With budget season in full swing in Harrisburg, the PA Democratic Party has published a video that attacks Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget approach.
The one-minute spot, which splices together Gov. Corbett’s statements and news reports, blames the state’s budget shortfall on the Governor’s opposition to a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas drillers. It also condemns him for cuts to education funding.
“Tom Corbett has always touted his budgets as ‘fiscally responsible.’In reality, his budgets have hurt the middle class and most vulnerable Pennsylvanians while he refuses to fairly tax his cronies in big oil and gas,” said Beth Melena, Press Secretary and Digital Director of the PA Democratic Party.
“Tom Corbett would rather slash a billion dollars from education which has led to property tax hikes throughout the Commonwealth, rather than make big oil and gas pay up,” Melena continued. “Tom Corbett’s budget mismanagement has plummeted Pennsylvania into a $1.7 billion deficit. Pennsylvania is ready for a Governor who will put the people ahead of special interests that can write big campaign contribution checks.”
The severance tax (or lack thereof) and education funding are sure to be major issues in the gubernatorial race between Gov. Corbett and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf. This video is one of many attacks expected to be launched by the Democrats on these key topics in the coming months.
Update: Megan Sweeney, the Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Republican Party released the following statement in response to the video:
“It seems the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has a short memory with regards to their cuts to education spending. After Democrat Governor Ed Rendell raided state educations funds and covered his tracks with one-time federal stimulus dollars, Governor Tom Corbett increased state education spending every year he’s been in office.
“The Democrats also seem to forget their vote to completely ban all natural gas drilling in our Commonwealth, which would put countless Pennsylvanians out of work. At a time when Tom Corbett has created more than 150,000 jobs and lowered the unemployment rate to six-tenths of a point below the national average, we simply cannot afford a return to tax-and-spend policies of the Democrats.”
Update 2: Billy Pittman, the Corbett-Cawley campaign spokesman, delivered the following response:
“Today under Governor Corbett’s leadership, Pennsylvania is investing historic amounts in education, government efficiencies have saved taxpayers more than $650 million, our energy sector is supporting economic growth and hundreds of thousands of jobs, and unemployment has fallen to a five-year low of 5.7%. We’ve already seen what Secretary Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Democrats’ vision looks like — higher taxes, out of control spending, a $4.2 billion budget deficit, cuts to state school spending and unemployment as high as 8.7%. A return to the tax-and-spend Rendell-Wolf era of fiscal mismanagement is the last thing Pennsylvanians are looking for, especially when given the chance, their party would show an industry that has reinvested $630 million into our local communities, and their workers, the door.”