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Governor Tom Cobrett (R. PA) just can't keep his hand out of the ethics cookie jar:

Gov. Tom Corbett is in hot water following the purchase of a vacation home in South Carolina. He did not make mention of the home in his yearly financial disclosure report, StateImpactPA reports.

Corbett and his wife, Susan, purchased the Hilton Head home for $265,000. According to the Associated Press, deed and mortgage documents related to the purchase were filed last December.

In accordance with the Governor’s Code of Conduct, put in place via a 1984 executive order by Gov. Dick Thornburgh, the Governor is required to report transactions such as the purchase of a home in his annual financial disclosure.

According to StateImpactPA, Corbett spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said Corbett was confused by the language of the requirement. It excludes primary residences and because of this, Roberts said, he assumed he could exclude the vacation property as well. - Politics PA, 8/15/13

But Corbett isn't the only one in his administration facing a similar ethics charge:

Gov. Tom Corbett and a former Cabinet member should have known better.

That was the reaction of Barry Kauffman, executive director of the government reform group, Common Cause Pennsylvania, upon hearing of the StateImpact Pennsylvania report that Corbett and former Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer failed to report some high-priced real estate they bought out-of-state last year on their financial interest statements.

Public records in Stowe, Vt., show Krancer bought a $1 million home there last December, according to the report by StateImpact, a collaboration between WITF and WHYY in Philadelphia that cover the commonwealth’s energy economy.

A message left at Krancer’s law office in Philadelphia, where he now works since he left his Cabinet post on April 15, was not returned by the time of this story was posted.

Kauffman was troubled by the explanations given.

“These are people who have access to really high-quality legal advice and they ought to be able to get it right the first time,” Kauffman said.

Both men are also lawyers themselves. And Kauffman pointed out Corbett, as the former state attorney general, prosecuted a lot of people for not complying with the law.

“People at that level of office who are setting ethical standards for the residents of the state should be going overboard to make sure they meet their ethical obligations,” Kauffman said. “They should be taking the extra step to make sure they aren’t even close to the line. If there’s any question whatsoever, report it.” - The Patriot-News, 8/14/13

And that's not the only bad press Corbett's been getting this we.  once again, Corbett gave the finger to Philadelphia schools:

Gov. Corbett emphatically rejected on Tuesday a request to release $45 million in state funds, the latest twist in the ongoing battle to resolve the Philadelphia School District's financial crisis.

Corbett's budget secretary, Charles Zogby, said the money would not be available until the teachers' union signs a contract that includes substantial "fiscal savings and academic reforms."

"The law is clear," Corbett reiterated during an appearance in Chester. "Until that takes place, there can be no release of funds."

Corbett's comments were made shortly after an all-star roster of the city's state and local elected officials stood together in City Hall and urged the governor to release the money.

The district has been counting on $124 million in union concessions and savings to help close a $304 million deficit. The current contract expires at the end of this month and negotiations are continuing.

The dispute over the $45 million state grant comes as Mayor Nutter and City Council wrestle over another piece of the $140 million package hashed out in Harrisburg last month to address the district's shortfall.

The state plan calls for the city to borrow $50 million against future collections of the city's extra 1 percent sales tax, which was to expire next June, and turn the money over to the schools. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/14/13

But at least he's trying to work on his problem with women voters by hiring some women in his administration:

One trend that’s been a fixture of all PA Governor race polls since the Republicans started slashing the education budget and women’s health and privacy rights has been a huge polling deficit for Tom Corbett with women voters.

In the most recent Quinnipiac poll in June, women voters said Tom Corbett did not deserve to be reelected by a 28-point margin - 55% to 27%.

This polling deficit is driven by women voters’ strong distaste for the Republican policy agenda of never-ending education cuts; new abortion restrictions; repeated attacks on women’s health and privacy like the ill-fated forced transvaginal ultrasound bill; the stubborn refusal to expand Medicaid; and outright hostility to protecting the environment and public health from the side effects of dirty energy extraction.

Tom Corbett appears to have come up with a remedy to his woman problems that makes about as much sense as the Republican definition of racism.

First he hired veteran Republican strategist Leslie Gromis Baker as his Chief of Staff. And this week we learned  that Corbett hired Lynn Lawson as his Communications Director and Katie True as his Director of Legislative Affairs.

You see what he did there? He loves women now you guys! Or more likely, he seems to think that women will warm to a policy agenda they have heretofore recoiled at if it is explained to them in a woman’s voice. - Keystone Progress, 8/14/13

From ethics charges to horrible polling numbers, I can imagine Corbett's not sleeping easily these days.  Plus this guy sure does give Corbett nightmares:

In case you haven't been paying attention, there's been something of a small-scale feud going on between Gov. Tom Corbett and House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe.

The stakes, as we understand them, are nothing new: Namely, Corbett's conservative bona fides and his support among the Tea Party types that steer much of the GOP debate. It's nothing new, the former Attorney General has always had a hard time convincing movement conservatives that he's really one of them.

Metcalfe took to the Web a couple of weeks ago to respond to criticisms Corbett lodged with the local Butler Eagle. There, the Guv urged Metcalfe to "worry about his own business," when it came to an on-time approval of the state budget.

More astute readers will recall that, while Corbett signed the general fund budget into law on June 30, it took lawmakers a week or so more to approve key pieces of enabling legislation that gave the state authority to spend money. And Metcalfe was among the ranks of lawmakers who thought budget progress was derailed because of other legislative distractions.

In his frankly hilarious online missive, Metcalfe reminded Corbett that he has "a constitutional responsibility to work as a balance of power to the other two branches of our state government." - The Patriot-News, 8/11/13

Here's why Daryl Metcalfe is a pain in Corbett's side:

Metcalfe is arguably the most conservative member of the House Republican Caucus. Corbett could fairly be called conservative. Liberal Democrats certainly think so.

The transportation bill Corbett wants could raise gas prices significantly at the pumps. Metcalfe flat out calls it a “tax increase.” Corbett ran against raising taxes. His administration has suggested it's a user fee.

What Corbett would actually do is lift the wholesale cap on gas taxes. Increases in pump prices would be gradual over several years. The taxes could even come down, supporters say.

During the 2010 campaign, Corbett also promised to fix the state's roads and bridges. A lot of Republicans agree with him, especially in the Senate.

Metcalfe, the unofficial leader of the House's right wing, noted that the state budget was the third straight under Corbett without raising taxes. He says he supports the privatization of booze sales and pension reform. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/11/13

Even the Tea Party loons are picking fights with ol' Tea Party Tom Corbett even though the Tea Party Republicans in the state house have played a big hand in enforcing Corbett's radical right-wing agenda:

It’s been three years since House Republicans retook the majority in the tea party wave that also ushered into office fellow Republican Corbett. Since then, there have been three on-time state budgets, no new broad-based state taxes and little growth in the state budget.

The GOP conservatives have been key players in passage of Marcellus Shale regulations and an impact fee far friendlier to the industry than others had supported, a voter identification requirement that’s being challenged in state court, the castle doctrine self-defense law and tougher regulations for abortion clinics.

They have been particularly effective in preventing things they oppose, including post-Newtown gun restrictions and expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. - Daily Local News, 8/10/13

Besides big business like Comcast having a lot of money invested in Tea Party creeps like Corbett and U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R. PA), you have to wonder why Corbett is even trying to run for re-election.  Corbett's been a complete failure get his own agenda passed and with his rocky relationship with clowns like Metcalf, there's little sign of hope that Corbett can get his party in line.

As I've said before, I will be writing about the Democratic Primary soon but Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D. PA-13) still remains the frontrunner in the primary.  If you would like to get involved with her campaign, you can do so here:

Or if you want to get involved with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, you can go here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women, Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, Youth Kos 2.0, DKos Pennsylvania, In Support of Labor and Unions, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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