PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Governor Corbett was in Pittsburgh Friday to tour a local manufacturing facility and talk about the budget, but he was greeted outside the Duquesne Club by protestors unhappy with the spending cuts he’s proposed.
“One Pittsburgh” protestors rolled out a human red carpet on the club’s sidewalk and shouted, “Hey you, millionaires, pay your fair share!”
Silas Russell, a spokesman for the protestors, told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano why they had chosen the unusual demonstration against Corbett.
“Every day in Harrisburg the policies that he makes is like walking on regular people,” he said.
Protestors object to Corbett’s recent budget cuts which, they say, hurt people and, through tax loopholes, favor corporations.
“They don’t pay any income tax to the state, and he’s, at the same time, trying to cut funding for education, transit, health care,” said Russell.
But Corbett, who toured Calgon Carbon’s water treatment facility in Findlay earlier in the day, defended his budget at a press conference.
“I don’t believe we need to be raising taxes on the corporations. We have the second highest corporate net income tax in the country.”
The governor said raising taxes is off the table to balance the budget.
“I chose to control our spending, even at a time when we continue to see our pension costs, our legacy costs, continue to rise.”
Corbett says don’t blame him if school boards raise taxes instead of cutting.
“We’re in difficult financial times and they need to manage their money.”
After his press conference in Findley, Corbett traveled to the Duquesne Club where aides said he entered through an alternative entrance.
Eventually police intervened in the protest.
“You’re forcing people to walk out in the street. You’re blocking the sidewalk. You can protest, but you got to do it standing up so you’re not blocking the entry way or the sidewalk,” Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Robert Miller said.
Protestors rolled up their red carpet and dispersed soon after with a final message to the Governor.
“Are we going to keep coming back and coming back and coming back until we have someone who will listen to the 99 percent?” asked Russell.
“Yeah,” answered the crowd.