Monday, March 8, 2010
Advocates of calling a constitutional convention in Pennsylvania have a supporter among the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. PA Auditor General and Democratic primary candidate Jack Wagner says if he were elected governor he would fight to call the convention to review the state constitution. Pennsylvania has not held a constitutional convention for more than 40 years. Wagner says he would like to see the size of the state legislature changed along with rules on drawing new legislative districts, procedures for issuing state contracts and laws governing campaign financing. Wagner says he called for a reduction in the size of the legislature when he was a state senator. Efforts then failed but he thinks there is growing support for such a gathering. He says people are talking about this issue and newspapers are running editorials calling for a review of the state constitution. “I’m just listening to the public,” says Wagner. Wagner says he has not yet taken a stance on efforts to place a clause in the PA constitution that would create regular constitutional conventions. Several states either have conventions every set number of years or force lawmakers to either approve or disapprove a convention every few years. Wagner is running against Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, former congressman and current Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, and state Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia. Two Republicans remain in that party’s primary. Attorney General Tom Corbett and Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County.