8/3 Ups & Downs

We take a look at presidential campaign apps and an act of heroism from a state Rep. There were some missteps – and even an arrest.

See who had a good week – and who wishes they could take it back.

Social Media. Our politicos who are also smart phone users and iPad aficionados have had a pretty good week. Both presidential campaigns launched digital apps this week, with Mitt Romney promising to announce his VP pick via the app – arguably the most important political announcement of the year. Pretty impressive, and unprecedented. And that’s not all. Our own Senator Bob Casey unveiled a new website yesterday and finally joined the Twitterverse (about time, too, we might add).

Mike Kelly. Being against the healthcare mandate is fine – comparing it to two tragedies that took place on American soil is not. The new mandate, which took effect this week, requires insurance providers to cover certain procedures and medications (including birth control) for women. We can understand why the Butler Congressman disagrees with the mandate, but saying the day the law went into effect “will live in infamy, along with those other dates” of the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks is just plain wrong.

Tony Payton. Here’s one we missed last week. This comes from the Greenlee Partners daily email: State Representative Tony Payton (D-Philadelphia) played the role of superhero last week when he was dining al fresco and witnessed a man grab a cell phone from a neighboring table and take off. Payton chased the thief (while wearing dress shoes and a suit) and caught him two blocks away and restrained him until the police arrived. Nice work!

Jeff Piccola. The retiring Dauphin County Senator is facing 14 charges of professional misconduct for his actions as a private attorney with the “heir hunting” firm Kemp & Associates, including “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.” Piccola denies the charges, and he is innocent until proven guilty, but this is undeniably some bad press for the Senator in his last few months in office.

Randy Vulakovich. It’s been a good week for the Republican state Rep. He’s earned a slew of key endorsements this week – from LifePAC, the NRA and ChamberPAC – just days before next week’s special election. He even nabbed the endorsement of the left-leaning Post-Gazette’s editorial board. They said that his opponent Sharon Brown provided more background on issues than opinions, and lacked the “power of conviction” of Vulakovich (R-Allegheny).

Carol Aichele. Although the jury is still out (so to speak) on Voter ID, when your own Secretary of State admits that she doesn’t know “what the law says,” that’s bad news for the Corbett administration. She even stood by her original estimate that only 1 percent of voters will be impacted by the law, although we all know the number is most certainly higher. Even though the final decision hasn’t been made (and indeed, appeals are inevitable), it’s more bad press for a law that has already had its fill.

The Green Party. Just like the Olympics, third-party candidates have to be good at jumping through hoops and overcoming a number of obstacles just to make the ballot in PA. The Greens did just that this week. Their Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates were also arrested Wednesday in Philadelphia at a bank sit-in to protest housing foreclosures. Normally that would be off-putting for potential supporters – but hey, there is no such thing as bad press, right?

Tweet of the Week goes to Mary Wilson of WITF News, who had this to say about the end of the Voter ID case:

And on the seventh day, they rested: closing arguments a wrap in the #voterID hearing. @witfnews witf.org/statehousesoun…

— Marywilson (@Marywilson) August 2, 2012

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