Call Him “Governor Gutless”

During his first year in office, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was so unhappy with the budgets that the Republican-dominated legislature presented to him that he rejected them. The Curmudgeon doesn’t have any strong views on whether those budgets were good or bad, but his point here is that Wolf stood on principle against those proposals.

A governor for whom "the courage of his convictions"  is a sometimes thing.

A governor for whom “the courage of his convictions” is a sometimes thing.

A politician standing on principle – how unusual that was. It was a costly stand, too: the state missed its constitutional deadline for passing a budget by more than six months and a lot of organizations, from public school districts to non-profits that counted heavily on state contracts to fund their operations, suffered tremendously. These groups had to borrow money and lay off employees just to survive; some employees who weren’t laid off worked for little or no money for a time.

But Wolf stood by his principles.

This year, Pennsylvania’s Republican legislature again gave Wolf a budget he didn’t especially care for. So did Wolf sign the budget? Did he veto it? Did he continue his principled ways?

Nope. Instead, he did nothing: he ignored the budget the legislature sent him, neither signing nor vetoing it. As a result, it simply became law after a week as a result of his inaction.

So Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf abandoned his principles after only one year in office. Or lost his taste for combat.

Call him “Governor Gutless.”

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