Gov. Wolf’s Misuse of Power

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By State Representative Daryl Metcalfe

The new governor is off to a tumultuous start as the chief executive of Pennsylvania. It seems that he and other top Democrat officials believe they can display the same disrespect for the people and our state Constitution as the president has through his actions. Since the governor was sworn into office and took the oath to uphold and defend the same constitution that I did, he has used the pen and phone aggressively to advance his liberal agenda.

First, let me explain whom I am referring to as "other top Democrat officials." The Democrat Attorney General Kane has demonstrated a pattern of abuse since taking office. The most recent grand jury report recommending multiple charges against her is still a possible mechanism to deal with her misbehavior in office, as an alternative to the longer process of impeachment that I have offered.

In January, shortly after the governor was sworn into office, Pennsylvania’s Democrat Treasurer Rob McCord resigned from office and the governor praised his service. The governor then rescinded his praise, and in February, the state treasurer pleaded guilty to extortion.

My first interaction with the new Wolf administration was on Jan. 20, inauguration day at the Capitol, as I headed out to meet some citizens who were rallying at the state Capitol to protest the new governor’s anti-Second Amendment positions. As I made my way through the Capitol complex, and the most expansive show of law enforcement that I have witnessed at the State Capitol, I was stopped by an officer. He asked me to open my coat so he could pat me down. I showed him my legislative I.D. and asked him who gave him those instructions. His pat down did not get very far, but he was more deterred by my questions than by the fact that I was a legislator.

His answer was alarming as he explained to me that if I had a Wolf inauguration badge, then he was allowed to let me pass without a pat down. What appeared to be a partisan instruction for law enforcement was an early indication of an administration that has a problem understanding, or little regard for, the rule of law.

Now let me take you through a few of Wolf’s actions that are cause for concern.

On Jan. 22, Wolf removed the executive director of the Office of Open Records who had been appointed and installed to a six-year term by the previous governor. The removal has been challenged in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The office was designed to be independent of a governor’s direct influence due to decisions that will be made by the Office of Open Records regarding citizen access to state government documents.

On Feb. 13, Wolf declared a moratorium on the death penalty. The Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association wrote that the governor’s "moratorium on the death penalty is a misuse of his power and ignores the law."

The governor nominated two candidates for open Pennsylvania Supreme Court seats and one has withdrawn after a controversial email became publicized. Wolf has also appointed a former Maryland police officer to be our State Police commissioner. Many of us have concerns regarding his appointee’s public positions on Second Amendment issues and he recently became embroiled in a scandal after taking signs down in his neighborhood that did not belong to him.

Wolf also showed his disrespect for taxpayers as he increased the pay for his cabinet positions by $12,700 above the previous administrations department heads. He also raised the chief of staff salary $14,000 higher than the previous administration’s chief of staff. These raises were given prior to his budget address in which he proposed a tax and spending increase of $4.7 billion. He proposes to increase our income tax by 21 percent and our sales tax by 10 percent while expanding it to items such as diapers and caskets!

The state treasurer has learned that he is not above the law. The attorney general is in the process of learning that she is not above the law. We need to teach Governor Wolf that he is not above the law!

I will continue my fight to protect taxpayers!