Stack Behavior Dismays Pennsylvanians

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Last week I joined a number of fellow dismayed Pennsylvanians in watching the pathetic press conference held by Lieutenant Governor Stack, during which he addressed the Inspector General investigation into his alleged verbal abuse of state employees.

It was incredibly disheartening to see Stack deflect, pivot, and ultimately avoid taking any real personal responsibility for his behavior and treatment of state employees.

While we do not yet know the full details of this behavior, it warrants concern that Gov. Tom Wolf himself – a fellow Democrat – ordered the investigation into the actions of his second-in-command.

State employees who serve as maintenance workers, grounds keepers, and state troopers are the unsung heroes of government. They don’t get fancy offices, titles, high salaries, or publicity.

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack: ‘I’ve said things in anger and stress and frustration that I wish I hadn’t’
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack: ‘I’ve said things in anger and stress and frustration that I wish I hadn’t’
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack held a press conference Wednesday to discuss an ongoing Inspector General’s Office investigation centered around his treatment of his staff and security detail.

They come to work every day and perform tough and often grueling tasks, unnoticed and in many cases underpaid.

It is inconceivable that a "public servant" such as the lieutenant governor would allegedly mistreat, berate, or verbally abuse these employees – especially the ones tasked to maintain his plush publicly funded residence, or serve on his protective detail.

The allegations speak to his character (or in this case, lack thereof), his lack of respect for every day employees, and ultimately his view of governance.

Because more than revealing his disdain for behind-the-scenes staff, Stack’s behavior reveals an even more disturbing aspect of his character and confirms many Pennsylvanians’ deepest suspicions about our state government: That many of our leaders in Harrisburg consider themselves part of an elite class, and have forgotten the every day citizen.

Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s treatment of state employees under scrutiny: Report
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s treatment of state employees under scrutiny: Report
A state agency is investigating whether Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and his wife, Tonya, verbally abused state employees, according to a LancasterOnline report.

Stack seems to have forgotten that as a public servant, he is employed by, and answers to all the people of our state.

In other words, the very staffers Stack allegedly berated and verbally abused, are the ones he was elected to serve.

Ever since the midnight pay raise of 2005, Pennsylvanians have been rightfully suspicious of a government in Harrisburg that protects the elite, while forgetting about the everyday citizen.

Stack’s alleged actions confirm these fears at the deepest level. He and all public servants would do well to remember that here in America, we have a government of, for and by the people.

Public officials are elected to serve those around them, and should always treat citizens – regardless of status – with the utmost care and respect.

I have a message for our state troopers, public grounds keepers, maintenance staff, and every other behind-the-scenes public employee in Pennsylvania: Thank you for everything you do.

Your fellow Pennsylvanians are grateful for your tireless service.

Andrew Lewis, of Harrisburg, is a former Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate.