8/23 Ups & Downs

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.

Up ArrowAllyson 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.

Down ArrowMike 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.

Up ArrowMarty 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.”

Up ArrowFrank 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.

Down ArrowPA 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.

Tweet of the week: Chris Potter. The Pittsburgh City Paper’s editor celebrated the big stink.”

Facebook post of the week: State Rep. Kevin Haggerty (D-Lackawanna), no contest.

Haggerty Facebook

August 23rd, 2013 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 12 Comments

12 thoughts on “8/23 Ups & Downs”

  1. Ugh!! and Last Straw says:

    David,
    Again, YES abortion is an issue. YES, SW Democrats are more conservative and are what I called Bob Casey-Democrats, HOWEVER this is becoming more and more irrelevant since the percentage of actual voters coming out of the SW is declining and at some point in the near future will no longer tip the balance of power.
    In your own example, Westmoreland county had a total of 124,000 in the 2010 Senate General Election. In contrast, Montgomery County had 237,000 votes in the same race.
    The POINT: SWPA’s population is declining while the SEPA is rising. Pittsburgh’s population went down 8% in 2010 over 2000. This trend has been happening in Pittsburgh since the 1960 census, when the population was 604,000… forward to 2010 when it is 305,000. SWPA is a rust belt in time. Philadelphia increased their population from 2000-2010, granted by only a mere .6%.
    Montco grew 6% in the 2010 census compared to Westmoreland’s population losing 1.5% in the 2010 census.
    Again, it’s only a matter of time until SWPA becomes less and less relevant. Eventually PA’s “purple-ness” will be gone and this will be a blue-state. What’s key here, is for Dems to hold the Governorship during the next redistricting. Many may disagree, bc of the traditional back and forth, however PA has finally reached the cusp. At some point, like it or not, statewide elections in PA will be determined SOLEY by turnout in SEPA, Lehigh Valley and the Philly Burbs, which interestingly enough the “Philly Burbs” region can not be extended to other growing areas, Berks, Lancaster, Chester counties.

  2. David Diano says:

    Ugh and Last Straw-

    1) Rendell won against a black candidate in the SW. He could have performed an abortion on live TV and beat a black candidate in SW PA.

    2) Arlen Specter won against pro-choice Democrats.

    3) Sestak got slaughtered 61% to 39% in Westmoreland (despite Westmoreland having more than 10% Dem registration advantage) . He wasn’t much of a pro-choice advocate, and abortion wasn’t really an issue in the campaign.

    4) One of the reasons Casey beat Santorum was that he neutralized Rick with the one-issue pro-life voters who couldn’t think of a second reason to vote for Rick.

    It’s tough for a pro-choice candidate to win statewide unless there is huge Philly turnout, or unless it doesn’t come up as a campaign issue. I do think it will cost Schwartz about 10 points, but since Corbett should lose to a head of lettuce by 20 points, Schwartz should be able to beat him.

  3. Ugh and Last Straw says:

    Jack, I did not say it wouldn’t be an issue, however I disagree with PoliticsPA’s insistence that it’s the single most important and deciding issue of the campaign or even the Schwartz campaign. If political mongers like PoliticsPA want to make it the deciding issue, like they have been trying to do, that’s one thing, but frankly it’s not. Schwartz is a Democrat and she’s pro-choice. Ed Rendell won in the SW, Arlen Specter performed well there as a Pro-Choice Republican, Joe Sestak nearly won as a Pro-Choice candidate in a difficult year for Dems and need I remind you that PA has elected a Dem president since ’88.
    I agree, that the SW has Bob Casey-style Democrats and historically may have helped tipped the balance of power (i.e. 2010), however I think the relevance of the SW vote is declining every election year with the emergence of a greater Dem population in the Philly Burbs, extending all the way to Harrisburg. I am personally pro-life and an Independent. What I don’t appreciate is a political site claiming to report political news and analysis attempting to create a tone to the campaign. I’ve meet Mrs. Schwartz at a meet and greet and she did address the abortion issue. I think this election should be about creating jobs for Pennsylvania and I wish PoliticsPA would stop feeding into divisive politics.

  4. Jackb1977 says:

    Ugh and Last Straw,

    Give the staff/interns at PoliticsPA a break. They have little resources, but in my opinion they do a good job reporting on the political issues across this diverse and large commonwealth. Do they get it right all the times, of course not. But they report on the issues with little political bias.

    I do have to question your political intelligence when you state that abortion won’t be an issue in the Gov race. It always is a huge issue, especially in SWPA. I’m not saying it will sink Cong. Schwartz, but she needs to address it and be convincing when talking to the media and voters. The democratic nominee will win or lose the 2014 race in SWPA.

  5. PAINDY1 says:

    LIKE HANSEL AND GRETEL, I’VE LEFT PLENTY OF BREAD CRUMBS! .1. Is John Brabender the producer of the Highmark ads? This is significant. As we all know Health and Insurance is a very regulated industry. 2. What role has John Brabender played in the Corbett reign, both as Governor and AG? What role did Brabender play as poltical advisor in the Sandusky case? We all know that Rove played a critical role for W, but there is a difference. When W was Governor of Texas, Rove was a Texan. Brabender lives in the richest county in the US. What is the Dark Prince’s interest in PA, its citizens, or the future of the Keystone state. Not much, in my opinion other then the next check with Brabender’s name on it. 3. Does Gromis-Baker have the independence to be COS and a good steward for the interests of PA taxpayers? I suggest she should clean out her office this weekend. Are the issues, that I mention acceptable in the Harrisburg after Bonusgate? She would applaud John Brabender for his over-bearing influence on the weak leader of this Administration? Should we give him a medal at the PA Society for his rumored attack ad contract with Highmark? http://triblive.com/business/headlines/4576075-74/upmc-highmark-health#axz
    z2cmrefiFr

  6. Ugh and Last Straw says:

    I wonder if the next PoliticsPA poll is going to be… How is the best PB&J made?
    Half PB and Half Jelly or 60% PB to 40% Jelly

    That would actually be a much more interesting poll than Hey folks we have no idea what we’re talking about, we’re not actually political junkies, but we think we can run a political site, so what the heck, here’s a question for you… Do you think Kathleen Kane is going to run for Governor even though no relevant source has even hinted that she is considering it?!?! Oink oink.

  7. Ugh and Last Straw says:

    PoliticsPA could learn a lot from PolitickerNJ which actually breaks news.

  8. Ugh and Last Straw says:

    Yeah, sorry, the second post was from my iPhone, I didn’t feel like typing out Last Straw so I wrote Ugh, both of which are accurate.
    PoliticsPA viewers, if you are seeking actual PA NEWS and ANALYSIS turn to POLITICO, Keystone Politics, The Hill, Political Wire.
    PoliticsPA doesn’t actual break news, they just report days old news. I’ve seen the “bloggers” they have sent to Democratic State Committee. They sit in a corner and no one talks with them. Like, the last blogger who was at Dem. State Committee in Lancaster in June reported on here there was no gubernatorial frontrunner, are you kidding? The place was packed full of Schwartz volunteers. There were only 4 McCord volunteers there. NONE OF THAT “REPORTED.”
    AGAIN, PoliticsPA reported Corbett’s failing to report South Carolina house, DAYS after the story broke.

  9. To Ugh! and Last Straw,

    Thank you both for your input, from identical IP addresses.

  10. Radio GaGa says:

    The first two comments were from a disgruntled Rob McCord who is becoming as relevant as Barbara Hafer.

  11. Ugh! says:

    All politicsPA does is report days old stories (ie Corbett not reporting vacation home.)
    This site has no insight and doesn’t ever provide breaking news. Where’s the story on Scwartz new comm director, why did her team get a new logo?… Nope, politics pa would rather ask you to respond to a meaningless poll.

  12. Last Straw says:

    This is the last straw.
    PoliticsPA is officially no longer a relevant source for political analysis. You’re entire paragraph on Allyson Schwartz: Back it up. It’s not sourced, it’s merely speculation at best. Abortion is going to be a big issue in the general? Says who? PoliticsPA you don’t get to create news, you’re suppose to report and analysis it.
    PoliticsPA “Polls” have become utterly pathetic (i.e. Will Kane Run for Governor… Really? What do you think.)
    PoliticsPA IS NOT A COMPELLING SOURCE FOR PENNSYLVANIA POLITICAL ANALYSIS. It’s a bunch of techie bloggers that try to create something compelling, but fail.

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