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PA-Gov: Schwartz Unveils Plan to Increase Government Accountability

Schwartz
Schwartz

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz recently unveiled a plan that, if she were elected governor, would clean up state politics.

The plan offers four separate recommendations: establish a position for a Chief Integrity Officer, improve government transparency and accountability, eliminate conflicts of interest and reform the Pennsylvania’s campaign finance laws.

The job of the Chief Integrity Officer would be to “promote ethics and integrity in state government.” The officer would be appointed by the governor but would work independently, referring only to the State Ethics Commission and Pennsylvania Inspector General.

In order to improve government transparency and accountability, Schwartz would implement “a complete prohibition on gifts for executive branch employees.” In addition, she would require all state employees to undergo ethics training and would also prohibit lobbyists from donating money to legal defense funds. The Chief Integrity Officer would be responsible for overseeing that all these recommendations are followed.

To eliminate conflicts of interest, Schwartz would ban all appointments that fall under that category, applying to both state employees and state pension board members. Her proposal would also create uniform guidelines for the amount of personal finances can be put into blind trusts. Again, the Chief Integrity Officer would enforce these recommendations.

Finally, Schwartz would place limits on campaign contributions and personal loans by candidates, while also banning cash contributions and increasing disclosure requirements.

Schwartz’s proposal seems to be a reaction to a number of recent incidents that have occurred in Pa. politics. With State Rep. J. P. Miranda’s (D-Philadelphia) conflict of interest charges and the now discontinued bribery sting operation that implicated four other State Reps., Schwartz is now running on a platform to clean up state government so that these incidents happen less frequently.

In addition, with Tom Wolf’s recent foray into gubernatorial frontrunner status due in large part to his expensive and self-financed ad campaign, Schwartz is going after Pa.’s unlimited campaign contribution rules, which only a “handful of states” actually allow.

7 Responses

  1. Take it from one who knows. The revenue secretary is the tax collector for the welfare state.

  2. So you blame your local tax collector when property taxes go up and not the local municipality, county commissioners and school board that made the decisions to raise taxes??? That’s like blaming Wolf when state taxes went up. Republicans and anti-Wolf Democrats that choose to blame Wolf have no clue and that needs to be pointed out over and over again.

  3. @frank — Clearly you know nothing about public policy or how government works. The Secretary of Revenue has nothing to do with raising taxes. The Secretary of Revenue does not have a vote on tax rates or who must pay taxes. By the way, taxes were not raised when Wolf was Secretary of Revenue. Rendell raised taxes in 2003, many years before Wolf was Secretary of Revenue. But why would anybody expect you to know that when most people learn that in high school.

    If you want to make this about who has raised taxes, let’s do that. Wolf has not cast a single vote to raise taxes on anybody or impose taxes on anybody. But guess who has? Allyson Schwartz. During her 14 years in the PA Senate and 10 years in Congress, Allyson Schwartz has cast dozens of votes to increase taxes and impose taxes on people.

    Perhaps you should have thought BEFORE you posted, @frank. OOOOOPS!

  4. it is still nice to see allyson getting all the attention from the wolf pack lovers.the only position held for the state was under fast eddie rendell and all he did was raise taxes thank goodness it was only a short stay.

  5. Welcome to the party, Allyson-come-lately. Allyson Schwartz made this policy proposal on the last day of March, only AFTER public integrity has been in the news for weeks. Tom Wolf made all of these proposals in early January, several months BEFORE the issues were in the news and other candidates decided it’s an issue.

    You can limit the amount of each contribution (Wolf proposed that in 2013), but Allyson Schwartz’s proposal to limit the amount a candidate contributes or loans his/her own campaign is unconstitutional (and there are US Supreme Court cases to prove that). I’m sure Allyson’s upset she is being left in the dust, but too bad.

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