tv Campaign 2018 Pennsylvania Governors Debate CSPAN October 2, 2018 12:20am-1:27am EDT
in total prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000. what does it mean to be american ? the deadline is january 20. for more information, go to our website, studentcam.org. announcer: next, the pennsylvania governor's debate between governor tom wolfe and his republican challenger, scott wagner. the debate courtesy of the pennsylvania cable network is being moderated by jeopardy host alex trebek. from hershey, pennsylvania, this is an hour. back.i'm chamberas asked by the if i would come here and be the , ierator for this event accepted immediately. did not give it a second thought. what on earth was i thinking?
my gosh. bright as i am not as some of you people in the audience think i am. this is not a game show tonight. this is serious stuff, and i can't begin to tell you how much agony and stress i have experienced over these many months, because i accepted that invitation. the evening is not about me, but i have spent four decades hosting television competitions with impartiality. and what i was very afraid of was that some of you would leave here tonight and say, well, our guy did not do too well, but only because trebek was so biased against him. [laughter] alex: i did not want that to happen. so yes, i am very nervous. accepted oned, -- i
the condition that i would get to do it my way. that doesn't mean we are going to have a jeopardy-type quiz up here. i am not here to embarrass the candidates. they are perfectly capable of doing that all by themselves. [laughter] alex: but i wanted to do it in a different way. i am not a big fan of the traditional debate formats, where the candidates stand on it -- a stand on it lectern, the moderator asked the question, the candidate has 90 seconds to respond, then the opponent has 30 seconds rebuttal. i wanted to approach it very differently. i will tell you why. by a show of hands in the audience right now, how many of you know pretty well where these two candidates stand on all of
the issues? and have pretty much made up your minds as to how you are going to vote next month? that's what i thought. and that's why i did not want to do the traditional debate format , because we'd would not learn that much that was new. so i decided, we are going to have a conversation where i can prodquestions, i can or challenge the candidates. who knows, maybe we will discover something new about their personalities, their character, that we did not know beforehand. and thankfully, both gentlemen agreed. there is only one rule that applies to what is about to take place, and it is a rule that i will strictly enforce. way --not tolerate any
hissing, not even if you directed at the candidates. [laughter] alex: ok? so let's get it done. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the republican candidate for governor, scott wagner. [applause] alex: and the democratic candidate, governor tom wolfe. [applause] please be seated, gentlemen. toss, sor, you won the you get to make the first opening statement, please. mr. wagner: is a prize of four and a half million dollars possible? alex: no, brad will be coming back this year to compete for even more money in the jeopardy all-stars. but go ahead. mr. wagner: thank you. good evening, everyone.
it is great to be here tonight. listen, i never thought five and a half years ago i would ever be doing this, standing on the stage in front of all of you. but you know, life has its twists and turns. tracy, my lovely wife, is with me tonight. we never thought we would be doing this. but as a business person growing up on a farm, working hard, building my businesses, discovering how difficult it was to operate a business, create jobs in pennsylvania, i made a decision to run for the state senate in 2014. i served in the state senate and left thisears and past january to pursue this path. when i went to harrisburg, my expectation of harrisburg was that it needed help and guidance and it needed leadership. it was very apparent quickly on that we do not have that leadership in place. so i made a decision to run for this office, to be the next governor of pennsylvania.
i grew up on a farm. i am a blue-collar guy. the governor had a very different upbringing and a very different lifestyle than i. we will talk about the issues tonight, but i'm honored to be here and be in front of all of you and talk about what is really going on in pennsylvania. tonight is about the people of pennsylvania. those are the people that we have to believe in, we serve, and we need to help make their lives better. thank you. [applause] alex: governor? gov. wolf: thank you, alex. thank you for moderating this. and i want to thank the chamber team and the chamber for posting -- hosting this, and scott, thank you for running. that's what happens in a democracy and i appreciate that you are doing this. this is really a referendum on where we were and where we want to be and where we want to go. when i got to harrisburg as governor, i have been in politics now for three years and eight months, about three and a half years.
and when i got to harrisburg, we were not investing in education. since i have been governor, we we have invested historic amounts in education. we have invested in health care. we have almost three quarters of a million people who now have health insurance who did not have it just three years ago. we are doing something to address the terrible opioid epidemic that is facing pennsylvania. i have done this in a financially responsible way. balanced the budget. i made a deposit in the rainy day fund for the first time in over a decade, back in july. and i am doing it with ethics and integrity. i don't take my salary. i actually pay my own way on state business. i am doing these things because i think public service is something different than anything else we do. and so this election is about that. do we want to continue on this path? do we want to continue doing the same thing we have been doing for the last three and a half years? i am hoping that i get the privilege of serving for another four years so that i can keep moving pennsylvania forward. thank you very much. [applause]
alex: sounds like you two are in competition for the civility award next year. [laughter] >> almost. job, governor, you got the so i am going to direct the first question at you. i sense there is a certain amount of tension in this hall right now, so let's see if we can break it. earlier this year shortly after the super bowl, you got a pretty positive reaction from the audience when you uttered the words "fly, eagles, fly." that started me thinking. please, sir, tell me the name of the starting defensive lineman for the eagles -- [laughter] alex: who has won two consecutive super bowl is, each one with a different team. [laughter] [applause] gov. wolf: i guess you want me to put that in the form of a question? alex: right now there are people
in this room who are sitting there saying, what on earth is going on here? you and mr. wagner have come here tonight to talk about politics and policies and here comes trebek straight out of left field with a question about football. that was unfair and i understand that. i don't like ambush journalism, but i did it for a reason. the reason is that a very famous californian filmmaker once, who had put together some very nasty films about a politician running for office in the california gubernatorial election, when he was taken to task for that, he said, back off. in politics, nothing is unfair. so i would like to hear your thoughts on that statement. gov. wolf: i disagree with it. i think things have to be fair 's -- fair in politics. we heard from the president of
allegheny college. one of the issues and one of the challenges we have in our democracy is we have to make it civil. we have to make it attractive for people to want to come in and exchange their ideas and not feel they will get blasted for doing it. politics, especially in a democracy, we have to make it civil, we have to make it the kind of enterprise that people want to get involved in. the kids at allegheny college are not different from the kids anywhere else. they look at politics right now and say, why do i want to get involved? we need to look at it like a venn diagram. there are two different circles, different sets of ideas, but there is an overlap. it is our choice as to whether we choose to focus on the things that distinguish us or the things that bring us together where we might find compromise. alex: has money become a corrupting influence in our political campaigns? gov. wolf: i think it has. that's why i am calling for campaign finance reform in pennsylvania. i think that is really
important. we need to neutralize the impact of money so we can get back to actually challenging each other's ideas. alex: but i think these people all know you have made -- raised a tremendous amount of money for your campaign. mr. wagner, you came through a very rough primary earlier this year. you were called sleazy, a deadbeat dad, a piece of legislation you had cosponsored was misrepresented by one of your opponents. at one point, your daughter came out in public to defend you. has politics become too much of a blood sport? mr. walker: absolutely. it has become disgusting. i came to harrisburg in 2014. people, governor wolf's campaign, the communication director called me the worst of harrisburg. i came to harrisburg to get answers. i did not get answers. so i drilled down.
i want to continue to get answers. the people of pennsylvania are not being served. and the ugliness of politics has gotten off the charts. governor wolf talks about reforming the political system. governor wolf takes $1 million from this entity, mainly all government unions. he took $1.2 million from a pharmacy pac in philadelphia, but then vetoed a legislation that continued to allow opioids to be dispensed when we have a heroin opioid crisis. governor wolf has taken millions over from special interests. $10 millionone union in particular, $1.9 million. i am getting checks at $25, 10 dollars, $50, $100. i have been labeled as owned by special interests and that i am an insider. trust me, i am far from an insider. the people from
pennsylvania deserve to be served, and they are not being served. i would say the system is pretty corrupt. alex: but you have bought into the system to a certain extent. there has been a great deal of trash talking back and forth between both of you. you have called him a liar, he has called you a liar. you called him gutless. here's a question for each of you. it is a yes or no question. have you ever said anything negative about your opponent that you knew was not true? mr. walker: no. alex: governor? gov. wolf: not that i remember. [laughter] i think -- if i could -- [laughter] gov. wolf: i think we have to recognize that we do have different points of view. for example, on the bill that scott just talked about, i didn't want politicians to
interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, especially knowing some of the patients who had been affected the most were police and firemen. those were the folks who got the worst injuries. those are the folks who really need the doctor to make decisions, not some blanket ideas to how someone should be treated. so i vetoed that. alex: we are talking about the -- gov. wolf: yes. my department of labor and industry has -- to the extent, we were looking at how to make the system work better to fight the opioid epidemic. i made sure that in worker's comp. cases, anybody prescribing an opioid had to look at the prescription drug database to make sure they were not encouraging addictive behavior. i'm trying to do the best thing, which is why i'm not taking a
salary. i am trying to do what i'm doing because i think it is right. i have been in politics three years and eight months now. i came out of a business background. i owned a business. i built a business headquartered in york county, pennsylvania, but a national company. and i am trying to do the right thing. and i think in politics you will get people each trying to do the right thing, but have very different ideas as to what that right thing is. i think we are both telling the truth here. we actually have not said things we think are unfair or untrue, but we certainly disagree. alex: yes, but you have to realize that if we -- and when i say we, i mean all the voters in the state -- were to believe everything you have said about each other, we would have trouble voting for either one of you. we would go into the voting booth and say, oh my god, where is the line that says "if none in theabove, righwrite
name of your candidate here." so if you don't raise the level of discourse, the people have to make a choice, and they don't want to choose between the lesser of two evils. they both know you guys are not evil. you have the best interest of the state at heart. but even if they don't vote for you, after the election, they want to have respect for you. because i'm sure you have discovered in your four years in office -- gov. wolf: three years and eight months. alex: ok. three years and eight months. [laughter] the governor makes a good point. believe me, there are going to be fact checkers watching this televised event tonight. and if we say, and by that i mean all three of us, if we say anything that isn't right, you are going to read about it in the newspapers tomorrow or hear about it on television. mr. wagner, you are the challenger, so you are on
offense most of the time. you have to score points, and you do that through soundbites. and you get excited. you have said yourself that sometimes before you speak, you should take a pill or two. [laughter] and some of your supporters think you are daring, different, exciting. his supporters think he is excitable. you deal in hyperbole and exaggeration. there are a couple of things i noticed that i would like to question you about. on the premise that all politics is local, when the campaign began, you immediately began asking for a town hall meeting, or a mini debate in each of these 67 counties in the state of pennsylvania. let's get serious about this. you knew that was not going to happen. were you just having fun, or
were you trying to stick it to him to put him on defense? mr. wagner: i would like to challenge you on that. last friday evening, this would be an event -- whether it is a meeting or an event or something on my schedule, this year in 2018, on thursday evening, i cracked event 600 this year. last year i did 380. i have been to all 67 counties. i was in a county the other evening and i was told i had been there seven times since the beginning of my campaign. the people of pennsylvania want to hear from the governor. they want to talk about issues. there are a lot of issues. the mothers and fathers that have had a loved one die of heroin or opioid addiction, they want to talk to the governor. they want to talk to somebody. they don't want to talk to a staff member. i'm sorry, it wasn't a game, it wasn't to be funny. i will crack 850 events, and my running mate for lieutenant
governor is in another county tonight, and he will do probably 300 events. we are serious about this. alex: but when you asked for that, there was 132 days left before election day. that would have meant a debate with the governor every two days on average. so you had to coordinate two campaigns. mr. wagner: we could have done when our town hall meetings. the governor is traveling the state, handing out checks. we are tracking his airplane. we know where he is every day. [laughter] but at the end of the day, we could have done this. one hour, hour and a half, we could have done this. it would have taken some effort, absolutely. gov. wolf: maybe i could just -- in a democracy, we have five and a half months in a campaign and there are a lot of opportunities to make sure our voices are heard. i have had 80 events just on the opioid crisis since i have been governor. i have also been to every county in pennsylvania, many of them
many, many times. and i think the issue i think that scott has is not that the people aren't listening. this five and a half months, people are listening to both sides. they are drawing their conclusions. they are understanding the contrast. i think people are listening. they don't like what they are hearing from you, but they are listening. [laughter] alex: wait a minute. the second point for you, mr. wagner. you and the governor disagree on capital punishment. he imposed a moratorium on the death penalty on executions in pennsylvania, and executions haven't taken place here i think in 20 years. you are in favor of the death penalty. in fact, you went even further this year, did you not? mr. walker: i did. and i know the first person i will sign a death warrant. this man killed his brother and killed three innocent women, one
in york county. he doesn't deserve to live. he has been sitting on death row for 20 years. there was an assassin. he assassinated a state trooper in pike county in september of 2014. he will sit on death row for many, many years. he assassinated a trooper. just like he would shoot a groundhog. and he talked about the satisfaction he got out of taking that trooper's life. then he wounded another trooper. this man is going to allow that person to stay on death row, and the family, the wife of the slain trooper and their sons, will never see justice. alex: when i say you went further, you were calling for a mandatory death penalty for people who kill students or adults on school property. mr. walker: absolutely. i will stand up for innocent people. to think that teachers and students can be in a school and
be executed and killed senselessly, no. you need someone to stand up. alex: ok, i have two problems with that. you are, i'm sure, influenced by the parkland shooting in florida, where 14 students and three teachers were killed here . am i correct? mr. walker: we have seen many incidents. alex: six months before parkland, less than 200 miles away, a man walked into a gay nightclub in orlando and killed 49 people. six months after parkland, another lunatic in las vegas shot up an outdoor concert, killed 58 people. mr. walker: they should get -- alex: but you did not call for that at the time. you restricted it to school shootings. justice has to be applied equally. that is one of my concerns. the other one, i'm not an attorney, but i know in 1976 in
the supreme court, woodson versus north carolina, the supreme court declared mandatory death sentences to be illegal. they left a little loophole for murders committed by inmates in prisons, but they closed that in 1987. that is set law, isn't it? you have mentioned you will put forward legislation to change all of that. it is not going to go anywhere, is it? mr. wagner: alex, a life is a life. someone needs to stand up for someone who has lost a loved one and the victim. that is what i intend to do. you are very right about the nightclub, you are very right about las vegas. but you know what? we are going to get tough in this state. our law enforcement people on the front lines every day are not being backed up by this governor. they can leave the house, and to
think somebody could be sitting in a patrol car drinking coffee, and be executed in their car, they are gone. meanwhile, there's nobody standing up for them. and that person who does that, commits that crime and takes that life, should pay. gov. wolf: let me just point out that i think the people who committed those crimes should rot in prison. they should be punished severely. there was a senate bipartisan commission looking at what we should do with the death penalty, and their recommendation was that pennsylvania should continue with the moratorium. i am continuing to go with that bipartisan commission, and what we ought to do. punishment is absolutely essential and called for, and i think these people should rot in prison. alex: mr. wagner mentioned a few moments ago a line that has been used. it was first used, to my recollection, the morning after
he won the primary. one of your pacs accused him of being the worst of harrisburg. your spokespeople have used that phrase many times. last night, my wife and i were watching television in the room, and there was an ad that called him the worst of harrisburg. and you yourself in a conversation with the distinguished political writer for "the philadelphia inquirer" bayer confirmed the validity of that statement. in three-and-a-half years in the senate, how did this man become the worst of harrisburg? what did he do? gov. wolf: i think maybe in some cases, we agree with this, that we need to have a government in harrisburg that actually the people of pennsylvania trust. we serve the people of pennsylvania. this democracy is best served by people who can be trusted. so i think, and i have tried to live this, in public service, we
cannot do things that we might do in the private sector. we have to do things in a more transparent and open way. for example, sharing tax returns. we have to do things that actually make people feel, yes, this is a democracy that has legitimacy, and we cannot have folks who routinely trash that. i think scott was the kind of person that i do not think a democracy really should have at its heart. alex: driving up from philadelphia yesterday, i noticed a billboard for you. scott wagner for governor. the man greedy politicians fear the most. you have said in the past that you are willing to go into the legislature with a baseball bat and get these people to shape up. when you talk about greedy politicians, are you referring
to them, or to him? mr. walker: the system. it is the system, alex. i came to harrisburg in 2014. i finished out governor corbett's term. governor wolf came in in 2015. i was appointed to serve on the appropriations committee and others. i sat through the first year of an incredible budget year. i asked a lot of questions. i did not get answers. so i went to the leadership and said, we need to start drilling down. we need to start asking due diligence questions like we are buying a business. we had a budget impasse for nine months. in 2015-2016. that impasse should have never happened. governor wolf chose to veto the budget. hardships were imposed on nonprofits, school districts, counties. virtually every nonprofit organization lost their eitc credit.
i started asking questions and drilling down. because i asked questions, i'm a bad guy. but i want to know the answer. i can tell you right now if you do business with a bank and you have issues, you better get them answers. gov. wolf: that is disingenuous. if you look at where we have come to that point to where we are now, in june this year, we pass the budget on time. it was reelection year. [laughter] alex: in all fairness, that applies to the legislature as well. not just the governor. mr. wagner: they are up for reelection, too. alex: they took july and august off. last year they sat for 76 days. this year, the legislature will sit for 51 days. gov. wolf: and i understand scott's frustrations. if you look at where we were -- actually, you came earlier than i did to harrisburg.
things are in a much different place. we did get a budget passed on time. we do have a surplus. we have a deposit that has been made into the rainy day fund for the first time in a decade. we do have ethical behavior, at least in the executive branch. things are different now. it has been a long haul. i think that is the key. things are different now than they were when you and i started. and i think pennsylvania is a much better place. the trajectory is right and i want to continue that path. alex: all right, let's pick on somebody else. a few years ago, i did work in lansdale. we wrapped early in the day. i thought i would take advantage of the time i had to spare to drive down to wilmington and visit some acquaintances there. and because i have this weird sense of humor, it occurred to me that if i were to drive in pretty much of a straight southwesterly direction, i would be going into and coming out of
a half-dozen times. we all know that district seven at that time was the poster child for gerrymandering, not only in pennsylvania, but in the entire united states. mr. wagner, you worked in the -- you were not in the legislature when those lines were drawn. so i am not going to try to blame you and i'm not going to try to praise you. but tell me, do you think those districts, as they were set up, was an example of fair play by the legislature? mr. walker: i wasn't here at the time -- alex: but i want your opinion. mr. wagner: i watched what happened in the last year with the redrawing of the maps. it was all a political process. this governor chose, governor wolf chose to take redistricting on his own. he gave it to the state supreme court. we have a supreme court justice that campaigned on, if you elect
me, i will guarantee you i will redraw the maps. it was amazing what took place. i think it was corruption at its best. alex: didn't the lawsuit take place before it came to you for a veto? because as i understand it, the supreme court sent it back to the legislature. they did some redistricting, then you vetoed that, and then the supreme court came back in. gov. wolf: here's the issue. we should have -- the legislature should have been part of that process and not the state supreme court. and that's not what happened. gov. wolf: gifted go to the legislature, scott. mr. wagner: it did, and then to the state supreme court. gov. wolf: it went to the legislature first. mr. wagner: and it wasn't good enough, so you chose to kick it up. gov. wolf: and then it went back . that is the way the system works. mr. wagner: ok. if that is your opinion, that is your opinion. alex: don't you think the republicans are partly to blame
for all of that? they were kind of asleep at the wheel in the last election and they allowed doherty and union members to get the democratic vote out and elected three supreme court justices. that made it possible for the supreme court to get involved. am i correct? mr. wagner: listen, listen. absolutely the republicans were not asleep at the switch. the difference is between what governor wolf and his party have, they have tremendous amount of union resources at their disposal. kevin dockery's own brother almost single-handedly financed his brother's campaign out of dues from electrical workers out of philadelphia. gov. wolf: let me just -- the truth is, when i got the map from the senate, i vetoed it. and i engaged the services of a mathematician from tufts university to try to create a fair map. it wasn't my job to create the
map. we disagreed for the supreme court. that's the way the system in pennsylvania works. i thought i at least should make the case we ought to have a fair map. so i did that. and the map i suggested was not the map the supreme court picked. but in my view and in the mathematician's view, the map the supreme court picked was in fact a fair and objective map. alex: do you agree? is the current map fair? mr. wagner: it's a disaster. people don't know who they are voting for. it is a disaster. alex: the people will adjust. mr. wagner: they will adjust. alex: the reports i have seen about the current district is that it will favor the republicans a little bit, but it is more fair than it used to be. you have 800,000 more democrats in the state of pennsylvania than republicans. but under the old map, you had 13 republicans go to congress,
and five democrats. i might add, no women. however, i am happy to report that is going to change this year, thanks to district five, where we have two women running. [applause] yes. now whoever gets to be governor or is governor after this election is going to be in office for the next redistricting. and pennsylvania is going to lose one seat in congress because of demographics. so you are going to go through the same thing again, and you are still going to have to deal with a supreme court that has five democrats and two republicans. now let's see if we can find some areas of agreement. 72% of the people in the state of pennsylvania want changes in the way the government works and
is set up. 70% of them want redistricting legislation. there was a proposal for a redistricting commission of 11 members. 07 -- 607 amendments attached to it. it seems to me that the legislature is trying to live up to its reputation as the place where good bills go to die. the last time i looked, the approval ratings for the legislature was at 14%. the only thing with a lower rating in the commonwealth of pennsylvania is the catholic church. [laughter] don't go there. i was born and raised catholic, and i am just as ticked off as everybody else is over what is has happened with the church. having said that, i would add this. when i was a young teenager, i attended a catholic boarding
school. 250 students, other boys and i, spent three years sharing the same accommodations 24/7, with 44 priests. and not once in those three years was there any sexual misbehavior. boys are pretty sharp. we talk. we would have known. so i believe there are catholic priests out there who are able to minister to their congregations without preying on the young people. as pennsylvanians know full well, it doesn't only happen in the catholic church. it happens in politics, college sports, and show business. so enough about that. let's get back to the legislature. [applause] california this year became the fifth largest economy in the world. gov. wolf: i don't think you
quite finished on the redistricting. [laughter] ok? alex: all right. there are other ways of dealing with the legislature. california, the fifth largest economy in the world. an annual budget that is six times that of pennsylvania. we have 39 million people, 40 senators, and 80 members of the assembly. we have one legislator for every 325,000 citizens. pennsylvania, 13 million residents, 253 legislators, one for every 52,000 and i think you two are in agreement about reducing the size of the legislature. you voted for that, right? are you in favor of that? gov. wolf: no. alex: you are not? gov. wolf: i think we need to reform the legislative system. we need to do a better job and make it more responsive.
i am concerned that one route, to not do that, is to reduce the number of elected officials. if you don't change the character of the place, if you don't change the responsiveness, and you don't focus on those things, simply using that as a convenient means to get to the ends you want, i don't think you will achieve it. alex: what about closed primaries? it occurred to me if i were a resident of the state of pennsylvania, because i am an independent, i could not vote in the primaries area are you in favor of open primaries? gov. wolf: i am. alex: mr. wagner is also in favor. the president pro tem of the senate has been advocating for open primaries also, but for a different reason. he has noticed that extremists in both parties are squeezing out some of the old-time politicians.
there are 800,000 independents in pennsylvania, and they tend to be more moderate. mr. wagner, you said you agreed that open primaries are a good thing. you have to be careful what you wish for, because if there had been open primaries in the last go around, maybe the governor and i would be sitting up with laura ellsworth tonight, because she was a more moderate person. so you have to be very careful about that. now what about reducing the term for legislators? you have someone in the house who has been there since 1976 and someone in the senate since 1979. if you get more turnover, aren't you likely to find more people who are not as entrenched in their ideologies? gov. wolf: actually, in the 19th century, legislatures like the u.s. house of representatives, we had higher turnover rates.
one of the reasons for the higher turnover was i think more competitive elections. i think the gerrymandering has been the problem that caused the lack of competitiveness in elections. if we had more competitiveness in the state, senate, and house, i think we would have higher turnover. alex: ok. let's move on to business and taxes. because that is one of the high points of your campaign, mr. wagner. from all i have been able to gather, even though pittsburgh and philadelphia were among the 20 top cities contending for the new headquarters for amazon, it doesn't look like either one is going to be a winner. even though from what i hear, philadelphia put forth a very solid presentation. how do you view all of that?
if it works out that way, where did they go wrong? mr. wagner: here is our situation in pennsylvania. we have between 200,000 and 400,000 skilled labor positions open. we have 975,000 businesses. if we cut that in half to 500,000 business and each business hires one person, i have no idea where they would find the employees. attraction tohe bring amazon to pennsylvania. we chased the foxconn deal. it cost wisconsin several billion dollars to locate them there. how about if we try something new? how about if we treat the businesses here like customers and start being more business friendly? roll back regulation and let us grow our businesses. there are again, skilled labor
200,000 400,000 positions open. we cannot find the people for this positions right now. governor wolf has been part of the cause of that. alex: you have mentioned that there are 155,000 pages of regulations that are preventing businesses from succeeding. is he responsible for those 165,000 pages? if he is, he was a busy governor for three years and eight months. where we are has been the creation of 30 years. they are house and senate members in harrisburg who are proud that they introduced 15, 20, 30 bills, but they don't go anywhere. i went to start, harrisburg to roll back regulations. 208 regulations about the design and safety and use of
ladders. alex: why are those regulations in place, governor? gov. wolf: in general? you don't want someone dumping stuff you will have to drink in your drinking water upstream from where you take your water out of the river. regulations, responsible regulation makes sense. that's one of the things a responsible government is supposed to do. one of the other things is to make sure we are creating enough training opportunities for people to take the jobs scott just talked about. one of the things, the chamber has been an amazing partner. they made recommendations on what we can do about that. and the state in the last budget has appropriated tens of millions of dollars to create career technical education. we are doing a lot of things to
create the training and the skills that the economy really needs. these are the things the government should be doing. i appreciate the partnership of the chamber in getting that done. alex: you have led is into another important subject, education. i'm sure you agree that education we provide say is the economy of tomorrow. an educated society is a more prosperous society. you have less crime, less poverty, better health care. so let's talk about that. statergest share of spending is for education. mr. wagner, i am going to put you on the defensive for a few moments. in 2015, used that the state spends enough on public schools. you could lay off 10% of the teachers and they won't be missed. then you took a reporter on a helicopter flight over new york county to show how well some of the schools were doing. they had swimming pools, tennis courts and modern buildings. and then you criticized governor
wolf, saying he wanted to raise taxes so he could put a billion dollars more into public education. you said we do not need it. the problem is mismanagement of school funds by the government. then you said the problem was that most of the funding was being used for pensions and not making its way into the classrooms. then you reveal your education plan, calling for an injection of $1 billion into education, without raising taxes. now it seems to me that you have done a full 180. you started by saying that they do not need any extra money. now i am going to put a billion extra dollars into education. you want to explain? mr. wagner: here is a fact. the governor did not put any money into education in the first three years of his administration. because he didn't sign a budget. the legislature did that.
only this year did the governor put money into education. if you do not find a budget, the money is not going there. but here's the facts. approximately $2 billion went into the education system. in the last four years. the philadelphia inquirer did a story in the last month, $1.3 billion of that went to pensions. we have a pension crisis. we could have solved that pension crisis. first year in office, the house and senate send a comprehensive pension bill and he vetoed it, because the government employee unions didn't want the changes. alex: hasn't he made pension reforms that you have voted against? gov. wolf: at the end of the day, i don't want to -- mr. wagner: at the end of the day, i don't want to offend my colleagues, it doesn't do anything. $20 million or whatever. ask people in the financial world. it did not do any heavy lifting. we need to go into a 401(k)
program for new hires after specific dates. we have a $70 billion and just pension crisis. alex: you can't get rid of that unfunded pension overnight. it will take time. gov. wolf: this is a massive problem. at the end of the day, meanwhile in 2016, in one of our pension funds we accepted a return of 1.29%. when the benchmark goal was 7.5%. and we overpaid money managers according to the treasurer $5 billion of the last -- over the last 10 years. nobody wants to do any heavy lifting. that is what we need to start doing. this governor's not willing to do that. gov. wolf: a lot of protesting here. actually there is a bipartisan effort to do something about management fees. not sure you have been supportive of that. we had a pension reform bill in the wall street journal and
washington post editorial pages thought were really good. we have a pension liability issue and we need to do something about it. we are doing something that most states are not and that is addressing the issue in a bipartisan way. alex: it has been my experience, almost every state in america has an unfunded pension liability. gov. wolf: let's just keep playing the violin for the next 10 years. we need to do something now. alex: it is an obligation. you have to satisfy that. gov. wolf: i do recognize that, and we have to solve this problem. listen, i had school teachers come to my office when i was in the senate, retired school teachers, please don't take our pensions away. the government sector unions, corrections officers, schoolteachers, are all telling their members that if weiner wagner gets elected, he is going to take your pensions away. that is not true. i am the cleanup guy. but i can tell you, we can do better.
to accept 1.29%? you didn't do anything about it. alex: let's talk about your education plan, since that is what we were going to discuss. you were going to put $1 billion into education. show me the money. where is it coming from? gov. wolf: that's interesting. i am going to go to zero-based budgeting. we are going to balance our checkbook in harrisburg, something we haven't done in 30 years. i presented a plan along with representative seth grove to the governor in 2016, a taxpayer caucus report presenting potential savings between $3 billion and $4 billion. we never heard from the staff or the governor. we were discounted as being disruptors. you know what? we have to turn over every single rock in harrisburg and start finding money. there is money out there. alex: you have a structural deficit in the state. you balanced the budget by drawing on one-time elements.
gov. wolf: that is actually not true. we actually have a balanced budget. there was a one time, big one time deposit in our budget last year, because we had a a lot of one-time elements in that structural deficit. at we have a balanced budget the end of last year, so far this year. conditione financial of the state on a daily basis. we are doing very well right now. alex: but with regard to education, pennsylvania is not doing that well. 33% of state funds go to k-12 education. most states are 10% above that. some states are 50%. gov. wolf: talking about the proportion of funding in education, state versus local? alex: yes.
gov. wolf: that's right. alex: and for higher education, it is even worse. urthsylvania ranks foju from the bottom of the 50 states. you have been shortchanging education in this state for decades. the money spent to educate the youth keeps going down and the expenses keep going up. gov. wolf: can we do more? for education? absolutely. you are right. that is true. but are we doing more now than three years and eight months ago? the answer is yes. i put $1 billion back into education. we have a ways to go, but we are on the right track. two things we need to look at. one, are we doing enough, can we do more? are we doing more than just a few years ago? the answer is also yes. alex: mr. waggoner, you mentioned -- mr. wagner, you mentioned a few moments ago that
by not putting money into the budget, he did not -- actually, i am not sure -- gov. wolf: by the constitution, the bill becomes enacted by being signed, or in 10 days. alex: it becomes law. what you have not mentioned, education in pennsylvania suffered immensely about seven years ago when governor corbett knocked off $1 billion. mr. wagner: that is totally false. alex: it is false? mr. wagner: those were federal stimulus dollars. governor wolf went around and told that. it was a lie. the stimulusett, money came in during governor rendell's administration. governor corbett is here today, and people need to know that governor corbett did as much for education as really any governor. and he needs to be remembered for that. he did not cut the billion dollars. it was a billion dollars of
stimulus money that came in. the education system, they were told, do not hire teachers. they did all that. here is the problem with the system. the billion dollars is gone. we have nothing to show for it. we talk about the education, and i appreciate your comments about the percentage of dollars. we have a swim coach at one of are state universities that just retired, getting a pension of with paidmonth, health care the rest of his life. a great deal. alex: so there are some people who are abusing the system? gov. wolf: a lot of people -- mr. wagner: a lot of people. a great story just came out in the philadelphia magazine about the drop program. there are councilmen and women in the city of philadelphia that can resign their position two days before the election and enjoy a 500,000 or pension cash windfall, and then be sworn back
in. corruption has a lot to be with funding not getting where it needs to go. [applause] alex: we only have about one minute to go. only enough time to talk about one tax you have been proposing for the past three years. that is a severance tax on natural gas. pennsylvania, the only major producing state that does not have a severance tax. why haven't you been able to get that tax put into effect? gov. wolf: we actually got it past the senate two years ago. i'm not sure why it did not get past the house. i will keep proposing it and looking for people to support it. we are the only major natural gas producing state without a severance tax. texas, louisiana, alaska, oklahoma, they all have it, but we do not. alex: the severance tax would bring in a lot of money. no?
>> no. >> who says no, it would not. you have the impact fee and you are telling me that a 6% severance tax would not bring in money? mr. wagner: first of all, i don't know anyone who is proposing. you are not part of the debate. these two are. mr. wagner: i don't know who is proposing 6% severance tax. the combination of severance and impact fee would be in line with what other states are charging on severance tax. it would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into pennsylvania for schools, roads, bridges, to make our lives better. alex: before closing statements, i would like to offer a suggestion to the people of pennsylvania for the selection. forget that you are republicans or democrats. we just had a few heated words about the severance tax.
if you believe the severance tax would be beneficial, would bring in hundreds of millions of that dollars would help with education and other problems in the state, call up the people that are running in your district. ask them a question and say are you in favor of the severance tax or against? i will are in favor, vote for you. if they happen to be from your party, good. if you are against the severance tax, same deal. call them up, say, are you for or against? if they are against, vote for them. ok? we are the alex, only state that has an impact fee. the governor does not talk about that. there was a deal done in 2012. an impact fee was imposed. you talked about that. now: get used to be 4.5%,
down to 1.2%. you can combine them both, or you can impose -- mr. wagner: that is not the deal. the deal is, if you pass a severance tax, it is in the bill. the impact fee goes away. last year, the impact fee generated $217 million. we are taxing the gas companies. do the people believe we should tax? yes. we already are. alex: you are not taxing them that much, because most of them are based in texas or oklahoma. we are out of time. [crowd boos] what did i tell you at the beginning? no booing or hissing. governor, your closing remarks. gov. wolf: alex, thank you for moderating this. i want to thank the chamber for hosting and organizing this event. scott, thank you for running. i think in a democracy, we need
two candidates at least to show the contrast and different visions that we have for pennsylvania. my vision is really simple. it is that if you start where i started three years and eight months ago, pennsylvania was underfunding schools. we need to do a better job. i have put $1 billion into our schools. 720,000 pennsylvanians have health care who did not have health insurance three years ago. i have made pennsylvania better by focusing on the opioid epidemic. i have done this in a fiscally responsible way. we have a balanced budget. we have put money into the rainy day fund for the first time in over a decade. and i'm doing it with integrity. these things matter for our democracy, commonwealth and our future. if i am given the privilege of another four years, i will keep moving pennsylvania on this path and trajectory to a better future. thank you. [applause] alex: ok. mr. wagner: we have had a great
evening tonight. the people here at the hershey launch and convention center. the servers. did you notice how they served 1700 meals flawlessly? did you notice that? [applause] why am i telling you this? because the kitchens working here, but it is not working in harrisburg. if you think i am kidding, i am an operations guy. i know what it takes to put hundreds of trucks on the street every day. i know what it takes to have men and women leave when it is dark out. agencies in harrisburg are not working. if i was going to write a book or produce a movie, it would be government gone wild. do you know what d.e.p. stands for? don't expect permits, that is what it stands for. we can talk about gas taxes in pennsylvania.
we do have the highest gas tax in the nation. i am ok with that. but we should not have more potholes than ever in the last four years. there's more trash along the highways. there's more guide rails. if you do what i have been doing for the last year, over 600 stops, talking to people in truck stops, diners and manufacturing plants. coal mines, natural gas drill sites. go to elk county to the beautiful visitor's center. visit the lumberman's museum. go around pennsylvania and talk to the people of pennsylvania. they have a completely different opinion of governor wolf. things are not working and it is about time it changes. listen, folks, i am not trying to be politically correct. i don't need this job. i don't need the money. i have a great career. but i want to tell you something. i have met some of the greatest people in pennsylvania, as i have traveled around.
farmers, for example. they need someone who is going to fight for them. i pledge to people of pennsylvania, if you elect me of the next governor, i will get more done in the first six months that you have seen the last 12 years. and i have one other pledge. alex: you have to wrap it up. mr. wagner: if i am elected governor, i have this stage. he is not taking it away for me. here is my closing. when i am elected governor, if i do not do anything in four years, i pledge to you that i will change my name to tom wolf. ladies and gentlemen, i want to thank both candidates. if i have managed to offend both sides, i have probably succeeded. and one final word. that is, the answer, the correct
answer to the very first question i asked this evening is -- who is chris long? thank you very much. let's hear it for the candidates. [applause] have i have set both of you? [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> with control of congress in question, see the competition for yourself on c-span. watch debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal" is live every day with news and issues that impact you. tuesday morning, we are in columbus ohio for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour with ohio's senate president about top issues in
the state. and then robert weissman looks at legal action against president trump on the foreign emoluments clause. pac and super pac spending in the 2018 election. join the discussion on c-span's "washington journal." live on tuesday on the c-span networks. at 10:00 eastern, the atlantic festival features a conversation with senators chris coons of delaware and jeff flake of arizona. at 1:15 p.m., aei here's from chairman and ceo of j.p. morgan chase. we rejoin the atlantic festival for interviews with hillary clinton, national constitution center president jeffrey rosen, and former new jersey governor chris christie. the senate continues consideration of judge brett kavanaugh's nomination to the
supreme court. at 10:30 a.m. eastern, on c-span3, the senate finance committee holds a confirmation hearing for andrew saul to be next social security commissioner. at 1:00 p.m., the national press club hears from the director general of al jazeera, mostefa souag. >> the c-span bus was recently in honolulu, hawaii for the 39th stop of the 50 capitals tour. this weekend we feature our visit to hawaii on c-span book tv, and american history tv, exploring hawaii's history and culture as well as public policy issues facing the state. saturday on c-span at 7:00 eastern on "washington journal" the director of hawaii's office of planning will talk about homelessness and lack of affordable housing. on book tv on c-span2 at noon, stuart coleman on his book ofdie would go" on the life
legendary native hawaiian surfer eddie ikao. and then a visit to the university of west oahu for a look at the book collection of late senator daniel inouye. jeff mick alina, executive director of the blue planet foundation, on renewable energy efforts in hawaii. on american history tv on c-span 3 at 2:00 p.m. eastern, we visit the valley of the priest in the waimea valley along the north shore of oahu. and polynesian voyaging society in honolulu. 4:00 p.m. eastern, three short documentaries about hawaii. the film "soldier in hawaii," the 1924 film "the hawaiian islands," and the 1952 film hronoscope."row
listen on the free c-span radio app. we are featuring honolulu mayor kirk caldwell, saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. a president trump announced new trade deal between the u.s., mexico and canada replacing the 1994 nafta agreement. after opening the press conference to questions, the topic shifted to the confirmation process of supreme court nominee judge brett kavanaugh and the ongoing white house investigation. this runs one hour, 15 minutes. [applause] president trump: thank you very much. please, sit down. it is really great to see everybody on this beautiful, beautiful day in washington, d.c. swamp," butsay "the i will not say that today. i refuse. this is too ita