Difference between revisions of "Tom Corbett"
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|Governor of Pennsylvania|
|2011 - Present|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Ed Rendell (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Pennsylvania Attorney General|
|Bachelor's||Lebanon Valley College|
|J.D.||St. Mary's University School (1975)|
|Service/branch||Captain, Pennsylvania Army National Guard|
|Years of service||1971-1984|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 Governor of Pennsylvania (2011-present)
- 2.2 Attorney General of Pennsylvania (2005-2011)
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
At the time of his election, Corbett was serving as Attorney General of Pennsylvania. He vacated the position, which he held since 2004, upon assuming the governorship in January 2011. Corbett previously served as attorney general from 1995-1997. He was appointed interim attorney general by then-Governor Tom Ridge to finish the unexpired term of Ernie Preate, who resigned after being convicted of mail fraud.
Corbett lists his priorities as governor as "A Job for Every Pennsylvanian that Wants One," "A Stable Financial Future for Pennsylvania," "Investing in Education," "A Trained and Educated Workforce," and "The Budget."
Corbett is eligible for re-election in 2014. While he has yet to make a formal announcement, he has indicated that he will run. Based on approval ratings, The New York Times rated Corbett as the 5th most vulnerable governor in 2014.
Corbett has a bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College, and a law degree from St. Mary's University School in San Antonio, Texas. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 to 1984. During that time, he was able to achieve the rank of captain. Shortly after graduating from law school in 1975, he worked as an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Corbett was chosen in 1980 to act as an assistant to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a role he maintained for three years.
After returning to Pennsylvania and private practice, he entered the state's political stage for the first time, winning the election for township commissioner in Shaler Township, Pennsylvania. His skills and experience within the legal profession were recognized nationally when President George H. W. Bush appointed him United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1988; he remained there until midway through Bill Clinton's first year in office.
Following his resignation, he again returned to private practice in Pennsylvania, while simultaneously serving as an advisor to Tom Ridge's successful 1994 gubernatorial campaign. In the wake of Ridge's victory, Corbett worked on a number of state commissions, including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Deliquency where he served as chairman. When he was appointed by ridge to fill the vacancy of state Attorney General left behind by the scandal-plagued Ernest Preate in 1995, he was required by the State Senate Democrats to sign a pledge that said he would not run for re-election the next year, a common practice in the state of Pennsylvania for appointments to elected offices.
Leaving office in 1997, he returned to the private sector by starting his own practice, Thomas Corbett and Associates, one he kept in operation until 2004. That same year he served as the general counsel for Waste Management.. Corbett's professional background also includes teaching civics and history in Pine Grove Area High School in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
- Bachelor's degree, Lebanon Valley College
- Juris Doctorate degree, St. Mary's University Law School (1975)
Governor of Pennsylvania (2011-present)
Corbett was elected the 46th governor of Pennsylvania in the November 2, 2010 general election. He was sworn into office on January 18th, 2011.
Several polls conducted in the months leading up to the 2012 general election to gauge the people of Pennsylvania's opinion of their governor. The thousands of likely Pennsylvania voters who were surveyed between mid to late September reported an average 32% approval rating, while approximately 45% of respondents disapprove of the job he is doing. His job performance ratings continued to decline through early 2013. An April survey from Quinnipiac University Polling Institute showed Corbett's approval rating hovering at 47 percent approval to 38 percent disapproval, with a negative 29 to 43 percent favorability rating-- marking the fourth consecutive month of negative scores for the first term governor. The poll, released over a year before the governor goes up for re-election, also shows him losing by at least nine percentage points in hypothetical match-ups against three Democratic opponents. Most notably, the poll indicates that Corbett will find a formidable challenger in U.S. Rep Allyson Schwartz, who already declared her candidacy at the time the survey was conducted; she looks especially threatening vis a vis Corbett's dismal popularity among female respondents, 54-27 percent of whom expressed opposition to Corbett’s re-election, a margin of 2 to 1.
|Job Approval Rating of Governor Tom Corbett|
|Poll||Approve||Disapprove||Don't Know or NA||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Muhlenberg College PA Poll|
(September 10-16, 2012)
|Quinnipiac University Poll|
(September 18-24, 2012)
|Franklin and Marshall Poll|
(September 18-23, 2012)
(April 19-24, 2013)
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
In November of 2010, Corbett voiced his support for the privatization of the 61 state liquor stores before he assumed his position as Governor of Pennsylvania. He joined State House Republicans, including the new Majority Leader, Mike Turzai. 
On January 30, 2013, Corbett introduced a proposal to privatize the state-owned liquor stores and use the revenue to increasing funding for education. The governor argued that "the selling of alcohol is not a core responsibility of government, but education is." The governor's plan would see the state's liquor and wine stores auctioned off, while big box stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores would be able to sell limited quantities of beer and, in the case of big box stores and and supermarkets, wine. Restaurants, already able to sell beer, would be able to sell customers up to six bottles of wine, while retail beer distributors could obtain licenses to sell beer, wine, and liquor, instead of only beer. The auctions and licensing fees would generate an estimated $1 billion over four years. Under Corbett's plan, these funds would be distributed to school districts using a formula based on their student enrollment and income level. The block grants would fund "school safety; early learning; science, technology, engineering and mathematics course programming; and 'individual learning.'" On March 5, 2013, House Majority Leader Turzai introduced Corbett's plan as House Bill 790, and the bill was referred to the Liquor Control Committee. After HB 790 was reported to the House by the Liquor Control Committee on March 18 and then by the Appropriations Committee on March 21, the House passed the bill 105-90 on March 21. This amended version of the bill would privatize the wholesaling of wine and spirits within one year, require the government liquor stores in any given county to shut down within six months after the number of private stores double those of the government, and provide education credits and civil service hiring preferences to employees of the government stores.
Two leading Republicans, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, supported increasing consumer choice but remained unconvinced that the government stores needed to be auctioned off. State Representative John Taylor (R) proposed an alternative plan which would introduce more competition into the liquor market but allow a reduced number of the state stores to continue to operate. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, which represents workers at the government liquor stores, also opposed privatization, while supporters of increased education funding remained divided by the plan. The Commonwealth Foundation, a pro-market think tank, commended Corbett for his privatization proposal. The Foundation noted in a January 30, 2013, press release that Pennsylvania loses tax revenue when residents go to other states to buy alcohol and that the government had spent $10 million to establish its own wine brand to compete against privately owned wineries. Polls showed most Pennsylvanians favored privatization.
Following its House passage, HB 790 was sent to the Senate. Pileggi reasserted his emphasis on "looking for ways to increase convenience, and selection at a competitive price" rather than privatization. He indicated that bill would be changed before passage in the Senate. Corbett refused to publicly comment on how he would approach negotiations with the Senate but reaffirmed his support for privatization.
Corbett delivered his 2013-14 budget to the Pennsylvania Legislature in early February 2013. Nathan Benefield of the pro-market Commonwealth Foundation commended Corbett for his "fiscal restraint" and asserted that Corbett's leadership had helped revive Pennsylvania's economy, which created jobs at a rate 17 times higher than that of the other 49 states. Benefield also supported Corbett's proposal to eliminate the state's corporate tax. Additional analysis by the Commonwealth Foundation showed that his proposed $67.6 billion in total spending would be the highest level ever for Pennsylvania without adjusting for inflation and the second-highest, behind only 2010-11, after taking inflation into account.
When Corbett left the attorney general's office in 2011, he appointed Linda Kelly (R) to serve as his replacement for the remainder of his term, ending in January 2013. When Kelly was sworn in on May 24, 2011, she assumed leadership of the state's high profile investigation into former Penn State football coach and eventual convicted sex-offender Jerry Sandusky's, who was charged with 45 counts of sexual abuse committed between 1994 and 2009.
Originating during Corbett's rein as attorney general in late 2009, the case's disturbing revelations about Sandusky reverberated far beyond the boundaries of Penn State's campus, inciting an onslaught of emotional pleas to the state to deliver swift justice, so to begin the healing process. Despite the mounting pressure from the public and press to advance the investigation to trial as quickly as possible, the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, which oversaw the case, proceeded with caution instead of urgency. The case spent two years in controversial gestation under Corbett - and then Kelly - before charges were brought against Sandusky in November, 2011. After a fraught stage of suspended grief, Sandusky's victims and betrayed fans got the pace they wanted, with the case going from grand jury presentment to trial in a short seven months.
On June 22, 2012, a jury convicted Sandusky of 45 out of the 48 counts of sex abuse for which he was indicted, including 25 felonies and 20 misdemeanors. After the verdict was delivered, Kelly said was confident Sandusky received a fair trial, notwithstanding the hurried pace of the proceedings, and the defense's request for a mistrial following the prosecution's exposure of an erroneously incriminating interview Sandusky did with Bob Costas - "The commonwealth expects to prevail on any appeal, and as far as the timing, the judge made it clear from the beginning to all the parties that he intended to move this case along quickly," Kelly said on CNN. Defense Attorney Joe Amendola tried to withdraw from the case on account of the trial's unusually expeditious time-frame. Echoing Kelly's defense of the trial's sprint to conclusion, and the dismissed mistrial, Corbett said that he expected these issues to manifest in future appeals, but ultimately, the jury's decision was tipped by the "compelling testimony of these now young men who were young boys who suffered at the hands of this pedophile.” Despite Corbett's repeated assurances that the attorney general's office did everything properly in handling the case, suspicions remained about his performance overseeing the case as attorney general, and his continued involvement as governor. Whether or not the handing of the case should be reviewed further was a dominant issue in the 2012 attorney general race. Both major party candidates, David Freed (R) and Kathleen Kane (D), say they would review the office's, and Corbett's, performance leading the Sandusky investigation if elected.
On the day Corbett took the oath of office as governor, critics gathered on the front steps. They were opposing the threat of forced natural gas pooling laws, which they claimed will be on the agenda in the new legislative session. Gene Stilp, a local political activist who organized Tuesday's protest, said the legalization of forced pooling would be a violation of constitutionally guaranteed property rights.
"Sure, they'll give you something for it, some kind of monetary compensation, but the idea here is that it is a diminution of our constitutional rights to property," said Stilp. "It lays open the property rights of all Pennsylvanians." Stilp equated forced pooling to "subterranean eminent domain." Range Resources is one of the largest gas companies operating in Pennsylvania and one of the companies people like Stilp are protesting. Matt Pitzarella, spokesperson for Range Resources, said the pooling can benefit property owners by allowing for more efficient extraction of gas.
"The reason why we want it is for the sake of consistency, so we can maximize the amount of gas that we can drain, which means more money for the people who own the property and leased it to us," said Pitzarella. "We can plan farther in advance with the wells we will need to drill and the pipelines we will need to lay."
House Republicans spokesperson Steve Miskin said the forced pooling bill was only one of many issues relating to natural gas drilling which lawmakers will address in the coming months.
Attorney General of Pennsylvania (2005-2011)
Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")
In December of 2012, Corbett decided against establishing a Pennsylvania-specific health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. He explained that the Obama administration had not satisfactorily addressed various operational questions and concerns Pennsylvania officials had posed with respect to the state-based option. Along with Republican governors such as Chris Christie (NJ), Bob McDonnell (VA), and Bill Haslam (TN), Corbett's primary concern was about the potential cost of independent implementation, and whether the federal government would respect the autonomy state's ostensibly earn as an extension of that financial independence. Although he has not officially ceded all other provisional options for states unwilling to participate in the federal health care exchange, which is an online marketplace for citizens to purchase health insurance, Corbett and state lawmakers were unable to agree on an alternative by the December 14, 2012 deadline. Thus, Pennsylvania will enter the federal program by default. Pennsylvania is one of thirty-two states to opt out of a state-based program.
In the wake of the historic passage of President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve in 2009, Corbett was one of ten Republican Attorneys General questioning not only the constitutionality of a specific controversial provision within the Senate version of the bill, but also exploring potential legal challenges to the measure as well. The stipulation in question was the back room deal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck with Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to recruit him as the 60th vote needed to pass the measure, an arrangement "dubbed the "Nebraska Compromise" or the "Cornhusker Kickback" by GOP critics." The agreement gives Nebraska exemption from its share of the Medicaid expansion, "a carve out that is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years." Corbett tweeted that he was "analyzing [the] constitutionality of [the] "Nebraska Compromise" in health care bill." 
On the same morning President Barack Obama signed into law his controversial health care reform bill, the one that narrowly passed the United States House of Representatives just two days before, Corbett and twelve other Attorneys General, all but one being Republican, filed suit against "the federal government to stop the massive health care overhaul, claiming it's unconstitutional."  His office, however, "did not detail the specific legal grounds he might cite in arguing against the legislation." 
Nearly two weeks after the United States Justice Department filed suit against the state of Arizona over its anti-illegal immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 - The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070), contending that it "interferes with federal immigration responsibilities," Corbett joined eight other Republican state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of the measure.  The Pennsylvania Attorney General argued that the "the lawsuit filed by the federal government in this case undermines the constitutional authority of all our states."  This opinion, however, is at odds with the current governor, who contends it is the sole authority of the federal government to handle responsibility for this issue.
Civil rights complaint
In August 2008, Thomas D. Kimmet, a former deputy in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and a ten year veteran of the Department of Revenue, filed a federal civil rights complaint in United States Middle District Court alleging that the state's top law enforcer, Tom Corbett, had violated his constitutional rights. Furthermore, Kimmet accused Corbett and his lieutenants of preventing him from "correcting inefficiencies in the Office of Attorney General's (OAG) Financial Enforcement Section (FES)," the state's last resort in collect debts and back taxes, that may be costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year.  
Corbett denied having any memory of there being significant problems related to the FES and acknowledged that in signing Mr. Kimmet's walking papers in November 2008, he did not see if he had asked for a review of his dismissal.
Kimmet charged that the FES was making "fraudulent payouts for services that were unearned or earned improperly by private collection agencies" and that "many debts collected by state agencies were improperly credited to private vendors."   However, when he made attempts to correct these issues, he encountered harsh resistance from his superiors and even members of his immediate staff. He said that Corbett refused to follow up on his investigation into the alteration of FES records in order "to avoid public disclosure of possible criminal misconduct and fraud."  The OAG vigorously denied all of these charges. As to the former deputy attorney general's dismissal, the OAG alleged that Mr. Kimmet was a poor manager who routinely acted aggressively toward staff, rejected proposed compromises, and, most importantly, "failed to discharge his responsibilities on a costly and critical technology project." 
Corbett plans to run for re-election as governor in 2014. In Nov. 2012, he said that he "has no plans to break" the tradition of Pennsylvania governors serving two terms.
Corbett announced his candidacy for the Republican party nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania on September 15, 2009.  A Quinnipiac poll taken in December 2009 indicated that he led United States Representative Jim Gerlach for the Republican nomination with 38 percent favoring his candidacy. Furthermore, the polling data at that time suggested that he held an edge over the three top-polling Democrats in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. 
- 2010 General Election
- Corbett and his runningmate Jim Cawley earned 54.5% of the vote in the general election on November 2, 2010, defeating Democrats Dan Onorato and runningmate Scott Conklin.
|Governor of Pennsylvania, 2010|
- 2010 Republican Primary
- Corbett won the Republican nomination for governor on May 18, 2010 with 68.7% of the vote over opponent Samuel Rohrer.
|Governor of Pennsylvania, 2010|
|2008 Race for Attorney General - General Election |
|Tom Corbett (R)||52.4%|
|John M. Morganelli (D)||45.7%|
|Marakay J. Rogers (Green)||1.9%|
|2004 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary |
|Tom Corbett (R)||52.8%|
|Bruce Castor (R)||47.2%|
|2004 Race for Attorney General - General Election |
|Tom Corbett (R)||50.4%|
|Jim Eisenhower (D)||48.4%|
|Marakay J. Rogers (Green)||1.3%|
Comprehensive donor information for Corbett is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Corbett raised a total of $41,719,301 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 14, 2013.
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Tom Corbett's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Tom Corbett's Campaign Contributions|
Governor of Pennsylvania
Attorney General of Pennsylvania
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$25,310,387||$1,154,610|
|Top 5 contributors||Republican Governors Association||$6,000,967||Republican State Leadership Committee||$691,550|
|Pennsylvania Republican Party||$2,095,333||John M. Templeton, Jr.||$128,000|
|Friends of Tom Corbett||$763,500||Pennsylvania Future Fund||$111,500|
|Vahan Gureghian||$325,714||John S. Middleton||$100,000|
|John Templeton, Jr.||$283,500||John G. Rangos, Sr.||$85,000|
Corbett currently resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan Manbeck, though their family home is in Shaler Township. The couple has two children - Tom, a video game producer, and Katherine, a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, as well as one grandchild.
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- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Social media:
- Executive actions:
- Financial (state level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, "Governor Tom Corbett," accessed September 28, 2012
- Office of the Pennsylvania Governor, "Rebuilding PA: Gov. Corbett's Priorities," accessed June 20, 2013
- PoliticsPA, "Corbett Will Seek Re-Election," November 13, 2012
- The New York Times, "Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014?," April 8, 2013
- Capitol blogs, "Corbett approvals stay in the basement in new F&M, Quinnipiac polls," September 26, 2012
- The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Corbett pummeled in new poll," April 29, 2013
- Quinnipiac University Poll, "LEADING DEMS TOP CORBETT IN PENNSYLVANIA GOV RACE,QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;DEM PRIMARY IS A RACE BETWEEN SCHWARTZ AND SESTAK," April 29, 2013
- Pennsylvania Independent "Privatization of State Liquor Stores Could Yield $2 Billion" 11 Nov. 2010
- Angela Couloumbis and Rita Giordano, Philadelphia Inquirer, "Corbett's new liquor privatization plan would benefit public schools," February 1, 2013
- Brad Bumsted, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Turzai: House could get liquor privatization bill soon," March 5, 2013
- Bill information Pennsylvania House Bill 790, accessed on March 7, 2013
- Katrina Anderson, Commonwealth Foundation, "What's in New Liquor Liberty Bill?," March 18, 2013
- Angela Couloumbis, Philadelphia Inquirer, "Plan for LCB privatization is formally introduced," March 6, 2013
- Commonwealth Foundation, "Liquor Proposal Delivers Convenience," January 30, 2013
- Tony Romeo, CBS Philly, "Pa. House Passes Liquor Store Privatization; Hurdles Loom In Senate," March 21, 2013
- Nathan Benefield, Commonwealth Foundation, February 6, 2013
- Commonwealth Foundation, "Pennsylvani State Budget 2013," March 26, 2013
- CNN, "Pennsylvania, Wyoming governors endorse Romney," April 17, 2012
- The Jakarta Post, "Lawyer: Penn St. coach still says he's not guilty," June 26, 2012
- The Examiner, "Will Sandusky verdict put Pennsylvania governor Corbett on trial?," June 24, 2012
- Reuters, "Pennsylvania attorney general says Sandusky got fair trial," June 25, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Defense lawyer: Ex-Penn St. assistant Sandusky wants ‘people to know that he’s not guilty’," June 25, 2012
- "Gas Drilling Critics Say Corbett Will Endanger Property Rights With Forced Pooling," Pennsylvania Independent, JANUARY 4, 2011
- The Associated Press, "New Jersey Gov. Christie vetoes state-run health exchange bill," December 6, 2012
- The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
- Politico "GOP AGs may sue over health bill" 24 Dec. 2009
- Associated Press "13 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul" 23 March, 2010
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Corbett pits Pa. against health plan" 23 March, 2010
- FOX News "Justice Department Files Suit Against Arizona Immigration Law" 6 July, 2010
- The Philadelphia Inquirer "Pennsylvania joins brief in support of Arizona immigration law" 15 July, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent ""Whistleblower" Suit Allows Peek into AG's Office" 16 April, 2010
- The Philadelphia Inquirer "Two lawsuits allege Corbett has mismanaged Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office" 21 June, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent "Civil Rights Complaint Alleges AG Staff Balked" 19 April, 2010
- Pennsylvania Independent "What is a Whistleblower?" 20 April, 2010
- Allentown Morning Call, "Corbett: No plans to end 'tradition' of Pa. governors serving two terms," November 12, 2012
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Corbett announces he will run for governor in 2010" 15 Sept. 2009
- Philly.com "Poll finds Attorney General Tom Corbett holds wide lead in governor's race" 17 Dec. 2009
- Pennsylvania Department of State, "2010 General Election Results," accessed September 28, 2012
- Pennsylvania Department of State, "2010 General Primary Official Results," accessed September 28, 2012
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2008 Republican Primary Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2008 General Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2004 Republican Primary Election Results
- Pennsylvania Department of State: Elections Information - 2004 General Election Results
- Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Tom Corbett," accessed May 14, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
- Project Vote Smart, "Tom Corbett biography," accessed September 28, 2012
|Pennsylvania Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
|Pennsylvania Attorney General
| Succeeded by|
Linda Kelly (R)
Ed Rendell (D)
|Governor of Pennsylvania
| Succeeded by|
State of Pennsylvania
|State executive offices||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | Auditor General | Secretary of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources | Secretary of Labor & Industry | Chairman of Public Utilities |