9/27 Ups & Downs
Lawmakers are back in session in Harrisburg and DC; hilarity ensues. Plus some Good sports news for PA and the Dem primary for PA-Gov make this week’s list.
PA House Dems. Gov. Corbett sounded silly in June when he blamed Democrats for the failure of House Republicans to pass a transportation bill. This week GOP Leader Mike Turzai caved. He agreed to schedule a vote on the Senate’s bipartisan, $2.5B transportation bill. But there’s word that the House Dems might oppose it. Huh? In part because it would hand a win to Corbett, and they think they could get more from a Democratic Guv in 2 years. In part because they weren’t included in negotiations. Wah wah wah, that’s what being in the minority means. Unless the bill gets gutted by GOP amendments, Democrats should vote for it. It is literally the highest amount that they are going to get on mass transit et al. And if they don’t, they will completely validate Corbett’s charge that they’re playing politics.
Pittsburgh Pirates. For the first time in 2 decades, the Pittsburgh Pirates are playoff bound. Who can blame Gov. Corbett for skipping GOP state committee to take in a game? Hopefully it will turn out to be more than a one-game wild card in Cincinnati.
Old judges. For a few years, some Pa. judges have sought to get rid of the state’s mandatory retirement age, which is 70. They have some good points (other offices don’t have the same limits, semi-retired 70+ judges do a lot of work that is crucial for the justice system to work, etc). But this week a federal judge rejected their challenge, saying the limit is written into the state constitution and be changed only through normal channels.
Penn State. The Nittany Lions caught a little slack this week. The NCAA, citing PSU’s progress enacting post-Sandusky reforms, eased its sanctions by reinstating several athletic scholarships. Sure, it raises all sorts of questions about just how much of the NCAA’s due process is done on a whim, but in any case it’s good news for the school.
Josh Wander. Republicans already have a hard enough tough time winning office in Pittsburgh. It didn’t help their odds when Wander, the party’s nominee for Mayor, sold his home and moved to Israel for work. He claims he still has legal residency in the city. Bold strategy.
Rob McCord. The State Treasurer had been playing cute for months about his inevitable run for Governor. In the meantime, the only prospective Dem with a statewide election win under his belt lost his frontrunner status to Allyson Schwartz. This week he finally, definitively announced his bid in a solid rollout that helped reestablish him as a top candidate. Plus the Teamsters endorsed him.
— DennisRoddy (@Donnchadh) September 21, 2013