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5/6 Ups & Downs

Pat Meehan. Every elected official got a bump from the fantastic news that Osama bin Laden had finally been caught. But Rep. Meehan was ahead of the curve. He’s been looking at the possible threat from extremists in Pakistan for some time, and had already scheduled a hearing on the subject. The result? The week’s highest-profile hearing in Washington and great local press.
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Penn State Students. All of us were happy when we heard the news of bin Laden’s death, but the folks at University Park raised that jubilation up to an art. They made national news with scenes of spontaneous revelry that broke out in Beaver Canyon.
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$27.3 Billion. Corbett’s preferred maximum cap for the FY2012 budget gets a down because it will probably go up. Given news that PA revenues are $500 million greater than expected, and given the difficulty for legislators of standing by steep funding cuts to education, it’s hard to imagine that $27.3 bil will be the final figure.
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Valerie McDonald Roberts. The former Pittsburgh councilwoman and current candidate for Allegheny County Controller had a banner week. First, she picked up the public endorsement of County Controller Dan Onorato. Even better, she earned the endorsement of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It’s the kind of momentum she’ll need if she hopes to win votes outside of her base in the city.

Liquor Control Board. The comedy of errors over the wine kiosks continues this week, the the LCB announcing that it will add hard liquor to the vending machines because to date, they haven’t been profitable enough. It’s the latest in a string of bad press for the agency.
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Mike Turzai. When the GOP Leader of the PA House isn’t busy passing an ambitious conservative agenda, he’s receiving national awards for his legislative prowess. The Republican-leaning National Federation of Independent Business announced this week that Turzai is their “Legislator of the Year.” PoliticsPA knows more than a few Democrats who wish he weren’t as effective.

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