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November 29, 2012 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

WATCHBLOG: Q/A with Gov. Tom Corbett

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday hosted three private sit-down interviews in his office at the state Capitol.

Gov. Tom Corbett

Pennsylvania Independent reporters Eric Boehm and Melissa Daniels were included in the third and final of the three interviews.  The other reporters included in that session were Karen Langley and Laura Olson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Robert Swift of the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Here is the full audio of Corbett’s responses to the 37 minute interview, along with a question-by-question breakdown with the time stamps for each.

0:00 – Would you consider lifting/uncapping the oil franchise tax in order to raise revenues for transportation? (Brad Bumsted)

0:50 – What about the flood-damaged roads in the northeast from 2011? Is there money available to help repair those? (Robert Swift)

2:00 – How does U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster’s appointment to chair congressional transportation committee help Pennsylvania? (Laura Olson)

2:10 – To clarify, would uncapping the oil franchise tax be a tax increase? (LO)

4:00 – So you don’t consider it a tax? Is uncapping it a tax increase? (BB)

4:30 – What do you mean by “artificial cap?” (LO)

5:20 – Aren’t the wholesalers going to come back and say that they will pass the tax along to drivers and thus you are raising taxes? (Eric Boehm)

5:30 – Can you legislatively prohibit them from passing it on? (BB)

5:50 – Is it fair to say the oil franchise tax is central to the transportation plan? (EB)

6:05 – To what degree do you consider the roll of the governor to be to clearly lay out a policy at the beginning and then push for that? (Karen Langley)

7:10 – Are you drawing a distinction between the positions you take behind closed doors with lawmakers and when you have to come out and talk to us or to the public? (KL)

9:40 – How would you describe your relationship with the legislature? (LO)

10:00 – Have you seen that relationship change? How so? (LO)

10:30 – Is it possible that people’s confusion about what you’re saying comes from that period where you are still deciding what it is that you want to do? (BB)

11:00 – How close are you to making a decision on the federal health insurance exchange? (Melissa Daniels)

13:15 – Didn’t the state get $32 million to help set up the exchange? How much has been spent and where is it? (BB)

14:20 – So would you rather let the federal government do it if you are not sure of the rules you are playing by? (MD)

14:40 – So you’re not satisfied with the draft regulations? (MD)

16:10 – What is the benefit in not making a decision one way or the other? (EB)

16:45 – Is there a point at which you’d tell the government they had their chance and you’re done waiting?  How does this play into the budget next year? (EB)

17:10 – So if you don’t feel like you have good answers from them, you would just let them take care of it? (MD)

17:35 – At the Press Club, you said some general positive things about the higher education report.  Will you be including any of the performance-based funding proposals in your own budget proposal? (KL)

18:15 – But you like the idea of performance-based funding? (KL)

19:05 – When Bob Mellow is sentenced, it will make eight former legislative leaders who are in jail, and you put five of them there.  Do you think the message has gotten through and they have changed their process here? Has it sunk in yet? (BB)

20:25 – There was a memo released this week from the U.S. attorney’s office that acknowledges the work of the attorney general’s office under you while the feds were investigating Mellow.  Can you say whether you had some sort of understanding with the U.S. attorney’s office?  Was there an agreement, understanding, help in trying to prosecute these cases? (RS)

22:30 – Would you sit down with Kathleen Kane or her investigators if they wanted to talk to you (about the Jerry Sandusky investigation)? (BB)

25:00 – To clarify, would you have a choice in whether you talked to her?  Would she be able to subpoena you? (LO)

25:20 – Would you turn it down if you saw a political angle there? (LO)

25:40 – I guess it’s not clear to me whether she can subpoena you? (BB)

26:15 – (Referring to Corbett’s time as a newly-minted attorney general) You reviewed everything just to make sure? (RS)

27:15 – Was your child predator unit included in the Sandusky investigation? (BB)

27:25 – Is there some matter of law that kept you from bringing them in? (BB)

28:00 – You mentioned something about bringing lawmakers in before your budget rollout.  Would you include Democrats in that? (LO)

28:20 – What’s the role for the Democrats in all of this, in your view? (KL)

28:50 – You’re hoping they come in here and say “we’re going to scream on those cuts there?” What would be the goal of bringing them in before your budget address? (LO)

29:20 – Do you need to sell them harder as well? (LO)

29:30 – What about after you introduce your budget? Will you include them in negotiations? (BB)

29:45 – With Mellow and Orie, were you surprised that there were memos about senators using staffers for political work even after some had been caught doing it? (RS)

30:55 – You have been criticized for your pick of the last turnpike CEO (Roger Nutt). What’s your role with putting the new person in that place?

31:55 – How far along are you in the vetting process for that spot right now? (EB)

32:10 – As you look back over the last two years, what has been your biggest disappointment? (KL)

34:00 – Sounds like (liquor store) privatization was a disappointment? (LO)

34:25 – Is there anything on your horizon for Pittsburgh, Scranton, the other cities in Act 47? (RS)

35:20 – As a signer of the no-tax pledge, what advice would you give to congressional Republicans struggling with the fiscal cliff and the no-tax pledge? (EB)

36:15 – Do you remain an enthusiastic supporter of the pledge? (KL)

36:35 – What is the thing that will make or break whether we go over the fiscal cliff? (MD)

Contact Boehm at Eric@PAIndependent.com and Daniels at Melissa@PAIndependent.com. Follow @PAIndependent on Twitter for more.

This post was updated to correct the spelling of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Laura Olson’s name.

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Eric Boehm is a reporter for PA Independent. He can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com or at (717) 350-0963.

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