pay the Wolf tax and would rather not eat Franks and beans.

    Remind me again how many of the Democrat State Representatives voted for the genius Wolf’s budget and how many voted against. Your analysis is valueless because your assumptions are wrong.

  11. John

    No argument there. I wrote a piece for Keystone Politics last September outlining what Wolf needed to do and the political price he’d pay if he didn’t have enough dems in the legislature.

    He now has to waste the first half of his term dealing with an entrenched GOP. While it’s fitting that he pay the price for his folly, it’s a shame that the state residents have to pay the price as well. But, my sympathy for them is limited because of all the idiots that rightly voted against Corbett and his policies, but then stupidly voted for GOP legislators who supported that same failed agenda.

    I don’t know if the voters are smart enough to learn their lesson (empirical evidence suggests not). But, let’s hope Wolf has learned and will be aggressive in 2016 helping HDCC and SDCC recruit, fund, campaign and coordinate with candidates.

  12. Jon and Chet-

    The anti-union GOP controlled state house doesn’t want Mullen any more than the Democrat (Leanne). They’d much prefer the tea-party write-in candidate.

    This is still a pick-up opportunity for the Dems, and with only a few house races in these special elections (and this being the only one whose outcome isn’t predetermined by overwhelming party registration), it’s not a big deal that Wolf is out for a political rally.

    Mullen sounds like a reliable pro-union vote, so even if he wins, it’s not like he’s going to be at odds with Wolf (nor hold a grudge for Wolf supporting the Dem candidate) on union issues.

    It’s unclear how much of the vote the write-in needs to take away from Mullen to tip the scales for the Dem to win.

  13. Good news for Mullen. His opponent out campaigning with an inept Governor who wants to raise our taxes by billions of dollars? Home run.

  14. Is Mullen the Vuilding Trades guy? Why would wolf campaign against him? With what the building trades out I to Wolf, it seems counterintuitive that he would be against him. Unless this is a way to get GOP voters to go for their candidate rather than a third party. Very intriguing,

  15. Wonder if he will take another $10million dollar loan out to try and win this election….

  16. Why not the same for the democrat in the 87th who is running against a sleazy republican convicted of at least 2 crimes.

  17. Actually a win for Mullen would be a win for working people in this state because there’ll be another Republican Friendly R in the crazy caucus. A union friendly Democrat in an extreme minority will do little to stop any of the bad stuff coming from the Republican party.

    Just sayin…

  18. First, it is Joe Hackett…not Paul. The entire point of this so called political article is lost when when the author can’t even get the name right.

  19. If Wolf really wanted to hurt Republicans, the Democrats shouldn’t have run anyone for this seat and they would have been guaranteed an AFL-CIO endorsed candidate.

  20. If Wolf had done this in the fall of 2014 with more legislative candidates and linked the GOP candidates to Corbett’s policies, Wolf wouldn’t be in the fix he’s in now with a larger, unmanageable, and irrational GOP majority.

    He needs every vote he can get in the legislature.

    The 170th is a intra-party self-inflicted wound in a Dem majority district. That district will not be in GOP hands after 2016.

    The 161st is aiming to repeat the Dems 170th fiasco for the Republicans.

    The idea that losing the 161th would be a “major blow” to Wolf is silly. The election is days away and one appearance by Wolf is hardly the key to the election.

    The write-in tea party candidate campaigning hard against Mullen will have a far greater impact on the outcome than anything Wolf could do at this point, outside of spending all election day driving voters to polls in a bus (with a giant wolf painted on it).

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