HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Megan Sweeney released the following statement regarding Tom Wolf’s refusal to reimburse the state for the funds it lost while taking part in a 2006 business deal with Wolf.
“How does Tom Wolf plan to return the gift he received from Pennsylvania’s pension fund?,” Sweeney asked. “Tom Wolf promised to pay back Pennsylvania’s pension fund for investing in his organization, but he has yet to provide any details about how he will keep that promise. Does Tom Wolf expect to bring the same ‘spend first, pay later’ philosophy that bought him the Democratic nomination to our state government in Harrisburg?
“When Tom Wolf denies the existence of Pennsylvania’s pension crisis, why doesn’t he mention how he made the problem worse? Why did Tom Wolf choose to take out a multi-million campaign loan instead of focusing on paying back Pennsylvania taxpayers?
“The first time Pennsylvanians invested in Tom Wolf, they were left holding the bag. It’s time for Tom Wolf to reveal how he will keep his promise to return his gift from Pennsylvania’s pension fund.”
Wolf Downplays Pennsylvania’s Pension Crisis: “Our current pension situation is the direct result of almost ten years of the Commonwealth Paying less than its fair share. In contrast, Pennsylvania employees have been contributing at rates that are among the highest in the nation. What we have is a pension problem, not a crisis.” (“Tom Wolf for Governor: A Fresh Start!,” Tom Wolf for Governor, pg. 11, accessed 4/4/2014)
Investing in Wolf Costs State Employees: “The fund’s partial buyout of Wolf’s firm benefited him and his two cousins, but it has been a loss so far for the fund’s investors, the largest of which is Pennsylvania’s underfunded State Employees Retirement System (SERS). SERS voted in December 2004 to invest $50 million in the fund, said SERS spokeswoman Pamela Hile. SERS had invested in previous Weston Presidio funds since 1998.” (Joseph N. DiStefano, “Behind Tom Wolf’s business success, a more complicated picture,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/3/14)
Tom Wolf Promised To Pay Back The Investors Before Paying Himself: Will Weston Presidio and SERS ever get their money back? Will Wolf? He says he hopes so. And he promises the outside investors will get paid before he does. (Joseph N. DiStefano, “Behind Tom Wolf’s business success, a more complicated picture,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/3/14)
Tom Wolf Spends Money He Doesn’t Have On His Campaign: “So where did Wolf get the $10 million of his own money that he has said will finance his campaign? Some of it — less than half, he says — wasn’t his own money, but a loan from M&T that he will have to repay. A smaller amount — but “more than $1 million’ — came from the sale of part of his stake in Irex Specialty Contracting, of Lancaster, one of his investments that were ‘illiquid’ in 2009. The rest, Wolf said, includes gains squeezed from the recovering stock market: ‘I really cobbled together everything I had.’” (Joseph N. DiStefano, “Behind Tom Wolf’s business success, a more complicated picture,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/3/14)