Health - March 28, 2014

Democratic primary field for PA governor narrows

Former State Auditor General, Jack Wagner dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, narrowing the field to four candidates. Wagner, the only candidate from western Pennsylvania, was initially confident in his Pittsburgh ties and moderate platform. However, the financial implications of his decision to enter the race in late February soon set in. “So many people were either committed to other candidates or sitting this race out,” he said. Wagner joins John Hanger and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski on the list of candidates who have dropped out of the primary. Wagner has stated he does not plan to endorse any of the remaining candidates. Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to withdrawal their names from the May 20th ballot, setting the field of contestants. Still standing are former Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, state treasurer Rob McCord, and former state Environmental Protection Agency secretary Katie McGinty.

Legislators overwhelmingly react against corrupt politicians

When it rains it pours. Legislators from throughout the Commonwealth and across party lines have come out in drudges this week in proposing legislation that would ban cash gifts to legislators. The massive flux of proposals comes in the wake of Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s decision last week to shut down a sting operation that caught four Philadelphia legislators accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from a phony lobbyist. Among the legislators proposing action, Senators Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne County; Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster County; Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery County; and Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia have all announced their intention to introduce legislation banning cash gifts. Representative Tina Davis, D-Bucks announced legislation last week that would ban gifts valued over $50 and any form of hospitality, including transportation and lodging, valued over $500 a year. Much remains to be seen as to what will happen with the legislators involved in the sting operation. However, legislators are not indicating apathy towards the corruption that was uncovered. Among those fronting the cause is Representative Seth Grove, R-York, who is proposing a bill to allow independent counsel to investigate legislative corruption.