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PA-Gov: The Third Gubernatorial Debate

Third Gov Debate
Rodney Johnson, WTAE-TV

The two competitors for Pennsylvania’s highest office met for the final debate of the election season.

Governor Tom Corbett and former Department of Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf answered questions from three moderators from behind podiums.

The one-hour debate (the longest of the three) took place in WTAE-TV studios in Pittsburgh. It was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Pay Equity Law

The first question concerned the pay equity law and it’s ineffectiveness.

“I will do my absolute best to make sure bills like that pass. In my company, I worked hard to make that the case and I think we need to do that in the state,” Wolf said while mentioning he wouldn’t want his two daughters paid less.

“I think you’ve found something we agree on,” Corbett responded. It would be the last point of agreement of the night.

Education Spending

The disagreements began when the focus turned to education.

“My opponent, along with the public sector unions, have been lying,” Corbett said in reference to the contention that he cut $1 billion from education. Wolf didn’t back down though.

“A billion dollars was cut in Gov. Corbett’s first term and that’s the truth,” he stated. “We’ve laid off 27,000 educators over the four years.”

Corbett countered that 14,000 of those employees had been fired by Gov. Rendell and that Wolf wasn’t recognizing that the situation was affected by one-time federal stimulus spending.

“Gov. Corbett doesn’t want to take the responsibility,” Wolf hit back. “Leaders have to be responsible. The responsibility was his.”

Pension Reform

The moderators then asked about the issue the Governor has focused most of his attention on, pension reform.

Wolf talked about his efforts to pass Act 120 and identified the problem as a bipartisan refusal to pay adequate funds over the last ten years.

“We have paid in full,” Corbett contended.

Both candidates affirmed that they didn’t want to see the pension system disappear. They did disagree, though, on how to get the additional funds.

“Rearrange priorities,” Wolf answered. “I’ve also called for a 5% severance tax on natural gas drilling.” He also hit Corbett for ignoring revenue issues. “You’ve been Governor for four years now and you’re coming to this kinda late in the process.”

“He didn’t answer your question, as he doesn’t answer many of the questions in these debates,” the Governor struck back. “I had to dig my way out of a $4.2 billion deficit left by my predecessor.”

Marijuana Legalization

In the first of quite a number of curveballs, the candidates we’re asked a Twitter question about legalizing marijuana.

“I did not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes,” Corbett stated while noting that he does support limited studies on medicial use. He still identified it as a “gateway drug”.

Wolf, on the other hand, called for legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing “small amounts of recreational marijuana”.

Natural Gas

Wolf spoke about his proposal for a 5% severance, or extraction, tax that “according to some estimates would raise about a billion dollars”.

Corbett outlined his disagreement with Wolf’s positions and asserted that Pennsylvania has the “toughest environmental laws in the nation”.


The Governor again reiterated that he had no knowledge of the inappropriate emails sent in the Attorney General’s office and that he condemned it. He also made another poor choice of words.

“All the people [involved] need to be exposed if you want to use that word,” he said.

Wolf went back to what he said at the last debate, that this was a problem of culture and that culture comes from the top.

Corbett commented that Wolf was just taking “a political shot”.

Income Tax

In what is becoming a bit of a routine, the Democratic nominee was asked for specifics on his tax plans.

“I’ve been as specific as I can possibly be,” he responded.

Wolf also talked about his support for changing the income tax, “I think I can make it a progressive one in terms of income tax.”

“Mr. Wolf wants to spend more money but he won’t tell you how much,” Corbett said. “What is the plan?” The Governor stated that Wolf’s answers were “another dodge” and that a constitutional amendment would be required to change the state’s income tax.


The candidates were asked a Pittsburgh-specific question about the impending UPMC/Highmark divorce. Gov. Corbett used it as an opportunity to bash Obamacare while Tom Wolf used it as an opportunity to bash the Governor’s lack of leadership.

“This is about people’s lives,” Wolf said. “This is not about kitchen cabinets for example,” Wolf’s chosen business, “this is about people’s lives.”

Reduced Legislature

The Democratic nominee came out against reducing the size of the legislature while Gov. Corbett voiced his support. The Republican’s response got a laugh for the press room as Corbett is not known for having the best relationship with the State Legislature.

Municipal Pensions

The Gov said municipal pensions would be included in his pension reform special legislative session after the elections.

Wolf, meanwhile, took the chance to hit Corbett hard on his overall record. “[You’re talking] Almost as if, Governor, you’re running for your first term here. We need to look not at just what you wanna do but what you’ve done.”

Voter ID

The candidates were then asked about the controversial voter ID law that was passed in anticipation of the 2012 elections. Wolf was against the law, while Corbett voiced support.

The Democrat also sought to make a larger point with this issue.

“We’re running as stewards of a democratic tradition, a strong democratic tradition. Turnout [this year] was far lower than in India. We need to work on ways to make our democracy more relevant.”

He also accused the Voter ID law of having partisan aims.

“The reason the Republican Party was trying to push this was to reduce Democratic voters,” he asserted to the Governor.

When asked for evidence of voter fraud, Gov. Corbett talked about “over 100% participation rates in some districts at the other end of the state.” Presumably he was talking about Philadelphia.

“There is no evidence that there’s been voter fraud,” Wolf countered.

Gas Taxes

The Governor responded to a question about the gas tax by noting, prices have fallen by fifty cents since the passage of the transportation bill.

His opponent, of course, disagreed.

“Prices are higher here because our taxes are higher here,” Wolf asserted. “You took a pledge not to raise taxes, and in fact in the transportation bill you did that.”

Elected Judges

Both candidates agreed (it did occasionally happen) that appointed judges would be prefable over elected judges.

Death Penalty

The debate then turned to the topic of the death penalty.

“I do continue to support it,” Gov. Corbett said noting that he had  just signed some death warrants.

“I think we ought to have a moratorium on capital punishment cases in Pennsylvania,” Wolf countered. The Democrat was not convinced that the current system was working properly or effectively.

Act 47, Municipal Bankruptcy

For this local issue, Wolf adovcated for greater effort to build cities while Corbett blamed pension costs.

Autism Funding

Both candidates were in favor of more funding for autism but differed on how to pay for it. Corbett again mentioned pension costs while Wolf countered that it is a “matter of shifting priorities. Addressing the issues that actually exist.”

Gun Control

Wolf came out for some modest gun control measures like “reasonable background checks” and “safety training courses”.

Corbett asserted that background checks already exist and noted how he attacked straw purchasers in Philadelphia.

Film Tax Credits Cap

The candidates once more used this local Pittsburgh issue to get back to their talking points.

“Where do we get the revenue? Who gets the revenue?,” Corbett asked about new taxes.

“Again, this requires leadership. What are we doing that we shouldn’t be doing?,” Wolf asks while noting that the state has fallen from 9th to 47th in job creation under Corbett’s Administration.

Minimum Wage

Wolf supported a $10.10 minimum wage indexed to inflation while Gov. Corbett thinks it should stay consistent with the federal level.

Closing Statement

“I am not the kind of candidate you’ve seen before,” Wolf concluded. “I think Pennsylvania can be better. We need to invest in education, we need to invest in transportation. Our education condition is awful.”

Governor Corbett summed up his message in his opening sentence. “I’m running for Governor because I’m not finished yet,” he said.

It is always difficult to judge what candidate “won” a debate because it is next to impossible to agree on the proper way to judge each participant’s performance. The event did not seem to be a “game-changer”, but then again that is what elections are for after all.

52 Responses

  1. @ econ:

    The concerns regarding Bromides and radium were refuted



  2. The truth is Corbett gave the oil and gas industry millions and millions in corporate welfare while drastically cutting all levels of education. As the state plummeted in job growth and missed tax revenue from fracking.

    His policies allowed the fracking industry to discharge toxic acid blowback “water” directly into streams and rivers. He has weakened environmental protections.

    A 2013 Environmental Science and Technology study performed by scientists from Duke University, based on two years of water samples at a Pennsylvania plant that treats fracking wastewater, found high concentrations of of the element radium, a highly radioactive substance. The concentrations were roughly 200 times higher than background levels. In addition, amounts of chloride and bromide in the water were two to ten times greater than normal. Scientists note that the plants are not designed to handle the radioactive elements present in the wastewater, and are not required to test their effluent for radioactive elements. The study suggests that the treated water released back into local streams retains significant levels of radioactivity. The researchers believe the findings would likely be similar for many of the other facilities in Pennsylvania – currently 74 facilities treat wastewater from fracking and release it into streams. Elevated levels of chloride and bromide, combined with strontium, radium, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopic compositions, are present in the Marcellus shale wastewaters, the study found. The study examined the water discharged from Josephine Brine Treatment Facility into the nearby Blacklick Creek, which feeds into a water source for western Pennsylvania cities, including Pittsburgh. Scientists conducting the study took samples upstream and downstream from the treatment facility over a two-year period, with the last sample taken in June this year

    In February 2011, the NY Times reported that “In Pennsylvania, water treatment plants discharged [drilling] waste into some of the state’s major river basins. Greater amounts of the wastewater went to the Monongahela River, which provides drinking water to more than 800,000 people in the western part of the state, including Pittsburgh, and to the Susquehanna River, which feeds into Chesapeake Bay and provides drinking water to more than six million people, including some in Harrisburg and Baltimore. Lower amounts have been discharged into the Delaware River, which provides drinking water for more than 15 million people in Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania”

    It was reported in early August 2013 that in 2011 two young children living in Pennsylvania were banned from “talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.”

    The gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Ltd. The settlement barred the Hallowichs’ son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale. While gag orders on adults is normal, such gag orders on children are uncommon

  3. Corbett’s budget is a total fraud. So is the work of Republican Assembly Member Tim Krieger. Both men knowingly have set back the state horrendously. Krieger has passed no meaningful legislation and mixes religion and government.
    His austerity is seen in budget aspects. Their cruel budget is analyzed as being a ticking time bomb.

    Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center said, “The budget adopted by the Senate relies on revenue estimates that are no more than magical thinking. It leaves a ticking time bomb that will explode before the year is out. The Pennsylvania Constitution requires a balanced budget. This budget does not meet that obligation.”

  4. I heard Governor Corbitt say that he is running for a second term because he is “not finished yet”. When did he begin?

  5. @ DD [et al.]:
    If you fear challenging Nathan Benefield’s work via the Commonwealth Foundation, deal with this [which is reprinted because the original is protected by a Pay-Wall]:
    Pennsylvania education funding: a look at the facts
    Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014 12:15 am
    Since 2011, when Gov. Tom Corbett took office and Republicans regained the majority in the state House, I have heard ad nauseam about how “Corbett cut education by a billion dollars” or “Corbett is underfunding education.” Let’s just take a look at the facts.
    First, governors do not enact budgets by themselves. In February of each year, the governor proposes a budget to start the process. Following that, both the House and Senate appropriations committees have public hearings with each department and agency of state government to review in detail each proposed appropriation. In addition, both the House and Senate committee chairmen take feedback from their respective committee members and from all members of their respective chambers.
    When that review process is complete, both the House and Senate develop their own revised budgets, and the negotiation process begins among the House and Senate leaders and the governor’s office. To say that this can be an intense process would be a vast understatement. Each chamber and member of the General Assembly and the governor have differing views and priorities on both revenues and expenditures, and getting 102 votes in the House, 26 in the Senate and the governor on board is an exhausting undertaking.
    My point in outlining the budget process is simply to point out that the enacted budget is not the “governor’s” budget. It is the product of a process, not the dictate of one person, though I will agree that the governor’s one veto vote carries a lot more weight than my one vote on the Appropriations Committee or on the floor of the House.
    Next, let’s look at the facts of state education funding in the budgets enacted under the last two governors. In particular, let’s look at Gov. Ed Rendell’s last three education budgets and the four under Corbett. In the 2009-10 budget, Rendell asked for, and the Democratic House approved, a reduction in state education spending from $9.6 billion to $9.2 billion. This reduction was “backfilled” with $6.55 million in federal stimulus funds to bring about an apparent increase in spending on education.
    Again in the 2010-11 budget, Rendell asked for and the Democratic House approved a reduction in state education spending from the previous year’s $9.2 billion to $8.9 billion. Again this reduction was backfilled with $1 billion in federal stimulus funds to bring about another apparent increase in spending on education.
    The problems with using short-term stimulus funds are many.
    First, it sets school districts up for failure. Despite warnings that these stimulus dollars would go away after two years and that state funding would go back to prestimulus levels, many school districts folded these stimulus funds into their operating budgets, hired new teachers and staff, took on new debt and generally increased spending to levels that would not be sustainable without significant school property tax increases.
    Second, from a state budget perspective, relying on stimulus funds to be part of the general education funding line also set the state budget up for failure by artificially inflating the revenue for the overall state budget. In the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budgets, the $6.55 million and $1 billion in federal stimulus funds that were used in the education line item were treated as revenue and shifted into increased spending in other line items of the budget.
    Fast forward to 2011-12: Corbett takes office, the majority in the House shifts to the Republicans, and the $1 billion in federal stimulus money for education go away. Because of this loss of $1 billion and other “smoke and mirrors” budgeting by the previous governor and House, the new governor and House are faced with a $4 billion deficit going into their first budget. This results in a lot of belt-tightening in departments and agencies across the board, particularly in the Department of Public Welfare.
    To avoid the “budget crunch” both school districts and the state faced in 2011-12 and in subsequent budget years, those stimulus funds in 2009-11 should not have been used as “revenue” for spending in the general fund but rather used as block grants for specific capital investments at school districts above and beyond our normal state education funding. In that way, we would not have ended up with artificially high levels of spending that cannot be sustained with our existing revenue stream.
    Now, let’s take a look at education spending during Corbett’s years in office. The first “Corbett budget” in 2011-12 included $9.4 billion of state funds for education, an increase of $500 million over the previous year’s state spending in the last “Rendell budget.” In the next “Corbett budget” of 2012-13, state spending on education was again increased $300 million to $9.7 billion, the highest amount of state funding in history. Again in the 2013-14 budget, state spending on education was increased to $9.98 billion, another record. Finally, in this year’s budget for 2014-15, “we” increased state spending on education to an all-time high of $10.5 billion.
    So, the question remains: Where does the claim of Tom Corbett’s $1 billion cut in education come from? The only answer is that the facts do not bear out the claim, and that the only $1 billion cut in education was the loss of federal stimulus funding in 2011.

  6. Robert- What numbers do I need to “afix”? The ENTIRE PREMISE of the “study” is wrong. There is no plan or suggestion to provide the funding through a flat income tax increase. So, to put everything on that is like taking the amount of money needed and claiming Wolf wants a $2/gal gasoline tax to cover it instead. Putting the burden of the fee on a type of tax that Wolf hasn’t decided to use is beyond misleading, especially when he has identified the tax he does want to use.

  7. @ DD [where ya been hidin’?]

    Your rebuttal resembles Swiss Cheese that has already been partially consumed by a rodent, for you failed to affix NUMBERS to those criteria that you challenged and/or projected; furthermore, a progressive tax requires a Constitutional Amendment, a process that would not be completed during the upcoming four years [must pass two legislative terms, each lasting two years, and then a plebiscite].

    Again, none of you have challenged the cost, and none of you have supplanted the projected income tax hike with another $-raising mechanism; for example, citing the infamous “waste/fraud/abuse” and “better investing” [in a sky-high market] doesn’t work when one must analyze the long-term fisc.

    I have no problem with facing a gang-tackle, you guys; go for it!

  8. Oh I disputed the calculations. I would hope most could infer this. As for the mathematic, well statistics do not lie, although…..

  9. Robert- The analysis is wrong because it assumes not only that all the money is coming from an income tax increase, but that the increase is an across-the-board flat-tax.
    These are two completely false underlying assumptions.

    1) Wolf plans to generate additional revenue through an extraction tax on oil/gas drilling.

    2) There is talk of modifying the state’s sales tax from 6% to 7% (which is a 16.6% increase, not a %121 increase like the article falsely projects for state income tax)

    3) The only income tax increase talk I’ve heard is about a progressive tax on the higher income levels, not the lower and middle class.

    4) Wolf can also change budget priorities to stop waste or useless programs.

    5) Wolf would seek Federal help, if available.

    6) Saving/revenue can be gotten by better investments of state funds/resources.

    So, the article/analysis is complete bullsh*t because it ignores any “solution” for Wolf other than doubling the state income tax. They mention the 5% extraction tax, but FALSELY claim that none of it would be spent on Education, despite unequivocal statements by Wolf to the contrary.

  10. @ Basile and Montco_PA_Dem:

    Neither of you either disputed the calculations in this report or confirmed your revenue projections would encompass this new expenditure; an ad-hominem attack on a resource doesn’t rebut its contents and, thus, it is necessary either for you to “do the arithmetic” or admit these data reflect reality.

  11. “The Commonwealth Foundation claimed that Wolf’s ‘Fresh Start’ plan requires huge tax increases, doubling the state income tax; care to rebut?”-RBS

    Yes…Pennsylvania is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and it’s bi-products. With the new tax and more jobs going to Pennsylvanians, this is just one untapped revenue source, although not the silver bullet Corbett tells of.

    Another revenue source will be money saved will be from Cyber and Charter school reforms that can go back to the original school districts were it came from.Third money will be saved from Corbett’s schemes like Voter ID, Lottery Sale,Ghost Workers,work production & no porn during work,frivolous law suits,and Corbett’s Heath Care Scam.

    Also Wolf will have better luck with both houses passing reforms on corporate tax codes,a fair income tax code, and several other poor to middle class revenue savings and sources.

    Finally this is just the tip of the iceberg for generate revenues and savings for Pennsylvania. I believe doubling the income tax was a Fox News scare tactic used in other elections that the Commonwealth Foundation and current administration piggy-backed on. Instead of the new Governor taking care of his wealthy donors,this new Governor will take care of Pennsylvania.

  12. Sklaroff, the minute you cite the Commonwealth Foundation as a source you lose all credibility. Commonwealth is simply a right wing front organization, part of the nationwide 63-member State Policy Network of wingnut and corporate-backed propaganda arms of the far-right Republican Tea Party. They are anti-government, anti-labor, anti-public schools and pro-corporate welfare. Paraphrasing Grover Norquist, the influence of this outfit and others like it needs to be reduced in size until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub.

  13. @ Western PA Ron, Joanne, Reader & Anony-Mous

    Name-calling aside, the extreme nature of your accusations contradict the straight-news reportage that precedes your rants; you would, perhaps, be more effective in furthering your cause were you to come off in a manner that is bit more restrained.

    This is not the proper venue to relitigate what transpired two days ago; rather, the need for “reasonableness” would dictate that the postures of both candidates be weighed in a disinterested fashion.

    I have already “defended” my candidate, and the noise generated by y’all cannot supplant the electrical-silence maintained by your candidate when asked for specificity; his experience as Treasurer equips him to review public data and explain what Constitutional taxation structure he would envision imposing.

  14. Tom Wolf won the debate hands down. Corbett was unnerved and grimacing, and none of his answers rang true. Just like someone’s doddering grandpap trying to keep up. He has not steered the state in a fiscally sound manner.
    Too influenced by giving high status to corporations.
    His treatment of state workers is deplorable. Not once has Corbett funded state pensions since he took office. He needs to go. He created more unemployment in the state by laying of many thousand workers. He has ruined our education system by gutting it. Republicans prefer people remain uneducated so they vote against their economic interests. He also pushed a voter id law to keep Democrats from voting, his sidekick Mike Tarzai admitted in 2012 the Corbett voter id law was intended to get Romney elected by obstructing the vote. Tarzai looked like an orwellian Nazi delivering that speech to the Republican state committee, saying it was purposeful to have voter id law in place to get republicans elected. Corrupt.
    Corbettt is the least popular governor in our history. Rick Santorum was unseated by being 16% under par. Corbett has yet lower polls consistently.

  15. Corbett dropped the ball on the Sandusky investigation when he was attorney general. The predator continued preying on young kids while Corbett ran for governor. In addition, Pennsylvania ranks last in states for the reporting of child sexual abuse. Tim Krieger voted against the Sandusky Act to deal with abuse of children, strangely saying people should be able to discipline their children in grocery stores.
    Both republicans have a dismissive view of what it means to prevent sexual abuse of children. TIME FOR A CHANGE

  16. Corbett’s budget has been studied and is referred to as total magical thinking and a recipe for disaster. Did you notice that we have all received notices that our property taxes are being raised? The schools cannot maintain their budgets since the governor destroyed their funding. Have you noticed tuition is higher? The new budget is a joke.
    Overall, Pennsylvania collected less in revenue in 2013-14 than it did the year before. Yet the new budget for 2014-15 counts on adding $1 billion more than the state took in. People need to research this at PA Budget and Policy Center, 7-7-14]
    Corbett created a fiscal mess. He did not fund the pensions. Our assets disappeared under him. His polls are bottom low.

  17. Governor Corbett took Pennsylvania from being 7th in job growth to the very bottom at 47% of states in job growth. You should be alarmed over it. This is a disaster. We are ranked at the bottom for jobs. Look at the drop–talk about bottoming out. What is up with that?????????
    Ed Rendell had us up at 7th top rank of states.
    Corbett has been a disaster for this state.
    Money has been squandered. He refused to work on expanding Medicaid and lost the state tons of money and almost 35,000 health care jobs.
    He is the past, the patriarch of telling women to close their eyes during demeaning and degrading forced ultrasounds, and he meddled in the rights of women as to their reproductive futures.
    He is like the uncle at dinner–a curmudgeon who is out of touch. A taker, not a maker—–>
    He has clearly favored the fracking industry without insisting on a fair contribution to our state from them. He received millions from the oil and gas businesses in his campaign so he is very much compromised.
    He tried to privatize our lottery to enrich an outsourced firm in Britain.
    We received over 2 billion from our state stores last year as profit. We need that money. Corbett left us with a billion dollar deficit. This is the worst ever.

  18. Governor Corbett has shrunk government across the board and worked to protect the interests of the citizens of Pennsylvania that work and pay the taxes for ALL the rest of the services from the state. If Wolf wins it will be TAX-and-SPEND and WAMS to all the special interest groups all over again.

  19. Dr. Bob, a typical right-wingnut – when they can’t defend their candidate, they have to mention the boogieman – AKA Obama. How soon before they start trying to tie Wolf to Bengazi???

  20. guev noer crobitt aint never been in no scandal, hes a nice family man and grampa and he gonna win a nuther term next week in a land slide cuz he deserve anuther term, also too he is alredy guv and guvs all ways get a 2nd chance in penna it been that way for a centry.

  21. @ New_Liberal_Lion

    Yes, Corbett’s integrity compares favorably to the scandal-a-day that emerges from Obama…plus cover-ups…despite his selective amnesia [“i learned about it in the newspaper”].

  22. “Corbett did NOT cut the money. WASHINGTON (correctly) dried up the federal stimulus.” -DB

    “He made the decision not to replace Stimulus Education Money with state funds as he did in many other programs. That was Corbett’s decision. That also was a Campaign Pledge on his part to cut education funding. So the lie is on Corbett he chose to cut education in favor of other programs.”-Tom

    True Tom, Corbett held convicted criminals in more regard than the children of Pennsylvania.The prison budget saw no budget cuts and actually got an increase over the stimulus bump.

    A budget is a moral document!-Martin Luther King

  23. When Corbett came into office there where six or seven State programs covered by Stimulus Money. CORBETT made a Governor’s management decision to put up state funds to plug holes in many previously programs funded by Stimulus Money. He made the decision not to replace Stimulus Education Money with state funds as he did in many other programs. That was Corbett’s decision. That also was a Campaign Pledge on his part to cut education funding. So the lie is on Corbett he chose to cut education in favor of other programs. What would you expect from a Governor who never met a charter school or cyber school he didn’t like. Despite the fact that managements of these programs are making millions from taxpayers and the results of these cyber schools are appalling.This Governor is not a friend of educating children in this State. Educating Children should be the first priority of all responsible adults.

  24. Did Wolf flunk fourth-grade grammar? His “A billion dollars was cut in Corbett’s first term” is accurate but untrue. Corbett did NOT cut the money. WASHINGTON (correctly) dried up the federal stimulus. Now, fault Corbett for not having pushed to increase taxes by that $1 billion (!) jut to pay for Philly teachers’ Mercedes-like benefits — if you’re a unionized political hack. But Wolf is doing what Corbett said bluntly: He is lying by deliberately insinuating that passive voice confers responsibility. And I had been liking Wolf in this campaign.

  25. A vote for Wolfe is a vote for more taxes. He has already said he’s going to raise taxes on anyone who makes of $60,000.00. I don’t know about the rest of you but I think that here in PA, we’re already taxed too much. Cutting government and reducing taxes are the only way that PA is going to change. When I listen to Wolfe, I hear Obama!

  26. All incumbents should have to run on their record in office. From a township supervisor to president, you are held accountable for your actions and lack of action during your time in office. Tom Corbett has been a disaster. Where do you start. The Economy, Environment, and Education all have been hurt by this arrogant Governor. The only thing he is good is at protecting Cronyism and his friends in the Gas Industry. Because of his failed policies all local taxes have went up in the last three years. Because of his my way or nothing, he can’t even get along with the Republican controlled State Senate and House.
    Pennsylvania can and must do better this time. Tom Wolf is a man of honor and integrity Time has come for a man like Wolf to lead this Commonwealth.

  27. Tell me how Governor Corbett has ruined this state? The entire country has been in turmoil for the past 6 to 7 years. Every state and City has had major money issues.

    Corbett dug us out of the Rendell hole and now can focus on moving us forward.

    How is Tom Wolf going to do that? By raising taxes and taxing the gas industry?

    My vote goes to Tom Corbet, I think he did a great job last night.

  28. “but guevenor corbit is all ready the guv and wolfe aint, plus the way it works in pena is guvs are aloud to be guvs for 8 yrs before they got to stop so the other partie can be guv,”-CM

    Oh Chris, please tell me you would be willing to put your money were your mouth is? We can make a friendly bet, say a few hundred, more if you would like. We could each send a money order to a mutual independent party and the winner would be mailed both money orders after the election the first week of November.

  29. @ JS

    Corbett didn’t raise taxes, although user-“fees” rose via the ability for intermediaries [gas companies] to hike prices @ the pump; anyone notice how many roads were already resurfaced?

    Corbett’s administration was scandal-free, and he was fiscally responsible; these reflect careful [if not flamboyant] stewardship; this contrasts with Wolf’s not having pledged to avoid raising taxes for, as Revenue Secretary, he can surely state his plans [if he wants to, which he doesn’t] based upon publicly-available data.

    Corbett was less wooden, Wolf was consistently restrained, and it doesn’t seem the 3rd Debate elucidated anything that hadn’t already been aired.

  30. Chris yes he gets it right again! And because he understands PA history whereas everyone else seems to be suffering amnesia and poll mania!


  32. timmy what debait was you watching? guevenor corbit winned the debait for shore, he anserd the qwestns totally and so did john wolfe but guevenor corbit is all ready the guv and wolfe aint, plus the way it works in pena is guvs are aloud to be guvs for 8 yrs before they got to stop so the other partie can be guv,

  33. @ Tommy:

    No, the major issue is the power of unions to stop Corbett from achieving pension-reform [as well as state-store privatization and paycheck-protection]; this arose in myriad fashions throughout, eschewed by Wolf and emphasized by Corbett.

  34. This is the first debate I have seen with these two. I know that Corbett is awkward and uncomfortable when he is on camera. Tonight really brought that home. All Wolf had to do was to stay on topic, attack (but not be vicious) and watch Corbett destroy himself. One thing that stood out to me. Corbett refused to defend his opposition to a severance tax. Every time Wolf brought it up, I expected to see the Governor defend his stance and he would not do so. He knows he’s getting killed on this issue. In my opinion, this issue (not education spending) is the single most important one in the campaign. The Commonwealth is hurting for revenue and the voters have made the link between Corbett’s contributors and his position on taxing them.

  35. The prior four comments should be perceived as generic attacks on Corbett rather than assessments of the Debate; nothing new emerged, for it seemed both played-it-safe by sticking to talking-points.

    This was Corbett’s last chance to tie Wolf to BHO, even as Wolf maintained reliance on vagaries; Corbett was specific while Wolf smiled for the camera.

    Most of the time, the atmosphere seemed akin to that which occurs during a joint-interview; the only exception was when Wolf simply ignored the occasional “there he goes again not answering the question” observation by Corbett.

  36. Corbett should be brought up on murder and endangerment charges for all the patients he is withholding life saving medicine from. He said he when he was debating about when he was a.g. remember also he had info of what sandusky was doing. He was to scared to make waves. Didnt save our children then.. wont save them now. Why is he even in office. WE ARE THE 85%! – HD:

  37. Apparently the buck doesn’t stop on Corbett’s desk. Nothing that happens under his watch is his responsibility, nope it’s not his fault. The porn culture existed while he was A.G. Man up Mr. Corbett!

  38. After seeing the past two debates and just looking at the facts of the Corbett Governor term, Wolf is clearily a leader and Corbett is not. Corbett has ruined this state in four years and we need a new leader as Governor and Wolf is the right person for the job.

  39. Governor Corbett, for the good of Pennsylvania, you are DONE! You spent the entire debate shifting blame and not offering solutions. We have suffered thru 4 years of that with you…Pennsylvania can’t afford 4 more. Bye bye #OneTermTom!

  40. Very proud of Corbett’s performance again. Someone off the street watching these would wonder how he’s losing to this guy.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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