10/30 Ups & Downs
It’s nearly Halloween and Judges are already looking over their shoulder. See who made this week’s list!
Kathleen Kane. Just when you thought this saga couldn’t get any stranger, we reached some new twists and turns. The week began with the revelation that the State Senate would create a special committee to recommend whether to remove the Attorney General and staffed it with six members (three from each party). As the week went on, though, we learned that there is a judge who believes Kane accessed his personal emails and another judge who thinks the AG’s office is having him followed. All the while, polls continue to show Pennsylvanians are tired of this circus. At this point, who knows how low this could go?
Hillary Clinton. The past month has been a rebound for the former Secretary of State after a brutal summer. It’s now evident that this surge is being felt in the Keystone State. A Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll showed that Hillary leads all the major GOP candidates such as Trump, Carson, Bush and Fiorina. Furthermore, the latest Franklin & Marshall poll has Hillary thirty-four points up over Bernie Sanders among Pennsylvania Democrats. Maybe those Scranton roots are paying off after all.
Tom Wolf. Halloween is right around the corner and the scariest reality is that we still don’t have a budget. Two separate polls show Governor Wolf’s approval ratings are taking a major hit as a result of the standoff. Furthermore the surveys show that while some of his proposals, like a severance tax, are popular others, such as an increase in sales and income taxes, are not. Additionally, Wolf’s long battle with Open Records Director Erik Arneson finally ended with a defeat. When you consider the strategic choices the Governor made in his first year so far, it’s hard not to conclude that he may have made some serious tactical errors.
Sinceré Harris. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is in a transition period. Last July, Jim Burn stepped down as Chairman and Montco native Marcel Groen was elected to replace him in September. Now, the party is getting a new Executive Director. Harris is a close ally of Governor Wolf’s serving on his campaign and inaugural committees. So while the legislature remains an enigma, the Gov is at last gaining control over his own party.
Michael George. One of the Republican nominees for the three open seats on the PA Supreme Court, George found himself in hot water over a case he took in 1988 and his subsequent comments on it in 1999. The Adams County Judge, who was then a defense attorney, sought to explain his defendant’s murderous actions as a response to the victims’ lesbianism. “We wanted to get the local folks talking more about the lesbianism than the murder,” George told the author of a book on the incident. In such a high-stakes race with so many candidates, this is the first real scandal to emerge during the fall election season. Whether it could have an effect on Tuesday’s results will be an intriguing subplot.
The tweet of the week goes to Congressman Joe Crowley of New York for this gem aimed at his colleague Bob Brady.
— Rep. Joe Crowley (@repjoecrowley) October 29, 2015