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VIDEO: Scott Wagner Says Schools Are Overfunded While Sitting In Helicopter He Chartered

Scott Wagner is doing his very best to paint himself as a pro-education candidate. But he can’t hide his record from Pennsylvania voters.

Pennsylvania – Scott Wagner is doing his very best to paint himself as a pro-education candidate. But he can’t hide his record from Pennsylvania voters.

In one of the most out of touch moments Wagner’s ever had, and after the devastating billion dollar cut to education he supported,  Wagner said schools are overfunded while sitting in a helicopter he chartered for the sole purpose of showing a reporter school campuses he believes prove schools are overfunded. During this helicopter ride, he said,  “Governor Wolf wants to dump another billion dollars into the school districts. Honestly, if I had to vote on that today my vote would be no. I don’t believe the schools need a billion dollars.”

“Scott Wagner is an anti-education candidate who supported the Harrisburg Republicans’ one billion cut to education that led to larger class sizes, educator layoffs, and cuts to important programs like pre-k,” said Beth Melena, Wolf campaign communications director. “Not only did he support the billion dollar cuts to schools, but he also vehemently opposed Governor Wolf’s plan to restore those cuts and has repeatedly said that schools are overfunded. Scott Wagner can’t hide his anti-education record from the people of Pennsylvania while insisting schools are overfunded from a helicopter he chartered.”

WATCH: https://youtu.be/6V3tsXS7HNw

 

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 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]

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

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VIDEO: Why is Scott Wagner Refusing to Release His Tax Returns?

Today, the Wolf campaign launched a video to highlight how Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is hiding from the people of Pennsylvania by refusing to release his tax returns.

Pennsylvania – Today, the Wolf campaign launched a video to highlight how Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is hiding from the people of Pennsylvania by refusing to release his tax returns. He is the first gubernatorial candidate in over 20 years not to release them. Meanwhile, his company, Penn Waste, is raising rates on small business owners and consumers.

What is Scott Wagner hiding? Is he trying to bail out his failing business by raising rates on his customers? The people of Pennsylvania deserve answers.

WATCH: https://youtu.be/Ov-qqGLSsNg

 

BACKGROUND

VIDEO: Wagner Says He Will Not Release His Tax Returns. [HANRAHAN:] Will you commit right now for releasing your tax returns and medical records? … [WAGNER:] “No.” [WGAL Debate, 58:21, 3/01/18]

Wagner First General Election Gubernatorial Candidate Not To Release Tax Returns Since At Least the 1990s. “Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates aren’t required by law to release their tax returns, but candidates for the commonwealth’s highest office have done so for at least six campaigns dating back to the 1990s … According to the Associated Press, state Sen. Scott Wagner, who is described as prominent in the south-central Pennsylvania waste-hauling industry, has refused to say why he won’t release his tax return.” [Altoona Mirror, Editorial, 3/25/18]

Wagner “Declined To Say” Why He Will Not Release His Tax Returns. “… Scott Wagner, a state senator who is prominent in south-central Pennsylvania’s waste-hauling industry, declined to say through his campaign why he will not release a tax return.” [Associated Press, 3/11/18]

Wagner “Blasted” For Refusing To Release Tax Returns. “And [Democrats] have blasted him for refusing to release his tax returns, and for saying he would not relinquish ownership in his businesses — which are regulated by state government — if he were to become governor.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/07/18]

Editorial Boards Slammed Wagner For Refusing to Release Tax Returns.

  • Candidates For Pa. Governor Should Disclose Tax Returns.  [Altoona Mirror, Editorial, 3/25/18]
  • Candidate’s Should Open Tax Records. [Daily Item, Editorial, 3/14/18]
  • What Are Candidates Hiding By Refusing To Release Tax Returns? [The Intelligencer, Editorial, 4/15/18]
  • Gubernatorial candidates should release tax returns. [Butler Eagle, Editorial, 3/14/18]
  • GOP candidates for governor should release their tax returns. [LNP, Editorial, 3/14/18]

Penn Waste is Raising Rates

“Penn Waste is bound by contracts with its municipal account holders, which usually last for terms of three to five years, Davidson said. If they don’t renegotiate rates now, municipalities will see them skyrocket to retroactively compensate Penn Waste for the revenue it lost on their accounts.” [The Burg, 5/25/18]

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Scott Wagner Pushing A “Well-Documented Falsehood” That Has “Been Thoroughly Debunked”

This morning, PennLive reiterated that Scott Wagner is spreading fake news about Governor Wolf’s education record.

Pennsylvania – This morning, PennLive reiterated that Scott Wagner is spreading fake news about Governor Wolf’s education record. The column reads:

“But if Wagner is challenging Wolf to bone up on the issues, he’ll need to do a tad bit of homework himself. First up, Wolf isn’t going to cut funding for 362 schools. That’s a well-documented falsehood, stemming from Wolf’s comments about implementing a new school funding formula that has been thoroughly debunked.”

Governor Wolf has always been a champion of investing in our schools, while Scott Wagner has been the exact opposite. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what papers across the state have said:

Bill White, Morning Call: “state Sen. Scott Wagner, has attacked “hold harmless” as a state senator and gubernatorial candidate, not to mention consistently opposed increases in school funding. It’s hard to imagine a less likely education candidate.”

York Dispatch: “Wagner, meanwhile, has made numerous statements over the years that make it clear he’s no great friend to education, particularly our teachers. He once said ‘if we laid off 10 percent of the teachers in Pennsylvania, we’d never miss them.’ He’s also said earlier this year that he believes that the state spends “enough money” on public schools.”

John Micek, PennLive: “And make no mistake: Wagner is no friend of public education. He’s a vocal supporter of school choice, which would funnel millions of dollars out of districts.”

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 of 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 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]

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

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MEMO: Scott Wagner’s Long History of Supporting Anti-Education Policies

While Governor Wolf was fighting to restore the one billion dollar cut to education made by Harrisburg Republicans that Scott Wagner supported, Scott Wagner chartered a helicopter ride for himself and a reporter to show school campuses and argue his point that schools did not need more funding.

To: Interested Parties

From: Jeff Sheridan, Campaign Manager, Tom Wolf for Governor

RE: Scott Wagner’s Long History of Supporting Anti-Education Policies

Date: July 24, 2018

 

Earlier today Governor Wolf strongly rebuked Scott Wagner’s lies about his education record.

While Governor Wolf was fighting to restore the one billion dollar cut to education made by Harrisburg Republicans that Scott Wagner supported, Scott Wagner chartered a helicopter ride for himself and a reporter to show school campuses and argue his point that schools did not need more funding.

“Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) is sick of what he calls the myth of underfunded schools in Pennsylvania. He so wanted to make his point that he chartered a helicopter and flew us over a few of the Midstate’s larger school districts.” [ABC 27, 5/27/15]

He continued on to say:

“Governor Wolf wants to dump another billion dollars into the school districts,” Wagner said. “Honestly, if I had to vote on that today I believe my vote would be no. I don’t believe the schools need a billion dollars.” [ABC 27, 5/27/15]

Scott Wagner has a long history of supporting anti-education policies. He has:

  • Supported Harrisburg Republicans’ one billion dollar cut to education which led to cuts to important programs like pre-k, larger class sizes, and teacher layoffs.
  • Advocated for laying off 10% of Pennsylvania teachers.
  • Been on record saying we do not need to invest more money into public education
  • Supported school choice policies that would strip billions from our public schools
  • Chartered a helicopter ride for himself and a reporter to show school campuses and argue his point that schools did not need more funding.

The contrast in the race could not be more clear. Tom Wolf has been fighting to invest in and protect public education while Scott Wagner wants to slash funding and lay off educators.

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 of 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 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, 3/07/18]

Wagner Chartered A Helicopter Ride For Himself And A Local Reporter To Show School Campuses And Argue His Point That Schools Did Not Need More Funding. The York Dispatch reported, “A York senator made national news this weekend after chartering a helicopter ride for himself and a local reporter to show that state’s schools are not strapped for more funding. A segment from the Huffington Post web site includes: According to ACB27 reporter Dennis Owens, Sen. Scott Wagner pointed at various schools from 1,600 feet up to make the argument that their expansive facilities mean the state spends ‘a lot of money’ on all schools. ‘This looks like a college or university campus if you look at the sports fields,’ he said of one. ‘And they have tennis courts down there.’” [York Dispatch, 6/06/15]

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

Wagner Said The Purpose Of His Helicopter Tour Was To “Highlight The Size And Excellent Condition Of Many Of Pennsylvania’s Public Schools.” Wagner said in a statement: “Senator Wagner took Dennis Owens, a reporter for ABC 27, and his cameraman for an aerial tour of various public schools. The purpose of the tour was to highlight the size and excellent condition of many of Pennsylvania’s public schools.” [Office of Sen. Scott Wagner, statement, 5/28/15]

Wagner: “I Have Visited Every Public School In My District, And They Are All Doing Just Fine As Far As Their Facilities Are Concerned.” Wagner said in a statement: “Senator Wagner took Dennis Owens, a reporter for ABC 27, and his cameraman for an aerial tour of various public schools. The purpose of the tour was to highlight the size and excellent condition of many of Pennsylvania’s public schools. ‘I have visited every public school district in my Senate district, and they are all doing just fine as far as their facilities are concerned,’ Wagner commented. ‘Perhaps Mr. Sheridan should stop regurgitating union talking points supplied by the PSEA and start talking to real people – the ones that are choking on taxes, which Governor Wolf wants to increase so he can shovel more money into the black hole of education funding.’” [Office of Sen. Scott Wagner, statement, 5/28/15]

Wagner Said PA Public School Had “Taj-Mahal-Like Facilities” And “College-Like Campuses.” Wagner said in a statement: “This is exactly why the citizens of York County sent me to Harrisburg. For years they have watched these Taj-Mahal-like facilities be built while their property taxes continued to skyrocket. Taxpayers are tired of being fed PSEA union talking points to justify more and more spending. Clearly, we can see where the money we are giving them is going – to building these college-like campuses, which of course, are built using mandated prevailing wages. And let’s not forget the even bigger, yearly culprits – salaries, pensions, and benefits.” [Office of Sen. Scott Wagner, statement, 5/28/15]

Wagner Voted Against 2015-2016 Compromise Budget Plan With More For Education. In December 2015, Wagner voted against SB 1073. According to the Allentown Morning-Call: “The Senate in a bipartisan vote overwhelmingly approved a $30.8 billion spending bill that includes $435 million more for public education and still-unresolved tax increases, including possible changes to the sales tax.” The budget passed the Senate 43-7. [SB 1073, RCS #361, 12/07/15; Allentown Morning-Call, 12/07/15]

Wagner Voted Against $300 Million In Increased Basic Education Funding. In 2015 and 2017, Wagner was one of only seven senators to vote against the 2016-17 and 2017-18 state budgets. The two budgets increased funding for basic education by $300 million. [SB 1073, RCS# 361, 12/07/15; HB 218, RCS# 206, 6/30/17; Enacted Budget Line Item Appropriations, 2016-17, 2017-18]

Wagner Voted Against $45 Million In Increased Special Education Funding. In 2015 and 2017, Wagner was one of only seven senators to vote against the 2016-17 and 2017-18 state budgets. The two budgets increased special education funding by $45 million. [SB 1073, RCS# 361, 12/07/15; HB 218, RCS# 206, 6/30/17; Enacted Budget Line Item Appropriations, 2016-17, 2017-18]

Wagner Voted Against $60 Million In Increased Funding For Early Childhood Programs. In 2015 and 2017, Wagner was one of only seven senators to vote against the 2016-17 and 2017-18 state budgets. The two budgets increased Pre-K Counts and Head Start funding by $60 million. [SB 1073, RCS# 361, 12/07/15; HB 218, RCS# 206, 6/30/17; Enacted Budget Line Item Appropriations, 2016-17, 2017-18]

Wagner Twice Voted Against Restoring Funding For The Safe School Initiative. In April, 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]

Wagner Did Not Vote On Bill To Allocate Two-Thirds Of Rideshare Revenue To Philadelphia Schools. In October 2016, Wagner did not vote on Senate Bill 984 which legalized ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate all across Pennsylvania and allocated “two-thirds of revenue from ride-sharing” to struggling schools in Philadelphia. The bill passed the Senate 47 to 1 with Wagner and one other senator not voting. Gov. Wolf signed the bill into law in November 2016. [SB 984, RCS# 723, 10/24/16; Gov. Tom Wolf Press Release, 11/04/16]

Wagner: “Very Simply Put, Betsy DeVos Is One Sharp Woman.” In November 2016, Wagner said in a campaign email to Felton Borough that he attended an RGA event in Orlando earlier that month with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. Wagner wrote: “After the panel discussion Betsy joined our table for lunch. Very simply put, Betsy DeVos is one sharp woman.” [Scott Wagner for Senate, email to Felton Borough via RTK request, 11/23/16]

Wagner: Betsy DeVos “Is Exceptionally Knowledgeable On Public School Education And She Is Full Of Cutting Edge Ideas.” In November 2016, Wagner said in a campaign email to Felton Borough that he attended an RGA event in Orlando earlier that month with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. Wagner wrote: “She is exceptionally knowledgeable on public school education and she is full of cutting edge ideas.” [Scott Wagner for Senate, email to Felton Borough via RTK request, 11/23/16]

Wagner: Selecting DeVos As Secretary Of Education “Is A Very Big Deal For America’s Public Schools.” In November 2016, Wagner said in a campaign email to Felton Borough that he attended an RGA event in Orlando earlier that month with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. Wagner wrote: “Here is the breaking news – – – – – Donald Trump selected Betsy DeVos for the position of Education Secretary Today…Selecting Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary is a very big deal for America’s public schools.” [Scott Wagner for Senate, email to Felton Borough via RTK request, 11/23/16]

Wagner Exchanged Business Cards With DeVos And “Intended To Follow Up With Betsy To Discuss Ideas For Pennsylvania’s Public Schools.” In November 2016, Wagner said in a campaign email to Felton Borough that he attended an RGA event in Orlando earlier that month with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. Wagner wrote: “We exchanged business cards and I intended to follow up with Betsy to discuss ideas for Pennsylvania’s public schools.” [Scott Wagner for Senate, email to Felton Borough via RTK request, 11/23/16]

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