3/15 Ups & Downs

Will officials please, please, stop using taxpayer money to reward cronies? Sheesh, you’d think they’d have gotten the picture by now.

Down ArrowToxic Turnpike. The shit finally hit the fan for the crew that managed the nation’s first limited access highway. Attorney General Kathleen Kane indicted 8, including former Sen. Bob Mellow, on charges of corruption and bid-rigging to benefit political patrons. It’s the latest scandal in state government in which prominent politicos (allegedly) bilked taxpayers to their own advantage. Is PA officially the most corrupt state in the country yet?

Down ArrowUFCW 1776. Of course the union representing state liquor store employees is going to oppose and protest the privatization of that system. But the merits of the pro-labor argument weren’t on display this week when the union and its leader, Wendell Young IV, shouted down speakers at an otherwise low-key press event by business groups in the Capitol rotunda. (Young is the heckler in the video here). Instead, the labor group painted a ready-made picture of mild-mannered technocrats versus bullying opponents.

Down ArrowTom Corbett. We don’t like to get repetitive with the Ups and Downs. But two polls came out this week showing the Governor in really, really tough position heading into the 2014 cycle. By a margin of 53% to 35%, voters told Quinnipiac they don’t think he deserves re-election. A Public Policy Polling survey showed him behind every single Democratic candidate they tested. The crosstabs and details offered little silver lining for the Guv. “Now is time to hit the panic button,” said one GOP operative.

Up ArrowTim Murphy & Western Pa. Pols. For months and years, the expansive 911th Airlift Wing base of the Air Force Reserve has been inches from the chopping block. The base, and its 1,600+ jobs, received a reprieve this week after heavy lobbying by Congressman Murphy, the rest of PA’s delegation in DC, and local officials.

Down ArrowPhiladelphia. The reputation of the City of Brotherly Love isn’t exactly growing by leaps and bounds this week. After years of working with no contracts, unions representing city workers are taking a stand now. They shouted down Mayor Michael Nutter during his budget address this week, protesting his demands for tough concessions. Many are wondering if the city can ever clean up its fiscal mess.

Up ArrowThis.

Tweet of the week: Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Delaware).

The Congressman had this response to a New Republic article listing him and Rep. Mike Kelly among “D.C.’s most indistinguishable politicians.”


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