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Independent Watchdogs Sound Alarm on Wagner’s Conflicts of Interest, Underscoring Need to See Tax Returns

Yesterday, The Caucus published a deep dive into Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner’s extensive conflicts of interest, underscoring the need for him to release his tax returns

Pennsylvania – Yesterday, The Caucus published a deep dive into Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner’s extensive conflicts of interest, underscoring the need for him to release his tax returns. Wagner has many business interests and contracts with the state, but he is refusing to put his assets in a blind trust or recuse himself from his business operations should he be elected governor. If elected, Wagner would have the power to appoint top officials in state government for departments that have extensive oversight of his businesses.

“Independent watchdogs are sounding the alarm about Scott Wagner’s conflicts of interest,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Wagner is the first gubernatorial candidate in 20 years not to release his tax returns, and as these watchdogs point out, those tax records are critical for voters to know more information about his conflicts of interest and how they will impact his decisions if elected governor. Scott Wagner must immediately release his tax returns.”

Read more about why Wagner’s business dealings and refusal to release his tax returns are so concerning here:

Wagner has declined to release any portion of his tax returns, breaking with a decadeslong custom in Pennsylvania’s governor’s race. Wolf publicly released the first two pages of his return and made the entire 102- page return available to a journalist for review. Wagner has said he does not want his employees to know how much he is paid.

If Wagner wins the election, critics worry that his diverse portfolio of investments could present conflicts and wonder about his ability to maintain a hands-off approach with regard to his businesses. While he was in the Senate, Wagner maintained control of those operations; Penn Waste received $578,000 in payments from the state for wastehauling services, according to the Treasury. Eagle Disposal received $97,000, according to PennWatch records.

Both companies have been prequalified by the Department of General Services for access to as much as $15 million in business through a state-run cooperative purchasing program. By being in the pool of vendors, the companies have access to a group of more than 8,600 purchasers.

Government watchdogs say Penn Waste’s state contracts alone should require Wagner to provide the public with additional disclosures, preferably tax records that show income from wages, capital gains, dividends — each listed individually by source.

“As governor, there would be opportunities for him to enrich his business through state contracts that would facilitate the trash-hauling business. It boils down to divestiture or recusal. If he is refusing to divest, then he must be held accountable and fully disclose his business interest,” said Craig Holman, of Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based organization.

David Thornburgh, the president of the good-government organization Committee of Seventy, said Wagner’s large business portfolio and his contracts with the state necessitate he release his tax returns.

“Voters want to know that their officials are considering legislation for the right reasons: to benefit the communities and the people they represent, that there’s no sidebar deal that would help their individual business or individual interests,” he said. “If people lose that confidence, it devalues the whole system. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if people lose confidence, they may be less likely to vote or lose sight of the legislative process.” [The Caucus, 10/24/18]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Governor Wolf Signs Historic Anti-Hazing Legislation in Memory of Timothy Piazza

Earlier today, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 1090 into law as part of his ongoing efforts to protect Pennsylvania’s students.

Earlier today, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 1090 into law as part of his ongoing efforts to protect Pennsylvania’s students. According to the Associated Press:

“Gov. Tom Wolf called it ‘long overdue’ as he put his signature on legislation to enact stricter criminal penalties and permit courts to order confiscation of frat houses where hazing has occurred.”

Also known as the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, the legislation was sparked by the tragic death of Piazza, then a sophomore at Penn State, in early 2017 due to hazing. After unanimously passing both houses of the state legislature, “Tim’s Law” was sent to the desk of Governor Wolf, who had long voiced support for the legislation.

“Tim’s tragic experience has led to real change,” said Governor Wolf. “There is no place for hazing on our college campuses. And together, we will protect students and hold accountable those who engage in it. We mourn for Tim’s loss with his family, and while we can never fix what they’ve gone through, this new law will help to prevent other tragedies.”

Timothy’s parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, joined Governor Wolf at the signing ceremony alongside Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, Penn State President Eric J. Barron, and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Greenstein.

Ensuring the safety of Pennsylvania’s students has been a top priority for Governor Wolf. Earlier this year, he formed the School Safety Task Force with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale to ensure that Pennsylvania is doing everything possible to make sure that our schools are safe places for our children to learn. He also launched the It’s on Us PA initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses.

ICYMI: VIDEO: WGAL: Wagner’s Running Mate and Fellow Republicans Distance Themselves After Unhinged, Violent Rant

Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jeff Bartos: “I’m glad that he apologized and I agree with him that that wasn’t the right thing to say.”

* Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jeff Bartos: “I’m glad that he apologized and I agree with him that that wasn’t the right thing to say.”

* Republican Congressman Lloyd Smucker: “Probably given a do-over on that you may not use those words again.”

* Republican Congressman Scott Perry: “It’s important that our messages are civil with each other. Even though we might disagree on policy, we need to remain civil.”


WATCH: https://youtu.be/3LJ9FLUOhI4

TRANSCRIPT:

ANCHOR: In this morning’s commitment 2018 coverage, several Republican candidates rallied the faithful at last night’s annual Party Dinner in York County.

ANCHOR 2: WGAL News 8’s Beccah Hendrickson was there.

HENDRICKSON: Three weeks out from the midterms, an array of GOP candidates spent the night in York County campaigning for the party.

BARTOS: Tens of thousands of supporters that we know we have in York County and in the surrounding counties which is really the heart of our campaign.

HENDRICKSON: The top of the party ticket in PA was present only in his running-mate who recognized the ticket is catching national heat after Scott Wagner’s comments to incumbent Governor Wolf on the race last week.

WAGNER: … because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes because I’m going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania.

BARTOS: I’m glad that he apologized and I agree with him that that wasn’t the right thing to say.

HENDRICKSON: In the now split district both congressman Smucker and Perry, who are up for re-election, both said they disagreed with the rhetoric.

SMUCKER: Probably given a do-over on that you may not use those word again.

PERRY: It’s important that our messages are civil with each other. Even though we might disagree on policy, we need to remain civil.

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VIDEO: News Outlets Across the Country Agree – Scott Wagner is a National Embarrassment

Last week, in true Wagner fashion, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner yet again became a national embarrassment by demonstrating to the entire country that he is unhinged and unfit for office.

Pennsylvania – Last week, in true Wagner fashion, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner yet again became a national embarrassment by demonstrating to the entire country that he is unhinged and unfit for office. Wagner’s angry rant in which he threatened physical violence against Governor Wolf is grabbing headlines across the country. Check out the coverage below:

WATCH: https://youtu.be/DIyhKcyIGQw

New York Times: Republican Candidate in Pennsylvania Threatens to ‘Stomp All Over’ Opponent’s Face

Washington Post: GOP gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania warns Democrat of plans to ‘stomp all over your face with golf spikes’

Reuters: ‘I’m going to stomp all over your face,’ Pennsylvania Republican threatens election rival in video

CNN: PA candidate Wagner says he’ll ‘stomp all over’ Gov. Wolf’s ‘face with golf spikes’

Fox News: Pennsylvania GOP gov candidate says he’ll ‘stomp’ on Gov. Wolf’s face ‘with golf spikes’

NBC News: Pennsylvania GOP gov candidate vows to ‘stomp’ on opponent’s ‘face with golf spikes’

CBS News: GOP Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate says he’ll “stomp” on opponent’s face with golf spikes

Huff Post: Twitter Users Jeer GOP Candidate Over ‘Most Elitist Threat I’ve Ever Heard’

HuffPost: GOP Candidate Threatens To ‘Stomp All Over’ Rival With Golf Spikes

The Hill: GOP gov candidate says he will ‘stomp’ Dem opponent’s face with ‘golf spikes’

Roll Call: Scalise: Threatening to ‘Stomp All Over’ Opponent’s Face Is ‘Unacceptable’

NY Post: Gubernatorial candidate threatens to ‘stomp all over’ opponent

Newsweek: Republican Candidate Threatens To Stomp On Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Face With Golf Spikes

Axios: GOP candidate threatens to “stomp all over” opponent Tom Wolf’s face

Talking Points Memo: PA GOP Guv Candidate Threatens To ‘Stomp’ On Wolf’s Face With ‘Golf Spikes’

The Hill: GOP candidate says he chose bad ‘metaphor’ with face-stomping comments

Rolling Stone: Things Are Getting Weird in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Race

GQ: Republican Candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Threatens to “Stomp” His Opponent’s Face

Think Progress: GOP candidate says threat to ‘stomp’ his opponent’s face ‘with golf spikes’ was a metaphor

Daily Caller: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Candidate Vows To ‘stomp All Over’ Tom Wolf’s Face With ‘golf Spikes’

Daily Caller: Scalise Calls Out Gop Candidate Who Pledged To ‘stomp’ Democratic Opponent’s Face

The Blaze: PA-Gov: Wagner tells Wolf, ‘I’m gonna stomp all over your face with golf spikes’ in ‘unhinged’ video

Town Hall: Scalise Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Threats GOP PA Gov Candidate Made Against Opponent

Daily Beast: GOP Candidate Threatens to ‘Stomp All Over’ Gov. Tom Wolf’s Face With ‘Golf Spikes’

Bustle: Video Of Scott Wagner Threatening To “Stomp” On His Opponent’s Face Is Shocking

Golf Digest: GOP candidate threatens to “stomp” on Pennsylvania governor’s face with golf spikes

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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