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9/16 Ups & Downs: Electoral College Extravaganza!

Pete DeCoursey. Been thinking about getting a Capitolwire subscription? The sound and fury that is the electoral college story should have wiped away any doubt. DeCoursey broke that news – the biggest non-presidential story of the summer – last Thursday.

Electoral College Tinkering. The ideological arguments for and against are all well and good, but show us the money. The plan would reduce PA to a presidential prize on par with West Virginia. That means no more millions to each state party. It means no more $10s of millions on PA TV and radio stations. It means no more special clout (and funding) in DC. And most importantly it means no more presidential grist for the political reporting mill.

Dominic Pileggi. That’s right. Even though we don’t like his plan, we love his panache. It’s the perfect red herring: all of a sudden Democrats and government watchdogs can’t get a word in edgewise about vouchers, Marcellus shale or privatizing state stores – the coverage is wall-to-wall Electoral College. Seriously though, the plan stinks.

Daylin Leach. His op-ed in the Inquirer is Democrats’ primary ideological rebuttal to the electoral college plan.  PA Sen. Leach is a natural counterpoint to Pileggi, and he has aimed for the national spotlight on the issue. How often does a PA legislator make the front page of the Huffington Post?

Tom Corbett. His newly-announced support of a Marcellus shale impact fee will inoculate him against some of the criticism that has dogged his first term – that he’s giving drillers a free pass, that he’s owned by the industry, etc. However, he embraced Pileggi’s Electoral College plan way too quickly. He’s liable to get stuck with any lasting “GOP power grab”-themed negatives.

Philadelphia City Council. The Council overrode Mayor Nutter’s veto and protected the controversial (though admittedly reduced) DROP retirement program for city servants. On top of that, they appear poised to punt on the redistricting plans for the new council districts.

Political reporters. Who says 2011 is an off year? Between the electoral college saga, the sudden influx of Republican challengers to Sen. Bob Casey, redistricting developments and the resumption of action in DC and Harrisburg, it’s starting to feel like October of 2012!

4 Responses

  1. I see it differently.

    In order to hit the media-markets that may be competitive, the same level of attention would need to be paid to others that may not be competitive.

    Thus, PA would still win attention; indeed, if the Commonwealth were viewed as being skewed one-way-or-the-other, then NO attention would be paid…in deference to other battleground states.

    Indeed, WHICH “3 or 4 competitive seats” were to be perceived as targeted [by one campaign or the other] could shift over time, thereby enhancing the need for politicos to pay attention to SE-PA [in particular].

  2. @Robert – WV has 5 electoral college votes. This plan would leave about 3 or 4 competitive seats in PA, plus 2 for the winner-take-all, meaning the net gain from PA would probably be around 5 electoral votes.

  3. Decoursey also broke the story of the Montgomery County Hoeffel Matthews Deal brokered by Bob Asher. How’d that work out for ya, GOP? The richest county in your party in money and votes totally controlled by the Democrats who have bankrupted the government and split up your party leadership. All going into the presidential year. Ha! Fools.

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