Budget preparation, big-money fundraisers and withdrawn nominations. See who made this week’s list!
Tom Wolf. The Governor is approaching his first big test in office, his initial budget address to the legislature. Therefore, it was important for Wolf’s team to control the narrative going into this big moment. Yet circumstances have caused things to swerve off-track. Gov. Wolf’s comments that the state’s economic problems are due to our low collective “self-esteem” and his appointment of John Dougherty to the PRPA board distracted from planned events like his Twitter townhall. Additionally, the leaks and preview of his budget proposals have already drawn Republican fire. Altogether, his “go big or go home” strategy is quite commendable yet extremely risky. The only silver lining is that next week will be even more important than this week.
Josh Shapiro. The Montgomery County Commissioner has been rumored to be circling a 2016 race for either Senate or Attorney General for quite some time now. The revelation that Shapiro raised half a million dollars from a single fundraiser is certain to add fuel to that fire. Considering as well that he held over a $1 million in the bank at the end of last year, Shapiro is in prime position to wait and see how the chips fall in 2015 and make his 2016 plans accordingly.
Thomas Kistler and Ken Gormley. Earlier this month, Thomas Kistler and Ken Gormley were preparing to join the State Supreme Court. Now, it looks as though the court will have two vacancies until the results of the November elections are in. First, it was revealed that Kistler had sent a racially inappropriate email. Then, it emerged that Gormley had faced an accusation of sexual harassment in the past. Kistler decided to withdraw from consideration and without a Republican to pair with the Democrat Gormley, Wolf abandoned any effort to fill the Court for the rest of 2015.
Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht. Last Sunday, the Democratic State Committee met in Hershey to decide which judicial candidates to endorse for the May primary elections. Due to the two-thirds threshold, however, the party was only able to garner enough support for two candidates for the three openings. Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht won those endorsements, giving them a leg up in the wide-open contest.
Martina White. The HD-170 special election has already provided plenty of intra-party intrigue. The biggest surprise of the race, however, occurred yesterday when Republican nominee Martina White announced the support of fifteen labor unions. Now that White has pulled off that coup, the pressure now transitions to first-time candidate Sarah Del Ricci to prove she can hold onto the seat for the Democrats.
The tweet of the week must go to Josh Shapiro, not because of the PoliticsPA plug but because of the embrace of the term “baller”.
@detansinn @PoliticsPA Never been called "baller" before but if its a good thing & makes me seem cool in the eyes of my kids, I'll take it!
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) February 26, 2015
Sad not all those unions said they were with Martina apparently there were some typos
Dan – Have you even read the Constitution? Or are you just whining like most of your ilk who think the Constitution probably says whatever you imagine, like how the Bible talks about feeding a man a fish or God helping those who help themselves?
Hopefully, Republicans will send a bill to Wolf that privatizes liquor stores like 48 other states because it is the right thing to do. And Wolf may sign it if it helps his budget.
Geez Lisa, glad to hear you’ve gone all soft and gooey for workers’ rights. Sounds like you’ve got a scoop. My understanding was that all employees at Parkhouse were transferred to the new owner and there were no layoffs — unlike what is planned for State Store workers who are not included in the Republican plans at all. Thanks for standing with labor, Lisa!
Interestingly, the new owners of Parkhouse filed for and were granted a tax abatement on the land because of the temporary (5 year) deed restriction the Commissioners granted at the time of the sale The going concern of the geriatric facility is the real tax generator.
So just so everyone is clear, MPD: when Democrats sell a business to adhere to the “core functions of County government,” that’s fiscal genius. But when the state tries to do it, they betraying state liquor store employees to whom something is apparently “owed.”.
Where were you when the county Parkhouse employees were getting sold out? Do we not “owe them” too?
It’s hard to be consistent when your argument is rooted only in partisanship.
Doesn’t much matter to me what you do with the stores – I agree it’s bad policy – but protect the employees as part of the deal. We owe them that.
Those poor, poor liquor store clerks! Bad policy needs to continue because we can’t put them out of their jobs.
Sold assets to patch a budget hole, Lisa? You mean like what the PA Repubs are working to do with State Stores? Of course, that’s only being done on the backs of the people working in those stores across the state, so I guess it’s different. And woe to your poor put-upon township, which can now add that business and land to its property tax rolls, already stuffed to the gills with pharmaceuticals, Wegmans, and corporate parks out the wazoo. Pardon me if I don’t shed too many tears.
Those who want to read more about the sale of Parkhouse should go to http://www.rememberparkhouse.org
Links to all documents and news articles are available here.
After a “six year absence” from your radar, it is so refreshing to see your irrational vitriol towards me has remained as fresh as ever, MPD. Maybe now you can start up your little blog again.
While you were out, in the past 18 months, the Shapiro Administration made the unprecedented move of selling 220 acres of county-owned open space to a private entity as part of the sale of Parkhouse, Montco’s home for the aged. The original buyers included a housing developer and a county employee after public assurances were repeatedly given by all three commissioners that the land would not be developed. The inclusion of these entities were only revealed after an audit of the sale by the County Controllers office and repeaated demands for open records by Upper Providence Township, private citizens and the local newspapers. Shapiro closed this sale behind closed doors, out of view of the public, despite public protests and without any input from Upper Providence whatsoever.
As a conservative, the reasoning for the privatization of the assisted living facility is not lost on me, but the inclusion of the 220 acres of open space in this sale has never been explained by Shapiro, Richards or Castor.
They sold assets to fill an operating budget hole. So please, do spare me your partisan cheerleading about the Shapiro administration’s fiscal prowess when they balanced the budget on the back of my Township.
After all of her right-wing outlets have dried up because nobody reads them, and since she got dropped from column-writing for the Norristown Times Herald six years ago, Lisa Mossie has been refreshingly invisible. So it is interesting to see her resurface here trying to trump-up some sort of hostility toward Josh Shapiro. It’s interesting that the Montco Repubs have chosen somebody with her muddied reputation to be their attack dog.
Obviously, and to set the record straight, Shapiro has done a tremendous job repairing all the damage that Republicans did to Montgomery County through the years. I can’t wait to reelect him and I wholeheartedly hope he decides to take a run at the Senate after that. Go Josh!
Is Bob Casey’s son still a Senator in Pennsylvania or is he in the witness protection program? Does he have a pulse? Since the President is running the country without benefit of following the Constitution I suppose Casey can take it easy for the rest of the Legislative session but that would not be a change.
If Shapiro plans to run for another office in 2016, he should sit out the 2015 election for Montgomery County Commissioner. Montgomery County deserves more than the never-ending parade of politicians who simply use the office as a stepping stone to get to the office they REALLY want. Shapiro’s administration has delivered short-term solutions to long-term problems in service to his reaching the next rung on the political ladder. Montgomery County will pay the price down the road, long after Mr. Shapiro has left us behind.
From the urban dictionary: A thug that has made it to the big time. Ha!