Leach and Caltagirone both have sexual harassment allegations leveled against them, Wolf takes a strong stance, Inquirer reporters show their hard work and dedication, Toomey achieves a long term goal, and Senate Bill 3 creates divisions within each party. See who made this week’s Ups & Downs!
Daylin Leach. State Senator Daylin Leach was accused this week of inappropriate touching, sexual talk by former staffers, and was called on to resign his seat by Governor Wolf and others. Leach said he is “taking a step away” from his Congressional campaign, but has not made clear what that means, causing End Citizens United to publically withdraw its endorsement and ask for its money back
Tom Caltagirone. It was revealed this week that state House Democrats paid $248,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against state Rep. Tom Caltagirone. While Democrats have started to call for his resignation, Caltagirone has denied the accusations and said he will not resign his seat.
Tom Wolf. Governor Tom Wolf took the moral high ground this week by calling for the resignation of Leach and Caltagirone in light of misconduct allegations. No foot-dragging, no partisan equivocation, zero tolerance. With more bombshells reported to be in the offing, Wolf has the benefit of a clear position on an issue that promises to roil Harrisburg.
Pro-life Dems. Nine Democrats who voted in favor of a bill to increase abortion restrictions in Pennsylvania last session flipped to voting against a similar bill this year. State Reps. Tom Caltagirone, Dom Costa, Dan Deasy, John Galloway, Bill Kortz, Rob Matzie, Adam Ravenstahl, and Harry Readshaw voted for HB 1948 last session and against SB 3 this session. The flip in votes is a direct reflection of the shifting winds within the Democratic party, namely the rise of younger and increasingly active women.
Inquirer reporters. Philadelphia Inquirer reporters have taken the lead on putting in all the digging to report on sexual harassment claims in the state capitol. They have also decided to roll out the allegations against individual lawmakers one at a time giving more in depth coverage to each of the claims.
Pat Toomey. He has devoted his entire career to lowering taxes – the corporate tax rate most of all. He was at the table crafting the final package that passed this week. The bill has fierce critics, polls poorly and will put the entire enterprise of dynamic scoring to the test. Those challenges lie in the future. For now, few politicians get to experience such a moment of complete triumph.
Pro-choice Republicans. The party made it crystal clear with its push for a vote on SB3 that abortion will be a central issue in its 2018 campaign, including all the party’s candidates for Governor seizing on Wolf’s veto.
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The tweet of the week goes to former PoliticsPA Managing Editor and current Senate Democrats Press Secretary Brittany Crampsie for her observations about holiday vacations.