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Governor Wolf Thanks the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association for Their Endorsement

Today, the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association announced their unanimous endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

Pennsylvania – Today, the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association announced their unanimous endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association,” said Governor Wolf. “Our State Troopers put their lives on the line each and every day to keep the people of Pennsylvania safe, and I am committed to honoring their sacrifice by ensuring that their voices are heard by state government and that they have the resources they need to continue their vital work.”

“Gov. Wolf is the most qualified candidate who has served the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with distinction,” said PSTA President David Kennedy. “Gov. Wolf receives our unanimous endorsement because of his leadership qualities, experience and consistent support of the State Police and all law enforcement. We look forward to continuing our work together to achieve our mutual goal of providing the citizens of this great commonwealth with the safest environment possible to live, work and raise a family.”

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Wagner Mysteriously Loses $600k in Campaign Donations… So Yeah, We Have Some Questions

Yesterday, PennLive reported that Scott Wagner has lost over $600,000 in campaign money by gambling with his donors’ money in the market. This raises a number of questions about Wagner’s shady campaign practices and his ability to lead Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania – Yesterday, PennLive reported that Scott Wagner has lost over $600,000 in campaign money by gambling with his donors’ money in the market. This raises a number of questions about Wagner’s shady campaign practices and his ability to lead Pennsylvania.

“How can Pennsylvanians trust Scott Wagner with a state budget if his own donors can’t trust him not to lose hundreds of thousands of their own money?” asked Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor.

Here are the questions we’re demanding answers to:

What is Scott Wagner investing in and how much in campaign funds has he invested? How is he losing money in a booming market?

Who is making money off of Wagner’s irresponsible investments? Who is his financial advisor?

How is Wagner explaining to his donors that he is losing their money? Though he claims it’s his own money, even a Republican consultant said that there is no way Wagner can prove that.

Is Scott Wagner using this as a cover for other contributions or expenses that he doesn’t want to report?

Will Scott Wagner release his tax returns so we can see how much he is paying in dividends?

Are these brokerage accounts held in the name of the campaign or Scott Wagner personally?

Is the brokerage account intermingled with Wagner’s personal investments?

Are there documents memorializing any restrictions imposed by Wagner on the use of these brokerage accounts or the proceeds of sale of securities held in these accounts by the campaign?

Are there any documents memorializing the financial details surrounding any transactions or transfers between the campaign and Wagner?

Are the interest payments to Wagner related to this brokerage account? 

Are there any documents memorializing agreements between Wagner and the campaign regarding the handling of any taxable events related to this brokerage account?

Is it memorialized who or what entity is responsible for any taxes on gains from sales from this account?

Is it memorialized who or what entity is able to take tax advantage of any losses?

 

BACKGROUND

Republican governor candidate Scott Wagner, who routinely touts his business savvy on the campaign trail, took the unusual step of investing his own donations to his campaign in a brokerage fund, posting a more than $600,000 loss in his most recent campaign finance report. [PennLive, 9/26/18]

“‘No donor money was used in that account and the account has actually netted hundreds of thousands in increases throughout the campaign,’ Romeo said. A veteran Republican consultant contested that explanation, arguing that campaign funds are ‘fungible,’ and that personal infusions and donations are difficult to separate once they are commingled in a campaign account.” [PennLive, 9/26/18]

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Governor Wolf Thanks the Black Economic Alliance for Their Endorsement

Yesterday, the Black Economic Alliance announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

Pennsylvania – Yesterday, the Black Economic Alliance announced their endorsement of Governor Tom Wolf for re-election.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Black Economic Alliance,” said Governor Wolf. “Working together, we can ensure that our commonwealth is a place where African American Pennsylvanians know that their concerns and voices are heard and valued. I am committed to advancing policies which promote Black economic progress, such as supporting diverse businesses, investing in workforce development, fighting for a minimum wage increase, reforming our criminal justice system, and investing in infrastructure development and affordable housing.”

“In an election season with so much at stake and so many voters sizing up candidates to see where they stand on the kitchen table issues that impact our communities most, we have to make Black economic progress part of the equation,” said Akunna Cook, Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance. “This cycle – and in elections for years to come – it’s critical we support and highlight political leaders we know are committed to policies that will expand access to the American Dream for the Black community.”

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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Days After Announcing Plan to Close Schools, Wagner Reveals $1 Million Contribution from Betsy DeVos’s Dark Money Group

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner’s disastrous plan to close Pennsylvania schools makes a lot more sense after his campaign finance filings revealed that he has received $1 million from an organization backed by Betsy DeVos that has been described as a dark money group.

Pennsylvania – Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner’s disastrous plan to close Pennsylvania schools makes a lot more sense after his campaign finance filings revealed that he has received $1 million from an organization backed by Betsy DeVos that has been described as a dark money group. The Students First PAC, which is a partner organization of Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children, contributed $1 million to Wagner’s campaign. The PAC is dedicated to promoting DeVos’s elitist agenda to privatize public schools and slash billions in education funding.

“It should come as no surprise that Betsy DeVos is funding Wagner’s campaign because they share the same anti-education policies that would take Pennsylvania backwards,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Just this weekend, Wagner announced his new plan to close down schools, which would be a drastic shift in Pennsylvania’s education system and would disproportionately affect rural and suburban schools. Wagner has also supported Harrisburg Republicans’  billion dollar cut to education, called for laying off 10% of teachers in Pennsylvania, and said he would not devote more money to public schools. This Wagner-DeVos agenda would be disastrous for Pennsylvania schools.”

 

BACKGROUND

American Federation For Children Is A “Dark Money” Group Supporting A School-Choice Agenda. “The ‘dark money’ groups that spent big bucks to get a Legislature willing to vote for a massive expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher program are not going to campaign to try to save their crowning achievement. The Republic’s Rob O’Dell and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez are reporting that the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity will sit out Proposition 305. Meanwhile, the Betsy DeVos-created American Federation for Children actually will urge people to vote no.” [Arizona Republic, 9/20/18]

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]

Wagner Called For Closing Down Schools. “Wagner said a governor’s representative will go to every county to do an assessment of the schools. And maybe, he suggested, it might be prudent to consolidate some in areas where some schools are underperforming. ‘I think people are not starting to realize we have way too many schools in an area,’ he said. ‘We need to start having some honest conversations, but we also have to move fast. Someone is successful in their life based on the education they have.’” [Bradford Era, 9/21/18]

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 Guy $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.” [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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