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Wolf offers loan details

Published by James O'Toole on .

At a debate Wednesday night, Rep. Allyson Schwartz pressed Tom Wolf, to release details of a a loan he'd taken out to support his $10 million comittment to his camnpaign for governor. 

The Wolf campaign released a memo Thursday offering more specifics on the transaction.  The exact loan amount was $4.450,000.  The interest, which adjusts daily, is 3 percentage points above LIBOR _ the London Interbank Offered Rate, a common benchmark for loans such as adjustable rate mortgages.  According to the campaign, Wolf and his wife have pledged to repay it by December, 2016. Because it is a contributiion, rather than a loan to his campaign, the memo states, it cannot be repaid by campaign contributions from other parties.   The Wolf's are personally liable for the debt, which is secured by their personal assets including stock in the his firm, the Wolf Organization. 

[Update]  The Schwartz campaign isn't ready to take the gloves off.  They released a statement  pointing to the job losses the Wolf firm experienced after Wolf relinquished control in a leveraged buyout prior to the 2008 recession, and suggesting that the firm might face similar problems if the Wolf's personal loan is not repaid.

 

 

 

Read the Wolf campaign's full memo after the jump.

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Molchany's TV debut

Published by James O'Toole on .

Rep. Erin Molchany launched her first television ad in her primary face-off with fellow Democratic Rep. Harry Readshaw.

The ad is running on Pittsburgh cable channels.  Jacob Redfern, Molchany's campaign manager, wouldn't disclose the size of the buy, but he said it would be carefully targetted to avoid reaching untargetted eyeballs outside of the newly drawn district, which includes neighborhoods south of the rivers.

The ad is a feel-good introductory spot, featuring Molchany and her father.   That makes sense as Molchany needs to introduce herself to a lot of voters in the merged seat where seven out of ten voters had already been represented by Mr. Readshaw.

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Casey pushes for police funds

Published by Tracie Mauriello on .

Sen. Bob Casey is making a push to restore federal funding to put more police on the streets and to pay for bulletproof vests.

He is asking fellow lawmakers to support a plan to increase funding to the COPS Hiring Program from $180 million to $247 million.

The money provides 75 percent of new officers’ salary for their first three years of employment.

Over the last decade, the program has helped cities hire 125,000 law enforcement officers including 3,667 in Pennsylvania, Mr. Casey said. That includes 545 officers in Allegheny County.

He also is asking for $30 million in federal funding for bulletproof vests – an increase from $22.5 million in the current budget.

“We need to make sure we provide local law enforcement with the appropriate tools to get the job done,” the senator said Thursday.

Both requests restore funding to 2010 levels.

“The United States of American can afford to keep the bulletproof vest program at $30 million and the United States can afford to keep the COPS grant at $247 million easily,” Mr. Casey said.

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Schwartz confronts Wolf

Published by James O'Toole on .

Rep. Allyson Schwartz confronted frontrunner Tom Wolf in a Democratic debate Wednesday in Harrisburg, demanding that he disclose more details of a loan of roughly $4 million that was part of the $10 million he's pumped into his campaign for governor.

"Allyson Schwartz came after Tom Wolf like a raging bull armed with brass knuckles Wednesday night in the first genuine debate among the Democrats running for governor,'' our colleague, Robert J. Vickers reported in the Patriot-News.

"Schwartz, the Montgomery County congresswoman who saw Wolf claim her frontrunner status nearly two months ago, threw haymakers at the York County millionaire and former state revenue secretary for taking out a large loan to fund the early television ad campaign that rocketed him to the front of the field.

“ 'How much were those loans, what did you use as collateral for that loan, what are the terms of that loan, and how do you plan to repay it,” Schwartz asked.''

And here's Tom Fitzgerald's account of the bout from the Inquirer.

Schwartz isn't trying to do Wolf any favors, of course.  She's doing her very best to blunt the momentum his Wolf campaign has gathered with tis heavy advertising.  But, in a real if untended sense, her criticisms are a favor to Wolf.   If he does manage to hold onto his lead, but can't come with explanations that satisfy voters now,  the questioning will only become more intense in the general election.  The Wolf campaign issued a post-debate statement criticizing the Schwartz attacks and noting that he had disclosed the line of credit in an ethics filing.  Wolf said during the debate that he would fully describe the circumstances of the loan.

was a rare pointed moment in a race that has been characterized by broad policy agreement.

"I guess I'm 'it,' " Wolf said. "I do owe an explanation." He said that he got the loan, part of $10 million he has given his own campaign, "using personal assets, not corporate assets" of his building-supply company, adding that self-funding was the only way he could compete as a political neophyte


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140410_Democrats_get_feisty_in_gubernatorial_debate.html#GrJBzaDjP0XmWwWg.99

was a rare pointed moment in a race that has been characterized by broad policy agreement.

"I guess I'm 'it,' " Wolf said. "I do owe an explanation." He said that he got the loan, part of $10 million he has given his own campaign, "using personal assets, not corporate assets" of his building-supply company, adding that self-funding was the only way he could compete as a political neophyte


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140410_Democrats_get_feisty_in_gubernatorial_debate.html#GrJBzaDjP0XmWwWg.99

 

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Black leaders plan debate

Published by James O'Toole on .

Former city Counciman Sala Udin and a variety of other African-American leaders plan a news conference Thursday to discuss their plans for an African-American Gubernatorial Forum next Tuesday, April 22, at the Central Baptist Church on Wylie Avenue.  So far, according to the group's press release, Treasurer Rob McCord and Katie McGinty, the former DEP secretary have committed to the event, but Tom Wolf and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz hae schedule conflicts.  You can read the group's full release after the jump.

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