Pennsylvania’s Governor-Elect Tom Wolf — A Rare Politician

Pennsylvania's Governor-Elect Tom Wolf -- A Rare Politician

Pennsylvania's Governor-Elect Tom Wolf has chosen to live in his own private residence rather than the governors's mansion when he takes office in January, 2015. That is just one of the departures from the norm that the wealthy businessman-turned-politician from York, Pa. has chosen. He has said he will forgo his annually salary of $187,256 as governor and either give the money to charity or return it to the state.

According to a number of news sources, Wolf will also rent and pay for office space for state police officers who will guard him while he's in office and he plans to privately fund his transition process from November 5 to January 20. In past decades, governors have lived in the mansion that provides office space for their security team.

Unlike other state and congressional office-holders, who take these perks for granted, Wolf has chosen to self-fund these costs that are normally shouldered by taxpayers. You might say that, as a wealthy  businessman, Wolf can certainly afford these gestures, but that hasn't stopped millionaires who hold state and national offices from taking advantage of every perk available, including pensions that cost taxpayers many millions of dollars every year.

Regarding the transition, contributions will be capped at $50,000 and any donation over $500 will be disclosed on the transition committee's website on January 15 and March 30, 2015.

"I do not want taxpayers to shoulder the cost of the transition, and I believe transparency and openness are important in order to restore the public's trust in their government," Wolf said.

Not since the days of former President Harry Truman (see There Was Only One Harry Truman — And We Will Never See His Like Again) have we seen a politician decline the perks of office and, in Truman's case, the opportunity to cash in on the prestige of his former office.

Could it be we are headed in a new and, from the taxpayers' point of view, positive direction? Only time will tell, but wouldn't that be nice!

Beau Weisman, Editor