Tom Corbett or Corporate Puppet?

Corporate Reps. comprise Corbett’s transition team

What do you get when you add Corporate and puppet? Corbett. At least some political insiders see it this way.

Citizen advocates are criticizing the composition of Gov.-elect Tom Corbett’s transition team, and perhaps, rightfully so. A good portion of Corbett’s 400-member transition team is comprised of the very people government should be overseeing and regulating, a blatant conflict of interest.

According to the Centre Daily Times, this very conflict of interest has Demorcratic Party Chairman Jim Burn extremely concerned. This from the Centre Daily Times:

“We’re extremely concerned,” Burn said. “Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? No.”

Bank executives and lobbyists are on the banking team. Representatives of large insurers, including Highmark Inc., are on the insurance committee. Representatives of power and water utilities, gas drilling companies, the coal industry and more are on the energy and environment committee.

“Can you say, ‘Letting the fox in the hen house’?” said Tim Potts, the co-founder of the citizen advocacy group, Democracy Rising PA, and a former House Democratic aide.

For example, a registered lobbyist on the energy and environment committee works for the law firm K&L Gates, which is registered with the state as a representative of Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. The Houston-based natural gas-drilling firm is butting heads with the Department of Environmental Protection over whether it is to blame for polluted residential well water near its Marcellus Shale operations in Susquehanna County.

Instead of relying on people who represent corporate interests, Corbett could have selected people in the nonprofit and academic sectors who have the same expertise, Potts said.

Read more of the story at the Centre Daily Times by clicking here.


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