State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

McCord aims most barbs at Corbett, not primary competition

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 25, 2013 4:42 PM
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Photo by Mary Wilson / witf


State Treasurer Rob McCord became this week the eighth Democrat to throw his hat in the ring for governor. But just days into his official campaign, he's still aiming most of his venom at the governor.

In an hour-long, wide ranging interview with state Capitol reporters Wednesday, McCord dinged Gov. Corbett for signing a "no new taxes" pledge, saying such promises aren't the source of good public policy.

"You shouldn't hire another governor who yields to the political temptation to make a pledge," McCord said. "I think really good leaders use their brains, not pledges. I think we're getting way too much government by talking point."

That isn't to say McCord's against cuts, but he said he can make better ones to increase funding for education - which he said would be his number one obsession as governor.

He offers the Department of Public Welfare as one place ripe for cuts, though the agency has already seen much-maligned reductions under the Corbett administration.

McCord also supports taking the impact fee on natural gas drillers and replacing it with a tax on natural gas extraction, which would raise more money.

Other Democratic candidates include U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, and former Department of Environmental Protection secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger.

For the most part, McCord declined to take shots at any of the other candidates in the race, emphasizing instead his own experience in business as a venture capitalist and his current day job. During his time as state treasurer, he has challenged the governor's plans to privatize the state lottery and overhaul the public pension systems.

But McCord did suggest Schwartz, considered in a couple internal polls to be front runner, would not be able to win because of her tenure in Congress.

"I don't think people think highly of Congress, I'm not sure they think highly of career politicians," McCord said.

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