6/19 Ups & Downs

Drug cars, lost phones and airline tickets. See who made this week’s list!

Down ArrowKathleen Kane. It was another awful week for the Attorney General, although this time her office was the target rather than herself. It began with her Chief of Staff Jonathan Duecker, who’s already proven himself to be quite the distraction. Turns out Duecker’s car is a Mercedes that he recovered (and repaired at taxpayer’s expense) from a drug bust. The issue is that vehicles confiscated in drug raids are only supposed to be used in drug investigations. Just as that scandal started to bloom, though, we returned to the original leak case when the Montgomery County DA sent investigators to the AG’s office for the second time. The only thing we know for sure about Kathleen Kane is that we have no idea what will happen next.

Up ArrowJohn Rafferty. Speaking of the Attorney General’s office, State Sen. Rafferty finally made his quest for that office official. Rafferty’s move wasn’t much of a surprise, we reported he would jump into the race last week. He did manage to pull in a number of impressive endorsements, though, including the troopers, police and firefighters. Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati also threw his support behind his colleague. It will be long a race, and there are already plenty of other potential opponents, but Rafferty is already at the center of 2016’s most anticipated PA contest.

Down ArrowCharlie Dent. Pennsylvania’s Congressmen should learn to fear Politico. Last April, it was Rep. Shuster and his relationship with an airline lobbyist that was uncovered. On Wednesday the site revealed that David Jaindl, one of Rep. Dent’s biggest contributors, paid for the airline tickets that Congressman Dent and his wife used to visit Nantucket. Dent was able to get the House Ethics Committee to accept a “personal friendship” waiver, though, this must have been quite easy since he is the Chairman of said committee.* Despite how anyone might feel about his actions, the Congressman made an unforced error that’s filled with the stuff that negative campaign ads are made of.

Up Arrow1Erik Arneson. Most public officials wouldn’t have put up a fight. Erik Arneson isn’t most public officials. When Gov. Wolf first fired Arneson from his position as Executive Director of the Office of Open Records, it was hard to imagine Arneson ever prevailing. This battle still isn’t over, but Arneson won a big victory when the PA Commonwealth Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that he must be reinstated. The Governor is appealing but will allow Erik to stay on as this long process continues. They can take away his phone but they can never take away his job (at least for now).

Up Arrow1PA GOP. The state’s Republican Party scored quite a coup when they won the right to host this weekend’s Northeast Republican Leadership Conference (NRLC). The three-day event will bring some of the GOP’s biggest names to the Keystone State including Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Reince Priebus and Karl Rove. The conference will conclude with a keynote address from Wisconsin Governor and 2016 presidential contender Scott Walker (State Sen. Scott Wagner will be his warm-up act). You can view the NRLC’s complete schedule here.

The tweet of the week goes to Philadelphia’s Mayor-to-be Jim Kenney for expressing this sentiment.

*Congressman Dent was not Chairman of the committee when the trip took place in 2014. He became the Chair this year.

2 Responses

  1. Mayor-to-be? Well, unless Colin Powell suddenly wages a Republican write-in campaign, Kenney is the mayor-to-be, and Powell ain’t running, as far as we know. No shame here; just common sense.

  2. Sy, you should be ashamed of yourself. Kenney is not the “Mayor-to-be” at this stage.

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