Blog: Page 6

VIDEO: Wagner Doubles Down On Taxing Seniors’ Retirement Accounts

Today in a PennLive Editorial Board meeting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said, “everything’s on the table” when considering which new taxes to levy. That includes seniors’ retirement accounts, which Wagner has vocally supported.

Pennsylvania – Today in a PennLive Editorial Board meeting, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said, “everything’s on the table” when considering which new taxes to levy. That includes seniors’ retirement accounts, which Wagner has vocally supported.

“Pennsylvania’s seniors cannot afford Scott Wagner as governor,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Wagner would tax seniors’ retirement accounts, charge seniors an age tax, hike prescription drug costs, and gut Medicaid expansion. He has even gone so far as to call our hardworking seniors the ‘Greediest Generation Ever.’ Scott Wagner is the very worst of Harrisburg.”

WATCH: https://youtu.be/sE7vPteiHf8

 

BACKGROUND:

VIDEO: Wagner Wants to Tax Seniors Retirement Accounts “The other problem we have is – and this really angers me to a certain degree. We don’t tax retirement income in the state of Pennsylvania.” [Berk County Patriots Meeting, 1/21/16]

VIDEO: Wagner Would Roll Back Medicaid Expansion. “We should roll back Medicaid expansion.” [GrowPA Republican Candidates Forum, 3/06/18]

VIDEO: Wagner Called Seniors The “Greediest Generation Ever.” In a December 2016 interview with PennLive, Wagner said about seniors receiving pensions, “If you go onto Google and Google ‘greediest generation ever’ you’d be shocked at what pops up. They don’t care. It’s all about them. It’s all about me.” [PennLive, 12/07/16]

Wagner Was The Only Senator To Not Vote On A Bill To Lower Prescription Drug Costs For Seniors. In November 2017, Wagner did not vote on final passage of House Bill 425 to help seniors continue to receive prescription drug benefits through PACE and PACE NET by excluding Social Security cost of living increases from income limits for the programs. [HB 425, RCS# 345, 11/15/17; Governor Tom Wolf Press Release, 12/21/17]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Scott Wagner Praises Former Governor Corbett for Cutting $1 Billion from Education

In last night’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Scott Wagner gave an impassioned defense of former Governor Tom Corbett, defending his record of… cutting $1 billion from education.

Pennsylvania – In last night’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Scott Wagner gave an impassioned defense of former Governor Tom Corbett, defending his record of… cutting $1 billion from education. Wagner said: “People need to know that Governor Corbett did as much for education as really any governor. And he needs to be remembered for that.”

“By praising Governor Corbett’s disastrous education record, Scott Wagner made it clear that, as governor, he would take us back to the days when Harrisburg Republicans cut $1 billion from education, leading to mass teacher layoffs, cuts to important programs like pre-kindergarten, and larger class sizes,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Scott Wagner would put our children’s futures at risk and would take Pennsylvania backwards.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wagner Supported Harrisburg Republicans $1 Billion Cut to Education.

INTERVIEWER: Well, they say the Governor runs the largest corporation in the state.  He is the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He’s come out with some pretty dramatic changes for the budget in this coming season, but we still have ⅔ of Pennsylvanians are opposed to the cuts in education.  If you were to give him advice, would you tell him to stick to his guns on these dramatic cuts that he’s making across the board. Education’s hit the worst, but everybody’s getting hit.

WAGNER: “Yes, I believe that Governor Corbett needs to stick to his plan.” [Behind the Headlines, 5/23/11]

Wagner Advocated For Laying Off 10% of Teachers in Pennsylvania. “‘We have 180,000 teachers in the state of Pennsylvania,’ Wagner said. ‘If we laid off 10 percent of the teachers in the state of Pennsylvania, we’d never miss them.’” [ABC27, 6/29/15]

Wagner Co-Sponsored Bill Which Could Gut $1.7 Billion from Public Education. “But every time a student opts to take the money, the same number of dollars would be subtracted from his or her home district. In theory, that could reach about 1.7 billion dollars, a fifth of the amount spent by the state on K-12 public education.” [Senate Bill 2, introduced 10/17/17; WHYY, 5/22/18]

Wagner Would Not Devote More Money To Public Schools. “To a great extent, it appeared that two candidates — Paul Mango and Scott Wagner — would be unwilling to devote more money to public schools … Scott Wagner … said he believes the state spends ‘enough money’ on public schools, while stressing the need for frugality, fewer regulations and more accountability.” [Associated Press, 3/07/18]

Wagner Said The State Should Not Spend More On Public Education. “The candidates — State Sen. Scott Wagner of York County; Paul Mango, a retired health-care consultant, and lawyer Laura Ellsworth, both from the Pittsburgh area — agreed that the state shouldn’t spend more money on public education…” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/06/18]

Wagner Twice Voted Against Restoring Funding For The Safe School Initiative. In April 2017, House Bill 218 eliminated money for the Safe School Initiative. The Senate restored that funding in their version of the budget, and Wagner voted against it in committee and on the floor. [HB 218, General Fund State Appropriations, 4/03/17, Senate Appropriations Committee Vote, Roll Call #391, 6/29/17, RCS# 206, 6/30/17]

HEADLINE: “State Senator Who Can Afford To Charter Helicopters On Whim Says Public Schools Overfunded.” [Huffington Post, 6/05/15]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE SUMMARY: Governor Wolf Will Move Pennsylvania Forward; Scott Wagner Will Take Pennsylvania Backwards

After tonight’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate, the contrast between the candidates could not be more clear– Governor Wolf will move Pennsylvania forward. Scott Wagner will take Pennsylvania backwards.

Hershey, PA – After tonight’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate, the contrast between the candidates could not be more clear– Governor Wolf will move Pennsylvania forward. Scott Wagner will take Pennsylvania backwards.

“Tonight’s debate made clear that Governor Wolf will continue building on his progress from the past four years by investing in career and technical education and skills training, expanding access to quality and affordable health care, and working to help more seniors stay in their homes,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Scott Wagner is the very worst of Harrisburg. He would take Pennsylvania backwards by gutting funding for education, rolling back Medicaid expansion, and taxing seniors’ retirement accounts.”

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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FACT CHECK: Scott Wagner Puts Oil and Gas Special Interests Ahead of Pennsylvanians

Responding to Scott Wagner’s misleading claims about a severance tax in tonight’s debate, Beth Melena, communications director for the Wolf campaign, issued the following statement:

Hershey, PA – Responding to Scott Wagner’s misleading claims about a severance tax in tonight’s debate, Beth Melena, communications director for the Wolf campaign, issued the following statement:

“Scott Wagner’s opposition to a commonsense severance tax is purely fueled by politics and the special interests that fund his campaign. Wagner was once caught urging other legislators to vote against the severance tax to hurt Governor Wolf’s reelection chances. Meanwhile, natural gas drillers spent more than $60 million to lobby the Pennsylvania legislature. Governor Wolf has long pushed for a severance tax, which has wide, bipartisan support throughout the commonwealth, as a way to bring much needed revenue into the state and reassure Pennsylvanians that the oil and gas industry is paying its fair share.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wagner Urged Blocking Shale Tax To Deny Wolf Re-election. “A Republican state senator running for governor is on a recording telling a crowd that he’s urged House Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor to block a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production to hurt Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s re-election chances… On the recording, Wagner says, “I said, ‘Stan you cannot let this severance tax get through and it gets to the governor’s’ desk, because if that happens the governor is going to get re-elected. Stan, you take that to the bank.'” [Associated Press, 10/02/17]

Natural Gas Drillers Spend More Than $60 Million To Woo Pa. Legislature. “An Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette analysis of lobbying disclosure and campaign finance records since 2010 shows that natural gas drilling companies and their industry groups have spent at least $46.6 million on lobbying and another $14.5 million on political donations — many of the latter going to legislative leaders who control the flow of bills in the Capitol and the heads of committees that regulate their business.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/01/17]

Pennsylvanians Would Only Pay For A Fraction Of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Severance Tax. But according to the IFO, more of the expense would be absorbed by consumers in other states where Pennsylvania natural gas is shipped. Additionally, there are many factors that would impact the ratio — everything from market forces to commodity prices to the tax amount levied to the availability of pipeline infrastructure across Pennsylvania to move gas to other markets. Without that nuance, Wagner’s claim leads a reasonable reader to conclude that the entirety of the burden would be borne by residents of the Commonwealth. Given that, we rate the claim Mostly False.” [Politifact PA, 5/25/18]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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