|Governor Tom Corbett - Marc Levy AP photo|
In what seems to be a reprise of four years ago, hundreds of thousands of dollars are pouring into the race for Pennsylvania governor from company executives with ties to the state's burgeoning natural gas industry, Ben Finley writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
But the donations, almost entirely to Gov. Tom Corbett, are flowing with one key difference: The stakes are even higher for both the companies' fracking profits and the Republican Corbett, one of the country's most vulnerable governors.
Corbett is being challenged by Democrat Tom Wolf, a York County businessman who has pledged to add a 5 percent tax on fracking.
Nearly $1 million that will ultimately benefit Corbett's reelection bid arrived in January from executives of the Ariel Corp., an Ohio firm that builds compressors used to extract natural gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation.
In February, according to state campaign-finance records, about $240,000 arrived from the president of Chief Oil & Gas, a Texas company that leases 200,000-plus acres in Northeastern Pennsylvania for natural gas drilling and exploration.
The money is being channeled through the Republican Governors Association to a separate political action committee it established in Pennsylvania. The satellite organization is Corbett's largest single donor so far in his bid for reelection.