Saturday’s Pennsylvania Society festivities brought more rumors and epic stories from Friday night. Here’s the latest news from NYC.
1. The fight.
Late Friday or early Saturday, Pa. Society’s spirit of bipartisanship hit a snag in the crowded club at the W Hotel across the street from the Waldorf. Several labor union politicos from Philly and some Republican state committee operatives came to blows. Eyewitnesses says a union politico ripped a GOPer’s shirt in the club, prompting a shove which escalated into a full blown brawl. Bouncers had to break up the alcohol-fueled altercation.
2. Stack’s Gov bid
Yesterday we reported that Pa. Senator Mike Stack of northeast Philly is exploring a bid for Governor in 2014. On Saturday, we asked what he brings to the increasingly crowded Democratic field. He sounded less like “Mike Stack, candidate for Governor,” and more like “Mike Stack, maybe thinking about running for Governor.”
“It’s worthy of consideration – strong consideration – getting into the Governor’s race,” he said.
“There are other people, high profile folks who are looking at it. Allyson Schwartz is a friend of mine. Rob McCord is a friend of mine. I think I’m a formidable guy and if there comes a point when people start backing away, I think Democrats would be in big trouble. You need to have a front line guy such as me.”
But he’d avoid a contested primary in his area. “I would not want to have another strong southeastern candidate taking votes away.”
3. Toomey is a no go (duh).
In case there was any doubt, Sen. Pat Toomey definitively ruled out a primary challenge to Gov. Tom Corbett. The notion of a fratricidal 2014 showdown has been mentioned on some PoliticsPA message boards, so we asked Toomey Saturday. “Absolutely no way,” he said.
4. Castor is a no show.
After launching a big trial balloon – suggesting that he may primary Tom Corbett in 2014 – Republican Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor didn’t make an appearance at Pa. Society this weekend.
5. They’re in your head.
Apparently afraid of protesters, the Marcellus Shale Coalition had one of the most secure events of the weekend on Saturday night. It almost even escaped the PoliticsPA events master list. The “invitation required” policy is enforced in a fairly lax fashion by most Pa. Society event hosts, but not MSC. Attendees were required to present an individualized invitation with QR code as well as photo ID.
6. What will Mike Fleck do now?
Pennsylvania’s first openly gay legislator, Republican Mike Fleck of Huntingdon County, was warmly received at events all weekend. The question on the minds of gay rights advocates since Fleck came out two weeks ago has been, how loud a voice will he be on LGBT issues. Namely, they want a non-discrimination bill. “I’m looking at the issues as a gay man,” Fleck said supportively, but added that he wants to “let the news sink in” back in the district before making any legislative announcements.
7. No sour grapes for Sims
Fleck is pictured above with Brian Sims, the man who defeated Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Phila) to become the first openly gay person elected to the Pa. legislature. By coming out in November, Fleck beat Sims by just 2 months to be the state’s first openly gay legislator.
No hard feelings, says Sims. “I’ll give up the [personal] moral victory for ethical laws, easy,” he said.
8. Another Republican for Superior Court
Steve Toprani, the former Washington County District Attorney, is like to run for the seat of outgoing Judge John Musmanno. 2011 hopeful and attorney Vic Stabile is also a likely GOP candidate. On the Democratic side, Philly Judge Joe Waters is exploring a bid.