: Page 6

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

# # #

FACT CHECK: Scott Wagner Has a Long History of Supporting Anti-Education Policies

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

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

“Candidate Scott Wagner can’t hide from Senator Scott Wagner’s disastrous anti-education record. The truth is that Wagner supported Harrisburg Republicans’ $1 billion cut to education, called for laying off 10% of teachers in Pennsylvania, supported school choice legislation that would strip billions from public education, and explicitly said he would not devote more money to public schools. Meanwhile, Governor Wolf has restored the $1 billion cuts to education, expanded career and technical education, increased the number of children attending kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, and increased the high school graduation rate.”

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

# # #

Governor Wolf Restored Pennsylvania’s Fiscal Responsibility

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

“Under Governor Wolf’s leadership, Pennsylvania has made critical investments and taken major steps to restore the state’s fiscal health. When he took office, Governor Wolf inherited a deficit of more than $2 billion after years of smoke and mirrors budgets that harmed our children, our schools, and our seniors. Governor Wolf eliminated Pennsylvania’s massive structural deficit, saved taxpayers $2 billion by streamlining government and reducing the state workforce by thousands to protect important programs for our children and seniors. Governor Wolf also made the first deposit in the state’s rainy day fund in ten years.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Budget Sec. Albright Reported Fiscal Turnaround Due To $2 Billion In Cost Savings. “After several years of shaky finances, Governor Tom Wolf’s administration says Pennsylvania’s fiscal health is now the best it has been since the Great Recession … Albright stressed, a key reason the fiscal picture has improved is the roughly $2 billion the state has saved through measures like reducing state worker complements and prison populations.” [WITF, 12/15/17]

Office Of The Budget: Enacted 2017-18 Budget Includes $2 Billion In Cuts And Savings. “2017-18 Enacted Budget … $2B cuts and savings … Three-Year General Fund Overview … $2B in budget cuts and cost savings: • Complement management • Corrections population decline and facility closures • Agency consolidations and restructuring • Debt management • Bending the Medical Assistance cost curve” [Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, 2017-18 Mid-Year Budget Briefing Presentation, 12/14/17]

HEADLINE: “Pennsylvania Puts Money In ‘Rainy Day Fund’ For First Time In Years.” [Tribune-Review, 7/12/18]

HEADLINE: “After A Lean Decade, PA’s Putting Money In Its Rainy Day Fund.” [WHYY, 7/13/18]

HEADLINE: “Gov. Tom Wolf Announces $22 Million Deposit Into Rainy Day Fund.” [Beaver County Times, 7/12/18]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

# # #

Governor Wolf and John Fetterman Thank Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania for Their Endorsement

Today, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election and John Fetterman for Lieutenant Governor.

Pennsylvania – Today, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election and John Fetterman for Lieutenant Governor.

“We are honored to receive the endorsement of Conservation Voters of PA, and we look forward to continuing to work together to preserve and protect our environment,” said Governor Wolf and John Fetterman. “Working together, we will continue to make Pennsylvania a national leader in addressing climate change by further reducing our carbon emissions, expanding options for clean energy, preserving our state parks and forests, and fighting back against efforts to destroy environmental regulations.”

“Over the last four years, Governor Wolf has advanced key policies that have made Pennsylvania a greener and healthier place in which to live,” said Caren Glotfelty, Board Chair of Conservation Voters of PA. “Not only has he protected our forests, drinking water, and air, he has also been a critical backstop against the extremist anti-environmental agenda coming out of the state legislature. Using his veto pen, he has prevented many devastating bills from coming to fruition – bills that would have decimated protections on gas drilling and pollution, empowered big polluters to police themselves, and even blocked cities from preventing plastic bag litter and pollution.”

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

# # #