tv Campaign 2018 Pennsylvania Governors Debate CSPAN October 3, 2018 4:50pm-5:56pm EDT
and then saturday, montana republican congressman greg gianforte faces his challenger, kathleen williams, for the state's at-large seat. that's live on c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> with the control of congress in question this election day, see the competition for yourself on c-span. watch the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. >> next, the pennsylvania governors' debate between governor tom wolf and his republican challenger scott wagner. the debate court sthoif pennsylvania cable network is being moderated by jeopardy host alex trebek. from hershey, pennsylvania, this is an hour.
>> i'm back. when i was asked by the -- asked to come here and be moderator if this event, i was not drunk. i accepted immediately. didn't give it a second thought. what on evert was i thinking? my gosh. obviously i'm not as bright 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've 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 didn't do too well but it's only because trebek was so biased against him. i didn't want that to happen. so yes, i am very nervous. but i accepted. and i accepted on the condition that i would get to do -- to do it my way. now that doesn't mean we're going to have a "jeopardy" type quiz up here. i'm not here to embarrass the candidates. they're perfectly capable of doing that all by themselves. [laughter] but i wanted to do it in a different way. i'm not a big fan of the traditional debate formats where the candidates stand at a lectern, the moderator asks the question, and the candidate has 90 seconds to respond and then
the opponent has 30 seconds in rebuttal. i wanted to approach very differently. and i'll 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're going to vote next month? that's what i thought. and that's why i didn't want to do the traditional debate format. because we really wouldn't learn that much that was new. so i decided, we're going to have a conversation. where i can ask questions. i can prod. i can challenge. the candidates. who knows. maybe we'll discover something
new about their personalities, their character that we didn't know beforehand. and thankfully, both gentlemen agreed. there's only one rule that applies to what is about to take place. and it is a rule that i will strictly enforce. i will not tolerate any booing or hissing, not even if you direct it at the candidates. [laughter] ok? so let's get it done. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the republican candidate for governor, scott wagner. and the democratic candidate, governor tom wolf. [applause]
alex: please be seated, gentlemen. mr. wagner you won the toss. so you get to make the first opening statement, please. mr. wagner: is the prize $4.5 million? lex: no, but go ahead. mr. wagner: good evening, everyone, it's great to be here tonight. listen, i never thought five 1/2 years ago i'd be doing this, standing on the stage in front of all of you. but life has its twists and turns and tracey, my lovely wife is with me tonight, we never thought we'd be doing this. but as a businessperson, growing up -- growing up on a farm, working hard, buildsing 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. and i served in the state senate for four years and left this past january to pursue this path.
when i went to harrisburg , my expectation of harrisburg is it needed help and needed guidance and needed leadership. an 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 gnchor of pennsylvania. i grew up on a farm, i'm a blue collar guy. the governor had a very different upbringing and a very different lifestyle than i. we'll talk about the issues tonight but i'm honored to be here and be in nont of all of you and talk about what's 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] lec: governor?
mr. wolf: thank you, alex. i want to thank the chamber for hosting this, scott, thank you for running. that's what happens in a democracy. i appreciate you doing this. this is a referendum on where we were, where we want to be, where we want to go. when i got to harrisburg as governoring aye been in politics about three years and eight months, about 3 1/2 years. when i got to harrisburg, we were not investing in education. since i've been governor, we've invested historic amounts in education. we've invested in health care. we have almost three quarters of a million people who have health insurance who didn't have it three years ago. we're doing something to address the terrible opioid epidemic facing pennsylvania. i've done this in a financially responsible way. balance the budget. made a deposit in the rainy day fund for the first time in over a decade back in july. i'm doing wit ethics and integrity. i don't take a salary.
we have a gift ban in the executive branch. i think public service is different than anything else we do. so this election is about that. do we want to continue on this path, do we want to continue doing what we've been doing the last 3 1/2 years? i'm hoping to get to serve another 4 years to keep moving pennsylvania forward. thank you very much. [applause] alex: sounds like you two are in competition for the civility award next year. governor -- you've got the job so i'll direct the first question at you. i sense there's a certain amount of tension in this hall right now. so let's see if we can break it. early this year, shortly after the super bowl, you got a pretty positive reaction from the audience when you uttered the words fly, eagles, fly. and that started me thinking. so please, sir, tell me the name of the starting defensive lineman for the eagles who has
won two consecutive super bowls, ach one with a different team? [laughter] >> and i guess you want me to put that in the form of a question. alex: right now there are people in the room saying what on earth is going on here? you and mr. wagner have come here tonight to talk about politics and policy, 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 and 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, and when
he was take ton task for that, he said, back off, in politics, nothing is unfair. so i'd like to hear your thoughts on that statement. >> i gov. wolf: i disagree with it. i think things have to be 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 ideas and not feel they are going to 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 as we are right now and say, why do i want to get involved? i think the way we ought to do this is look at this like a venn diagram.
there are two different circles, two different people, 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 challenging each other's ideas. alex: but i think these people all know you have 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. wagner: absolutely. it's become disgusting. listen, i came to harrisburg in 2014. people -- governor wolf's campaign communications director called me the worst of harrisburg. i came to harrisburg to ask questions and i don't 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. you know, governor wolf talks about reforming the political system. well, 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 turned around and vetoed a piece of legislation that continued to allow opioids to be dispensed when we have a heroin opioid crisis. governor wolf has taken millions
-- has taken over $10 million from special interests. one union specifically, $1.9 million. i am out getting checks at $25, $10, $50, $100. i do not have -- 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. and the system, 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. wagner: no. alex: governor?
gov. wolf: not that i remember. [laughter] gov. wolf: i think -- if i could , 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 people, some of the patients who had been affected the most were police people, police and firemen. those are the folks who got the worst injuries. those are the folks who really need the doctor to make decisions for them, not some blanket ideas to have someone -- -- to havow someone should be treated. 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 we could make our 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 tried to do, i'm trying to do the best thing, which is why i'm not taking a salary. i'm trying to do what i'm doing because this 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. so 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 we would say, oh my god, where is the line that says "if none of the above, write in the 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 as governor -- gov. wolf: three years and eight months. but who is counting. alex: ok. [laughter]
the governor makes a good point. believe me, there are going to be fact checkers watching this televised event tonight. 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. now, 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] -- somed you are given of your followers, your supporters think you are daring, you are different. you are exciting. his supporters think, no, 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. now, let's get serious about this. you knew that was not going to happen. now 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 that goes 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. i was told i had been there seven times since the beginning of my campaign. no, the people of pennsylvania want to hear from the governor. they want to talk about issues. and there are a lot of issues.
the people, 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. so, you know -- no, i'm sorry. it wasn't a game and it wasn't to be funny. and 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 were 120 days left -- 132 days left before election day. so 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 one hour town hall meetings. listen the governor's traveling , around the state right now. he's handing out checks. we are tracking his airplane. we know where he is every day. i mean, come on. [laughter] mr. wagner: 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 of this campaign, and there's a lot of opportunity to make sure our voices are heard. i have had 80 events just on the opioid epidemic and the opioid crisis since i have been governor. so i have been also in 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. it is that in 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 all like what they're -- they are not liking what they're hearing from you, but they are listening. [laughter] alex: wait a minute. the second point for you, mr. wagner, that i wanted to bring up -- 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 in, i believe, 20 years. you are in favor of the death penalty. and in fact, you went even further this year, did you not? mr. wagner: 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. his name was eric fine. 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. and 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 the two 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. wagner: absolutely. i'm going to 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 somebody that's going 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. am i correct? mr. wagner: this is what is going on. 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. wagner: and they should get death. alex: but you did not call for that at the time. you said you restricted it to school shootings. now, justice has to be applied equally. so that is one of my concerns. the other concern -- i'm not an attorney, but i know that 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 that are committed by inmates in prisons, but they closed that in 1987. so that is set law, isn't it? you have mentioned you are going to 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. and someone needs to stand up for someone who has lost a loved one and the victim.
and that is what i intend to do. and 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 that are on the front lines every single 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, and 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. the ultimate. gov. wolf: let me just point out that i think the people who committed those crimes should rot in prison. and be punished severely. there is a -- 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.
so i'm continuing to do what that bipartisan commission said what we ought to do. -- said we ought to do. punishment is absolutely essential and called for the -- called for, for the crimes that were committed their, 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" confirmed the validity of that statement. so 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. and this democracy is best served by people who can be trusted. so i think, and i have tried to live this, that 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. and i think scott was the kind of person that i do not think a democracy really should have at its heart. alex: all right. 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? who? mr. wagner: the system. alex: the system? mr. wagner: it is the system, alex. listen, i came to harrisburg in 2014. i finished out governor corbyn'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 our leadership and i said, we need to start drilling down. we need to start asking due diligence questions like we are buying a business.
come up with a list of questions. we had a budget impasse for nine months in the 2015-2016 year. that impasse should have never happened. ok? governor wolf chose to veto the budget. hardships were imposed on nonprofits, school districts, counties. virtually every nonprofit organization lost their eitc credits in december 2015. i started asking questions. i started 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 some issues going on in your business, you better get them answers. gov. wolf: that is disingenuous. if you look at where we have come from that point to where we are now, in june this year, we passed the budget on time. mr. wagner: it was reelection year. [laughter] [applause]
alex: in all fairness, scott, that applies to the members of the legislature also, 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. governor? gov. wolf: and i understand scott's frustrations. if you look at where we were back when we both -- actually, you came a little 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 do have a deposit that has been made for the first time in over a decade into the rainy day fund. we do have ethical behavior, at least in the executive branch. things are different now than they were. and it has been a long haul. and 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 am going 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.
and 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 district seven a half-dozen times. ok, now 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. so, mr. wagner, 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. wagner: i wasn't here at the
time, but i watched -- alex: i'm asking you for your opinion. mr. wagner: i watched what happened in the last year with the redrawing of the maps. it was all a political process. it was -- this governor chose -- governor wolf chose to take redistricting on his own. he gave it to the state supreme court. we had 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 personally 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, and then you vetoed that, and then the supreme court came back in. is that not correct? mr. wagner: it's the way it happened. gov. wolf: here's the issue. we should have -- the legislature should have been part of that process and not the -- governor wolf: it's the way
it happened. mr. wagner: 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: it went to the state supreme court. but it went to the legislature first. it did, but it wasn't good enough. you chose to kick it off. alex: then it went back. gov. wolf: that is the way the system worked. that's how it works. mr. wagner: if that's your opinion, that's your opinion. alex: but 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 allowed doc doherty and his 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 in this? 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: i think -- let me just -- the truth is that when i got the map from the senate, i vetoed it. and i engaged the services of a mathematician from tufts university to create a fair map. it wasn't my job to create that map. it was the job of -- 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. the map i suggested was fair. it was not the map the supreme court picked. but in my view and in the mathematician's view, the map that the supreme court picked was in fact a fair and objective map. alex: do you agree? is the current map fair? yes or no? mr. wagner: the current map -- it's a disaster. listen, people don't know who they are voting for right now. it's a disaster out on the landscape. alex: the people will adjust.
the reports i have seen about the current district is that it will favor the republicans a little bit, but it is fairer than it used to be. now you have got 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. and 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. so. yeah. [applause] alex: 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're 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't find some areas of agreement. there are -- 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. it got 607 amendments attached to it. now 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] alex: now, don't go there. i was born and raised catholic, and i am just as ticked off as everybody else is over what has happened with the church. however having said that, i , would add this. if i may -- when i was a young teenager, i attended a catholic boarding school run by the oblates of mary immaculate. 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. now boys are pretty sharp. , we talk. we would have known. ok? so i believe that there are catholic priests out there who are able to minister to their congregations without preying on the young people. ok? and as you pennsylvanians
know full well, it doesn't only happen in the catholic church. it happens in politics, college sports. it happens in show business. so enough about that. let's get back to the legislature. [applause] alex: california this year became the fifth largest economy in the world. gov. wolf: i don't think you quite finished on the redistricting. [laughter] alex: oh yes. there are other ways of dealing with the legislature. california, the fifth largest economy in the world. we have an annual budget that is six times that of pennsylvania. have 39 million people, 40 senators, and 80 members of the assembly. we have one legislator for every 325,000 citizens. pennsylvania, 13,000,253 legislators, one for every
52,000 and i think you 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 question mark ok. -- you are not? ok. 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 really to do that is to reduce the -- one way not to 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. -- achieve those ends. alex: what about closed primaries? it occurred to me if i were a resident of the state of pennsylvania, if i were an -- because i an independent, i am could not vote in the primaries. are you in favor of open primaries? gov. wolf: i am. alex: mr. wagner, you are in
favor of open primaries also. 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 how many 800,000 independents in pennsylvania, and they tend to be more moderate. now 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 -- who has been there since 1979. if you get more turnover, aren't you likely to find more people who are not as entrenched in their ideologies? governor? we had higher turnover rates. one of the reasons was more competitive leakses. i think the gerrymandering has been the problem, what caused the lack of competitiveness in our elections. if we had her competitiveness in our state, senate and and house elections, i think we would have higher turnover. >> 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? >> here is our situation in pennsylvania. we have between 200,000 and 400,000 skilled labor positions open in pennsylvania. we have 975,000 businesses. if we just cut that in half to 500,000 businesses and each business hired one person, i have no idea where they would find the employees. i appreciate the attraction to bring amazon to pennsylvania. we chased the foxcon deal.
it scost wisconsin several billion dollars to locate them there. how about we try something new? how about if we start treating the businesses that are here like customers and start being more business friendly, roll back? regulations and let us grow our businesses. there are again 200,000 to 400,000 skilled labor positions open. we can't find the people for those positions now. governor wolf has actually been part of the cause of that. >> well, you have mentioned that there are 155,000 pages of regulations that are preventing businessesing from succeeding. is he responsible for those 155,000 pages? if he is, he was a busy govenor for three years and eight months. >> where we are is the creation of 30 years. there are house and senate members that go to harrisburg,
and they are proud of the fact that they introduced 15, 20 or 30 bills. but they don't go anywhere. we have to start rolling -- i didn't go to harrisburg to introduce bills. i went to harrisburg to roll back regulations. there are 208 regulations on the design, operation and safety and use of ladder. the ladder going up, there are 208 regulations on the books that affect that. >> why are those regulations in place, governor? >> well, you don't want someone dumping stuff that you are going to drink in your drinking water upstream from where you take your water out of the river. regulation, and responsible regulation makes sense. that is 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 that scott just talked about.
one of the thing that the chamber has been an amazing partner. the barr was co-chair of middle-class task force, and they made recommendations on what to do. the state has appropriated tens of millions of dollars to create more technical education, more systemic education. we are doing things to create the skills that that 21st century economy need. these are the thing the gostisbehere need to be doing and i appreciate the partnership of the chamber in getting that done. >> you have led us to another important subject, education. the education we provide today is the economy of tomorrow. an educated society is a more prosperous society. you have less crime, more health care. let's talk about that. the largest share of state spending is for education.
mr. wagner, i am going to put you on the defensive for a few moments. in 2015 you said the state spends enough on public schools. you can lay off 10% of the teachers, and they won't be missed. then you took a reporter on a helicopter flight over york county to show how well some of the schools were doing. they had pools, tennis courts and modern buildings. then you criticized governor wolf saying he wanted to raise taxes to put $1 billion more into public education. you said we don't need it. the problem is mismanagement of chool fund by the wooflt gostisbehere. you said most of the funding was being used for pensions and not making it into the classroom. then you revealed your education plan, and that calls for injecting $1 billion
without raising taxes. it seems you have done a full 180. you started by saying they don't need any extra money, and now i am going to put $1 billion into education. do you want to explain? >> yes. here's a fact. the governor did not put any money in 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 in education. if you don't stein a budget, the money is not going there. here is a fact. approximately $2 billion went into the education system in the last four years. the philadelphia enquirer did a story probably in the last month that $1.3 billion of that $2 billion went to pensions. we have a pension crisis. we could have solved it. the first year in office, the house and senate sent a comprehensive pension bill to
governor, and he vetoed it. his unions didn't want it. >> hasn't he made some pension reforms which you have voted against? >> at the end of the day, and i don't want to offend my colleagues. it doesn't do anything. what are we talking, $20 million or whatever? is it people in the financial world. it didn't do any heavy lifting. need to go into a 401-k program for new hires after a specific date. >> but you can't get rid of that unfunded pension overnight. it is going to take time. >> this is a massive problem. in 2016, in one of our pension unds we accepted a return of 1.29%. the benchmark goal was 7.5%. and we overpaid money managers $5.5 become over the last 10 years. nobody wants to do any heavy
lifting. that is what we need to start doing. this governor is not willing to do that. >> a lot of protesting here. >> actually there is a bipartisan effort to do something about management fees. i am not sure you have been very supportive of that. an editorial page. we do have an unfunded pension liability issue, and we have to do something about that. but we here in pennsylvania are doing something that most states are not, and that is addressing the issue in a bipartisan way. >> it has been my experience that almost every state in america has an unfunded pension liability problem. >> why don't we keep playing the violin for the next 109 years. >> it is an obligation, and you have to satisfy that obligation. >> alex, i do recognize that, and we have to solve this problem. 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, school teachers are all telling their members, if wagner gets elected, he is going to take your pensions away. that is not true. i am just the clean-up guy, but we can do better than to except 1.29%. you didn't do anything about it. >> let's talk about your education plans since that is what we were going to discuss. you are going to put $1 billion into education. show me the money. where is it can coming from? >> well, that is 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 play along with representative seth grove in 2016. it was a taxpayer caucus report, and we presented potential savings between $3
billion and $4 billion. we never heard from governor's staff. we were just discounted as being like disrupters. we have to turn over every single rock in harrisburg, and we need to start finding money. there is money out there. >> you have a structure ral budget deficit in this state. you draw on one-time elements. >> actually that is not true. we have a balanced budget. there was a one will have -- a big--- big, one-time got in our budget last year because we had a lot of one-time elements in that structural deficit. a balanced budget at the end of last year. so far the first quarter of this year, i track the financial condition of this state on a daily basis, and we are doing very well right now. >> but with regard to education, pennsylvania is not
doing that well. % of the state funds go to k-12 education. most states are 10% above that, some states over 50%. >> you are talking about the proportion of the funding that goes into education, state versus local. >> yes. and for higher education, it is worse. pennsylvania ranks fourth from the bottom in all 50 stays. you guys have been shortchanging education in the state for decades. the money spent to educate the youth keeps going down, and the expenses keep going up. can we do more? >> yes. >> absolutely. >> that is true. but are we doing more than we were three years and eight months ago? the answer is yes. i have put $1 billion back into
education. we have a ways to go, but we are on the right track. there are two things we need to look at here. one is are we doing enough? can we do more? the answer is yes, we can do more. but are we doing more now than we were a few years ago, and the answer is yes areas. >> mr. wagner, you said that he by not signing the budgets didn't put money into education. >> actually, the constitution, a bill becomes enactled both by being signed or by not being vetoed. >> leave it alone 10 days and it becomes law. >> that's right. >> what you have not mentioned is education in pennsylvania suffered immensely about seven years ago when govenor orbit knocked off $1 billion. >> that is totally false. >> false? those were federal stimulus dollars. governor wolf went around and told that. it was a lie.
and the stimulus money came in during governor rendell's administration. governor corbitt is here tonight, and people need to know that governor corbitt did as much for education as really any governor, and he needs to be remembered for that. he didn't cut the billion dollars. it was $1 billion of stimulus money that came in. the education system -- i wasn't there. they were told don't hire teachers. they did all that. guess what? here is the problem with the system. the $1 billion is gone. we have nothing to show for it. we talk about the -- and i appreciate your comments about the percentage of dollars. we have a swim coach at one of our state-owned universities that just retired getting a pension of $15,000 a month. he has paid-up health care for the rest of his life. a great, great deal. >> so there are some people who
are abusing the system? >> there is a lot of people. there was a great story that just came out in the philadelphia magazine about the drop program. mr. are council men and women in the city of philadelphia that can resign their position two details before the election, enjoy a $200,000 or $300,000 pension winfall and sign up again. so corruption has a lot to do with funding not getting where it is supposed to go. >> we only have a minute to go. only enough time to talk about one tax that you have been proposing, i believe, for the last three years, and that is a searches tax on natural gas. pennsylvania is the only major producing state that does not have a searches tax. why haven't you been able to get that tax put into effect? >> we actually got it past the senate two years ago.
i am not sure why it didn't get passed by the house. i will keep proposing it and look for people to support it. we are the only major natural gas producing state in the u.s. without a serves tax. texas, louisiana, oklahoma, they all have it, we don't. >> the swenches tax would bring in a lot of -- the searches tax would bring in a lot of money. no, it would not? who says no, it would not? you have the impact fee now which has brought in $1 been 2 billion in the past seven years, and you are telling me that a 6% searches tax would not bring in money? >> first of all, i don't know anybody -- >> you are not part of the debate. these two are. >> don't know who is proposing the 6% searches tax. i'm not. the combination of searches and impact fee would be in line with what other states are
charging on their searches tax and would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into pennsylvania for roads and bridges and schools. >> before i get you two to make your closing statements, i would offer a suggestion to the people of pennsylvania for this election. forget that you are republicans or democrats. we just had a few heated words about the searches tax. if you believe it would be beneficial and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for education in the state, then call up the people running in your districts, ask them a question and say are you in favor of the serves tax or against it? if they are in favor, say i am going to vote for you. if they are from your party, good. if for the other party, vote for them. if you are against the searches tax, same deal. call them up and say are you for or against? if they are against, vote for
them. >> alex, there is something to understand. we are the only state that has an impact fee. the governor doesn't talk about that. there was a deal done. it was act 13 of 2012. an impact fee was imposed. >> it used to be 4.5%. it is now down to 1.2%. as he mentioned a moment ago, you can combine the both of them -- >> no that is not the deal. the deal is if you pass a searches tax, it is in the bill. it was passed and voted on, that the impact fee goes away. last year the impact fee generated $217 million. listen, we are taxing the gas companies. do the people believe that we should tax? yes. we already are. >> you are not taxing them that much because most of them are based in texas or oklahoma. e are out of time.
what did i tell you guys at the beginning? no booing or hissing. now you are directing it at me. governor, your closing remarks, please. >> thank you for moderating this. i want to thank the chamber for hosting this and organizing this event. and scott thank you for running. i think in a democracy, again, we need two candidates at least to show the contrast and the two different visions that we have for pennsylvania. my vision is really simple. it is that if you start from where i started three years and eight months ago, pennsylvania was underfunding its 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 care insurance three and a half years ago. i have made pennsylvania better in terms of focusing on the opiod epidemic.
we have a balanced budget. we have put men into the rainy day fund for the first time in over a decade. these things matter for our democracy and our future. if i am allowed to do it another four years, i will continue to move us on a path to a better future. thank you. >> we have had a great evening tonight. the people here at the hershey lodge and convention center, the servers, did you notice how they served 1,700 meals flawlessly? did you notice that? [applause] why am i telling you this? because the kitchen is 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. our agencies in harrisburg are not working. if i was going to write a book or produce a movie, it would be government gone wild. you know what d.e.p. stands for? don't expect permits. that is what is it stand for. we have the highest gas tax in the nation. you know what? i am ok with that. but you know what? we shouldn't have more pot holes than ever in the last four years. there is more trash along the highways. there is more bent up guide rails. listen, if you do what i have been doing for the last year, over 600 stops talking to people in truck stops, in diners, manufacturing plants, coal mines, natural gas drill sites. go up to elk county to the beautiful elk 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 aren't working. and it is about time it changes. i am not trying to be politically correct, and i don't need this job and i don't need the money. i have a great career. i want to tell you something. i have met some of greatest people in pennsylvania as i have traveled around. farmers for example. they need someone who is going to fight for them, and i pledge to the people of pennsylvania, if you elect me as the next governor, i will get more done in the first six months than you have seen in the last 12 years. i have one other pledge. >> you have to wrap it up. >> if i am elected governor -- i have the stage, he is not taking it away from me. you know what? here is my closing. when i am can't elected governor. if i don't do anything in four years, i pledge to you that i will change my name to tom
wolf. >> ladies and gentlemen on your behalf, i want to thank both candidates. and if i have managed to offend both sides, then i have probably succeeded. ne final word, and that is the answer, the correct answer to the very first question i asked here this evening is who is chris long? thank you very much, denis. let's hear it for the candidates. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its captioning content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org.] >> this week on c-span, we will bring you campaign 2018 debates from around the nation. live today at 7:00 p.m. eastern, virginia senator tim kaine faces c-span 3 stewart in the second of two town hall events. comimg up live friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, iowa republican
ongress man, rot bblum his challenger. and but. then saturday montana pep congressman faces his challenger for the state's at large seed. that is friday live at 9:00 eastern, on c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> with the control of congress in question this election day. see the competition for yourself on c-span. watch the debates from key house and senate races. make c-span your primary source for campaign 2018. >> sunday night on after words, new york magazine's rebecca, on these a good and mad,
women's gender study as professor and author of eloquent rage. >> part of my work as long as i have been doing it has obviously been rooted in anger. you wouldn't be a journalist iting about inequity, gender inequity, racial inequity if you weren't mad about it. so obviously there has been anger undergirding my work for a long time. but when i decided i was going to write this book on anger, and i thought about how it has played into my work, one of the things i could do when i looked back was see the pains i had taken early in my career to obscure that anger. i had absorbed the nation that if i was too angry, i wouldn't be heard, i wouldn't be taken seriously. i would sound hysterical and radical. even some of the sort of baby feminist writing i did 15 years ago was not very good.
it was like mild pop fep nix. when i think about the comments i got back then, a lot of them like a ted in you sound crazy sex-starved woman who was mad because men don't like you. it was like i was writing pop commentary about paris hilton, the response was you were too mad to be taken seriously. even when i was covering up that anger with jokes and a general good cheer. >> watch sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span 2's book tv. >> at the atlantic festival here in washington, d.c., the at&t crow talks about the current media land scame, social media content and digital privacy issues. >> thank you. thank you for beal being here. >> of course, jer,