Monday, May 19, 2014

The primary looms

I noticed that Gov. Tom Corbett was in town on Saturday.

He doesn't have an opponent in the primary, now that Bob Guzzardi has been booted off the ballot, but that's not keeping him from pressing the flesh. That's a good strategy, because he's going to need all the breaks he can get.

Corbett finds himself in an unusual spot, an incumbent who is way behind in the polls.

In fact, most polls identify Corbett as the nation's most vulnerable governor.

He'll find out who his running against tomorrow. My money is on Tom Wolf, who used $10 million of his own money - a lot of it gained from a loan - to bankroll an avalanche of TV advertising in the dead of winter that pushed him to what seems like an insourmountable lead over U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinley.

Today Schwartz will be in the county, with an appearance the Llanerch Diner at noon.

I used my print column today to talk about an old axiom. It only proves that in politics, some things don't change. Money talks, everything else walks.

Ironically, the governor was in Marcus Hook talking about saving the refineries and the benefits of the state Marcellus Shale boom at the same time that fellow Republican Tom McGarrigle was opening his campaign headquarters in Springfield. McGarrigle will face off with Democrat John Kane for 26th District state Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Ted Erickson.

Corbett should be standing next to the popular McGarrigle every chance he gets this fall, but first they might need to have a discussion on taxing natural gas drillers in the state. McGarrigle wants a 4 percent levy, using the revenue for education. Corbett adamantly opposes such a tax.

I'll be interested to see how the governor and McGarrigle interact in the fall.

And other thing, just in case you didn't make it to the end of my print column.

I am well aware of Corbett's problems,and his standing in the polls. I also know this state's tendencies. We simply do not turn out incumbent governors after one term. It says here that Corbett wins a nailbiter over Wolf in the fall.

You heard it here first.

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