January 18th Ups & Downs
The Governor was sworn-in for a second term this week, the FBI raids the Scranton Mayor’s home and Scranton City Hall, and a Pennsylvania Congressman announces his resignation. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Tom Wolf and John Fetterman. Gov. Tom Wolf was sworn-in for a second term this week and struck an upbeat, bipartisan tone during his inaugural address. His new #2 man was also sworn-in as Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday morning, also echoing the sentiments of bipartisanship. Wolf has four more years to cement his legacy as Pennsylvania Governor, while Fetterman’s introduction into statewide office has just officially begun this week.
Bill Courtright. It’s never a good week when the FBI raids City Hall and your house and that just happened to the Mayor of Scranton. The Democrat serving in his second term had his house raided last Wednesday and squashed rumors that he was considering resigning, the Scranton Times-Tribune reports. WNEP reports that Courtright has denied any wrongdoing through his attorney, Paul Walker.
Rick Loughery. From the youngest elected county official in the state, to chair of the county party. Loughery was unanimously selected this week to succeed Val DiGiorgio as the Chester County Republican Chair, according to the Daily Local News. Loughery has served as the recorder of deeds in Chester County since 2012 and as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Young Republicans, serving as their Chief Executive Officer and spokesman since 2017. He steps into the role as the Democratic Party is picking up momentum in this suburb of Philadelphia.
Daylin Leach. A back and forth with a colleague and making your Twitter account private has left progressives with more ammunition against the Democratic state Senator from Delaware County. After state Sen. Maria Collett tweeted out her role as the Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth for the upcoming session, Leach tweeted her replying, “Well, I’m very old. But I look very young. So you’ll be serving me in everything you do.” This response resulted in pushback from a significant amount of people, including fellow Democratic state Sen. Katie Muth who shot back under the response tweeting, “Maybe he should’ve been the chair of the technology and communications instead of judiciary??? #JustSayin #Accountability”
PA-12 Young Republicans. A chance to represent a Congressional District that voted for President Trump by over 35 points doesn’t happen often, but will soon be the case for the GOP friendly 12th Congressional District. Yesterday, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) announced he is resigning from Congress to take a position in the private sector where he can use both his “legal and business experience to create jobs around the nation.” Marino just started his fifth term after coasting to another re-election bid in November. Marino drew primary fights before redistricting and had a number of potential candidates line up in 2017, when he was expected to take over as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, but was never confirmed to the position after a Washington Post/60 Minutes report detailing his role pushing a bill that “undermined” the DEA. It is unclear who specifically will seek this seat and how many candidates will throw their hat in the ring, but one certainty is that an opportunity like this for an up-and-coming Republican doesn’t happen very often.
Philly Mayoral Interns. The days of being unpaid are almost over. According to KYW Newsradio, Mayor Jim Kenney’s administrations is now taking applications until Feb. 1 for their summer internship program, which will be their first group of interns to be paid. The pay is $3,000 for ten 25-hour weeks from June to mid-August and ultimately amounts to $150,000 in the city budget.
Pittsburgh Gun Control Advocates. Pittsburgh City Council’s legislation on gun reform would be unconstitutional according to Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala. WESA reports that Zappala said in a letter to City Councilman Corey O’Connor that he understands their efforts to curtail gun violence, but believes the proposed legislation would be unconstitutional. The Democratic D.A.’s opinion does not guarantee the stoppage of the bill, but certainly causes a concern for the legislation.
Wally Scott. Two proposals that would have asked voters if they wanted to limit the Mayor’s firing powers were unsuccessful this week in Reading. According to the Reading Eagle, Mayor Wally Scott can claim a victory after City Council failed twice on a 4-2 override votes on limiting his firing powers.
Frank Burdell. The Political Director of the HDCC can for the time being claim the title of Interim Executive Director of the House Democratic Campaign Caucus. Burdell has two special elections, both slated for March 12 to prepare for in the time being. Both seats were previously occupied by Democrats.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
When I’m trying to find my old story on Conor Lamb’s campaign, and use too few search terms: pic.twitter.com/cknuLPeJTw
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) January 15, 2019