Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) is not running for governor.
Not officially and not yet, anyway.
“It’s about schools. It’s about jobs. It’s about hope,” a concerned looking Turzai said in a video he recently released on his Facebook page. The video was shot in a blighted section of Harrisburg and is underscored with piano music for effect. For a guy who hasn’t announced for governor, it sure looks, sounds and feels like he’s running for governor.
“When our only answer to budget requests is how much more do you want, not what’s your measurement for success,” Turzai said in the video.
And the speaker spoke out about criticisms leveled by Gov. Tom Wolf and many others at House Republicans for scuttling budget deals and causing the three-month-plus impasse.
“It’s time some of us put our careers and our reputations on the line by saying no more,” the video continued. “No more taxes. No more unaccountable, uncontrolled spending. No more gimmicks.”
Wolf was asked about the video Tuesday. He said he hasn’t seen it but was read some of Turzai’s quotes.
“I think it’s a little disingenuous, if that’s what he saying, to say they’ve managed this in other ways because what I’m doing is actually making up for the problems he and his colleagues have caused over the last many years,” Wolf said of the perpetual structural deficits he’s inherited.
And Wolf reiterated that House Republicans are the problem this year for repeatedly failing to get a revenue package to his desk despite agreeing overwhelmingly to spend $32 billion.
“I think what we have to lament is our democracy,” Wolf said. “That one house has decided they’re not gonna participate in our shared responsibility.”
Of course, Democracy means politics, which means elections, which leads us back to that video and the speaker’s intentions.
“Do you think he’s running for governor?” I asked the governor.
“I don’t know what he’s doing,” said Wolf with a smile.