Blown deadlines, a new Treasurer and our returning “champion”. See who made this week’s list!
Tom Wolf. The scenario Governor Wolf has likely been dreading since assuming office has now come to pass, we’ve reached July 1st without a budget. Gov. Wolf had big dreams when he first presented his budget blueprint but he hasn’t been able to convince his colleagues in the legislative branch of its merits. Instead, he vetoed a budget that contained only Republican priorities. Of course, this is only the first chapter of what could end up a very long book. There is a good chance, however, that this battle defines Wolf’s tenure in the eyes of the voters and the pages of history. That’s a lot of pressure to put on the first-year executive. If he can’t rise to the moment now, though, the next three and a half years will prove an even tougher climb.
GOP Legislature. It takes two to tango (or in this case, not to tango). After accumulating a solid majority in both Houses and electing new leadership, it became clear Republicans saw the new Governor as an accident produced by Tom Corbett’s shoddy political skills. As a result, they don’t believe he has a mandate and therefore aren’t enthusiastic about new taxes and more spending. Sure, Wolf is the leader of the commonwealth but those in the legislature will likely be around much longer and should be more concerned about how Harrisburg is viewed in the rest of the state. After all, what’s the point of being in government if you don’t accomplish anything?
Eugene DePasquale. One silver lining to the budget battle is that it makes everyone else in Harrisburg look better (well almost everyone, but we’ll get to that later). For our latest reader poll, we decided to test the approval of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Our readers have been particularly tough on other elected officials in the past, but DePasquale performed spectacularly. If the voters of PA are anywhere close to as enthusiastic about the Auditor General as our readers, then the future is quite bright for Gene DePasquale.
Tim Reese. Buried underneath all the news concerning the budget impasse, the State Senate confirmed Tim Reese as our new State Treasurer. Reese, a businessman and investor who served on the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies for the SEC, was approved by a 48-1 vote. We wish the best for Mr. Reese and hope he can do better than our last Treasurer, although that’s not exactly a high bar.
Kathleen Kane. The Attorney General came so close to avoiding a down arrow this week, if only the last few days had been more eventful (although it’s probably worth keeping an eye on this). Nevertheless, the AG’s staffing choices were questioned yet again when it was revealed that an employee who wrote an op-ed defending Kane was also promoted to a new position and given a raise. This could have all been a coincidence, but the Attorney General has unfortunately lost the benefit of the doubt.
The tweet of the week goes to WITF’s Mary Wilson for this snapshot, which also reminds us: GO USA!!! (World Cup Final vs. Japan is this Sunday 7:00 on Fox)
Last year, Capitol supplied TVs to watch men's World Cup during budget debates. No screens yet for USWNT v. Germany. pic.twitter.com/KoSOGx4htc
— Mary Wilson (@MaryWilson) June 30, 2015