HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett may not be changing his message as he shifts into re-election mode, but for the first time in his nearly three-year tenure he’s bringing in new messengers.
The Republican has appointed a new chief of staff and a new communications director – both seasoned political operatives who worked for Gov. Tom Ridge – and plans to name a press secretary in an apparent effort to bolster his relationship with the news media.
The shake-up comes on the heels of a legislative session that failed to yield a single victory among Corbett’s top three initiatives – transportation funding, liquor privatization and changes to the public pension system – and polls that show his public support sagging.
Among the outsiders watching all of this closely are the former press secretaries to the governors who preceded Corbett. And they have some strong opinions about how the incumbent deals with the media and the public.