PA-Gov Round-Up: Back to the Attacks

PA-Governor-Mansion2For the last three weeks the focus has been on the run-up to, results of, and fall-out from, the three gubernatorial debates.

This week, though, both campaigns went back to their default position: attack mode. Once more, the Governor went after Wolf on taxes while the Democratic nominee hammered Corbett on education.

Corbett

The Corbett-Cawley campaign has made it clear for quite awhile now that they believe taxes can be a winning issue for them. So it should be no surprise that they sought to hit the Democratic nominee once again on the topic.

The latest dispute came when Wolf once again told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he had to have full access to the state’s revenue data to come up with a complete tax plan. The Corbett camp criticized their opponent for suggesting he needs “granular-level” data (although that phrase comes from the article and is not sourced to Wolf).

“It’s another day and another lame excuse from Secretary Tom Wolf on why he can’t talk about his plan to increase the personal income tax by 188 percent,” Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack said. “At this point, Tom Wolf must think the Pennsylvania voters are flat-out stupid given how intellectually insulting his excuses have become on why he can’t talk about the cornerstone of his campaign platform.  The bottom line is this – Tom Wolf and every Pennsylvanian has access to the most granular-level complete, detailed, tax data and former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf knows that.”

Speaking of taxes, the Governor’s campaign also called on Wolf to release his personal tax returns. The Democratic nominee filed for a six-month extension back in April on his taxes, a grace period that just expired. Therefore, the Republican nominee would like to see Wolf’s returns.

“Now that Tom Wolf’s income tax extension has expired, it is time for Wolf to come clean on just how little he is paying in taxes despite calling for a massive income tax increase on everyone else,” stated Pack. “Tom Wolf says he is running one of the most transparent campaigns in history, so it is time for him to put his money where his mouth is by actually being transparent with the people of Pennsylvania.  Even Wolf’s mentor, Ed Rendell believes that Tom Wolf should release his tax returns, so Wolf needs to just go ahead and come clean.”

While the Governor was busy focusing on taxes, the PA Republican Party sought to tie Wolf to the Obama Administration. This was made easier thanks to the First Lady’s campaign stop with Wolf in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

“Tom Wolf wants to bring the Obama philosophy of more taxes, more government and more Obamacare to Pennsylvania,” PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason said. “Tom Wolf believes Pennsylvanians should open up their pockets to pay more to subsidize his big government agenda. However, Wolf refuses to provide any details regarding his plan to double, or in some cases triple, our income taxes.”

Wolf

Much like their counterparts, the Wolf camp returned to their central issue, the claim that Governor Corbett cut $1 billion from education.

The Democratic campaign pointed to an interview that the Governor gave to WHYY and the response he gave when asked about the education budget.

“I had a choice of going back and taking money out of the [other] areas that state money was moved to from the budget and putting it back in [the education budget], and chose not to. So yes, that was a choice,” the Governor said.

“Tom Corbett has repeatedly blamed expired federal funding for his draconian cuts to Pennsylvania’s public schools, but Tom Wolf has held him accountable for what was simply the governor’s choice to cut $1 billion from education,” said Wolf Campaign Spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan. “Education is clearly not Governor Corbett’s priority, and this was made abundantly clear by his $1 billion cuts. The results of Governor Corbett’s cuts were massive layoffs, increased class sizes, and rising property taxes. Pennsylvania cannot afford another four years of Governor Corbett’s choices.”

The Wolf campaign also sought to fight back against the claim that their candidate wants to raise taxes. They cited an article from Factcheck.org that critiqued Gov. Corbett for making that assertion.

“We’ve noticed that the most deceitful attack ads often come from candidates who are most desperate,” they wrote. “For example, consider the claim by Pennsylvania’s unpopular Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that his opponent ‘is promising to raise middle-class taxes,’ when in fact Democratic nominee Tom Wolf promises to cut them.”

“So when the Corbett ad says, ‘Tom Wolf, the more you learn the more dishonest he seems,’ we can’t help thinking that the governor should take a look in the nearest available mirror,” they concluded.

Finally, FreshStartPA posted a video from Governor Corbett’s meeting with the Patriot-News editorial board where the Gov reiterated his support for drug tests for job applicants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFBxg-krZTM&feature=youtu.be

“Tom Corbett’s failed leadership is why Pennsylvania has gone from 9th to 47th in job creation yet he has the gall to blame those who cannot find work,” stated Campaign for a Fresh Start Spokesman Mike Mikus. “Tom Corbett has been grasping at straws to paint a picture that is different from reality, but to blame those who are jobless because of his failed policies is outrageous. Tom Corbett wants people to believe that the unemployed are the problem but it is Governor Corbett’s failed policies that are to blame for taking Pennsylvania to the bottom when it comes to creating new jobs.”

With no more debates in sight and less than three weeks to go until Election Day is finally upon us, expect a much higher volume of, and intensity to, these types of attacks.

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