Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, Wife Took Over $11K In Corporate And Lobbyist Gifts

Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, Wife Took Over $11K In Corporate And Lobbyist Gifts

In only a two-year period, Pennsylvania Republican governor Tom Corbett and his wife took over $11,000 in gifts from lobbyists or “businesses with substantial interests before the commonwealth,” according to a report by Will Bunch in the Philadelphia Daily News.

The largesse, enjoyed in 2010 while the former state attorney general was running for governor, and 2011 during his first year in office, included hard-to-come-by hockey, football and orchestra tickets, corporate jet travel, a summer vacation in Rhode Island on a businessman’s private yacht, and an $1,800 “donation” to help pay for wife Susan’s inaugural gown.

All the gifts, say the Daily News report, appear to represent conflicts of interest:

Corbett may have violated a 1980 Code of Conduct for the executive branch that states that no official “may solicit or accept for the personal use of himself or another, a gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or other thing of monetary value” from anyone seeking business from, or regulated by, the commonwealth. The code says violators can be punished up to termination — arguably a moot point when the allegation involves the governor himself.

Two 2011 trips, including the Rhode Island vacation, were noted in a 2012 ethics filing, a revision to the governor’s annual statement of financial interests with the State Ethics Commission. The omission from the original filing was characterized as a “clerical error.”

Corbett officially takes a dim view of such conflicts of interest, making it quite clear in his mission statement: (PDF)

Pennsylvania taxpayers must trust that their elected and appointed officials are making decisions about awarding government contracts based on price, quality and experience. That is why Tom Corbett will ban gifts and political contributions from individuals and PACs to members and employees of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government during the open bidding process when those individuals and PACs have an interest in a particular contract.

Kelli Roberts, Corbett’s deputy press secretary, insisted everything is above board.”Governor Corbett has been clear that he makes all decisions based on what is in the best interests of Pennsylvanians,” she said. “He has always fully complied with both the letter and the spirit of our state’s financial-reporting laws. His campaign-finance report and his state ethics reports are both public documents, placed on a state website for all to see. The governor’s actions have always been, and will continue to be, transparent and free of any conflict of interest.”


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Pingback: Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, Wife Took Over $11k In Corporate And Lobbyist Gifts | PROGRESSIVE VOICES()

  • docb

    Good –between this and his Penn State complicity he can be removed and replaced by a DEM!

  • TZToronto

    Maybe the only way to get Mr. I’ve-Done-Nothing-Wrong-Even-Though-The-Code-Of_Conduct-Is-Clear is for some citizen to sue him. How does one take impermissible gifts and then say that everything is OK and that the people of PA should merely trust him. Why should they trust him when he’s shown that he’s not above accepting favors from people doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the state? Did the gifters actually get business from the state? I’d be worried that if I gave the Gov. a gift, I might be shut out of state contracts simply to avoid the appearance of graft.

  • Dana Es

    I did NOT vote for Corbett the first time. I will NOT vote for him the next time. What I will do is hope for a decent Democrat to run against him and win.

  • montanabill

    A measly $11k. How about this:

    The Democratic National Committee has no intention of repaying the country’s largest electrical power company for the unprecedented $10 million line of credit it guaranteed to help a local host committee fund last September’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

    According to an article on the Washington Times web site, an official for Duke Energy (3rd largest coal burning utility in the country) said the company would claim the money as a business expense for tax purposes, meaning shareholders will foot $6 million of the cost.

    In 2009, Duke received $200 million in federal stimulus money for “smart-grid”
    improvements and at least two of the company’s power plants — one in North Carolina and another in Indiana — got hundreds of millions of dollars in “advanced coal” tax credits, as well as federal and local incentives, from the Department of Energy.

    “This is just a blank check for the party, and it undermines the whole [Obama] message of cracking down on special interests’ influence in Washington,” said Tyson Slocum, an energy specialist for Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group.

    ….Matthew Auerbach