9/15 Ups & Downs
Pennsylvania remembers Rep. Dan McNeill, Freed gets nominated for U.S. Attorney, House Republicans show their ability to whip votes, Democrats in the 15th start to see an opportunity, Simmons has an up and down week, and semantics become the topic of discussion. See who made this week’s Ups & Downs!
Dan McNeill. State Rep. Dan McNeill passed away late last week, but his style and impact on the Lehigh Valley will be felt remembered for years to come. The thoughts and prayers of all of Pennsylvania and PoliticsPA are with his family.
Dave Freed. Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed was announced as President Trump’s pick to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The posting will help Freed who has also run for Attorney General if he looks for higher office after his term.
Bob Brady. Congressman Bob Brady is back in the headlines again as his former primary challenger is expected to admit to being paid by Brady’s campaign to end his challenge. The admission will likely fuel calls for the Brady to resign from either his seat, or Chairmanship of the Philadelphia Democratic Party.
House Republicans. The House GOP passed its version of the funding package for the state’s budget shortfall that contained none of the tax increases or expansions from the Senate’s plan, instead relying on budget transfers and borrowing. While it will continue the budget stalemate, it gives House Republicans the ability to say they were standing up for taxpayers going into the midterm elections next year. Most importantly from a negotiation standpoint, it shows they have the power to whip votes and mobilize the caucus.
PA-15 Democrats. Democrats in the 15th Congressional District got good news from election rating sources, three of which shifted the district from being a safe Republican seat to leaning Republican. The shift will feed Democrats hopes of retaking the House, which will likely go through Pennsylvania.
Semantics. Pennsylvania Republicans used the “impact fee” term as a shield from the Grover Norquists of the world, avoiding breaking their no tax pledge Governor Corbett and many legislators signed onto. Now that labeling it as such as become a liability instead of an asset, House Republicans have begun the process of renaming it a “severance tax.”
Justin Simmons. State Rep. and Congressional candidate Justin Simmons’ website and Twitter handle are both making the election about him versus Congressman Charlie Dent, including the call to action of “Help Justin defeat Dent.” Dent announced his retirement from the seat last week. However, his willingness to challenge Dent gives him automatic credibility with the MAGA voters in the 15th. That may be enough to win in a crowded primary field.
Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down, that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers. To sign up to see the bonus arrow click here.
The tweet of the week goes to former Toomey staffer Jeff Ditzler for his insight into the week robots have been having.
Between Bill Belichick losing by 30 points and Ted Cruz inadvertently liking a porn site, the past week has not been good for robots.
— Jeff Ditzler (@JeffDitzler) September 13, 2017