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10/4 Ups & Downs

A big gaffe from the Guv, a few all stars in Harrisburg, and government shutdown hijinks! See who made this week’s list.

Down ArrowTom Corbett. The Governor committed a gaffe Friday morning that will be with him for the rest of his tenure: he compared same-sex marriage to incest. Watch the video; the reporter’s reaction is priceless. He later clarified, saying he made a clunky analogy about gay couples’ legal status… while criticizing his lawyer’s clunky analogy about gay couples’ legal status. A GOP operative told me 2014 was beginning to feel like 2006. I said maybe, but noted that so far 2014 lacked a Santorum-style “man on dog” moment. Oops. Oh, and a GOP pollster found him with 58% to 33% job disapproval.

Down ArrowMark Critz. Speaking of unforced errors about comparing same-sex relationships to incest, the former Congressman and Lt. Governor hopeful had a rough week. First, a bad joke Critz made in 2012 caught up with him last weekend at Democratic State Committee. (The joke involved a married couple being robbed and sexually assaulted, and the punchline was that the perpetrator was gay). He was confronted at a caucus meeting and left abruptly. The story only grew after PoliticsPA first reported it. The Patriot News followed up with even more awkward details, including that Critz – speaking to an openly gay party leader – compared same-sex marriage to a relationship between two family members. That’s not going to help in a statewide Democratic primary.

Up ArrowCapitol All Stars. This week, lawmakers from both parties gathered for a charity softball game hosted by PCN and PLS. Proceeds went to fight hunger via Hunger Free Pa. and Feeding Pa. It was a hoot to watch. The Western Pa. team romped to a 8-1 win (recap here). But more fun were the two plays of the game: state Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) bulldozed state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) to make it safe to first; and state Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) sent Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) back to the dugout with a diving catch. Watch them here.

Down ArrowMatt Cartwright. The Representative from NEPA did not exactly boost the prestige of the Congress this week when his Twitter account launched an extended campaign to call out a group of critics and constituents. “Hey Troll,” he fired at about a dozen people.
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Up ArrowBill Shuster. The GOP Congressman woke up Thursday morning to a poll that shows him with a dominant lead over two prospective primary opponents. He leads the three-man field by 52%. It doesn’t mean he won’t have a race, but it does mean his biggest opponent – Art Halvorson – will have a harder time raising money and generating national support.

Up ArrowCharlie Dent. The Lehigh Valley Republican is the man of the hour in the national news circuit. He was the first Congressman to loudly call on the party to cancel the government shutdown and abandon efforts to defund or delay Obamacare. So far, while several of his eastern PA colleagues say they support a clean CR, he’s the only one who’s bucked the party in a vote. He also pitched a high-profile, bipartisan compromise.

Tweet of the week: Brandon McGinley of the PA Family Institute offered his take on the Critz story.

6 Responses

  1. Why does the Corbett-Brabender Administration have so much love for CORPORATE WELFARE QUEENS like Vahan Gureghian and K 12 INC, while not showing the love to PA’s working poor or sweating blood to create jobs for our unemployed? How long will PA citizens accept their Governor’s Mansion to be in Loudon County, Virginia?

  2. Dear Ms. Casey Long: Wouldn’t the best way to reform Charter School funding in PA today would be for the Republican Senate to demand the resignation of Charles Zogby, the K-12 INc IMBED and the Cyber Charter School industry’s pimp for their continued corporate welfare? http://trib.me/15TaAJZ

  3. Yom Kippur is past: but here are a few apologies that Govenor Corbett needs to make: 1. Apologize to Former Ed Secretary Harner and Rep. Daryl Metcalfe for the hit jobs that his political assassinaiton teams have unleashed on these 2 Republicans. 2. Apologize to Parents of Students in Public Education for the unprecedented move of having Charles Zogby serve both as Budget Secretary and as Shadow Education Secretary. 3. Apologize to PA taxpayers for allowing Charles Zogby to pimp for Cyber Charter Corporate Welfare. 4. Apologize to Pennsylvania health insurance rate payers for not publicly disclosing the many conflicts that his team notably Gromis-Baker and Acting Governor John Brabender have with Health systems. 5. Apologize to counties not benefiting from Fracking for Corbett’s pledge never to obtain revenues for PA taxpayers from this economic generator. Isn’t this like Rendell vowing never to tax gaming?

  4. Bravo Mr.Colin McNickle: For calling out the weak state of the PA economy under Tom Corbett. Who is to blame? Well let’s say this: Zogby is interested in maintaining Corporate welfare to Cyber Charters not job growth infrastructure projects. Brabender and Gromis-Baker are too worried about taking care of their health system clients. Fracking is the one trick economic development pony for Corbett that Gaming was for the Rendell Administration. But the bottom line is the Brabender/Corbett team doesn’t care about job growth, they care about the growth of John Brabender’s net worth! Do you really think Brian Nutt cares about PA Jobs, when DADDY NUTT has the best state job in PA? http://trib.me/15TaF00

  5. Dear Vahan Gureghian: After this past week, the Price of Poker has gone up dramatically. Brabender and Zogby need $5.0 million to the Corbett Charter School Cabal intact! Come on Vahan: Give until hurts. DO IT FOR THE KIDS!
    Charter Sponsor Is Very Successful

    By dianeravitch

    October 29, 2012 //
    Vahan Gureghian runs a successful charter school called the Chester Community Charter School. The school is nonprofit, but Mr. Gureghian supplies its good and services through his for-profit company and collects millions of dollars as a management fee. Meanwhile the local Chester Upland public schools–whose funds pay for the students in the charter school–is in bankruptcy and under the control of a Governor-appointed “chief recovery officer.” Poor Chester Upland has been controlled by the state for most of the past decade, yet gets blamed for the fiscal insolvency that the state has deepened and may now use as an excuse to eliminate its public schools.

    The following is copied from the newsletter of the Keystone State Education Coalition, which sends out a daily newsletter with news from Pennsylvania:

    “Vahan Gureghian was Governor Corbett’s largest individual campaign donor at $384,000. His Charter School Management Company runs the Chester Community Charter School, Pennsylvania’s largest brick and mortar charter. Chester is one of Pennsylvania’s poorest urban school districts.

    Does the $28.9 million noted below represent taxpayer funds that were NOT spent in the classrooms of Chester Upland? We don’t know, because Mr. Gureghian has been fighting a Right-to-Know request for the past several years. A controversial provision that would have exempted him from the Right-to-Know law was removed from SB1115, the charter school bill that was defeated last Wednesday.

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