A withdrawal, a Senate sit-down and our long budget nightmare is over. See who made this week’s list!
Tom Wolf. This is the way the budget battle ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. After 267+ days, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania will finally have a budget. How? The Governor will refuse to sign or veto the latest legislation from the GOP legislature. He’ll simply allow it to become law. It’s likely the possibility of a veto override pushed him to take this action. The Governor and his team will try to spin this but there is no way around it. This is a painful loss for Tom Wolf. At the onset of his tenure, we quoted John Adams’ determination to “control events, not be controlled by them.” Whether his fault or not, Wolf has been controlled by events and he won’t succeed as a Governor if that continues.
Erin McClelland. Steve Larchuk was on a roll. He was leading the money race, had aired his first TV ad and secured some big union endorsements. Yet in the span of a week, he went from calling for his PA-12 Democratic primary opponent Erin McClelland to drop out to withdrawing himself. All of a sudden, McClelland now has the rematch with Rep. Rothfus she’s always wanted.
Seth Williams. On Tuesday, Philadelphia Magazine reported that a Deputy DA was possibly demoted for recommending that Williams prosecute John Dougherty and fire Frank Fina. So far, these moves were only damaging to Williams’ political career. If he was punishing employees for merely disagreeing with him, though, Philly’s DA could be in some serious trouble.
Merrick Garland. The President’s Supreme Court nominee had an unexpectedly good week. First, he had a productive get-together with Senator Bob Casey. His biggest victory, though, was getting Senator Pat Toomey to agree to meet with him. Sure, the junior Senator says he still won’t vote for him but a formal sit-down also previously looked unlikely. Perhaps Judge Garland can successfully pitch himself after all, at the very least he’ll get the chance.
Kevin Dougherty. Over the weekend, we heard the sad news that Justice Dougherty was attacked and being treated for a concussion. A few days later, we found out he is fine and will return to work soon. We’d just like to give him our best wishes and say we look forward to seeing him back on the Court.
The tweet of the week goes to this instantly historic shot of Air Force One as it is about to land in Cuba. This will be a part of those “Greatest Photos of the 21st century” books, Facebook pages, or whatever else we’re using in 2100.
— Jason Calabretta (@JasonCalabretta) March 20, 2016