Some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are grousing about the governor’s new political action group springing to life right as budget negotiations heat up.
The state mission of Rebuild Pennsylvania is to promote Gov. Tom Wolf’s agenda and support candidates allied with him.
Some House Republicans blanched at the idea of another political group putting unwelcome pressure on them at an already tense time.
“I’ve never seen such politicking during budget negotiations,” said Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks.
House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin said the PAC’s launch date is proof the governor’s staff has already given up on a compromise.
“They do not want a budget solution,” said Miskin.
Mike Mikus, director of the governor’s new political arm, dismissed Republican laments as “false outrage.”
Both parties have used PACs to influence state policy debates. House Republicans point to negative mailers targeting their districts over their opposition to the governor’s budget. The mailers were traced back to the Democratic Governors Association. Democrats point to anti-tax commercials bankrolled by PACs with GOP and industry ties.
Rebuild Pennsylvania aims to fill a vacuum left by the moribund state Democratic Party. The governor effectively severed ties with the party when he ran for office.
Not all Republicans took umbrage at the new group. Drew Crompton, chief counsel to GOP Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, could hardly muster a shrug when asked about the governor’s new PAC. It was expected, Crompton said.