Corbett Defends Free $1,400 Rhode Island Vacation

Gov. Tom Corbett appointed businessman to advisory board after being treated to free vacation

HARRISBURG – They say Rhode Island is beautiful in the summer.

And Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett got to see it firsthand and for free.  According to an updated statement of financial interest filed with the State Ethics Commission, the governor and his wife spent five days in July 2011 on vacation in Rhode Island with the hotel and airfare paid for by John Moran, president of Moran Industries, a Pennsylvania based company that specializes in trucking, rail and warehousing.

The value of the trip was more than $1,400, according to the ethics disclosure.  Moran also paid for the governor to travel via helicopter and private jet from Harrisburg to events in Pittsburgh and Williamsport in September, at an estimated cost of about $900, according to the filing.

Marie Cusick, who writes for State Impact PA, an online project funded by NPR and WITF radio, uncovered the ethics disclosure and explains why it matters.

A few months after the Rhode Island trip, Corbett appointed Moran to a 24-member advisory panel he created to look into privatizing state services.

The Sunbury Daily Item reports that around the same time, Moran’s wife Ann was appointed to an unpaid position at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Together, the Morans donated more than $75,000 to Corbett’s 2010 run for governor, according to campaign finance records.

This summer, John Moran Jr. was also named co-chair of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation. The organization was established in 1997 as a nonprofit devoted to economic development. It works to build partnerships between business and government.

At a news conference on Thursday, Corbett was asked about the trips he took on Moran’s tab.  He said he followed the law by disclosing the trip and the expenses.

He said he did not believe the trip gave Moran a level of access not available to other residents of the state.

“A lot of people have access to me. They’re friends.  Mr. Moran and his wife, Ann, are friends,” Corbett said. “I’m pretty accessible.”

But Corbett isn’t the first governor Moran has had a cozy relationship with.  According to the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Moran got some favorable tax breaks from Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration in 2010 as part of an $11 million development of an industrial park in Williamsport.

Contact Boehm at Eric@PAIndepenent.com and follow @PAIndependent on Twitter.

Kathy Chapman January 01, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Obama runs back and forth to Hi, on Air Force 1 like I go to seven/11 down the street!!!
Kathy Chapman January 01, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Does that $4 million figures include Obos "run" back to DC to "settle" the "cliff", which he didn't, and is he going back to Hi to "finish" his vacation???
Amend January 01, 2013 at 01:24 PM
@Kathy- the article is about possible erhics violations by Gov. Corbett. Geez. You'd think adults could stay focused on the topic at hand instead of constantly derailing the conversation in an effort to meet their own narrow and transparent partisan leanings.
Joe Sommers January 02, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Amend...the point is this..in a bad economy Obama has the balls to spend 1 M $$ tax payer dollars to go to Hawaii and that gets broomed under the carpet by the liberal media and then you see this article on Corbett taking $1400 for a free vacation. Not that Corbett is right here but people like me are tired of Obama getting away with murder and the media's slobbering love affair with the great divider. Your President has us going down the path of France and we are supposed to be worried about a $1400 free Corbett vacation!!!PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Parkland Parent March 04, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Is this a REPUBLICAN? Hysterical......Everyone seems to forget who took the most vacation days in the history of the White House. Yep, KING GEORGE!


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