7/20 Ups & Downs

It’s been a busy week in Pennsylvania politics. See who did well, and who wishes they could take it back.

Don’t miss our list of 2nd Quarter fundraising Winners & Losers.

Charles Gehret. When you bring up anti-Semitism in a campaign, you’d better be certain. This week, the Republican challenger to Daylin Leach accused the state Senator of calling Republicans anti-Semitic at a Dem-heavy informational political event at a SEPA synagogue. The suggestion appears to stem from remarks Leach made about proponents of school prayer; he said that if the government were to mandate school prayer, “it will not be the Shema.” Partisan? Sure. But Gehret’s camp went too far in its accusation. Check out the whole saga, including video of the remarks, here.

PA’s Bond Rating. Citing the tough math of PA’s pension situation – and hint at the lack of political will to solve it – the credit agency Moody’s downgraded the state’s general obligation debt from AA1 down to AA2. It is likely to spread downward to numerous other state and local bonds, too. Looks like that’s one attack against President Obama that PA Republicans are going to have to take off the table.

Westmoreland County. These folks got a ton of national attention this week. Mitt Romney visited a plant in Irwin for a high-profile rally on Tuesday, just 3 days after former Sen. Rick Santorum opened a Romney/PAGOP/RNC field office in Greensburg. The county is a beacon for the GOP statewide and nationally. Long a Democratic stronghold, Westmoreland has swung decisively red in the past 5 years. Dems lost 3 competitive PA House seats and control of every countywide office.

Unemployment. Or, technically, it’s up. For the first time in nearly a year, PA unemployment inched up in June from 7.4 to 7.5 percent. It’s bad news for Dems nationally and Republicans in Harrisburg, but most of all for job seekers.

Al Schmidt. With one report, the Philadelphia City Commissioner became the hero of the PA Republican Party. This week, he released a report detailing possible incidences of voter fraud in Philadelphia. At last! Proof! (sort of). The GOP jumped on news that he had found 200 to 1,000 cases from the April primary, including the highly sought-after voter impersonation (the underpinning for the Voter ID law). For weeks, the law has faced progressively worse headlines; this week Schmidt delivered a ray of hope for his party.

AAPC. The Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Association of Political Consultants had a swell reception in Philadelphia on Thursday. Well done! Every state has its politicos, but Pennsylvania boasts a powerhouse.

Tweet of the week: Eugene DePasquale.

Not sure what to say. Ben saw the commercial w/Romney singing & said: “He has a bad voice. Not as bad as yours but bad.”

— Eugene DePasquale (@DePasqualePA) July 17, 2012



6 Responses

  1. Montco’s Jim Matthews’ gets sentenced and a day or two later that county’s debt is downgraded because of the mismanagement of his and Joe Hoeffel’s administration. Quite literally everything the third commissioner Bruce Castor was saying was true. These guys were crooks and incompetents that loaded the county with cronies and looted it while circling the wagons to vilify the only honest man they couldn’t fire – because Castor was elected. Then even more insulting, the GOP Matthews backers like that awful Rep. Kate Harper try to boot Castor out (but fail) and the Democrats ran an entire campaign around it being Castor’s fault the county government is a mess. Of course, that turned out to be universally regarded now a false, but at the time played well. A massive Down Arrow for Life should attach to Matthews and anyone who backed him.

  2. To Isaac L:
    Meehan won in 2010 in his old district with 55% against a more serious opponent so its hard to say he wouldn’t be in a similar position without gerrymandering. Meehan will get votes from Rs, Is, and Ds this fall and that is what makes him hard to beat.

  3. It’s hard to be stopped when your district is that gerrymandered. If he wins, it’s no surprise; if he loses, it’s a major coup. How anyone can say a district is contiguous because half of it is held to the rest by a single hospital and its parking lot would be laughable if it weren’t so constitutionally offensive.

  4. I think Meehan should definitely get on this list for going further up in his wonderfully run campaign this week. Great fundraising numbers and great legislation! The guy appears unstoppable at this point, and he and his team have earned it! Voters of PA-7 are lucky to have him!

Comments are closed.

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