Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, March 14:
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced charges Wednesday against eight men, including a former state senator and several Pennsylvania Turnpike officials, in an alleged "pay-to-play" scheme connected to the Turnpike. Among those accused are former Senate Democratic Leader Robert Mellow of Lackawanna County, former Turnpike CEO Joseph Brimmeier, and former Turnpike Commission chairman Mitch Rubin.
According to Kane, a grand jury found that companies seeking contracts on the Turnpike were expected to make political contributions and provide gifts and perks to the accused, including entertainment, dinners, trips, and sporting events.
Kane said those chared were "using the turnpike to line their pockets and influence elections."
witf State Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson will lay out the case on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk.
Also, StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick joins us to discuss her findings that Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife received gifts totalling more than $15,000 from an influential Philadelphia law firm.
Finally, Pennsylvania is facing a $41 billion shortfall to pay the pensions of retired state government and school employees. Gov. Corbett has proposed a plan that would not affect those already retired, but move current and future workers into a 401K type contribution plan.
Diane Oakley, Executive Director of the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) will appear on the show.
Diane Oakley, Executive Director of NIRS
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