HARRISBURG - A controversial former welfare adviser who left Gov. Corbett's administration says the governor "buckled" to media and special interests in his case.
In Sunday's Currents section of The Inquirer, Robert W. Patterson defends his role as writer and editor at a conservative journal, the Family in America. He argues that Inquirer articles about him were part of an effort to malign Corbett's welfare secretary, Gary Alexander - "a campaign . . . that reaches the highest levels of government."
Patterson continues: "The big question is how Corbett, who rode to office on the promise of reform, responds to the pressure. Will he fight for his welfare secretary, the true best interests of the poor, and the taxpayers who elected him? Or will he buckle - as he did in my case - to the media, the professional bureaucrats, and special-interest groups who are blocking needed reforms?"
Patterson did not reply to a request Friday for an interview. Asked for comment on the article, Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said only: "We are pleased that Mr. Patterson has chosen to move on with his life's work in the private sector."
Hired in October as a special assistant to Alexander, Patterson quit his $104,470 post in January as The Inquirer was preparing a story on his outside role as editor of the Family in America.
When his exit was announced, a Welfare Department spokeswoman said the journal "does not reflect the views of the Corbett administration." In the journal, Patterson has weighed in on everything from what he called "misguided" poverty programs to what he described as a woman's ideal role: married and at home raising children.
Patterson writes in Currents that The Inquirer distorted his views, and that his writings cited respected studies published elsewhere.
He also contends it was no coincidence that after The Inquirer's articles, former Gov. Ed Rendell went to Harrisburg to urge Corbett to scrap Alexander's plan to impose an assets test on food-stamp recipients, and an Obama administration official made the same argument in Philadelphia.