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Week in Review: Corbett Proves He’s a Harrisburg Insider who is Hostile to Workers, Devoted to Special Interests

Week in Review: Corbett Proves He’s a Harrisburg Insider who is Hostile to Workers, Devoted to Special Interests
Tom Corbett continued his struggle to demonstrate a basic understanding of economic policy, while proving that he is just another Harrisburg insider who would rather raise taxes on workers than stand up to special interests, particularly the Big Oil and Gas drillers that fund his campaign.
Corbett Struggles to Explain His Proposed Tax Increase on Workers. Consensus Concludes it is a… Tax Increase
“That would definitely fall into the category of a payroll tax increase,” says [Americans for Tax Reform’s] director of state affairs, Patrick Gleason. “It’s a little confusing, but it is a payroll tax. Raising that would be a tax increase.” [WITF, 10/7/10]

Tom Corbett repeated the claim that his proposed $3 billion payroll tax hike on workers is not actually a tax increase, but the very organization that sponsored his “no-tax pledge” said it is. Of course, Tom Corbett himself called for an increase in the “payroll tax” during the September 27 gubernatorial debate, saying, “I would look at the payroll tax – increasing the payroll contributions.” 
Nevertheless, the Onorato campaign released a brief web video highlighting Corbett’s tax increase and the self-evident fact that payroll taxes are, in fact, taxes. 

Local Elected Officials and Environmental Groups Call Out Corbett for Protecting Big Oil and Gas Drillers 

“Is Tom Corbett interested in carrying the water of the gas-drilling industry or protecting Pennsylvania’s waterways? … Corbett’s position on this issue is not in the citizens’ best interest, particularly those in the Northern Tier where drilling is under way. And that’s distressing…” [Times-Leader, 10/5/10]
In an editorial titled, “Corbett should put citizens first,” the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader called on the Republican nominee to side with the taxpayers by supporting a severance tax like every other major gas-producing state already has. Corbett would rather Pennsylvania taxpayers pick up the bill to pay for the industry’s impact on local communities.
Dozens of local elected officials sent a letter to Corbett asking him to stand with Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.  “In the towns, cities and counties that many of us are elected to serve, we are already seeing wear-and-tear on our roads as a result of the heavy equipment that the industry requires,” the 47 leaders wrote. “We don’t want our taxpayers to be stuck with the bill to fix these infrastructure challenges. 
And, Onorato accepted the endorsement of PennEnvironment.  “Sadly, Tom Corbett’s position is out of touch with that of the public, most of the environmental community, and many of his Republican colleagues in Harrisburg,” said David Masur, PennEnvironment director.

More Proof that Corbett is Just Another Harrisburg Politician 

“[Corbett’s] solicitation letter went to Perzel’s Statehouse office – which anyone who has followed Bonusgate knows isn’t in the spirit of keeping politics and government in the Capitol separate.’ [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/6/10]

Proving yet again that Tom Corbett is just another Harrisburg politician who puts his own election ahead of the public interest, a Corbett fundraising letter surfaced in which the Attorney General asked Republican State Rep. John Perzel for a contribution to his campaign.

“Corbett has come under fire before for his contact with Perzel. In 2007, during his investigation into corruption in the Capitol, Corbett met with Perzel, and a few months later, Perzel’s then-chief of staff, Brian Preski, organized a fund-raiser for the Attorney General. Corbett’s office last November charged Perzel and nine others, including Preski, with misusing public money for campaign purposes.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/6/10]
And Pennsylvania taxpayers were reminded of an infamous anniversary: When reformers were fighting to overturn the 2005 middle-of-the-night legislative pay raise, Corbett took another approach: defending it.  On October 7, 2005, Corbett asked Commonwealth Court to dismiss a lawsuit that was trying to undo the pay raise.  Corbett may say that he was just doing his job. But with the stakes so high in this election, Pennsylvania voters need a Governor who is going to at least take a stand, speak out on behalf of taxpayers and change Harrisburg – not defend it.

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