Democratic candidate for governor Katie McGinty proposed a series of ethics and voting reforms in order to restore the people of Pennsylvania’s trust in the government that has been deteriorating for some time.
“No wonder Pennsylvanians are skeptical about government. Unfortunately, we have seen recent news stories about state legislators accepting gifts under questionable circumstances. We have seen Governor Corbett justify accepting gifts and trips from a campaign donor with business with the state, saying that the code of conduct doesn’t apply to him. We have seen the Governor and Legislature enact laws to prevent people from voting. And, we have seen Governor Corbett support a radical plan spawned by the right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers to thwart the will of Pennsylvania voters in a presidential election,” said McGinty.
McGinty’s proposal contains several steps. Some have sprouted because of the recent scandal in Philadelphia, while others have come from McGinty’s personal beliefs.
First and foremost, as she’s stated before McGinty wants to initiate a ban on gifts to elected officials and public employees.
“As governor, I will issue an executive order amending the Governor’s Code of Conduct banning public officials under the governor’s jurisdiction from accepting gifts of any value from outside parties. And I will call on the General Assembly to amend the state Ethics Law to implement that ban for all state employees, including the State Legislature,” she said.
McGinty also wants to repeal the Voter ID law, saying “one of the best ways to restore faith in government is to restore the people’s control over government through the ballot box.” She has a few other plans in regards to voting, including extending the deadline for registration, allowing mail-in voting, allowing same day registration and absentee ballots, and creating voting spots that are more manageable and accessible.
Another topic that McGinty wants to fix involves gerrymandering. She believes that gerrymandering is merely a tool to give legislators a “property right” to their positions.
“I support a fair, independent non-partisan reapportionment process. Not only do gerrymandered districts fail to present a reasonable community of interest in each legislative district, but the gerrymandered districts too often guarantee the re-election of incumbents which fosters the very partisan bickering that has created inertia and incivility in our political process. It’s time for Pennsylvanians to take back the reapportionment process,” said McGinty.
The former DEP Secretary gave two examples of the harm that gerrymander causes, taken directly from the release:
Mehoopany in Wyoming County is 175 miles from Shippensburg in Cumberland County, the distance traversed by the new 11th Congressional District. Mehoopany is closer to Manhattan than it is to Shippensburg. But the remainder of Shippensburg, which happens to be in Franklin County, lies in the 6th district that extends west to Carmichaels in Greene County—almost to the Ohio Border.
It’s 175 miles from Milford on the New Jersey border to Lewistown in Mifflin County, both of which will now be in the new 10th district. Easton and Tower City, 80 miles apart are in the same district, but the City of Bethlehem, which is in the same county as Easton is in a separate district.
Finally, McGinty wants to hold onto Pennsylvania’s ability to support the popular vote for president. She brought up the plan supported by Corbett and Republican leaders and sponsored by the ever-looming Koch brothers, where Electoral College votes would be apportioned based on the presidential vote within each of the state’s 18 gerrymandered districts, as opposed to the state’s popular vote.
“Rather than protecting the interests of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett has sided with big money interests from outside of the state. Therefore, I propose that Pennsylvania join with other states that are supporting the National Popular Vote Movement, which would have states cast their electoral votes for the candidate who wins the national popular vote. Eleven states have adopted this plan. Pennsylvania should do so once a majority of states, representing a majority of American voters agree to support the concept. In this way we will truly be supporting the vitally important principle that every vote counts,” said McGinty.
The National Popular Vote interstate compact wouldn’t take effect until it was enacted by states possessing a majority of electoral votes needed to elect a President (270 of 538).
In the race for Pennsylvania’s next governor, McGinty faces State Treasurer Rob McCord, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf.
My suggestion for the next Governor of Pa is the late George Carlin. We can have him exhumed and propped up in the Gov’s mansion. Carlin will do an outstanding job because he knows how phony all politicians are.
This from the former DEP secretary. Make her the Gov and she will shut off your water and advance the ‘smart meter’ hoax that Rendell pushed and got rewarded for. BTW is the Comcast HQ still in a Keystone tax free status?
a democrat proposing ethics reforms? That’s new concept. Must be desperation time.
A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.
The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, and large states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 10 jurisdictions with 136 electoral votes – 50.4% of the 270 necessary to go into effect. If Governor Cuomo signs it in New York, it will be at 165 electoral votes – 61%.
And now Katie-come-lately joins Allyson-come-lately in arriving at the party AFTER ethics has been all over the news media for a few weeks. It wouldn’t seem as much like pandering if these ethics proposals were released before the media has focused on ethics issues.
If only there was a candidate for Governor who did release a detailed ethics plan BEFORE the media started focusing on it. Oh yeah, Tom Wolf released his plan in early January, long before media focus.