The FBI, the Senate and the budget. See who made this week’s list!
Ed Pawlowski. Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast. Just a week ago, Pawlowski was a generally well-regarded mayor with an outside shot at a Senate nomination. In that time, though, the FBI has searched his office and his top political consultant Mike Fleck dissolved his firm. Now, the Mayor has suspended his campaign and Fleck has not only pulled up shop, he’s left his home. (A shoutout to the Morning Call for their great coverage of this story). There’s no telling how deep this whole investigation goes and how many officials it could reach.
Joe Sestak. Meanwhile, Pawlowski’s nightmare is great news for Joe Sestak. It’s now possible that he’ll be able to run unopposed in a Democratic primary. Furthermore, after trying to find literally anyone else to run against him, it appears D.C. Democrats are finally starting to consider making peace with Joe Sestak. The reported meeting with Harry Reid is the first real indication the party is prepared to united behind their 2010 nominee. The last few days have been so good for Sestak that not even some reckless marching could get in the way.
Katie McGinty. The swift descent of Ed Pawlowski has led those still dissatisfied with Sestak to urge the Governor’s Chief of Staff to run for Senate. National party leaders have discussed it with her and Congressman Bob Brady even pledged his support (former Gov. Ed Rendell was more hesitant). A “Draft McGinty” movement has even gained steam the last few weeks. There remains the possibility, however, that all this attention can hurt McGinty. After all, we’re still in the midst of a budget showdown and having the Governor’s top staffer considering a campaign isn’t great optics. Additionally, even if a sufficient compromise could be made in Harrisburg, McGinty would have nine months or less to defeat Sestak in a primary he’s been preparing six years for. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that no one has really expressed much concern over how Governor Wolf will handle losing his Chief of Staff. If McGinty is really so vital to Wolf, why isn’t he publicly fighting to keep her?
Budget Prospects. Speaking of the budget, there is still no good news on that front. Sure, the State Senate is coming back, but their purpose may merely be to try to override the vetoes Gov. Wolf has issued on the budget, liquor privatization and pension reform. Meanwhile, the fight is uniting the Republicans and angering the Governor. We’re now ten days into this stalemate, and nowhere near any kind of settlement.
Bill Shuster. A few months ago, Congressman Shuster was in crisis mode. Politico was publishing stories on his personal life while millionaire and 2012 Senate nominee Tom Smith was contemplating a primary challenge. Yesterday, though, Smith announced that due to health concerns, he won’t be running after all. Suddenly, Rep. Shuster’s career went from possible jeopardy to likely safety.
Our tweet of the week goes to Jonathan Tamari of the Inquirer. Congressional floor charts have a long and storied history, and Congressman Boyle definitely contributed to that tradition this week.
— Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari) July 9, 2015