Critics on Wolf's Budget Address

Wolf Cashes In On Favors For Liberal Special Interests

Governor’s Campaign Finance Report Displays Troubling Quid-Pro-Quos

Tom Wolf yesterday turned over his first campaign finance report of 2018, and it was filled with contributions from the same liberal special interest groups that he has spent his first term giving handouts to. Among the major groups that the Governor came to collect from were the National Democratic Redistricting CommitteeFairness PAthe Pennsylvania State Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Over half of the total donations Wolf reported were from unions. 

Below is a full breakdown of the favors Wolf has done and the payments he’s received for them.


Favor #1 – Wolf refused to work with the legislature to draw new congressional districts in a bipartisan fashion and The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) praised him for doing so.  

  • Republican leaders submitted a new map to Governor Wolf on February 9.
  • Wolf rejected the Republican proposal, refused to allow time for a compromise, and submitted his own map to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on February 15.
  • The NDRC later thanked Wolf for his role in the process.
    • “Governor Wolf’s rejection of a map last week that would have continued Republican gerrymandering highlights how important it is that we elect more Democrats who will fight for fairness.” (Press Release, 2/19/18)
Payment #1 – NDRC gives Wolf $250,000 
  • As CBS News reported, the NDRC announced on February 7 that it was planning to target races in Pennsylvania in 2018, just days before Wolf rejected the Republican map.

Favor #2 – Wolf opposes SB 936, legislation to curtail the overprescription of opioids and eliminate payments for unproven, compounded pain creams that can cost thousands of dollars per tube on behalf of Fairness PA. 

  • As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, much of Fairness PA’s funding comes from doctors and lawyers who own pharmacies and want to see SB 936 defeated, a position Wolf agrees with.
    • “Fairness PA also received $42,000 last year from Pond Lehocky’s political action committee, Pennsylvanians for Injured Workers, whose donors include doctors from the Insight network and doctors with ownership stakes in the Workers First pharmacy. Attorney Sam Pond has been leading the opposition to legislation to create a workers’ comp drug formulary. Wolf shares that position.” (Inquirer, 3/9/18)
Payment #2 – Fairness PA gives Wolf $100,000

Favor #3 – Wolf vetoes comprehensive pension reform that the PSEA opposed. 

  • PSEA President Mike Crossey opposed comprehensive pension reform legislationbecause he claimed it would make it harder to recruit teachers.
  • Wolf expressed the same issues as Crossley before he vetoed the bill.
    • “Wolf says the bill on his desk is an improvement over previous pension overhaul proposals, but that it is not good for future state and school employees. The bill would close the traditional pension benefit for new hires and divert them into a “hybrid” style retirement plan.” (AP, 7/9/15)
Payment #3 – The PSEA gives Wolf $500,000 and the American Federation for Teachers gives him $250,000
  • The PSEA already gave the Governor $382,000 according to his 2017 filing.