National Journal looks at why Pennsylvania’s governor can’t seem to gain any traction. Much of the problem is continuing fallout from the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State, the magazine says, but it’s also true that Corbett’s actual governance has alienated many people—including potential allies:
He began his gubernatorial tenure alienating Democrats by pressing for deep spending cuts, and now is ticking off conservatives for supporting tax hikes to raise revenues.
His latest proposal lifts a cap on the state’s fuel tax as part of a transportation-funding package that he argues could raise nearly $2 billion. The plan is similar to the deal Gov. Bob McDonnell struck, which has brought the popular Virginia governor a wave of criticism from conservatives. But Corbett doesn’t start out with the same degree of goodwill as his Southern counterpart.
Meanwhile, his latest $28.4 billion budget proposal increases current spending levels and ties Corbett’s top priorities of public-sector pension reform and liquor-store privatization to education spending, making life politically difficult for some Republican state senators.
Grover Norquist gave Corbett’s plan the kiss of death. “This proposal is a tax increase,” Norquist said.
Corbett might stand to benefit from an economy that’s not quite as disastrous as when he took office, but even there, the Associated Press says today that the governor has tried to claim too much credit for the recovery:
Regardless, economists agree that governors are bit players amid the wider economic forces that determine short-term job growth.
Pennsylvania recovered more quickly from the recession than other states because it did not experience as big a housing bubble. It also has been helped by a national resurgence of manufacturing and a drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, Moody’s Analytics economist Ryan Sweet said.
Hey, but at least he has Comcast’s David Cohen on his side, right?