11/17 Ups & Downs

We all hope for a speedy recovery for former Governor Ridge, Saccone pulls an improbable win in the 18th Congressional district conferee process, redistricting reform gets a boost from the Supreme Court, Simmons’ missed votes become an issue, and more.  See who made this week’s Ups & Downs!


Tom Ridge.  Former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is recovering from a cardiac catheterization.  Everyone at PoliticsPA, and politicos across the state are sending their best for a speedy recovery.  

Down Arrow

Justin Simmons.  During his time in the legislature, state Rep. Justin Simmons reportedly missed over 500 votes.  This includes 498 legislative votes and 28 daily roll call votes since he entered office.  

Up-Arrow4-2 Rick Saccone.  State Rep. Rick Saccone won the GOP’s nomination for the 18th Congressional district’s special election in March.  Saccone beat out state Senator Kim Ward’s strong Westmoreland county support, and front-runner state Senator Guy Reschenthaler, with a network of grassroots support built over the years coming through.


Redistricting Reform.  The state Supreme Court ruled that the Commonwealth Court must rule on a gerrymandering case before the end of the year.  The ruling could lay the groundwork for the Congressional districts to be redrawn ahead of 2018.  

Down Arrow Lieutenant Governor.  The process that Pennsylvania uses to choose its Lieutenant Governor is coming under renewed scrutiny as legislation continues to be offered to allow Gubernatorial candidates to pick their own candidate continues to be introduced.  The move by Scott Wagner to name Jeff Bartos as his running mate before even caucus meetings are held, and Governor Wolf’s hands-off approach to his current Lieutenant Governor highlight the impracticality of the current system.

Down Arrow

Johnstown.  A recent Politico article about Johnstown a year after Trump’s election brought the city lots of bad attention across the country.  The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat’s editor ran a colorful editorial about the city afterwards that included the line “After reading the Politico piece, a Johnstown businessman told me we love to show our warts to the world.” – and many more gems.


Hellbender.  The Senate approved of Senate Bill 658, bringing the eastern hellbender one step closer to becoming the state’s official amphibian.  

Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down, that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers.  To sign up to see the bonus arrow click here.

The tweet of the week goes to former PoliticsPA managing editor Keegan Gibson for his tip on how to stage a debate against a giant.

4 Responses

  1. What, no down arrow for admitted sexual abuser and accused pedophile Trump daring to tweet about Al Franken for stupid prank with an adult woman that was no where near what Trump bragged about?

    1. Absolutely. We heard an audio and saw the video of an Access Hollywood interview where Trump, on a work day, was bragging about forcefully coming on any woman he wanted, and his wife was 9 months pregnant at the time. He was descriptive, and claimed he did it because he was a star.
      Secondly, he interviewed multiple times on Howard Stern’s radio program and bragged he purposely walked into dressing rooms of Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe, and said he did it to see them undressed. Teens? His daughter Ivanka was on the Stern program and stated “he does that.” And these are easily retrieved online.
      People choose to delude themselves he’s innocent.
      How could anyone believe this man is innocent of charges from 16 women who accused him of actual assault, harassment, inappropriate touching, and abuse when he admitted it repeatedly.

  2. Without notice during last year’s primary election, Greensburg had a polling place somehow moved to the basement of the building so kids at the upstairs gym and swimming pool could have aquatic contests on the same day as voting. They organization didn’t bother to have their games on another day.

    The driveway to the basement was so steep a handicapped person in a wheelchair would not have had access. Nor would an elderly person be able to navigate it safely when walking. It was ridiculous. Greensburg is full of elderly adults. I’m not elderly and it was still difficult to get down that hill.

    I complained to election uppers and was told not that many people vote in the primary election anyway. That was the response.
    It was simply outrageous and a total affront to democracy.
    As if no one even cared. I never heard from one official as to my complaint, and I even went to Harrisburg about it.

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