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5/4 Ups & Downs

The general election has begun, and some people are counting their wins from last Tuesday. Others, not so much. Here are this week’s Ups & Downs, including a bit more reaction from last week’s primary election.

And don’t miss our list of the Best & Worst Ads of the 2012 Primary.

Rob Kauffman. Bawk bawk. The 4-term state Rep. from Franklin Co. has (had?) a clear path to re-election in his safe R district, yet this week he rejected out of hand a debate challenge from Dem opponent Susan Spicka. Why? We say misguided political calculation. But you can read his lame answer for yourself right here (“I do not need a staged-political event” to talk to voters, he says). He’s already drawn rebuke from the Chambersburg newspaper ed board and a negative LTE or two. So, in his effort to play it safe, he’s actually given his opponent a bigger opening than she could have hoped. D’oh!

Tom Corbett. The Post-Gazette said it best: “Chalk up another win for Gov. Tom Corbett and his behind the scenes negotiating style with UPMC & Highmark over a feud affecting people across Western Pennsylvania. The low-key public style matched with hard work privately paid off two months ago in the governor’s role in getting Shell Oil to place its $1 billion chemical “cracker” plant in Monaca.” And, “Corbett was still key in getting a deal reached, as even the Senate’s top Democrat acknowledged.” Add that to the SEPA refinery sale, and you’ve got a good week.

Pat Toomey. The Senator slipped under our radar last week, but he’s had a noteworthy week. First, he was named the Chair of the Senate GOP Steering Committee, the group of Senators who directs policy positions for the conservative wing of the party. He’ll replace Sen. Jim DeMint (meaning perhaps Mitch McConnell deserves an “up” as well). But Toomey gets a down, too, since his $100K effort to boost ally Chris Reilly fell flat. Reilly lost his congressional bid to Scott Perry by a lot, despite a huge investment by Toomey’s PAC.

Tony Williams. The Democratic state Senator from West Philadelphia got involved in several state House races in the name of furthering the school vouchers movement and planting the seeds of future political alliances. He was ‘rewarded’ with a single victory – and that one wasn’t even attributable to him.  Not a good political investment for a guy considering a run for Mayor in a few years.

Legislative Boozing. It turns out, after an audit of the Pa. legislature, that there isn’t a rule prohibiting reimbursements on alcohol (nor limits on expensive food items, etc). But lawmakers sure aren’t doing themselves any favors when such issues are at the forefront of stories about the legislature’s $120 million budget surplus.

Tweet of the week, by Colby Itkowitz of the Morning Call:

2 Responses

  1. Kudos to Scott Perry for indirectly defeating the career politician bestowing a hundred thousand on his selected candidate.

  2. First item: Many times incumbents do much better when they give their opponents the mike. I suggested to one US Rep during the last cycle, his best campaign strategy may be to take his opponent on tour and just let him talk.

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