Here in Pennsylvania we are getting ready to elect a new governor. Our current governor, Ed Rendell, is term limited out. Although rumors are that he will have a nice cushy job in President Obama’s Administration waiting for him at the end of his reign which has seen Pennsylvania continue to lumber along without much progress. The only saving graces for the Commonwealth have been the high taxes in New York and New Jersey have made even Pennsylvania look good to people in those areas and that the Marcellus Shale formation has been able to help boost our economy from complete disaster. None of these things of course are Ed Rendell’s doing.
This fall it will be current state Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) against our Chief Executive here in Allegheny County, Dan Onorato (D). Mr. Onorato is of course famous for the 10% drink tax that has pretty much irked everyone in the country. His excuse is that it was either that or raise property taxes to close budget gaps. Onorato chose the easy way out like any bad politician would and chose to tax the fewest number of people possible to bail everyone out. If this sounds like a familiar tactic, it should.
Tom Corbett on the other hand has recently come under fire for comments made about unemployment benefits in which he criticized, rightfully, the continued extension of these benefits paid for by tax dollars. Corbett was relating comments by business owners who told his that people were not willing to work as long as they still had benefits left saying, “one of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’ ” Of course studies have shown that people do tend to wait until their benefits are ready to run out to start looking for work.
This is, of course, not a new complaint from businesses. As I drive around the area here in Pittsburgh I see the same help wanted signs up week after week. They are up week after week because why should someone go to work if they won’t get paid as much as they currently are on unemployment or if they are not motivated by loosing their home, not able to feed their families, etc. because they don’t have a job? But Onorato, like a typical politician looking for some way to get a leg up on his opponent struck back at this comments with mumbo jumbo denouncing the claims.
And he did this for a good reason. Onorato is desperately trailing Corbett in the polls. A recent Rasmussen poll has him 10 percentage points down (48% to 38%). The same poll shows that Onorato attracts only 62% from his own party compared to Corbett who has 84% support from Republicans. Corbett also has 21% from Democrats and among voters not registered with either party Corbett is leading two-to-one.
Onorato, based on this data, isn’t apparently much of a Democrat’s Democrat. But knowing Pennsylvania’s voters like the back of my hand I suspect as we inch closer and closer to election day he’ll get a bit more support. Especially if he keeps up the nonsensical attacks trying to paint stating common sense as some sort of evil thing. I guess when you cannot win on the issues you will take any port in the political storm. Right Dan?