6/15 Ups & Downs
See who had a good week, and who would like to take it back. Campaigns are heating up around the state. Plus, it’s been busy in Harrisburg, and it looks like one politico could use a stiff drink.
Don’t miss this week’s Smartest Staffers feature. Here are the top 10 in the Senate Dems, and the top 10 in the Senate GOP. Make sure you’re signed up for the Morning Buzz so you get the House lists next week before anyone else.
Mike Turzai. Privatizing the state’s liquor stores has long been the House Majority Leader’s pet cause. For a brief moment this week, when Gov. Corbett threw his weight behind the proposal, it looked like Republicans might finally break the logjam on the issue. But defections from the GOP, led by Rep. Scott Petri, stalled the effort. It’s set to come back on Monday, and momentum looks to be on the wane.
Michael Nutter. The Philadelphia Mayor has supported a per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in Philly in recent years, but has been thwarted. So he seemed like a good choice for the keynote address at the first National Soda Summit, where he defended New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban soda drinks over 16 ounces. The problem? Nutter had just come from the ribbon cutting at Philly’s newest Shake Shack, which Chris Lipczynski notes “offers a peanut butter shake that has around 870 calories, 60 grams of fat and 69 grams of sugar (a 12 oz. can of Coke has around 39 grams of sugar).”
Republicans. For months, the GOP has played second fiddle to the press operation of Democrats in the state. The Obama campaign and PA Dems had them out-staffed and out-gunned, and kept up a steady barrage of press events and statements. Now, thanks to new PA hires by the Romney campaign and the RNC, Republicans are catching up and getting aggressive.
Tom Corbett. The Governor has said repeatedly that he’s willing to make unpopular decisions. It looks like everyone is on the same page, because his approval rating continued to slide this week. Q-Pac’s latest poll shows him with his worst numbers yet. On top of that, his team is about two weeks late in pushing this ethan cracker plant tax credit, and are now playing defense. And then there’s this. His plans to shuffle his former COS into a judgeship is hitting the rocks, giving critics a free whack at the Guv and creating another PR problem.
Tom Fitzgerald. The Inquirer’s political scribe earned props this week in an analysis by journalism watchdog group 4th estate. The group looked at the gender gap in political coverage, and rated how frequently the nation’s top reporters of the subject use sources who are female. Fitzgerald ranked second-highest in the country.
Tweet of the week: State Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) mourns the liquor privatization effort:
RIP Wisconsin-Effect. Born 6/5/2012 in Wisconsin, died 6/12/2012 in Pennsylvania.
— Rep. Stephen Bloom (@RepBloom) June 12, 2012