8/16 Ups & Downs
Shakeup in the Governor’s office, a big announcement for Lt. Governor and more. Here are this week’s Ups & Downs.
Tom Corbett. From Chief of Staff, to legislative affairs, to communications, the Governor’s staff is right on the other side of a full scale shakeup. That’s good news for Corbett, because even his supporters were getting desperate to see signs of life from the admin. The problem? Not even top notch staff (and his new staff are, by all accounts, top notch) can save the Guv from himself. Or boneheaded ethics missteps, like failing to disclose the purchase of an out-of-state vacation home. And this doesn’t help.
Erin McClelland. She’s the Democrat hoping to unseat freshman Rep. Keith Rothfus. As of this week, the only Democrat. Former Rep. Mark Critz announced this week that he was planning to run for Lt. Governor instead. Now the Dems and donors who were waiting for Critz to decide might get off the fence. Downside for McClelland, a health care center proprietor? No more excuses when it comes to fundraising.
Keith Rothfus. His Dem opponent may have a clear path to the general election, but Rothfus remains in solid shape for re-election. National Dems (and donors) had one strategy to oust him in 2014: Mark Critz. With the former Rep. out, PA-12 is unlikely to attract the same type of national cash it did in 2012. And that’s saying something, because Rothfus has not voted like a man who ousted a sitting Democrat.
Greene County Dems. The Dems in this little southwestern county, surrounded by West Virginia almost as much as by Pa., got some unwanted attention this week when a photo appeared. It showed a flier, on their county fair booth, with Gov. Corbett’s head inside a target. Party leaders said they weren’t sure where it came from and wholly denounced it. But it was a bad week nonetheless.
Philly schools. Another week, another frustrating lack of tangible progress toward sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s biggest school district. A plan by Mayor Nutter to borrow $50 million is hitting roadblocks in the present because it could hurt the city’s credit rating and its pensioners in the future. And no one yet knows how the system will work for a single month, let alone an entire year. The New York Times ran a big piece on the crisis today.
Pat Vance and Brad Koplinski. The state Senator (R-Cumberland) and City Councilman (D), respectively, won a fine distinction this week. Harrisburg Magazine named each of them a “2013 Role Model of the Year” for their work in public service. Vance was named “Simply the Best” in the category, while Koplinski won “Reader’s Choice.”
Tweet of the week: Mike DeVanney. He coordinated Wednesday’s memorial service for the late Gov. Bill Scranton, and snapped this pic.
All living PA Governors at Governor Scranton’s memorial service today pic.twitter.com/BvIZslERPO
— Mike DeVanney (@mikedevanney) August 14, 2013