4/17/2016

Democrat Legislators in Pennsylvania are abandoning Democrat Gov Tom Wolf

From the Pittsburg Tribune Review
It's true Republicans were as much to blame as Wolf for the impasse, but there were several opportunities for Wolf to grasp a compromise and settle for a piece — but far from all — of his complex budget proposal. But he kept insisting on a tax increase.  
It's equally true that the generally accepted strategy is for a first-year governor to propose four years' worth of programs in hopes of getting a chunk at a time when he has the most political capital.  
But Wolf wanted it all. And his all-or-nothing strategy backfired.  
The budget went through belatedly without a tax increase. The budget he was forced to sign was a Republican plan without the jacked-up revenue Wolf wanted.  
Republicans through the fall believed they might have had a shot at overriding Wolf vetoes. Who knows? But the bitter taste of the budget debacle has worn away at rank-and-file Democrats, who held the line for Wolf day in and day out through the impasse.
If Wolf remains intransigent, he might claim a place in history with a record number of overrides on his vetoes.  
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, has to free up his members or they'll break anyway. He should let the governor know no more blood will needlessly be spilled.  
Wolf's recent stunt of attempting to punish Democrats who voted for the Republican budget was amateurish. Eleven lawmakers signed a letter saying they were told they must go through the governor's office rather than directly to state agencies — in other words, delaying information to thousands of constituents and spinning that information where possible to improve the administration's image.  
Wolf's office implied it wasn't true by saying “nothing has changed.”  
What, they made it up? Lawmakers said last week the order was rescinded.
It's the kind of action — on top of the budget disaster — that could make Wolf a lame duck for the final 2½ years of his term.
From the Observer-Reporter near Pittsburgh:
Some Democratic state representatives are accusing the governor’s administration of making them go over a new hurdle to help constituents after they sided with Republicans to help bring a nine-month state budget impasse to a close. 
All but two of the 13 House Democrats who voted for the GOP plan sent a letter to fellow Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday, saying state agencies have treated some of their staffs in a “dramatically different” way since they voted last month to approve a Republican-crafted supplemental budget, which Wolf opposed. 
The lawmakers said in the letter that when their aides contacted state agencies about constituent services, they’re now redirected to the Office of Legislative Affairs, a separate office in the Wolf administration. The lawmakers say the change makes it harder for them to help constituents. 
“I’ve experienced Democratic governors and Republican governors, and I’ve never seen a governor or his staff punish anyone in this way,” said Rep. Pete Daley, D-California, one of those who signed the letter.  . . .

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