It’s time to FIX Pennsylvania
(York, PA)– It has been several weeks since my last email so I thought it would be timely for me to give you an update.
My campaign is in full gear.
In addition to my campaign for Governor, I am working full-time as a Pennsylvania State Senator and attending budget hearings that started this week.
As a private sector business owner, one of my greatest strengths is that I have learned to manage by walking around rather than just sitting behind a desk. I approach my role in government the same way. For me, it is critical that I actually talk to the people who are doing the work to determine what is working and what isn’t working.
When the controversy over Governor Wolf’s politically-motivated closing of the Unemployment Compensation Call Centers arose this past December, I felt that I needed to visit the locations effected and talk to the workers on site.
In December, I traveled to Altoona to meet with the Unemployment Compensation Call Center employees along with Senator John Eichelberger.
In January, I traveled to Erie to meet Senator Dan Laughlin to tour two Erie School District buildings and then tour the Unemployment Compensation Call Center in Erie.
The visits in Altoona and Erie were extremely educational for me. I was able to ask a lot of questions, obtain a lot of good answers and see first-hand what the issues are in these areas.
When I travel around the state for my official Senate duties and any campaign related duties, I personally pay the travel expenses. No taxpayer dollars are used for my travel.
I have also been traveling around the state to attend Lincoln Day events sponsored by various Republican Committees and other Republican organizations.
I’ve also been invited as the keynote speaker at many of the events.
The events range from breakfasts, lunches, and dinner events. I’ve met lots of great people who have a lot of energy.
In the next several weeks, I will introduce a new tab on my website, www.WagnerForGov.com,
I serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. This past Tuesday we started budget hearings with all of the various state agencies that will continue for the next four weeks. There are 25 hearings scheduled.
As I travel around the state and meet hundreds of new people and see hundreds of people that I have met before, I consistently hear about school property taxes, the pension crisis, education, jobs and the economy.
Because I have been digging deeper into the budget and the operations of our state, I want to introduce a new word to you.
I have been pounding on the table for almost three years that Pennsylvania DOES NOT have a revenue problem, Pennsylvania has a spending problem.
The new word I want to introduce to everyone today is the word – “Mismanagement”.
In this case, the definition of mismanagement is the inability to manage the tax dollars flowing into to Harrisburg – everyone thinks there is an endless supply of money if you have the ability to raise taxes or increase fees.
The lack of accountability of how tax dollars are spent combined with mismanagement have created the current spending problem.
It is very clear that Harrisburg is a runaway speeding- spending train with no end in sight thanks to the “we have always done it this way” attitude that is contagious in Harrisburg.
#1 – When I become Governor, I intend to immediately implement zero-based budgeting.
We must immediately determine where every dollar is being spent. I estimate that the first year zero-based budgeting will find unnecessary spending of $1.5 Billion Dollars and possibly up to $4 Billion Dollars.
People will ask where did I come up with these facts.
Activist organizations, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Public Sector Unions, and Governor Wolf will attack my credibility.
Here is my answer to everyone – I have 35 years of private sector experience starting, building, and running private sector businesses.
At the end of March, I will have spent almost three full years inside the sausage factory in Harrisburg seeing first-hand the waste, fraud, abuse, lack of accountability and mismanagement.
I have spent the last three years traveling around the state listening to people tell me their stories. In fact, I have spoken to dozens of state employees who tell me stories of wasted and mismanaged spending.
#2 – I intend to roll back regulations that are choking the life out of Pennsylvania businesses and our economy.
For too long, Pennsylvania businesses have been suffocating on too many regulations. And while Governor Tom Wolf wants nothing more than to continue to squeeze Pennsylvania businesses, we are losing the jobs these businesses provide.
Our Commonwealth is at the bottom of the country in job growth.
Our incomes are shrinking.
Our economy is stagnant, and we simply do not have the means to invest in ourselves, much less in our economy.
The truth is, Pennsylvania is perfectly situated to become the economic powerhouse of the Northeast.
We can, and we will make this happen by getting the government off the back of our business community.
When we give businesses room to breathe, they thrive.
When businesses thrive, everyone thrives.
#3 – We need to fix and reinvent Pennsylvania’s education system.
We have a skilled labor crisis and it is getting worse. Our current system is geared towards the idea that every child needs to go to college. I am not a college graduate and I consider myself a blue collar guy because I started from scratch driving garbage trucks and loading garbage.
Truth be told, people who enter the trades will very shortly make more money than some people with a college education.
We must ensure that are our teachers are given an environment in which they can thrive. This means ensuring that good teachers are rewarded and given opportunities to grow, and that teachers that fail to meet the high standard that the vocation requires are removed from the system.
We MUST ensure our children are receiving the best education because today’s children are tomorrow’s adults.
Here is my sales pitch to all Pennsylvanians – I want to serve as the Governor of Pennsylvania – I have the skills to lead Pennsylvania through a massive financial turnaround.
I also have the skills and vision to jump start our economy and lead Pennsylvania through reinventing itself to become an economic powerhouse again.
Here is a question that I want to ask all Pennsylvanians:
How has it been working for you over the last 15 years of Governors who did not have the skills to lead an organization, create a vision, and did not have any operations experience?
When I use the phrase “to lead Pennsylvania through a massive financial turnaround,” the process will result in finding money to start solving the pension crisis and working toward the complete elimination of property taxes.
To keep my email from becoming too long today, I will be reporting tomorrow on two great examples of mismanagement and lack of accountability.
So here is the closing pitch on my mission to become the next Governor of Pennsylvania.
I am not a career politician. I am not a smooth, polished speaker selling snake oil making promises to everyone.I will admit that I am sometimes rough around the edges.
I will promise you this – I will tell you the truth no matter how bad it is. In my private sector business world, the people I work with understand that I expect honesty and I expect them to tell me what I need to hear – not what I want to hear.
I love good news, but I can handle bad news. By telling the truth, bad news helps you become better.
Governor Wolf is clearly running for re-election. He sold Pennsylvanians a bill of goods on his business experience when he ran his last campaign.
Governor Wolf’s Administration is a mess. He is now changing his message for re-election because he knows he is in trouble and a failed Governor.
I am closing in fast on his failed Administration and a desperate failed Governor Wolf will tell Pennsylvanians that he is now selling a new improved bottle of snake oil.
People routinely ask me who else might be thinking of running for Governor.
Here is my answer:
I really don’t care.
There is a simple answer.
If Pennsylvanians are really finally serious about wanting to solve Pennsylvania’s problems and demand a different direction then it is crystal clear that I am the only qualified person to be the next Governor.
It’s time to FIX and reinvent Pennsylvania.