The ongoing political feud between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Senate Republicans now appears to have claimed some casualties in the form of approximately a dozen individuals fired from the governor’s service on Monday.

One of those individuals is the now former head of the Office of Small Business Advocate, John Evans.

Evans, a former state representative from northwestern Pennsylvania, was appointed to the position he had held until close of business Monday by former Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, in 2012.

“I’m grateful for my time under Gov. Wolf,” Evans told Capitolwire during a Wednesday afternoon phone conversation. Evans said he’s 66 years of age, close to retirement, and since he was a state representative, he’s not in bad shape with regard to his health insurance or his financial situation.

However, he noted that any suggestion by the Wolf administration, or anyone else, that his term as a gubernatorial appointee had expired is wholly inaccurate since the term for the position he held doesn’t expire.

[John Evans] noted that any suggestion by the Wolf administration, or anyone else, that his term as a gubernatorial appointee had expired is wholly inaccurate since the term for the position he held doesn’t expire.

“I’m a big boy, I know how this works,” said Evans, indicating he serves at the pleasure of the governor, and if the governor no longer wishes him in that position – which he was told at 3 p.m. on Monday, with his job terminated as of the end of business Monday – then so be it.

“I just would have liked a little more consideration, a little more notice,” Evan said, noting earlier in the day he was locked out of the office’s computer server and his email was shut off.

“I sorta got the feeling something was up, but I didn’t connect the dots,” he added, indicating there’s supposed to be an official letter regarding his termination, but he has yet to receive it.

Talking with friends in the state House of Representatives, Evans said he was told he was caught in the political crossfire between Wolf and the Senate GOP, and that his firing was a direct result of a letter sent to Wolf last Friday, in which the caucus told Wolf they would not confirm any of his nominees for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission until the governor ceased his efforts to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In addition to the firings, the Wolf administration has rescinded its requested nominee confirmations for other appointments, such as the acting secretaries of the Departments of Health, Education and Labor and Industry.

Evans said he heard 11 other individuals were fired on Monday, all, like him, holdovers from the prior Corbett administration, though no one else from the Office of Small Business Advocate lost their job. A Senate source likewise indicated roughly a dozen people, all prior Republican appointees, were fired on Monday, some with very little warning.

When contacted for more information and comment, Wolf administration spokesperson Lyndsay Kensinger said in an email early Wednesday evening: “The administration is continuously reviewing boards, commissions, and appointments to see what needs to be filled, review expired terms, and refresh gubernatorial appointments. Last week the administration took action on a few of these positions, many including individuals were serving on expired terms. The administration will continue to review boards, commissions, and appointments. All new nominations were already made or will be made shortly.”

As mentioned by Evans, at least in his specific situation, his term did not expire, as there is no expiration on the appointment as the head of the Office of Small Business Advocate.

Without additional information about the other fired appointees – something the Wolf administration did not provide despite being requested by Capitolwire – it’s unclear how many, if any, had terms that expired.

Without additional information about the other fired appointees – something the Wolf administration did not provide despite being requested by Capitolwire – it’s unclear how many, if any, had terms that expired.

Evans also pointed out that if these jobs, like his, require confirmation by the state Senate, getting new appointees confirmed might not occur any time soon given the current poor relationship that exists between the GOP-controlled Senate and the Wolf administration.

Other legislative sources looked at the larger picture, wondering how much more this might damage an already difficult dynamic between Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature.

One source suggested that with this taking place at the start of a new two-year legislative session, the governor has already “gone nuclear” and indicated his unwillingness to work with GOP leaders and legislators, all with Fiscal Year 2021-22 state budget negotiations – which will include decisions on what to do with billions in federal COVID-19 stimulus dollars – as well as legislative and congressional redistricting, looming as major issues to be resolved in the coming months.

This piece is shared with permission from Capitolwire.com. Chris Comisac is their Bureau Chief. 

11 thoughts on “Gov. Wolf goes ‘nuclear’”

  1. Trump made the mistake of keeping Obama’s people around. They did whatever they could to sabotage his presidency

  2. We have voted in one day for over 100 years without paper ballots. Any American who claims they cannot get voter ID is not telling the truth. You need ID fir electricity, Doctors office, hospitals, bank accounts, show me the person who locks Ins they have no ID and I would call that a lie

  3. I am a Republican. This is DISGUSTING. Long ago, I’ve been sorry I voted for this guy. Have not supported him for a very long time. Thank goodness he is a lame duck.

  4. Tom Wolfe is and has been a child like lock step Democrat. Not since the the days of Big Ed have we seen so little leadership or dedication to the citizens of Pennsylvania. Mr. Wolf was not selected to any post in the Biden admin and he is lashing out and kicking chairs. Other Pa Governors were invited in to Washington elite, however Wolfe is weak and non descript and of no value except as a low soldier for the administrative clown car.

  5. I don’t blame him. Republicans have been unmovable obstructionists since the first day of Obama’s term, and they’re not going to stop any time soon, especially as long as they’re under the spell of Trumpism. There’s no point in trying to appease them. With the GOP, it’s their way or the highway. And they’re not afraid to lie, cheat, and gerrymander until they get it.

  6. I am constantly amazed how so often people like Wolf with power have so little respect for the process set up for decisions like the ones he just made. There is a lack of communication in the chain of command because the commander,Mr Wolf must control it all because he’s afraid it won’t be done his way. Please Mr Wolf treat your people with dignity .

  7. I didn’t like wolf before the pandemic and since then he has shown what a petty person he is. his doctoral power grab under the guise of state emergency shows why we need to limit the authority of the governor. his lack of a comprehensive plan to keep our state safe was a joke, he opened and closed businesses on a whim and would not even speak to the state legislatures, he would just bark out orders and refused to answer any questions from the media, I still think he needs impeached or censured.

  8. Wolf you are a disgrace to commonwealth let the people see what your hiding in the AG building you are stopping revenue to our state you are corrupt and a tantrum throwing child

  9. Hopefully Pennsylvania will not elect another Governor who is a democrat for a long time. This guy is a tin pot dictator and not very sophisticated.

  10. The greatest problem in Pennsylvania, especially in Southeast Pennsylvania, is the establishment of both parties. The reason why Donald Trump was barred of a second term because of the establishment stabbing him in the back. The Democrats should be voted out, and the Democrat counterparts (the RINO Republicans) must be primaried.

Leave a (Respectful) Comment

Your email address will not be published.