Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Corbett rips Dems on gas tax plans; what about McGarrigle?

Gov. Tom Corbett, meet Tom McGarrigle.

Maybe you've heard of him. Popular head of Delaware County Council. He was there when you were announcing all that money to save the local refineries.

Now he wants to fill the seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. Ted Erickson, R-26. He does not have a primary opponent today, and will face off with Democrat John Kane, a labor leader from Ridley, in the November general election.

Yesterday the governor couldn't resist taking a swing at the cavalcade of Democrats who are seeking to wrest the governor's mansion from him in November.

All of them are backing a new tax on the state's burgeoning natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale regions of the state. Corbett is adamantly opposed to such a tax. He instead pushed early in his first term for an "impact fee" instead of a tax.

Dems flogged him for missing a crucial revenue opportunity. He never blinked, saying that new taxes could drive away a huge economic opportunity.

Maybe McGarrigle didn't get the message. He's on record saying he wants a 4 percent levy on gas drillers, with all that money going to education to help ease the perennial problem with funding in that area. Yesterday Corbett was on talk radio in Philly and once again blasted his would-be Democratic challengers for calling for a tax on natural gas.

The governor said it's not right to single out one industry to tax it and accused Democrats of not liking the free enterprise system. He commented that it seems like Democrats want to punish people who are making money and make them pay for everything.

He didn't mention McGarrigle. I'm not surprised.

Yesterday, the Springfield businessman opened his campaign HQ on his home turf in Springfield. The governor just happened to be down in Marcus Hook, talking about his work to save the refineries. I don't think their paths crossed.

I'm not a bit surprised.

I do know this. Come the fall, Corbett is much more likely to need McGarrigle than the other way around. The last time we asked the governor about his differences with the Delco Republican, he admitted that they have different views and that they would have "to have a discussion about it."

I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that discussion.

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