(Pittsburgh) March 12, 2018 Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner hailed the “Citizens First” campaign finance and ethics reform plan announced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in the Allegheny County Courthouse today, and said she will work with County Council members to introduce similar reforms for County-level candidates and officials.
“Pennsylvanians have known for years that these reforms are sorely needed, and the strong, principled leadership of our Governor can help to finally make them a reality,” Wagner said. “In addition, our own County government should respond to his call for a more ethical and transparent political process by enacting reforms in the same spirit as those he proposed.”
Wagner said she has initiated discussions with County Council members Denise Ranalli Russell and Anita Prizio to develop legislation that would enact reforms including:
-Banning gifts to County officials and staff, including event tickets from the Sports and Exhibition Authority or other sources.
-Enacting individual and aggregate campaign contribution limits in line with those that exist in the City of Pittsburgh, and making contribution records easily accessible to the public.
-Requiring disclosure of campaign contributions by firms seeking County contracts.
-Requiring County officials to disclose income from sources outside County government, and making such disclosures publicly available.
Controller Wagner has a long record of advocating for government reforms that would protect our tax dollars from misuse and malfeasance. As a state legislator, she introduced legislation that would have enacted campaign contribution limits in Pennsylvania for the first time, ending our status as having some of the weakest anti-corruption laws in the nation. Even as a sitting legislator, she called for legislative pay to be suspended when a timely budget is not passed, another element of the Governor’s plan released today.
“These are long overdue protections for the integrity of our government and our tax dollars, and they are no less necessary to ensuring ethical government at the County level. I am hopeful that County Executive Fitzgerald, who stood at the Governor’s side as he announced his plan, will agree that we must get our own house in order, as well,” Wagner said.