A presidential visit gets the state in a tizzy, while internal polls get the political chatter going big time. Here are this week’s Ups & Downs.
Allyson Schwartz. The abortion issue is as big a challenge for Schwartz among Democrats as it is in a general. Maybe bigger. Why? Because Dems fear the fact that she ran a clinic that provided abortions will fuel huge general election problems. How to handle the issue led to internal staff dissent on her staff, according to rumors. This week marked a paradigm shift. Schwartz’s campaign faced that messaging challenge head on with an internal poll release about it. Sure, the poll question barely approximated anything like what a general election would be. But it gives them a quick answer to on-the-fence primary voters.
Mike Fitzpatrick. The Bucks County Republican knows the explosive power of town hall meetings because, well, he used them as part of his strategy to get elected to Congress in 2010. He learned that lesson well, because he has systematically avoided town halls where he doesn’t have near-total control. In his defense, since PA-8 is a swing district groups from Warminster to Washington want to set up protests as a tactic. In his not defense, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Marty Flynn. The Democratic state Rep. got to use his unique skill set this week – he’s a former boxer and former correctional officer – when he took down a prowler in West Scranton. He helped arrest an apparently intoxicated man peeking into a window in a residential neighborhood. “It was so late. I knew the guy was up to no good,” Mr. Flynn said of Mark Zvolensky, 28. “It’s not like he’s picking daisies at 11:30 at night on Dorothy Street.”
Frank Farina. Along with Flynn Farina is the second freshman state Rep. from the Scranton area to make this week’s list. That’s because Farina got a leg up this week on the third freshman state: Rep., Kevin Haggerty. Thanks to redistricting, the two will likely face each other in a member-vs-member primary next year. And Haggerty didn’t make too many Democratic friends this week with his tirade against President Obama. Worse? He dissed NBC’s ‘The Office,’ which was set in Scranton. Farina said he welcomes Obama to the region.
PA Infrastructure. After years of bearing the weight of legislative inaction, 1,000 Pa. bridges caught a break this week when PennDOT enacted new weight restrictions across the state. Good for Sec. Barry Schoch making good on his longstanding warning, but bummer for Pa. drivers and commerce.
Was a time in Pgh you’d roll up your car window and switch on the AC to avoid rotten smells. Now people wait in line at Phipps for them.
— Chris Potter (@CPotterPgh) August 21, 2013
Facebook post of the week: State Rep. Kevin Haggerty (D-Lackawanna), no contest.