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PA-Gov: Wolf Rejects “Most Liberal” Ranking

Tom-Wolf sadDon’t call him a liberal…at least not the most liberal.

Gov. Tom Wolf balked at being ranked as the nation’s “most liberal” Governor, rejecting partisan labels in favor of neutral ‘practicality.’

Wolf appeared on WITF’s Smart Talk on Monday and told host Scott LaMar that PA voters should evaluate him on his policies and their outcomes.

“I’m standing up for public education. I’m standing up for two plus two equals four in a balanced budget. I’m standing up for property tax relief,” said Wolf. “I don’t care what you call that — liberal, conservative, I don’t know — but it’s practical.”

Earlier this month, a study by data visualization company InsideGov used public statements, press releases, campaign platforms and voting records to rank all fifty American governors from most liberal to most conservative. Wolf was ranked as most liberal, ahead of Washington and Minnesota Govs. Jay Inslee and Mark Dayton.

Wolf suggested that this practicality may have roots in business acumen. He noted that Inslee and Dayton, the second- and third-most liberal Governors, also had private sector experience.

“The governor of Washington, the governor of Minnesota, and me. All three of us have a business background. That tells you something about that list,” said Wolf. “People with practical experience actually building something and doing something successful in the private sector — they’re the ones who are the most liberal? Maybe that tells you something about their definition of liberal.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was a partner in a small firm before entering politics. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s briefly owned an investment business and is the heir to the Target store fortune.

4 Responses

  1. Don’t worry what he pretends to be. He promises to tax Pa into prosperity. Oh and higher electric bills are okay too.

  2. Governor Wolf reminds me of Ohio’s Governor Kasich: practical, caring, conservative and thrifty, liberal on social issues that matter.

  3. Looks like Wolf responded when directly asked about it, and wouldn’t have acknowledged it otherwise. Even so, a sooner response would have been merited perhaps if the Gov. felt as repulsed by the moniker as he professes to be.

    These types of assessments don’t mean much to me because they measure platitudes and ideology rather than outcomes. Even if InsideGov were able to somehow objectively measure press releases and statements, etc., the real effect of a Governor’s tenure is of course policy outcomes. We’ll be able to place Wolf with more certainty after he leaves office or soon before.

    While I’m not saying Wolf can’t end up as a very liberal Gov. as InsideGov insinuates, I don’t think a limited sample of entirely subjective press statements, among other measures, is enough to make a determination that is reliable–or meaningful, for that matter.

    Case in point: Gov. Corbett could be rated among the more conservative Govs in the US during his tenure, but he lacked the public support and political capital to push through his agenda, even in a legislature dominated in his own party.

    Only time will tell.

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