The 10 Worst GOP Governors: What Horrors Did They Unleash in 2012? by Sarah Jaffe

 

Sarah Jaffe / AlterNet

Republican governors are still imposing slash-and-burn austerity policies on their populations, but the mainstream media isn’t paying much attention.

June 9, 2012 |

Photo Credit: AFP

Across the country, Republican governors, many of them elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, have undermined women’s health, crushed workers’ right to negotiate collectively, made it tougher to vote and imposed ideologically informed slash-and-burn policies on their populations, often with little attention from the mainstream media. Last summer, we reported on 10 of the worst GOP governors and what they were up to. Where are they now? Culling voter rolls, beating up on unions, trying to sneakily ban abortion—but also, in some cases, having their power checked by a determined opposition and being forced to concede some defeats. And in a couple of cases, they’re under investigation. Here’s our 2012 list of the worst GOP governors.

10. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania

Corbett didn’t make our list last time around, but this year, the Pennsylvania governor has made up for lost time. His attacks on public education alone make him worthy of our Hall of Shame, but coupled with a massive tax break for Shell Oil–$1.7 billion in subsidies for the oil giant—his comments about taking responsibility for future generations ring awfully hollow.

"The governor’s proposal violates his own belief that the free market, and not government, should pick winners and losers," George Jugovic Jr., president of PennFuture, told The Morning Call. "Let’s be clear. By choosing to offer Shell a $1.7 billion tax break while proposing to cut nearly $900 million to public education, the governor is choosing winners and losers, and he has cast his lot with choosing to further help a multibillion-dollar corporation over the education of future generations of Pennsylvanians.”

Philadelphia’s school district is in mortal danger due in part to Corbett’s cuts—nearly $300 million from the city, which now faces a deficit of $218 million for the coming year, and plans to shutter 64 schools and privatize more. And if that wasn’t enough, Corbett has backed a bill that would bail out the state’s employers for their unpaid unemployment premiums, while cutting benefits for thousands of out-of-work Pennsylvanians.

9. Nikki Haley, South Carolina

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