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6/22 Ups & Downs

We’ve weighed in on both gubernatorial candidates and have an update on two Pittsburgh journalists. See who had a good week, and who did not, in this Friday’s Ups & Downs!




Gov. Tom Wolf. He might not have gotten everything he asked for in next year’s budget, but it’s set to pass not only on time, but early! The 2018-19 spending plan has drawn wide support from both parties, and is a rare piece of good news out of Harrisburg for which he can take some credit. With his opponent still advocating an excessive 67-debate schedule for the fall, Wolf can claim he’s too busy, and slam the former Senator for abandoning his job during budget season. On that note:



Scott Wagner. The Republican gubernatorial nominee did OK. He launched a new ad to soften his image by focusing on underserved Philadelphia schools, showing voters he’s the guy asking, “How can I help you?” He also earned a nod from the vice president this week; unfortunately, most of the coverage was about the protesters it drew. We’ll have to wait and see if this week’s events moves the needle.



Lou Barletta. His decision to compare the Trump administration’s immigration policy of separating young children from their parents drew near-universal outrage and swift criticism from politicians and pundits on every level, from every political background. Lou was among the few standing firmly behind the policy, and public reaction to it was summed up pretty well in this York Dispatch editorial.




Recently fired Pittsburgh journalists. Well, two of them anyway. Charlie Deitch, the former Pittsburgh City Paper editor who said he was fired for refusing to walk back criticism of a Republican state Rep., has launched an alt-monthly called the Pittsburgh Current. This week, he announced the publication would carry the cartoons of ex-editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.




Bonus Up/Down: Every week, PoliticsPA will be including a bonus up or down arrow that is exclusive to Playbook email subscribers. Sign up to see the bonus arrow here.


And our Tweet of the Week goes to Steve Esack of The Morning Call. We just can’t resist a Simpsons reference:

4 Responses

  1. How does Scott Wagner “soften” his image when he embraces and boasts of the support of Mike Pence and seeks to have Trump campaign for him when the Trump Administration with their manufactured border crisis has embarked on one of the biggest moral and political crisis of recent history as they take young toddlers and children from their parents and scatter them around the country? The poor and the powerless deserve better. It seems inconsistent to say Scott Wagner has “softened” his image taking the stance of embracing the Trump Administration at this point in time.

    1. “The poor and the powerless deserve better” in their home countries, but America cannot give them that. Nor is America obligated to accept, house, clothe and school them here.

      1. Why not? America gave the Irish, Italian, Greek, German and Polish immigrants an opportunity to thrive. When they fled their respective countries due to starvation, political persecution or lack of economic opportunities to care for their families, what exactly separated them from their poor and brown counterparts from today? You know that answer. We can do better, folks. What Trump and his sycophants are espousing is nothing more than blatant bigotry. It was unacceptable then and even more unacceptable today.

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