This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Sweating under the midday sun, nine Republican lawmakers from Southeast Pennsylvania took Gov. Wolf to task on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse for what they called "campaign" tactics during budget negotiations.
As the state’s budget deadlock stretches into its fourth week, the governor’s administration and Republican legislators are each engaging in a campaign to sway public opinion about spending. In an unusual move, relatively moderate Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs called out the governor for messaging that they say isn’t fair.
At issue were mail, television, and radio ads paid for by a political action committee called America Works. According to Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware County), who is also the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, the total cost of these ads is between $750,000 and $1 million.
"I resent coming home every week and seeing nothing but campaign-style literature," said Adolph of the ads, which started in June.
Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery County) hosted the event with Adolph, Sen. John Rafferty (R-Berks, Montgomery and Chester Counties), Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery County), Rep. Thomas Quigley (R-Montgomery County), Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery County), Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery County), Rep. James Santora (R-Delaware County) and Rep. Thomas Killion (R-Delaware County).
The lawmakers took the opportunity to sally forth into their own criticisms of the governor’s budget and what they characterized as inflexibility in his negotiations.