A victory is scored for criminal justice advocates, an F&M poll shows Lt. Gov. John Fetterman with an advantage in the Democratic Senate primary, plus a former Phillie gets into a Twitter fight with a Lehigh Valley state Rep. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Joanna McClinton. The end to “prison gerrymandering.” In what Spotlight PA describes as a “major shift,” the state’s Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 3-2 in favor of a resolution introduced by McClinton that will count state prisoners at the address “where they lived immediately prior to being sentenced if they are Pennsylvania residents,” as opposed to the correction facilities they are currently placed.
John Fetterman. The race is still shaping up for Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate seat, but the Lt. Governor is currently in a good position, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll. While the GOP field remains split between three candidates, Fetterman garnered 30% of registered Democrats support as either their first or second choice in the 2022 primary, while Rep. Conor Lamb is the next closest Democrat polling at 14%. Although 30% isn’t a majority, it shows Fetterman has an early edge in the crowded 2022 field for Democrats.
Joe Biden. The latest Franklin & Marshall College poll shows Biden’s support in the Keystone State taking a bit of a dip. 41% of voters believe that Biden is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as president in the latest poll, while just two months ago his approval was at 44%. His approval rating on COVID has also declined in recent months. In June, 49% of voters in Pennsylvania approved of his handling of COVID-19, while it dropped to 44% in the latest poll. Biden’s overall job approval rating at this point in his presidency does remain higher than Donald Trump’s and is similar to Barack Obama’s.
Anthony Hamlet. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hamlet, the Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent, violated the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act by “improperly receiving travel reimbursements, getting payments for appearances related to his job, and incorrectly filing financial documents,” according to a report released by the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission this week. Hamlet is being required to pay a fine, forfeit vacation days, while City Controller Michael Lamb is also calling on the school board to make changes in leadership.
Kathy Gilmore-Richardson. Pennsylvania’s lone representative on this committee. PhillyVoice reports that the Philadelphia City Councilmember was appointed to serve on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee, which “represents local governments in national conversations about environmental policy and decision-making.” There are 39 elected and appointed officials on the committee, while Gilmore-Richardson will be the lone member from the commonwealth to serve on the board.
Russ Diamond. The Lebanon County Republican has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Tom Wolf’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but a recent Facebook post is garnering some pushback in regards to vaccinations. Diamond shared an image on Facebook on Monday that read “What’s it called when someone sticks something into your body against your will? Or coerces you to let them?.” Diamond shared that picture and captioned it, “There’s a word for that…” As of Friday morning, Diamond’s post was shared by 3.9K thousands accounts on Facebook, while also receiving 58K comments under his post. While defending his post, Diamond doubled down against the “woke crowd” and said that “Learn to think. In this analogy, the vaccine is akin to sexual activity, due to the physical nature of both. Voluntary engagement in either is fine. But forcing someone to do either is wrong.”
Sean Kilkenny. An award for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The Pottstown Mercury reports that “Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, honored the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office with a Seven Seals Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.”
Lenny Dykstra. A swing and a miss. The former MLB World Series champion, three time all-star and member of the NL Champion 1993 Philadelphia Phillies team, who has had his fair share of legal troubles since retiring from the MLB, got into a Twitter fight with a state Rep. from the Lehigh Valley. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg first tweeted at Dykstra on Friday morning in response to Dykstra’s back-and-forth with David Rothchild. Schlossberg called on Dykstra’s past anti-Semitic comments, which led to Dykstra responding by saying Schlossberg “clearly look a pedo!.” Schlossberg fired back by saying, “you may think I look like a pedo…but only one of us has been to prison.” We score this: Schlossberg 1, Dykstra 0.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Let’s see what the former Lt. Governor is up to these days…
Hmm the “lawyer from Philadelphia” with a $7m budget in the OAN-adjacent luxury house hunting show looks suspiciously like former PA lieutenant governor-turned-aspiring actor Mike Stack… pic.twitter.com/nkkaq0c2uM
— Ryan W Briggs (@rw_briggs) August 24, 2021
What is going on in Lake Erie?
I’m sorry what now pic.twitter.com/zPlVXYuNJ7
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) August 25, 2021