2/22 Ups & Downs
A lot of people in politics did dumb things this week. Here’s who fall the hardest, and who beat the curve.
Truth, Justice & the American Way. It’s definitely not a surprise, at this point, to see high-ranking public officials carted off in handcuffs. But it’s still depressing. This week, the corruption proved itself all the way up to the Pa. Supreme Court when Justice Joan Orie Melvin was convicted of misusing public resources for campaign purposes. We’d say something like ‘hopefully this is the last time,’ but no one would believe it.
Tom Corbett. Finally, some signs of life by the Guv’s campaign people. Someone leaked to Capitolwire and reiterated several days later to the Philadelphia Inquirer that Comcast VP and prominent Dem fundraiser David Cohen is backing Corbett for re-election. (He’s a former Rendell guy, too). It injected a shot of life and positive movement for the Republican for the first time in some time. His past few weeks of headlines had been more along the lines of this. If there was a discussion on staff about whether to move the story, whoever said, ‘let’s leak this,’ was right.
Sam Smith. This is never the kind of headline the Speaker of the House wants to see, especially during the grind of budget hearings. But on the other hand, it can’t be a total ‘down.’ After all, he gets to play golf in Pebble Beach.
Luke Ravenstahl. This week brought more headaches to the Pittsburgh Mayor, though still not close to a tipping point where his re-election is in doubt. The city’s police chief Nate Harper resigned amid an ethics scandal – after Ravenstahl had defended him. His two opponents are seizing on the news and the ongoing FBI investigation. Plus, his camp blocked a well known Pittsburgh blogger from covering his campaign kickoff. Suck it up and let him in, guys.
Lawyers for Pa. Senate & Guv. It’s payday! The legislature passed and Gov. Corbett immediately signed a law keeping the entirety of the $60 million NCAA Sandusky fine inside Pa. The measure polls very well. But the NCAA immediately sued in federal court, calling the law unconstitutional because the fine is part of a contract between PSU and the NCAA. Wonder how the final legal bill will compare to that $60M.
Harris Wofford. The former U.S. Senator from Pa. earned a Presidential Citizens Medal last Friday for his lifetime of public service. He was also the president of Bryn Mawr College and a key part of the launching of the Peace Corps. The Citizens Medal was established in 1969 to recognize American citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens. Congrats!
Tweet of the week: Mary Wilson of WITF for asking the question that all of us have wondered at one time or another.
— Marywilson (@Marywilson) February 20, 2013