6/29 Ups & Downs

Mike Turzai. When PoliticsPA broke the news about the Majority Leader’s comments to GOP state committee — that Voter ID would enable Mitt Romney to win PA — we had no idea where it would end up. The news exploded, first on the liberal blogosphere and then on to cable news and finally to the Colbert Report. It threw off budget messaging and put him and his party on defense for days.

PA Sluggers. Thursday was the annual congressional baseball game (for charity), and though Dems dominated 18-5, PA’s delegation shone. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) hit an RBI double, Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) scored the Dems’ first run and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) managed the D team. Also on the field were Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne), Tim Holden (D-Schuylkill), Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) and Todd Platts (R-York).
Tom Smith. When a candidate kicks in a significant portion of his or her own money, it’s usually a ‘has to’ rather than a ‘wants to.’ That’s what the campaign of the wealthy former coal company owner said he was going to do next week. That news followed another poll showing Smith trailing Casey by double digits (17 points).

Jim Burn. The word is he was smiling from ear to ear after his appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball Tuesday. During a segment on Turzai’s Voter ID comment, Burn segued into an attack on Mitt Romney. It was cohesive enough to prompt host Chris Matthews to comment: “You’re the best surrogate we’ve had on for Obama. We can’t get Cabinet members or senators to talk [better than] you. You’re the one that ought to be running the surrogate operation.”

Montco Commissioners. We’ve been meaning to give this up for awhile. We can’t say it better than this editorial from the Intelligencer, but allow us to sum it up: gone are the constant squabbles and ethics problems. Here (apparently to stay) is open, courteous and responsible government. Dems Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards get along very well with Republican Bruce Castor, even when they disagree on policy. Castor even attended a reception for Shapiro and Richards this week. Bye bye, Bickersons.

Dem Congressional Prospects. Stuart Rothenburg wrote a pretty damning column for Roll Call this week in which he took a look at Dems’ chances to pick up seats in PA (and by extension, the country), and the results aren’t good. The GOP’s (likely deliberate) slow rolling of redistricting in 2011 led to recruiting problems, and left the party with maybe 3 serious pickup opportunities. Meanwhile, they’re playing defense in PA-12.

Tweet of the week: Laura Olson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Rep. Smith: calling #pabudget an improvement “is a little like saying that a 4-12 Steelers season is better than a 1-15 Steelers season.”

— Laura Olson (@lauraolson) June 27, 2012


9 Responses

  1. Just back from the Mountains where there was no internet so I’m just seeing this. Turzai and the rest of the right wing wackos have made the GOP into a laughing stock. Same for Chris Matthews and the left wing Obama Socialists. Dysfunctional (formally) Montgomery County is working as it should but everyone knows it is broke because of the idiotic “Deal” and the Republicans eating themselves there. Typical PA Politics FUBAR.

  2. How right you are, Dean. Those of us watching Montco are very impressed with Shapiro and Castor (Richards too, though she is less high profile). Taking their game to the people will make their parties pretty angry. The GOP already showed it would rather devour itself than let Castor get ahead. Lets hope the Dems aren’t just as stupid. Montco is becoming a model for reform. That is bad for political dinosaurs who think they run the show. I was at the GOP State Committee meeting last month. It is amazing how that party hangs on to their way of doing things.

  3. The partisans on both sides that run the political parties down in Montgomery County will not like it that the Commissioners there are getting along well and governing effectively. Especially the Asher-controlled GOP who hates Castor with a ferocity so intense they engineered their own destruction to try and bring him down by backing turncoat Jim Matthews. And the Democrats will turn on Mr. Shapiro for allowing Mr. Castor to become powerful again. Those two guys better watch out. Political partisans don’t like it when government leaders stop just talking bipartisan and start actually doing it. That makes party organizations less relevant, and they can’t have that.

  4. Way to go in Montco! Now if they can clean up the GOP organization and put competent leaders in there, then start picking candidates on merit and electability…well, perhaps there can be a turnaround.

  5. No, Turzai got a thumbs down for making a fool of his caucus in front of what became a national forum.

  6. The problem all along was the corruption of the Matthews/Hoeffel administration in Montco. These two teamed up after Castor crushed them both at the polls and jealousy reared it green-eyed head. The voters got it right at election time four years ago but arrogant politicians with hurt feelings who thought they were far more popular than they really were stole the government. Then lined their poskets while filling the county workforce with cronies and incompetents. Add an inept controller and a dysfunctional GOP party organization, it was left up to Castor to shine a light on Matthews’ and Hoeffels’ misdeeds. It is no surprise that Matthews was arrested, and Hoeffel bounced out of office by his own party when a Grand Jury fould their administration riddled with corruption. The new team has gotten rid of the hacks, but are faced with a fiscal meltdown left them which they will have to address. Unfortunately, Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards won the election on a no tax pledge that is sticking in their throats right about now. Montco Republicans will never fully recover from nominating Jim Matthews in 2007. Something Castor begged them not to do. More fallout from the meddling of that most politically connected of Montco pols: the State GOP’s notorious convicted felon and National committeeman, Bob Asher.

  7. Good for Montco. Its a whole new day there and these people are showing things can get done even if they are in opposing parties.

  8. Wow, how exciting that Jim Burn can now spend more time on MSNBC preaching to the liberal choir which constitutes a miniscule number of TV veiwers! Yeehaw!

Comments are closed.

  • Who Will Be Speaker of the PA House on February 28?

    • Joanna McClinton (68%)
    • Mark Rozzi (27%)
    • A Republican TBD (5%)

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