Blog: Page 11

Scott Wagner Sees Kavanaugh as His Chance to Roll Back Abortion Rights in PA

Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is eagerly watching as Brett Kavanaugh sits before the U.S. Senate for his confirmation hearing.

Pennsylvania – Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is eagerly watching as Brett Kavanaugh sits before the U.S. Senate for his confirmation hearing. Kavanaugh is strongly anti-choice, and just last year he ruled to limit access to safe, legal abortion. He was nominated purely for the purpose of overturning Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, the fate of abortion access in Pennsylvania would lay in the hands of the governor. Scott Wagner has made clear that he supports Kavanaugh and wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

“Scott Wagner is thrilled by the possibility of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because it would help him achieve his goal of stripping health care away from Pennsylvania’s women,” said Beth Melena, communications director for the Wolf campaign. “Wagner has said that he would sign a six-week abortion ban, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant, and supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood. When asked about the possibility of a conservative Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Wagner nonchalantly responded, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ But we know exactly what would happen– Scott Wagner as governor would work unceasingly to roll back women’s reproductive rights.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wagner “Has Explicitly Said He’d Support Saccone’s Bill” To Ban Abortion As Early As Six Weeks. “One of the three GOP gubernatorial hopefuls, state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, has explicitly said he’d support Saccone’s bill.” [PennLive, 5/09/18]

Wagner: “I Was The Cosponsor Of Senate Bill 3 Which Would Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks.” “Last year I was the cosponsor of Senate Bill 3 which would ban abortion after 20 weeks and would ban dismemberment abortion.” [March For Life Speech, 1/19/18]

Wagner Co-Sponsored Senate Bill 300 To Defund Planned Parenthood. In 2017, Wagner co-sponsored SB 300, a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. According to the York Daily Record, the bill “would prohibit the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services from funding ‘any entity that performs abortions … or maintains or operates a facility where such abortions are performed.’ That bill also provides for federal and state funding to be redirected from Planned Parenthood and toward community health clinics.” [SB 300, 3/28/17; York Daily Record, 4/19/17]

Wagner Spokesperson Romeo: Wagner “Will Sign Pro-Life Legislation As Governor.” “In a statement sent to Breitbart News, Wagner spokesman Andrew Romeo said, ‘While Tom Wolf is being funded by a group that prioritizes abortions, and has vetoed pro-life bills on their behalf, Scott has a strong record standing up for the unborn in the Senate and will sign pro-life legislation as governor.’” [Breitbart, 6/15/18]

Wagner Supports Overturning Roe v. Wade. “When asked about the possibility of Donald Trump nominating another pro-life Supreme Court Justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Wagner responded by saying, “I am 100% pro-life, and I have a 100% pro-life voting record.” [PA Dems Release, 7/11/18]

Wagner: “…Whatever Happens, Happens” On Roe V. Wade. “If a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision and returns the issue of abortion rights to the states, Pennsylvania’s next governor could find a bill banning abortion on his desk… ‘It may, and whatever happens, happens,’ [Wagner] said.” [WHYY, 07/20/18]

Wagner Supports Kavanaugh’s Nomination. “Wagner, with running-mate Jeffrey Bartos at his side, tells his interrogator that “the answer to that question is that I support President Trump’s pick, and whatever happens in the Supreme– I can’t sit here and predict, I’m not a lawyer. But I’m 100 percent pro-life, and I support the president’s pick.” [PennLive, 8/07/18]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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ICYMI: York Dispatch: EDITORIAL: Transparency, if not the law, demands that Scott Wagner release his tax returns

Using his disdain for unions as a phony excuse for not releasing his tax returns is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in the state — especially for union workers.

* Using his disdain for unions as a phony excuse for not releasing his tax returns is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in the state — especially for union workers.

* However, we do believe the public — the folks he hopes to serve — should know as much as possible about his assets, so we can determine if there are some areas that may present a conflict. It’s a simple matter of transparency.

* So how about it, Mr. Wagner? Why not release your tax returns and prove you have nothing hide? The voters of Pennsylvania will be watching.

ICYMI: York Dispatch: EDITORIAL: Transparency, if not the law, demands that Scott Wagner release his tax returns


Scott Wagner is right about one thing — he is under no legal obligation to release his tax returns.

Ethically, however, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania should follow a tradition of transparency.

In recent decades, most gubernatorial nominees have, when asked, released part or all of their federal tax returns.

It’s obvious by now, however, that Wagner is not like most candidates of recent vintage.

That became painfully obvious recently when he was asked about releasing his returns. The owner of Penn Waste Inc., a nonunion, waste-hauling business in York County, fairly bristled in his response.

“If I make money or don’t make money that’s my business,” Wagner said during a question-and-answer session in Erie, an exchange captured on video by the Democratic party. “And you know what? If I disclose those tax returns, union representatives get a hold of my tax returns, go around to my employees’ homes at night and say, ‘Hey Mrs. Jones, how much does your husband make?’ She goes, ‘Well he makes this.’ ‘Well this guy makes a lot more.’”

A union critic: Wagner’s answer is hardly surprising. During his four years in the state Senate, Wagner often lambasted organized labor. He also supports “right-to-work” legislation — a measure that unions strongly oppose because it would prohibit them from collecting dues from employees who refuse to join the union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Using his disdain for unions as a phony excuse for not releasing his tax returns is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in the state — especially for union workers.

Taxpayers need to know about potential conflicts: Taxpayers need to know if candidates have financial interests that may present a conflict of interest if and when they assume office. That’s because our lawmakers have a great public trust — spending our precious tax dollars.

If you want to assume that trust, you should also be willing to assume the responsibility that comes with it — namely making your financial interests an open book.

Wagner clearly does not want to do that. For a private citizen, that’s perfectly fine. For a potential governor of a state with an annual budget north of $32 billion, it’s not fine.

The voters of Pennsylvania should make that clear to Wagner.

Not a requirement: Yes, we know Wagner is not required to release his taxes. Rather, candidates are only required to file “statements of financial interest” with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission. Wagner has done that.

Those documents require candidates to list sources of income, as well as enterprises in which they have a financial stake or to which they owe money, but not how much money they receive in income. A statement of financial interest is not nearly as revealing as a tax return, say accountants and government watchdogs.

A man of sizable means: Wagner has reported nearly 30 sources of income and Penn Waste reported $75 million in revenue last year. That’s a sizable financial portfolio. We’re not begrudging Wagner his money. He’s earned it.

However, we do believe the public — the folks he hopes to serve — should know as much as possible about his assets, so we can determine if there are some areas that may present a conflict.

It’s a simple matter of transparency.

Wolf pledges to release his return: His Democratic opponent, incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf, is also a man of significant means. Unlike Wagner, however, Wolf has pledged to release the first two pages of his tax return and then open up the rest of it to reporters after it is filed. Wolf has sought an extension of his 2017 return.

Wolf did something similar during his first gubernatorial run in 2014, when he beat then-Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who also released a tax return.

So how about it, Mr. Wagner? Why not release your tax returns and prove you have nothing hide?

The voters of Pennsylvania will be watching.

 

Read the piece here.

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ICYMI: Your Erie: No tax returns: Wagner says he doesn’t want his workers to know how much money he makes

Republican candidate for governor Scott Wagner is campaigning on a promise to “protect your paychecks,” but the businessman turned politician is refusing to release his tax returns.

* Republican candidate for governor Scott Wagner is campaigning on a promise to “protect your paychecks,” but the businessman turned politician is refusing to release his tax returns.

* Jim Wertz, Erie County Democratic Party, says, “This is indicative, not only of the candidate and the campaign, but the way Scott Wagner would govern as well. If as a candidate he’s gonna operate with this level of secrecy, what would we expect from his administration?”

* Multiple reports indicate the candidate believes his tax returns are no one else’s business, adding that he doesn’t want his workers to know how much money he makes.


ICYMI: Your Erie: No tax returns: Wagner says he doesn’t want his workers to know how much money he makes

It’s three months until election day and some voters are raising concerns about what information they haven’t been given.

Republican candidate for governor Scott Wagner is campaigning on a promise to “protect your paychecks,” but the businessman turned politician is refusing to release his tax returns.

Leaders from the local Republican and Democratic parties share their thoughts on Wagner’s decision.

Verel Salmon, Erie County Republican Committee, “He is involved with many, many businesses. The complexity of the thing is incredible. He’s an honest player and he’s reported everything that is required to be reported.”  

Jim Wertz, Erie County Democratic Party, says, “This is indicative, not only of the candidate and the campaign, but the way Scott Wagner would govern as well. If as a candidate he’s gonna operate with this level of secrecy, what would we expect from his administration?”

Multiple reports indicate the candidate believes his tax returns are no one else’s business, adding that he doesn’t want his workers to know how much money he makes.

 

Read the piece here.

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Governor Wolf Releases Full School Safety Task Force Report

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released the full report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released the full report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A Pennsylvania task force commissioned by Gov. Wolf in the aftermath of February’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school calls on school officials and students – and, when necessary, police – to better communicate with each other about potential threats, and urges schools to step up mental health services, including more psychologists and nurses.

The task force conducted several regional roundtable events where they received input from students, parents, school officials, school nurses and other health care professionals, law enforcement, education organizations and community members about how to improve safety and security. Feedback was also collected from hundreds of people via an online survey.

Ideas in the report for how to improve school safety include:

  • Improving communication and information sharing
  • Enhancing social and emotional learning
  • Increasing access to mental health services, including more health professionals in schools
  • Building community connections
  • Effectively integrating law enforcement and school resource officers
  • Providing guidance on establishing priorities for schools
  • Providing schools with more resources

The report includes detailed recommendations on how everyone involved can work together to prevent school-based violence from occurring.

“After reading the full report, I am impressed by the frank and honest discussions that the task force had with students, teachers, administrators and law enforcement and I commend them for the important and comprehensive recommendations to protect our students and schools,” said Governor Wolf. “It’s abundantly clear that by working together, schools, communities and the state can take a holistic approach to make our classrooms a safe place for students to learn.”

This report is part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to school safety. His 2018-19 budget includes an additional $60 million to help school districts address their individual needs for school safety.