Trib editorial: Governor, lieutenant governor should be teammates
Pennsylvania’s office of lieutenant governor, normally prominent only when its holder must take over as governor, is a governmental oddity because its holder is elected independently from the governor. Pending legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution so gubernatorial candidates would choose lieutenant-governor running mates. What’s currently in place is generating political oddities.
Gov. Tom Wolf is wrongly withholding an inspector general’s report on Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and his wife mistreating their staff and state-police security detail, saying its release would be “piling on” Mrs. Stack, who’s reportedly undergoing mental health treatment. The public has a right to see it, and the Trib has filed a Right-to-Know Law request for it.
Mr. Wolf also is mum on Mr. Stack’s 2018 re-election bid, which state Senate Democrats just endorsed. Among five other declared candidates are Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, endorsed by former Gov. Ed Rendell, and Murrysville’s Aryanna Berringer, a former congressional candidate.
Republicans likely hope to make 2018 political hay of this situation involving the executive branch’s top Democrat incumbents, Stack’s rivals and party leaders. But it’s not good for Pennsylvania — and some day, this ill-fitting governmental shoe could be on the other party’s foot.
A chosen-running-mate lieutenant governor could still misbehave. Nevertheless, it makes more sense if the governor and lieutenant governor are true teammates, starting on the campaign trail.