inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Corman: Fetterman Brought ‘Chaos’ to State Senate

Life isn’t always easy with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman presiding as president of the state Senate, one of his two mandated jobs as lieutenant governor. The other is to chair the Board of Pardons.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican, said a couple of days exemplify the level of “chaos” Fetterman brought to the body. He believes they highlight the disposition of the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.

One in 2019, early on in his term. The other was in January 2021.

“It sort of goes with his personality, an anarchist, right?” said Corman. “‘I follow my own rules. I don’t follow the rules of society.’ And in my 24 years, it was the worst two days on the floor of the Senate…The institution is the most important thing and so for those two days, that institution did not have a good look and chaos ensued. And both of those days were because of him because he refused to do his job, which was being the presiding officer, to enforce the rules of the Senate.

“There’s nothing close that ever happened,” said Corman. “We’ve had arguments, we’ve had debates. We had people get upset but never where chaos presented.”

After the first incident, the Senate leadership wrote a letter to Fetterman about his behavior.

“We have rules that are adopted unanimously,” said Corman. “And obviously the job of the presiding officer, whether it be (Fetterman) or one of the members, is to follow the rules. And to make sure the rules are followed.”

The members have a chance to discuss bills and then vote on them.

“There were two different incidents where the lieutenant governor decided not to enforce the rules and apply his own sense of fairness,” said Corman. “Which then led us into chaos.”

That day there was “a motion in question,” he said. Instead of normal discussion and voting, Fetterman allowed a Democratic member to continue talking. Corman, who was the House leader, called out “Point of order.”

“When someone calls ‘point of order,’ you have to recognize that person and he (Fetterman) refused,” said Corman. “And it was just chaos because he didn’t follow the rules.”

“He is the presiding officer but he is not a member of the Senate,” said Corman. “Therefore he needs to follow the parliamentarian.”

In that letter, the senators tell Fetterman “your role…does not entitle you to usurp legislative power assigned to the members.”

They added, “Your self-righteous defiance of the Rules has scarred the institution.”

The letter also accused Fetterman of lying about the incident afterward, with the transcript belying his statements.

Another time Fetterman cast aside his duties to preside over the Senate in a nonpartisan fashion in a fit of partisan pique and tried to seat a Democrat while the election results remained under appeal.

“There was an appeal going on to resolve the matter,” said Corman. “And the Democrats wanted to seat Jim Brewster. Ultimately, there was going to be a vote in the Senate to see whether we would or would not (seat him). And the ultimate decision was to wait until the federal court ruling was rendered.” Otherwise “it would be a mockery on the Senate floor.”

But Fetterman insisted and allowed a Democratic member to keep speaking, “despite the majority saying (Brewster) should not be seated.”

“The rules of the Senate determine how we move forward and he just wouldn’t have it,” said Corman. The members voted to remove Fetterman as presiding officer for that day, he said, after he “continued to scream from the rostrum that Brewster should be seated…Sen. Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) was kind enough to walk away and say he would wait for the court ruling.”

“At that point (Fetterman) was ultimately escorted off the floor, at his request, by the sergeant at arms,” said Corman.

“We took the unprecedented move to remove him as presiding officer,” said Corman. “The presiding officer is supposed to follow the rules. He doesn’t get to make the rules. Whether he likes it or not, he doesn’t get to make the rules.”

Other governors have assigned duties to their lieutenant governors, but Gov. Tom Wolf has not “to my knowledge given him any responsibilities.”

For example, under Gov. Tom Corbett, Lt. Gov. Jim Crawley “was at every budget meeting. He was a very big part of the administration.”

But Fetterman “was never a part of anything like that.”

Fetterman did not respond to requests for comment.


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Commonwealth Court Strikes Down PA’s Controversial Act 77 Voting Law

The Commonwealth Court Friday ruled that Pennsylvania’s no-excuse mail-in voting law, Act 77, is unconstitutional.

In addition to striking down the law, the court ordered the acting secretary of state not to enforce Act 77.

The 3-2 ruling found the law, which permitted no-excuse absentee voting, while ending straight-ticket voting, violated the constitutional requirement of “the physical presence of the elector.” The judges found the legislature could not make changes to voting laws without amending the state Constitution.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democratic candidate for governor, said he will appeal the decision.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

“This opinion is based on twisted logic and faulty reasoning, and is wrong on the law,” said Shapiro, who is also the presumed Democratic candidate for governor. It will be immediately appealed and therefore won’t have any immediate impact on Pennsylvania’s upcoming elections. The issue will now go before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and we are confident in the constitutionality of Act 77.”

Gov. Tom Wolf agreed, saying, “The administration will immediately appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court and today’s lower court ruling will have no immediate effect on mail-in voting pending a final decision on the appeal.

An appeal has already been filed, triggering an automatic stay that keeps the law in place during the appeal process.

“The Republican-controlled legislature passed Act 77 with strong bipartisan support in 2019 to make voting more safe, secure, and accessible and millions of Pennsylvanians have embraced it,” Wolf said.

He accused Republicans who opposed Act 77 of “trying to silence the people.”

Sen. Jake Corman

Pennsylvania Republicans, however, were thrilled. And they used the ruling to criticize the Wolf administration’s execution of the law.

“There have been numerous concerns raised about the way Act 77 was implemented by the Department of State, especially the double standard created by the removal of key mail-in ballot security measures in lead-up to the 2020 election,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte). After what occurred in the 2020 and 2021 elections, I have no confidence in the no-excuse mail in ballot provisions. There is no doubt that we need a stronger election law than the one we have in place today.

“Today’s ruling should serve as a call to action to open up a serious conversation about the reforms necessary to make voting both accessible and secure for all Pennsylvanians. Gov. Wolf has ignored this debate for over a year, but hopefully this ruling will help bring him to the table so we can address concerns about our election system once and for all.”

Corman plans to introduce a bill with voter ID, eliminating straight-party voting and ending drop-boxes, as well as banning outside money to fund elections, which was done by Mark Zuckerberg in key areas of Pennsylvania in 2020.

Bill McSwain

Republican Bill McSwain, the former U.S. Attorney for eastern Pennsylvania running for governor castigated those who supported Act 77, including his Republican primary opponents.

“Act 77 has wreaked havoc across our state and robbed voters of confidence in their elections. Any politician who supported this unconstitutional bill on either side of the aisle is unqualified to be governor,” said McSwain. “As U.S. Attorney and as a candidate for governor, I have consistently called Act 77 unconstitutional, and applaud the Commonwealth Court for recognizing it as such.”

Lou Barletta

Former Congressman Lou Barletta, another gubernatorial candidate, promised to repeal Act 77 if it remains on the books after appeals are exhausted.

“Now we know that not only was Act 77 a terrible law, it was also unconstitutional and shouldn’t have been passed in the first place,” said Barletta. “Most states that go to widespread mail-in voting take years to implement the process, but in Pennsylvania, we went from under 300,000 people voting by mail in 2016 to over 2.6 million in 2020. Local elections officers weren’t trained, equipped, or staffed to handle the flood of ballots and the result was the chaos that we all saw.”


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

Corman Asks House to Impeach Philly DA Larry Krasner

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner may soon find himself in the hot seat after Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman sent a letter to three top House Republicans this week asking them to begin impeachment proceedings against Krasner.

Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner

Corman, who is among a crowded field of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for governor, cited Philadelphia’s unprecedented violence during the last two years as indicative of Krasner’s “failed policies” to address surging gun violence and “perform the duties of his to hold criminals accountable for the crimes that they commit.”

The city set a record for homicides with more than 560 in 2021. More than 1,000 people were killed over the last two years, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, which pointed out at least 30 have been slain since the start of this year.

Corman pointed to members of the General Assembly and Congress who were impacted by the bloodshed.

State Sen. Sharif Street’s cousin was murdered last year, and his Philadelphia office was riddled with bullets in a shooting last month. Additionally, U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in South Philadelphia in December.

“His decision to allow more and more criminals to walk free through plea deals and dismissed charges has created an environment in which Philadelphians are no longer safe in their own homes and communities,” Corman wrote.

“Considering he just hired Kellyanne Conway to run his primary campaign, nothing about Jake Corman’s stunt today is surprising,” a spokesman for Krasner said, pointing the finger of blame for the violence at the state legislature for not preventing gun violence. “They’ve created fewer sustainable jobs, deepened poverty, gutted public education, and destroyed social services.”

It is unclear if the House will act on Corman’s call to impeach Krasner, the newly re-elected progressive Democrat who won a second term last November. The House has the sole power to impeach public officials under the state constitution. Doing so requires members to draft articles of impeachment and gather evidence of Krasner’s alleged misconduct before a vote.

A majority House vote would move the case to the Senate, which requires two-thirds of members to vote for a conviction, which would result in Krasner’s removal.

It is a high bar to meet and has not happened in decades, as former state Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen was the last person convicted by the Senate in 1994, the Inquirer reported.

The Philadelphia district attorney, who is almost 30 days into his new term, has become a political punching bag for critics in light of what some felt were tone-deaf comments he made last month dismissing that the city was experiencing a “crisis of lawlessness,” Broad & Liberty reported.

“We don’t have a crisis of crime. We don’t have a crisis of violence,” Krasner said. “It’s important that we don’t let this become mushy and bleed into the notion that there is some kind of big spike in crime. There isn’t.”

Those comments drew a strong rebuke from the city’s former Black mayor, Michael Nutter, who demanded Krasner apologize to the families of the victims impacted by the violence.

“I have to wonder what kind of messed up world of White wokeness Krasner is living in to have so little regard for human lives lost, many of them Black and Brown, while he advances his own national profile as a progressive district attorney,” Nutter wrote in an editorial for the Inquirer.

Corman cited statistics in his letter claiming only about one-fifth of shootings since 2015 have led to criminal charges, with Krasner’s office securing convictions in fewer than one-tenth of those cases.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to DA Krasner’s clear dereliction of duty,” Corman wrote. “Meaningful action must be taken to restore a sense of security to the communities and families that have been negatively impacted by his negligence.”

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

Corman: Mask Lawsuit Wasn’t Politics, It Was About Parents

State Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman said he filed a lawsuit against the Wolf administration’s mask mandate for students, not as a politician, but as a parent protecting his children and a citizen defending the rule of law.

“I sued as a parent of two high school students and I also sued from the perspective institutional office of the state Senate,” Corman told the Delaware Valley Journal. “Our feeling was the Secretary of Health did not have this authority.”

On Dec. 10, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Corman (R-Centre) and his fellow plaintiffs — state Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), two religious schools, three public schools, and a group of concerned parents. The court vacated the mask mandate and upheld an earlier ruling by the Commonwealth Court.

Prior to the mask order by acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam (who announced recently she is leaving her job), Gov. Tom Wolf “asked the school districts to go through a process to develop a health and safety plan. They went through that process.”

Corman, a GOP candidate for governor, said he and his wife followed their district’s guidance for their children, two of whom are in high school.

“Then, at the last minute, the governor decided to implement his own plan through the secretary of health,” said Corman.  The administration ordered masks to be worn in schools and daycare centers as of Sept. 7.

It was then that Corman decided to file the lawsuit.

“The case was never about whether we should wear masks or not. It was about the rule of law,” he said.  Governors need to follow the law “even in times of emergency.”

And last May “the voters made a historic vote to reduce the governor’s authority,” via ballot questions. But Wolf, instead of “understanding” the voters’ will, “tried to circumvent it. You can’t make things up out of thin air…You have to go through a process.”

Corman is pleased the Supreme Court ruled against the mask mandates because otherwise, it would mean the governor had the power to decide to close businesses and houses of worship again and tell people they cannot congregate and shut down protests, he said.

“We believe (Wolf) never had this authority without going through the legislative process,” said Corman. “That’s what this was all about.”

However, Elizabeth Rementer, a spokeswoman for Wolf, called the Supreme Court decision “extremely disappointing.”

“The administration urges school districts to prioritize the health and safety of their students and staff when making mitigation decisions,” she said. ​“Masking is a proven and simple way to keep kids in school without interruption and participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Universal masking in schools, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend, reduces the risk that entire classrooms will need to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 case,”

Meanwhile, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision some local school districts, including Bensalem, Central Bucks, Pennridge, and Marple Newtown, have announced that they will make mask-wearing optional.


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

Wolf Suffers Setback as State Supreme Court Strikes Down Mask Mandate

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court handed Gov. Tom Wolf yet another setback in his ongoing effort to use the COVID-19 pandemic to expand his power, striking down a mask mandate critics said was clearly beyond his authority.

On Friday, the state’s highest court both affirmed a lower court’s finding that Wolf’s health department lacked the authority to impose a mask mandate and also vacated an order allowing the administration to enforce the mandate during the appeal process.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for parents and communities whose opinions have been ignored by the Wolf administration for far too long,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), one of the plaintiffs in the case. “The ruling today is about much more than masks in schools; it is about preventing government overreach in general. The law clearly does not give any governor or any state agency the power to create orders out of thin air in the absence of an emergency declaration and outside the regulatory review process.”

Corman, a GOP candidate for governor, argued that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam didn’t have the authority to impose the mask mandate without going through the formal regulatory process.

“This ruling means we will not have to deal with even more extreme, unilateral measures from the Wolf administration that devastated our economy last year, including business closures and restrictions,” Corman said.

Elizabeth Rementer, press secretary to Wolf, said, “The administration’s top priority from the beginning of this pandemic has been and remains protecting public health and safety, including students and staff, to ensure in-person learning continues. We are awaiting an opinion on the decision, but the outcome is extremely disappointing. That said, the administration recognizes that many school districts want to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff, and we are hopeful they will make appropriate mitigation decisions moving forward.”

“The administration urges school districts to prioritize the health and safety of their students and staff when making mitigation decisions. ​Masking is a proven and simple way to keep kids  in school without interruption and participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. Universal masking in schools, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend, reduces the risk that entire classrooms will need to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 case,” she added.

“The administration also continues to urge all eligible Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated, get boosted, and take your children ages 5 and older to get vaccinated. Appointments are available statewide for Pennsylvanians ages 5 and older for their primary series and 16+ for their booster shot. Vaccines are safe, effective, and readily available across Pennsylvania. Visit to find an appointment,” she said.

This isn’t Wolf’s first defeat in the battle over the reach of the governor’s power.

In May, Pennsylvania voters approved two amendments to the Commonwealth’s constitution restricting the governor’s power to declare and then extend states of emergency. Amendment 1 authorized the General Assembly to terminate an emergency by a majority vote of both houses, as opposed to a two-thirds vote and the governor’s agreement. Amendment 2 limited emergencies to 21 days instead of the previous 90, and allowed mandates to only be extended by the Assembly, not the governor.

And Wolf found himself in political hot water over the arbitrary way he and his administration handed out exemptions to favored businesses during the 2020 lockdown. The GOP-led legislature opened an investigation in response. In September 2020, a federal judge ruled Wolf’s far-reaching lockdown orders were unconstitutional.

Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and House Majority Leader Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) Friday echoed the GOP message that the real issue isn’t masks, it’s mandates that exceed the governor’s legal powers.

“This debate has never been about the effectiveness of masks in schools, or any other setting. It is about whether or not each branch of our state government and the officials who work in those branches will follow the law and respect our Constitution’s design that directs the legislative branch to make the laws that govern our people.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of how you feel about this particular issue. It shows that our system of checks and balances works in the interest of all people, so that no singular voice can silence the voice of free people who allow themselves to be governed,” they said.

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

PODCAST: Corman Pans ‘Tone Deaf’ Democrats’ Vote on Build Back Better

On the latest episode of the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, Republican gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre) called the Democrats’ passage of the $1.75 trillion social spending “Build Back Better” bill “tone deaf” and a boon for the Pennsylvania GOP.

“I think the Democrats in D.C. are tone deaf,” Corman said. “They looked at the results of Virginia and said, ‘Well, we’re just not doing enough. That’s why we lost in Virginia,’ and nothing (is) further from the truth. Is what happened to Virginia? What happened…in New Jersey? It wasn’t that they weren’t progressive enough. It’s that they were too far progressive.”

The bill, which the Congressional Budget Office projected will add roughly $250 billion to the federal debt, passed the House on a party-line vote with one exception: Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted no. It now goes to the Senate where major changes are expected.


Corman says she believes the ideological extremism of this bill, which mixes social welfare spending and green energy subsidies, will help Republicans next year.

“All the polls are showing in the generic ballots, Republicans are nine, ten points up. If you’re Josh Shapiro, you’re gotta be pulling your hair out, thinking ‘What the heck happened?’

“Ever since this progressive movement has taken over the Democratic Party, you’ve seen Republicans do very well at the polls. Even in 2020, when President Trump lost, Republicans won nationwide. I can tell you from our own state Senate and state House races in Pennsylvania, we won almost every close race there was.

“Republicans are going to win next year,” Corman added.  “I’m confident of that.”