8/9 Ups & Downs
Thank God it’s Friday, politicos. It’s been a rough week. See who made the list!
Philly schools. The deficit facing the public schools remains huge with just a month to go before school resumes. Make that ‘if’ it resumes. Superintendent William Hite this week said the district was so strapped and understaffed that he couldn’t responsibly open schools for students. It adds gasoline to the fire, yet still the state, city, and teachers’ union have not come notably closer to a solution. 136,000 students would be affected.
PA College Dems. This week was the national meeting of the College Democrats of America, and the Keystone state Dems won the prestigious distinction of “State Federation of the Year.” It’s the organization’s top award and covered the 2012-2013 school year.
Shrinking the legislature. Speaker Sam Smith is once again pursuing a measure to reduce the number of members in the State House (from 203 down to 153). This time he wants to shrink the Senate, too (from 50 to 38). At first blush, it feels like a populist, small-government, cost-saving measure. The problem? It doesn’t address the real cost-drivers of the legislature. Want to make state government cheaper? Toss out the pensions, per diems without receipts, and other lawmaker perks.
Art Halvorson. The conservative challenger to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) had a good week. He started off giving a speech to national anti-establishment leaders at the RedState conference in New Orleans. Good way to gain exposure. And he ended by winning a spot on Politico’s list of top 5 primaries to watch in the country.
Eric Papenfuse. The Democratic nominee for Harrisburg mayor was given a clear path to the office this week. His primary opponent Dan Miller, who had won the Republican write-in vote, announced he would not pursue a bid. But that was so Monday. Today, Miller announced that he would re-file and resume the race as the Republican candidate. A spox said it was in response to the independent candidates’ ballot spots being challenged.
Only in Fumo World does a 137-count conviction end in a halfway mansion #Philadelphia
— William Bender (@wbender99) August 8, 2013
Runner up tweet of the week: Sean Connolly.
— Sean Connolly (@SeanConn_PA) August 8, 2013