2/19 Ups & Downs
No Kane second term, Scalia causes Toomey trouble and a battle erupts between the Donald and the Pope. See who made this week’s list!
Kathleen Kane. The Attorney General finally had to face reality on Tuesday. Kane held a press conference and announced that she would not be running for re-election. The AG cited the familiar cast of villains to explain her decision as well as a desire to spend more time with her kids. Immediately, those candidates trying to become her successor sought to throw in their two cents. A few days later, Terry Madonna and Michael Young identified the four character traits that hampered her success. While the post-mortems continue, however, this saga is far from over as it now appears there could be some connection to the Rob McCord case. The past week has only been the latest chapter in this long-running drama.
Brian Fitzpatrick. The Fitzpatrick campaign continues to steamroll the competition in the GOP PA-8 primary. Their latest coup was earning “Young Gun” status from the NRCC, which cements Fitzpatrick as the front-runner after former favorite State Rep. Scott Petri was pushed out of the race. Finally, the DCCC went after Mike Fitzpatrick’s young brother when they heard the news, the best indicator of all that they expect to face him in November.
Pat Toomey. The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia put a number of Senators in a bind, specifically those seven Republicans seeking re-election this year in blue states. The GOP obviously doesn’t want the President to name a new Justice who will shift the balance of the Court, but that reasoning won’t work for candidates like Sen. Toomey. Initially, then, it made sense for Toomey to say (as many Republicans have) that the next President should get to decide so that the electorate will get a chance to weigh in. Yesterday, though, the Senator hurt himself by arguing against any confirmation hearings and seemingly admitting that this was about more than the candidate’s qualifications. His assertion that an 11-month vacancy on the Court would not be “that big a deal” was a gaffe that his opponents are already capitalizing on and one that they will likely bring up innumerable times throughout the year.
Stephen Zappala. The Allegheny County DA’s chief opponent in the AG Democratic primary is Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro. In order to prevail, Zappala must prevent an east/west divide from emerging as he’ll be on the side with less Democrats. Therefore, the endorsement of Philadelphia’s own Mike Stack was an important victory for the campaign. Furthermore, the Lieutenant Governor is Zappala’s highest ranking supporter and helps even the scales with Shapiro, who has the backing of former Gov. Rendell and is also a close ally of Governor Wolf’s.
Donald Trump. Evangelicals have been a critical Republican constituency since at least 1980. Donald Trump, however, has proven he doesn’t much care for the traditional rules and norms of politics. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a Pennsylvania religious group has some serious concerns about The Donald. When he refused to meet with them, they posted a blistering open letter to the candidate, questioning his bona fides. This was all before Trump found himself in a feud with none other than His Holiness Pope Francis yesterday. It’s in Trump’s interest to sincerely try to bridge this divide but he does not come across as the most humble of people.
It’s not often that a tweet generates its own story but this entry was so good that we couldn’t resist. The Philadelphia Police Department is quickly becoming the MVP of this feature.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) February 18, 2016