UPDATE: The PA Democratic Party has filed a formal ethics complaint against the governor.
My buddy Will Bunch has a piece about our ALEC-dominated governor Tom Corbett and his penchant for taking goodies from lobbyists and special interests who have business before the state. It might not sound like a big deal, but it's typical of the way Corbett operates. Unfortunately for Democrats, our Scott Walker clone of a governor is smart enough not to spout off in front of the cameras, so we never get any nasty little sound bites we did with Walker. But we do get a good idea of who's cozying up to him:
The records clearly show a casual, cozy relationship between the Corbetts and those seeking influence in Harrisburg.
* On Dec. 12, 2011, Frank Schoeneman, chief executive of the Pottsville-based Empire Education Group, a leading chain of beauty schools in Pennsylvania and nationally, flew Gov. Corbett on a private jet to an event in Pittsburgh - a jaunt that the governor priced at nearly $1,407, the price of a first-class plane ticket.
Ten months later, Corbett signed a bill into law aimed at aiding cosmetology students who attend schools like those operated by Schoeneman, by making it easier for those students to obtain a state license.
* On Jan. 30, 2010, when then-Attorney General Corbett was running for governor, the powerful Blank Rome law firm bought the Corbetts a pair of $2,500 tickets to attend the Philadelphia Academy of Music anniversary concert. Blank Rome also bought Corbett a $65 ticket to the Phillies' home opener in 2010.
Blank Rome operates a lobbying shop representing a number of powerful interests in Harrisburg, and in 2010 was getting more involved in issues related to natural-gas drilling, or fracking, in Pennsylvania. Blank Rome is listed as an associate member of the pro-industry Marcellus Shale Coalition.