Gov. Tom Corbett, left, meets with New Standard Corp. CEO Mort Zifferer before touring the Emigsville plant Monday.
Gov. Tom Corbett, left, meets with New Standard Corp. CEO Mort Zifferer before touring the Emigsville plant Monday. (Bil Bowden photo)

Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday took his campaign talking points to another business in the home county of his opponent, Democrat Tom Wolf.

The Republican governor and his supporters said Corbett is the far better choice for helping local businesses grow and creating jobs than Wolf, a York County businessman.

If he is re-elected, Pennsylvania will continue to "grow the economic pie through jobs rather than growing by tax increases," Corbett said.

He spoke to an audience of about 30 people, including local Republican lawmakers, businessmen and executives of New Standard Corp., an equipment manufacturer in Emigsville.

The campaign stop was held at the manufacturer's growing factory at 3310 Connelly Road.

New Standard, which is headquartered in Hellam Township and has 360 employees, bought the property in 2012 and expects to add more than 100 jobs there by the end of next year.

Success: The story of that manufacturer is one of the success stories of Corbett's time in office, he said.

"We are stronger today than the day I took office," Corbett said.

Playing off of Wolf's "fresh start" slogan, Corbett said the real fresh start came on Jan. 18, 2011 — the day of his inauguration.

"We've made a lot of progress, but there's a lot more to do. There's no reason why we can't be one of the most attractive states in the country to do business," he said.


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If Wolf wins in November, state residents will get a repeat of former Gov. Ed Rendell's administration, Corbett said.

He accused his opponent of having the same team as the Rendell administration and said Pennsylvania will face higher taxes, more spending, more government and fewer businesses.

Response: Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan denied those claims.

"Corbett has been governor for almost four years now, and Pennsylvania is at the bottom in new job creation. Tom Wolf has built two companies and knows how to create jobs," he said.

Wolf recently released a television ad in which he described Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector as a gateway to middle-class jobs.

His company, The Wolf Organization, is a York-based supplier of kitchen and bath cabinets.

As the next governor of Pennsylvania, Wolf said he would improve the manufacturing industry by better developing the local workforce, linking trade schools to employers.

But Corbett and some York manufacturers said the incumbent governor is already doing that.

During his first two years in office, Corbett created the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council, which was tasked with designing a road map to building a strong manufacturing sector in the state.

Among several other manufacturers in Pennsylvania, that council included New Standard executives and Tighe King, CEO of Perform Group, a North York garment maker known for its gymnastics uniforms.

King said Wolf and his family are of the highest character and he's always appreciated the gubernatorial candidate's numerous contributions throughout York County. Though he contributed to Wolf's primary campaign, he said he will be supporting Corbett for governor.

Wolf is "too far left" for him to support, King said.

Pensions: The Perform Group CEO is sticking with Corbett because the governor has produced four balanced budgets and held down taxes, he said.

Corbett is also the best leader to face the $47 billion pension crisis, King said.

"Tom Wolf can't address it or solve it," he said.

About 63 cents of every new dollar of revenue goes to state pensions, Corbett said.

"It's very difficult to spend money in areas we need to spend because we will be spending more and more on pensions," he said.

Corbett said he supports a plan from state Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill County, that would spare the benefits of current state and public school employees.

New employees, however, would have part of their retirement savings stored in a defined benefit plan and the rest would be diverted to a retirement plan, similar to a 401(k).

Tobash's plan is estimated to save more than $11 billion throughout a 30-year period, but it wouldn't offer any immediate savings.

His plan would "get the ball rolling," Corbett said.

Wolf critics say he won't be able to solve the pension crisis because he has too much support from unions that oppose changes to Pennsylvania's public pension system.

But Wolf spokesman Sheridan said the Democrat sees a pension problem that will become a crisis if immediate action is not taken. Wolf doesn't support Tobash's plan because, among other things, it doesn't solve problems immediately, he said.

"Tom Wolf doesn't want to kick the can down the road. He supports Act 120 and wants to let it work," Sheridan said.

Act 120 is the result of a 2010 law that ensures payments to the retirement systems for state employees and public school employees will rise incrementally up to 4.5 percent of payroll per year through 2035.

Natural gas: Another main difference between Corbett and Wolf is their position on the natural gas industry. Drilling wasn't mentioned during the campaign stop Monday, but it is often featured in the television ads and during Wolf's campaign stops.

Wolf supports a severance tax on the natural gas industry and said the revenue would help fund Pennsylvania schools.

Corbett does not support a severance tax on the natural gas industry and has received several donations from oil and gas companies, according to public records.

New Standard, the company he toured Monday, supplies parts for companies mining into the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania.

Education: Wolf's team has repeatedly said he will restore Corbett's previous budget cuts to education.

"As governor, Tom Wolf will restore Gov. Corbett's $1 billion in cuts to education, implement a fair funding formula, and institute reforms to help local school districts innovate and improve student performance," according to wolfforpa.com.

Wolf's plan also extends state education to include universal pre-K.

— Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.