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ICYMI: York Dispatch: EDITORIAL: With latest allegation, Scott Wagner takes page out of Donald Trump’s playbook

* That’s because Wolf’s record on education is positively sterling when compared to Wagner’s rhetoric on the issue. The York County men couldn’t be more

* That’s because Wolf’s record on education is positively sterling when compared to Wagner’s rhetoric on the issue. The York County men couldn’t be more different.

* 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.

* Wagner was unable to point to a single instance where Wolf said he thought the switch from the existing distribution system should be immediate or resulting in cuts to certain districts. That little fact escaped Wagner, which is nothing unusual. Mr. Wagner seldom lets the facts get in the way of a good story.


York Dispatch: EDITORIAL: With latest allegation, Scott Wagner takes page out of Donald Trump’s playbook

It’s obvious by this time that Scott Wagner is positioning himself as the Donald Trump of Pennsylvania politics.

That point was driven home again last Thursday when Wagner, the Republican candidate for governor, accused Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of proposing a policy that would result in deep and immediate funding cuts to certain school districts.

It was yet another charge straight out of Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip playbook — make an absurd accusation, with no basis in fact, in an effort to stir up the conservative base and confuse the general electorate.

Wagner likely figures that Trump made it work in Pennsylvania in 2016, so he’ll try it in 2018.

We can only hope that Pennsylvania voters will be a little smarter and a little more informed this time around.

Polar opposites: That’s because Wolf’s record on education is positively sterling when compared to Wagner’s rhetoric on the issue. The York County men couldn’t be more different.

In 2014, Wolf came into office with a first-term goal of $2 billion in new education money. He’s been able to secure lawmakers’ approval for about half of that total. Given that Wolf is dealing with a Republican-controlled legislature that has opposed him nearly every step of the way, that’s a rather remarkable achievement.

It was also desperately needed after Tom Corbett’s previous Republican administration slashed school funding.

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.

Disingenuous charge: That makes his recent charge that Wolf is looking to cut funding to certain school districts completely disingenuous.

Gov. Wolf has said that the state needs “a fair funding formula for all dollars going into public education.”

Wagner took that simple statement and somehow twisted it into a charge that Wolf wants deep and immediate funding cuts for certain school districts.

That’s simply not true. Wolf does not support an immediate shift that would result in cuts to school districts. He maintains that he supports fair funding, adequate funding and increased funding.

Wagner was unable to point to a single instance where Wolf said he thought the switch from the existing distribution system should be immediate or resulting in cuts to certain districts.

That little fact escaped Wagner, which is nothing unusual. Mr. Wagner seldom lets the facts get in the way of a good story.

New formula approved in 2015: In 2015, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a formula that was designed to favor poorer districts and districts with growing student populations after a quarter century of school-funding formulas that did not entirely account for shifts in wealth or population, while protecting shrinking districts.

It was a long overdue move.

The new formula, thus far, has applied to increases in school aid approved since then, or about $539 million.

Nevertheless, Wagner insists — without any evidence — that Wolf wants to immediately redirect $5.5 billion for public school instruction and operations through the new formula.

An about face: Even worse, Wagner is accusing Wolf of a policy that he has supported in the past.

When the new formula was adopted in 2015, the lawmakers opted against changing how existing school aid was distributed under what is called a “hold harmless” provision. In the past, Wagner said that provision should eliminated and has criticized it for protecting shrinking districts.

Now he has done a complete about face, and ripped Wolf for a policy he himself previously supported.

It’s more than a little hypocritical.

Of course, it’s obvious that doesn’t bother Wagner. He’s just hoping his rhetoric will drown out those troublesome facts.

It worked for Trump in 2016. Now our own Pennsylvania Trump hopes it will work again in 2018.

Read the piece here.

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AUDIO: Governor Wolf Calls Out Scott Wagner’s Big Education Lie

Pennsylvania – Today, in an interview with KDKA, Governor Wolf called out Scott Wagner’s big education lie. While Governor Wolf has fully restored the billion

Pennsylvania – Today, in an interview with KDKA, Governor Wolf called out Scott Wagner’s big education lie. While Governor Wolf has fully restored the billion dollar cut to education made by Harrisburg Republicans and continues to advocate for additional funding for our public schools, Scott Wagner not only supported that billion dollar cut to education, but also called for the laying of of 10% of Pennsylvania teachers. Scott Wagner has supported school choice legislation that would strip billions from public education and explicitly said he would not devote more money to public schools.

Here’s what the Governor had to say:

“Good morning Larry and John, good to be with you. Before we get started can I just make a statement? I want to address an important issue. My opponent Scott Wagner has been lying about my record on education. I want to point this out. There’s a very clear contrast in this race and the truth is that only one person supported and continues to advocate for cuts to our schools and that’s Scott Wagner.

When I took office, I inherited drastically underfunded schools that were suffering after Harrisburg Republicans cut one billion dollars from education, the majority of which came from suburban, rural, and small-town schools. And over the last four years I have restored the full one billion dollars, I’ve expanded career and technical education, and our graduation rates are rising.

Not only did Scott Wagner support the billion dollars in cuts, but he also hasn’t stopped there. He also wants to layoff 10% of teachers, this is what he said, across the state. That would decimate educators in suburban, rural, and small-town schools. Scott Wagner would be a terrible thing for our schools.

Thank you for letting me make that statement.”

Listen to the interview here.

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, 06/29/15]

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, 3/7/18]

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Something’s Fishy with Scott Wagner’s Finances

Pennsylvania – Today, Pennlive Morning Coffee reported that Scott Wagner is the first gubernatorial candidate in over 20 years not to release his tax returns

Pennsylvania – Today, Pennlive Morning Coffee reported that Scott Wagner is the first gubernatorial candidate in over 20 years not to release his tax returns while his company, PennWaste, is raising rates on small business owners and consumers.

“What’s he hiding?” asked Beth Melena, communications director for the Wolf campaign. “We know he’s trying to bail out his failing business by raising rates on small business owners and consumers. And the people of Pennsylvania deserve to know the real story.”

Read the full story here.

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]

Pennwaste 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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Here’s What They’re Saying Across PA About Scott Wagner’s Anti-Public Education Record

The reviews are in and it’s never been clearer! Scott Wagner is an anti-public education candidate who would devastate Pennsylvania’s classroom if elected as governor.

Philadelphia, PA – The reviews are in and it’s never been clearer! Scott Wagner is an anti-public education candidate who would devastate Pennsylvania’s classroom if elected as governor.

Here’s  what they’re saying:

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.”

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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