The Pennsylvania GOP appears to have a new chair, a former Republican hopeful for Governor moves up in President Trump’s administration, and a Philadelphia Councilwoman has the chance to grab headlines at Netroots Nation in Philly. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Lawrence Tabas. Looks like there’s a new chair in the PAGOP. A joint statement released from the Pennsylvania Republican Party today states that Tabas is set to be the next chair, while Bernie Comfort, who was also vying for the position, exited the race and will stay on as a Vice Chair and serve as the Campaign Manager for the Trump 2020 teams Pennsylvania’s effort. Sources told PoliticsPA that Tabas was expected to best Comfort if the two faced off in a vote on Saturday, but the joint statement, coupled with a tweet from President Donald Trump congratulating the two ultimately seals the victory for Tabas.
Helen Gym. The Councilwoman in Philadelphia has the chance to grab the attention of progressives congregating for Netroots Nation this weekend. Gym, who announced that the 2019 conference would take place in Philadelphia at the group’s 2018 meeting in New Orleans, will be a panelist for the Presidential forum that includes Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), and former HUD Sec. Julian Castro. Gym will be the only Pennsylvania elected official serving as a panelist on that highly anticipated Saturday event, while she’s expected to participate in a total of 7 different forums throughout the meeting, which is the highest of any elected official in the state. She also penned an op-ed with Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Philadelphia Inquirer criticizing the move to close Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Josh Shapiro. A new law passed in Harrisburg last week that would provide Shapiro with the ability to prosecute gun crimes in Philadelphia has the Attorney General facing heat from progressive members of his party. First reported by The Intercept, the law would only impact Philadelphia for two years, which is just after progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner’s first term would be completed. Krasner’s office offered a statement voicing their opposition to this bill, while The Intercept reports that Shapiro’s office originally supported the bill. After push back, Shapiro has attempted to paint it as a positive and collaborative effort while in Philly this week, but was the subject of jeers at a Netroots Nation panel when activists interrupted Shapiro and pressed him to oppose the law. Shapiro responded by saying he does not intend to use the law and he’d support the effort to repeal it.
Matt Cartwright. The progressive Democrat representing a Trump friendly district in Northeast Pennsylvania was recognized by the President for his work on helping Americans with kidney disease. Trump signed an executive order to help increase kidney donations across the country and help provide better care for the thousands of Americans who suffer from kidney disease, the Times Leader reports. Cartwright has pushed legislation to address this for years. Trump thanked Cartwright by name for his work on the issue.
Kathleen Kane. The former Attorney General was disbarred by the feds just four months after the state took away her law license. The former Democratic elected official is eight months in a prison term that she began serving in November. The prison term is set to be 10 to 23 months long.
Paul Mango. Moving on up in the Trump administration. The former Republican primary candidate for Governor was elevated from chief of staff at the Centers for Medicine & Medicaid Services to serve as the department’s deputy chief of staff for policy, which is a newly created position to “oversee policy planning and coordination for the department” according to the Reading Eagle.
Appalachia Pennsylvania’s Paychecks. Not as high as the rest of the state. The Observer-Reporter highlighted a new report that shows residents of Appalachia Pennsylvania counties made an estimated $7,076 less in 2017 than the per capita market income for Pennsylvania. The per capita market income for Appalachian Pennsylvania was $36,093 that year, while the state’s per capita market income was $43,169. 52 counties of the 67 in the state contribute to the Appalachia Pennsylvania counties.
Julie K. Brown. The Temple University and Philadelphia Daily News alum who grew up in the Philadelphia area was featured by the New York Times this week for her work in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case. Brown is an investigative journalist at the Miami Herald and her work covering the ongoing Epstein news has garnered headlines across the United State and beyond.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
The recently created Twitter account for the Pennsylvania Treasury caught the attention of politicos in the state this week.
“Hire social media people,” they said. “They will be careful with the brand,” they said. ???? https://t.co/GyNjCdFHw8
— Joe Torsella (@JoeTorsella) July 10, 2019
A bonus tweet is dedicated to the late Philadelphia Commissioner Marge Tartaglione, who died this week at the age of 86.
— Signe Wilkinson (@SigneWilk) July 11, 2019