2013 Ups & Downs

Happy New Year, politicos! Here’s a look back at who made the best of the year 2013, and who would like a do-over.

Down ArrowTom Corbett. The Governor’s path to a second term has looked narrower and narrower with every poll that comes out. Pollsters will tell you that 50 is the magic number. If an incumbent’s job approval is at 50%, he or she has a decent path to re-election. For most of 2013, Corbett has been in the 30s. What’s worse, he hasn’t shown the ability to proactively improve his numbers. Just the opposite, he has the ability to turn a casual interview into a PR headache.

Up ArrowDown ArrowKathleen Kane. There’s no doubt about it: Pennsylvania’s Attorney General is a Democratic party star. Party leaders, columnists, political scientists and rank and file Democrats think Kane is going places. And she agrees. She’s flirted with bids for Governor and recently U.S. Senate. The down side? Each time she stakes out a partisan or activist position comes at the expense of the outsider appeal that got her elected: her promise to be “a prosecutor, not a politician.”

Up ArrowGOP Majorities. Republicans hold majorities in the state House, state Senate and congressional delegation. None of those appear to be in danger in 2014. In fact, the GOP may even improve its margins in the state legislature thanks in part to the fact that the Pa. Supreme Court upheld GOP-friendly state legislative redistricting maps in May. Anti-Corbett sentiment, which may otherwise wash down the ballot, will be held in check by anti-Obama sentiment on the other side. Democrats are only seriously contesting one congressional seat. But Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a talented campaigner, starts the race as a big favorite.

Up ArrowDown ArrowAllyson Schwartz. The Congresswoman started the year as the marginal frontrunner of the Democratic gubernatorial field, and that’s how she will end it. A variety of factors prevented Schwartz from moving decisively into the drivers seat. Some were out of her control (conservative Democrats don’t like her background, it wasn’t initially clear what former Congressman Joe Sestak would do, etc). But some were. Her top-heavy campaign staff structure brought too many cooks into the kitchen. There was significant turnover. And evidently fundraising – historically a Schwartz strong suit – wasn’t up to snuff.

Up ArrowPittsburgh Progressives. New York City has Bill de Blasio, Pittsburgh has Bill Peduto. Each rode a newly energized wave of the Democratic party and improbably overcame incumbent establishments for a primary win. In Pittsburgh, Peduto’s allies won every contested City Council race. They have promised to govern as progressive technocrats.

December 30th, 2013 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 8 Comments

8 thoughts on “2013 Ups & Downs”

  1. PAINDY1 says:

    The marriage of convenience between UPMC’s Doug Romoff and Tom Corbett is failing badly. Why doesn’t the UPMC board do the right thing for its employees (there are none), its donors, and its rate payers? Start Governing. Get new leadership that can be respected. Here is a wonderful expensive piece of work from Doug Romoff, the brother of Jeff Romoff. http://youtu.be/9bQP_fqVbBo

  2. howard johnson says:

    Pa Indy is right! Corruption, self dealing and failure require Bob Guzzardi as our next governor!

  3. Denny Bonavita says:

    Bob Guzzardi is an anarchist.

  4. PAINDY1 says:

    Message to UPMC board: Jeff Romoff’s marriage of convenience to Tom Corbett and his administration is failing. Why do you continue to allow this sham that UPMC has no employees just to hide Jeff Romoff’s salary. PA voters are going to show Tom Corbett the door in 2014; shouldn’t your board start to exercise its governance responsibilities and who Jeff Romoff the door in 2014? If UPMC is so WORLD CLASS, is Jeff Romoff the only person in the entire world who can run your system? UPMC contends it is not subject to affirmative action audits

    http://trib.me/JHWFB6

  5. PAINDY1 says:

    Free Advice to the Tom Corbett Administration: Send in acting Governor John Brabender and PA Ed Consultant Ron Tomalis to clean up the Personnel mess at Penn State. Maybe Our Dark Prince can bundle together a failed University President and a failed football coach from another university with a generous RGA donation as an added sweetner.

  6. PAINDY1 says:

    Shouldn’t State Rep Jimmy Christiana have an up arrow. Christiana has courageously subjected himself to the shiny Jackboots of UPMC’s Jeff Romoff and Corbett’s Baker family in order to preserve health care choice in Western PA. Jimmy take your crusade for rate-payers one step further: Demand real Governance from the UPMC board. Call upon AG DePasquale to take a look and give the UPMC system a WORLD CLASS audit. Romoff’s $50 million jet plane is no ham sandwich to rate payers. http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2013/12/31/Highmark-UPMC-prepare-for-end-of-contract.html

  7. PAINDY1 says:

    Certainly an up arrow is deserved for Bob Guzzardi, the Edmund Burke of Pennsylvania and Corbett Challenger!!! Mr. Guzzardi got an outstanding and fair profile in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review from PA’s most conservative newspaper and PA’s most respected Harrisburg journalist: http://trib.me/1cdHRo9
    HARRISBURG Long before there was a tea party, a political novice named Peg Luksik shocked the political establishment in 1990 by nearly knocking off then-Auditor …

  8. PAINDY1 says:

    2014 Predictions for Governor Tom Corbett: 1. The resignation of Bill O’Brien will further hurt Tea Party Tom Corbett with the PSU alums. http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/12/hiring_a_replacement_for_
    bill.html Hiring a replacement for Bill O’Brien would be tough when he wouldn’t know his ultimate bosses
    Bill O’Brien was hired and paid very well to be a football coach; he’s been more than that. The next guy shouldn’t have to be.
    2. A new scandal will emerge as the recently consummated marriage between Tom Corbett and Jeff Romoff of WORLD CLASS UPMC unwinds. This scandal will cause MRI-like scrutiny on the poor governanace of the UPMC board. 3. My researchers are going to get some great photos outside MONTCO GOP’s Chair, Mike Vereb’s 2013 New Year’s Eve Capitol bash, where you can party like it’s 2000 BC. Smile for the cameras and just say Neanderthal.

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