3/16 Ups & Downs

Lots of Ups this week, as the presidential campaign continues to heat up in Pa. And in Harrisburg, business as usual provides entertainment as usual.

Tom Corbett. The Guv scored a signature win this week, when Shell announced its decision to build a $1 billion shale processing plant in Pa. But a Quinnipiac poll showed that the honeymoon of popularity he enjoyed during his first term has come to an end; his approval ratings are not split. And finally, he became a punching bag for national Democrats over comments he made about the proposed ultrasound mandate.

Rick Santorum. A strong showing in Kansas followed by surprise wins in Alabama and Mississippi have once again challenged the idea of Romney’s inevitability. And his campaign added a strong manager in Brian Nutt, who will now run his Pa. operations.

Mark Alderman. The head of Cozen and O’Conners Public Affairs Group and a potent fundraiser for President Obama, Alderman attended this week’s state dinner with UK PM David Cameron. That’s nice, but the real win came in the NYT’s preview of the event. He was not only listed in the same sentence as George Clooney, but indeed was listed ahead of the famous actor.

Bob Mellow. He served in the Pa. Senate for 40 years, including 16 as Democratic leader and two as Senate Pro Tem. Now, he’s facing charges of corruption and tax fraud committed during his tenure. He’s likely to plead guilty, meaning up to 5 years in prison.

Tom Smith. The U.S. Senate hopeful went back up on TV this week, and he has the airwaves to himself. He’s been off and on for weeks, but his opponents have yet to contest him. As a result, he showed the most growth in a PPP poll of the race (he gained 9 points, bringing him to 12 percent; Rohrer leads at 16 percent). Finally, he won an endorsement from businessman and two-time GOP prez hopeful Steve Forbes.

Pa. Leadership Conference. All of a sudden, Pa’s GOP presidential primary matters. And presidential campaigns are tuning in just in time for the March 23/24 event. Rick Santorum confirmed a speaking slot for Saturday, and the other campaigns are likely to follow soon.

General Assembly Republicans. Not only will Republicans in the General Assembly claim that their expansion of Keystone Opportunity Zones led Shell to pick Pa. for its site selection but, they also showed muscle behind their majorities in the state House and state Senate by getting the Voter ID bill passed. Democrats will use the bill as a rallying cry, but the passage of Voter ID is a reminder that elections have consequences.

March 16th, 2012 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 1 Comment

One thought on “3/16 Ups & Downs”

  1. What’s Rick Santorum got to do with PA politics? He lives in Virginia.

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