Rob McCord

A venture-capitalist with a penchant for helping minority-owned businesses is Gov. Tom Wolf’s pick to step in as state treasurer.

Tim Reese, a resident of Montgomery County, said Tuesday that he brings more than two decades of experience in finance, most recently as a managing partner at Forge Intellectual Capital and founder of the National Minority Angel Network, which sought to invest in and provide financial literacy for companies owned by minorities, women, and veterans.

The state's acting treasurer has said the commonwealth spent about $100,000 complying with the federal investigation into former Treasurer Rob McCord.

McCord pleaded guilty last month to two federal charges that he tried to shake down potential donors to give to his gubernatorial campaign or risk losing business or perks with the commonwealth.

"No agency chief counsel wants to spend funds on an investigation," said Christopher Craig, executive deputy state treasurer and chief counsel. "However, these matters have to be and demand to be taken extremely seriously."

Rob McCord website

Former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty Tuesday to two federal counts of attempted extortion, admitting that he tried to use the position of his office to strong-arm state contractors into donating money to his failed gubernatorial campaign.

WESA's Capitol correspondent Mary Wilson joins us to discuss McCord's steep and fast fall from public office.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty Tuesday to two federal counts of attempted extortion, admitting that he tried to use his office's position to strong-arm state contractors into donating money to his failed gubernatorial campaign.

The plea capped a steep and fast fall from public office for the once-promising candidate for governor. During the hearing in a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, McCord acknowledged the plea agreement that prosecutors filed Feb. 2. He declined comment to reporters afterward.

McCord Resigns Amid Extortion Scandal

Feb 3, 2015
Rob McCord website

Now that former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord has admitted using the influence of his office to get money from prospective donors to his gubernatorial campaign, what happens next? And what does his resignation mean for the future of the state? Capitol correspondent Mary Wilson provides her analysis and her forecast for Harrisburg’s political climate to come.

Pennsylvania’s general fund is empty – so it’s borrowing money from itself.

With operating funds at a 10-year low, Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration has asked Treasurer Rob McCord to loan money to the commonwealth’s main bank account.

“The good news is that we have a credit line, the credit line is working, the credit line is allowing people to get paid, schools to get their revenue, etc., and government is functioning, and we have an elegant financial solution and financial instrument,” McCord said.

The Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustees will meet 8 a.m. Wednesday by phone to discuss a potential settlement of a lawsuit between state officials and the NCAA over the use of the $60 million fine PSU was ordered to pay in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

In 2012, PSU consented to a number of sanctions imposed by the NCAA in response to attempts by high-ranking university officials to hide Sandusky’s molestation of young boys. The consent decree included a $60 million fine to be used for programs for the protection of children.

Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

Tom Wolf, the man in the Jeep from York County, has won the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the November general election.

Wolf took roughly 58 percent of the Democratic vote, with none of his opponents cresting the 20 percent mark.

To a few hundred supporters at Santander Stadium in York, Wolf said he’s running against the established record of the Corbett administration, which he said has made funding decisions that “hollow out” the commonwealth’s schools.

What to Know About the Four Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates

May 19, 2014
Essential Pittsburgh Staff / 90.5 WESA

Throughout the past year Allyson Schwartz, Tom Wolf, Rob McCord and Katie McGinty have all made their way to the 90.5 WESA Community Broadcast Center to talk about why Southwestern Pennsylvanians should choose them to be the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate. 

On Tuesday polls open for the Democratic primary election, so we've rebroadcast portions of those candidate conversations.

Dem Campaign Websites and Facebook

Candidates in a field of four Democrats are fighting to earn the right to take on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in the November General Election. Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to make the selection.

Western Pennsylvania could play a major role in the outcome. None of the candidates have ties to the region but many political insiders think the way Allegheny County falls will dictate who wins the election.

Funding for education, taxing gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale, and growing the economy were among some of the topics that played large during the run up to the election.

Mary Wilson / 90.5 WESA

The four Democratic gubernatorial candidates have talked about their personal stories, their support for greater education funding, and finding ways to generate revenue.

But judging by the warnings from credit rating agencies, the largest financial headache facing the commonwealth is what it owes in future pension payouts to state and school retirees. And when it comes to paying off that debt, the Democratic candidates aren't exactly bubbling over with ideas.

With few policy differences among them, the four candidates running for the Democratic nomination for governor assumed familiar positions at their final debate before the May 20 primary.

Tom Wolf, far ahead of the competition according to recent polls, offered high-brow answers to challenges that he’s not qualified to be governor after running a business in York and being state revenue secretary for two years.

“I think if I’m unqualified — someone like me is unqualified — that’s a serious indictment of our democracy,” Wolf said.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Treasurer Rob McCord is raising the stakes in the four-way campaign for the party's nomination.

McCord called on one of his opponents, York County businessman Tom Wolf, to explain why he stood by a former York mayor who participated in the city’s 1969 race riots as a police officer and was implicated, and ultimately acquitted, in a black woman’s murder decades later.

McCord raised the issue in his opening remarks during a debate on education issues in Philadelphia.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Being “pro-recess” earned businessman and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf the biggest laugh of the night, but it was PA Treasurer Rob McCord, who is also running in the May 20 primary, who picked up the widest applause when he stepped to the microphone in Tuesday’s debate and simply said, “I’d kill ‘em” to the question of what each candidate would do with the high-stakes Keystone Exams.

It’s the one survey in the past two months that Tom Wolf isn’t winning: CeaseFirePA’s “voter guide,” a report of the gubernatorial candidates positions on nearly 20 different gun safety measures and an accompanying assessment.

Democratic candidates Katie McGinty and Allyson Schwartz are 100 percent aligned with CeaseFirePA’s positions. Rob McCord scored 84 percent, and Wolf scored 79 percent.

The two Republican candidates didn’t respond to the survey.

Straight Talk with Gubernatorial Candidate Rob McCord

Feb 20, 2014
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

While there is no clear cut favorite in the Pennsylvania Democratic race for governor, polls indicate that State Treasurer Rob McCord has emerged as the “de facto” front runner.

The Ardmore, PA native says he is fortunate to have a useful blend of knowledge when it comes to running the Commonwealth.

He says his financial cognizance along with his desire and ability to communicate with constituents statewide will set him apart from the other candidates.

“I intend to be the governor that loves Pittsburgh back,” says McCord. Here are some of his views on energy, green jobs, public schools, and working with Pittsburgh's politicians.

The state treasurer says part of the governor’s proposal to change the unclaimed property law should come with ramped-up enforcement of the state’s property law.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget assumes $150 million from a plan to shorten the holding time of unclaimed and inactive property, like bank accounts and insurance policies.

Treasurer Rob McCord, a Democrat also running for governor, said there are upsides and downsides to the plan.

While many holiday gift givers will be heading out to the stores Monday and Tuesday for a few last-minute gifts, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord is offering another solution: give to a loved one’s college fund.

State Treasurer Rob McCord is now the eighth Democratic candidate to throw his hat in the ring for governor.

But just days into his campaign, he’s still aiming most of his venom at Gov. Tom Corbett.
    
The former venture capitalist has, as treasurer, challenged Corbett’s plans to privatize the state lottery and overhaul the public pension systems.

He also dings Corbett for signing a “no new taxes” pledge, saying such promises aren’t the source of good public policy.

State Treasurer Rob McCord is urging parents to open a Pennsylvania 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) before Sept. 1 to take advantage of last year’s lower cost per college credit.

529 plans are offered by states that include tax-free earnings growth and withdrawals.

A recent report from global research firm GMI Ratings found the percentage of female directors in S&P 500 companies rose only one-half of a percentage point since December 2011.

Smaller companies have even lower representation on boards by women, despite reports that a diverse board is good for business.

“We have very strong data showing a correlation to having women on boards improving investment performance,” said Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord. “For large-cap companies it appears to improve investment performance by more than 25 percent.”