One is at a loss to know where to begin in answering Daryl Gale’s column calling for the governor’s impeachment.
He says the governor has cut education. In truth, the governor budgeted more in state dollars for basic education than at any time in our history. What was missing was $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars which were intended for shovel-ready, one-time projects.
Among his more alarming claims is that the governor is allowing gas drillers to “rape” our state’s environment while paying no taxes or fees. This is wrong on several levels.
Marcellus drillers have paid more than $1.6 billion in taxes — most of it in the past three years. They are not tax exempt.
The governor crafted and implemented an impact fee in addition to this, meaning that a fully productive well will pay $310,000 to its host community over a 10-year period.
As to environmental issues, one need only google the terms “Chesapeake” and “record fine” to see that Tom Corbett laid down more than $1 million in penalties on a Marcellus driller for environmental failures.
The assertion that Gov. Corbett has put college out of financial reach for students is especially odd. College tuition at state and state-related universities was spiraling past the inflation rate for the past 15 years until the governor cried halt. This year, for the first time in modern memory, state-related universities agreed to hold tuition increases at, or below, the rate of inflation.
The astonishing declaration that Corbett did nothing about Jerry Sandusky is outrageously untrue. Since 1998, four different agencies failed to pursue allegations that Sandusky was preying on children. As soon as a complaint reached the office of then-Attorney General Tom Corbett in 2009, a team of agents and lawyers was assigned to locate victims, persuade them to come forward publicly, and testify.
Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts. He’s off the streets for good. Tom Corbett did that.
That there are partisans and opportunists out there during an election year calling for impeachments of all sorts is no surprise. The surest way to enrage one’s enemies is to succeed. But the Tribune, and a city editor entrusted to bring straight and unbiased news to its readership, should not be swept up in the campaigns of political opportunists.
Dennis Roddy is a former newspaper journalist who now works as special assistant to the governor.