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12/5 Ups & Downs

Budget gaps, vanishing Democrats and federal investigations. See who made this week’s list!

Down ArrowTom Wolf. It was a week full of sobering news for Governor-Elect Tom Wolf. Gov. Corbett’s Budget Secretary said “we’ve hit the wall” in terms of budget cuts while simultaneously revealing the state is facing close to a $2 billion shortfall. Wolf called PA’s current situation unacceptable and has to a considerable extent attempted to illustrate that the problems should be laid at the feet of Governor Corbett and should not hang over the start of his Administration. The Gov-Elect even held a conference call with the press yesterday to emphasize these points. It will be extremely intriguing to watch in the next few months whether the new Governor will be able to control events or if he will be controlled by them.

Up Arrow1Southwest PA Republicans. It’s rare for us to give an arrow to a whole group of officials but this circumstance warrants it. This week we featured an excellent piece from Louis Jacobson that delved into the crumbling Democratic hegemony in Southwestern PA. The more conservative Democrats native to that area feel the national party has left them on cultural and even economic issues, leading to a Republican takeover. Considering these facts, Sen. Corman’s victory over Sen. Pileggi for Majority Leader may just a seminal moment in the shift of geographic power in the PA GOP.

Down ArrowChaka Fattah. 2014 has to have been one of the worst years of Congressman Fattah’s career, if not his life. First, his son was indicted for tax fraud. Then, his ex-Chief of Staff pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud. A few months later, the Daily News found $5.8 million in government funds had been funneled by Fattah to various associates. Now, the FBI is investigating a nonprofit Rep. Fattah earmarked $3.3 million for. It’s been such a terrible year that we’re asking our readers whether the Congressman will make it through another one in office.

Down ArrowKathleen Kane. Speaking of terrible years, there is the Attorney General. Given all the retrospectives that have been written about Kathleen Kane and her trajectory from PA’s newest star to the commonwealth’s most polarizing figure; we decided to ask our readers if they approve of her job performance. We found 62% of respondents disapprove of how she’s doing. While our survey is by no means scientific, it’s still not good news for the AG. 2015 could prove to be a make or break year for her.


Up Arrow1Joe Torsella. Torsella got a jump on the 2016 election cycle when it was revealed he is preparing a bid for State Treasurer. A number of PA power brokers are already behind him, as a recent invitation to a fundraiser revealed. Chief among them is former Chief of Staff to Governor Rendell and current Executive Vice President of Comcast David Cohen. With that kind of support, the former UN Representative is poised to move up in the world of politics.


The tweet of the week goes to Republican consultant Christopher Nicholas for commemorating the most shocking moment of the week: the Philadelphia 76ers picking up their first victory. Great job all, but remember to keep your eyes on the prize.

10 Responses

  1. Certainly Corbett and his budget director Zogby should get the down arrow for the $2 billion deficit.

  2. Wolf gets pointed down because of his shale tax, how about that one? Its a bad idea that seems to be in place of the obvious solution–find real programs, wasteful programs, and cut them. That is what cost savings is about; rather than piling on new taxes and hurting industry and employees

  3. Obama keeps blaming Bush and the Republicans day after day. Look what that got him in the midterm. Hopefully the Gov Elect will draw on his experience and not just start playing the blame game.

  4. IF I remember correctly, wasn’t Mr. Wolf Secretary of Revenue under the Rendell administration that left move than a 4 billion deficit for the incoming Corbett administration? Now welcome to the real world – the campaign rhetoric is over!


    In one of the more bizarre stories, an up arrow for Joe Watkins for NOT being ousted as Chester Upland School District Receiver after his own Education Department tried to get rid of him.

    What was Demaresq thinking? Watkins is a rock star in Republican circles. Punishing him for thinking outside the box because he wants to engage China?

    Talk it out, hug it out, then freaking work it out!!

    Just get the kids educated for crying out loud!!

  6. Gee, why a down arrow for Wolf? Maybe because he’d figuring out that the endless billions he promised to dump into some of the worst public schools in the country don’t exist, even were he able to pass his pie-in-the-sky extraction tax, personal income tax, etc.

  7. I look forward to Gov Elect Wolf to personally return the one billion dollars in state education funding back into the budget. Since he said Governor Corbett personally removed it….I am sure it will be the first act he personally does for the commonwealth.

  8. I fail to see how Tom Wolf gets the down arrow when it is Tom Corbett and the Republicans who passed the state budget who have placed the Commonwealth in such a dire situation. Wolf is inheriting a mess and we all fully were aware of this when he was elected. This is the reason who Corbett was the first incumbent governor is PA history to not be reelected. This down arrow should be for Tom Corbett and the Republicans in Harrisburg who, for the past four years, have driven our great state in to the ground.

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