Tom Wolf: most liberal guv?
In the vast world on online lists, Gov. Tom Wolf tops a list of America's most liberal governors.
An editorial in Tuesday's York Daily Record notes media obsession with lists (you know, because lists are all-but-certain to draw online clicks) and looks at two recent political lists in the context of Pennsylvania.
Both lists are from something called InsideGov.com which identifies itself only as a government data website.
The first deals with governors' salaries and notes America's highest salaried governor is right here in the Keystone State. Nation's sixth largest state. Nation's highest salaried governor. Makes sense, no?
Anyhow, the top guv pay in 2014 was $187,818, the salary for then-Gov. Corbett -- 38% higher than the average of all governors' pay. He didn't take the whole thing due to a pay-freeze he initiated for himself, his cabinet and his top employees back in 2012.
The high salary remains in place but Gov. Wolf takes no salary or health-care or pension benefits. He can do that. He's rich.
But the Daily Record makes a good point: "We pay our lawmakers and governors waaaay too much money for what little we get from them: Highest paid governor. One of the largest and most expensive General Assemblies in the nation. Meanwhile, these lawmakers complain about spending on social services, schools, pensions and such. They'd get more respect from citizens if they looked in the mirror and then led by example."
The second list from InsideGov is every governor from the most liberal to the most conservative.
Wolf tops the list, edging out fellow-Democratic Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington and Mark Dayton of Minnesota.
(America's most conservative guv? Republican Butch Otter of Idaho.)
And, look, Wolf might well be the nation's most liberal governor but, if so, that's clearly not translating into policy.
He's currently mired in a budget impasse with the GOP-controlled Legislature -- driven by his insistence on spending more for public schools -- that shows no signs of resolution, no hint of compromise.
With the state budget more than a month overdue both sides haven't even agreed on how much of your tax dollars to spend overall. In other words, step-one hasn't yet been taken.
Wolf met with a couple Republican leaders Monday and afterwards told the Harrisburg Patriot-News, "I could just roll over, but I'm not going to do that."
Fine. But the most-liberal thing is certain to be trumpeted by Republicans going forward. And maybe Wolf will own the role of America's leading leftist. But if he wants a budget deal, he's going to sell off some shares of that title, bend a little and agree to at least some things a number-one liberal wouldn't.
Feel free to make a list of those things.