March 20th Ups & Downs
The response to the coronavirus impacts the whole state, Republicans win three special elections for the state House, and a significant number of Democrats offer their support for Joe Biden’s presidential bid. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
Every week PoliticsPA sends an exclusive extra Up or Down to Playbook subscribers. See who gets the extra up or down next week: sign up here.
Rachel Levine. During all of the developments over the past week with the coronavirus, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health has been at the forefront in delivering vital information to everyone in the keystone state. From her responses during the daily press briefings to her guidance to those across the state, PennLive has dubbed Levine as a “calm, reassurance” during this current pandemic.
Tom Wolf. As the response to the coronavirus pandemic evolves each day, the Governor has not only been present during this time, but a leader in explaining the dangers that this virus poses. Instead of focusing on different partisan bickering, Wolf has remained focus on the current task at hand and keeping Pennsylvanians safe.
GOP. In any other normal week, the story about Republicans winning three special elections would be the story of the week. Although the circumstances were unusual, the Pennsylvania Republican Party has reason to celebrate after keeping three seats in the win column for the state House. While the races weren’t without controversy, with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party calling for the special elections to be postponed, K.C. Tomlinson, Eric Davanzo, and Tim Bonner all secured double digit victories on Tuesday.
Delco and Chesco. While this crisis is negatively impacting every corner of the state, one sign of humanity is the willingness of various jurisdictions to work together. Since Delaware County doesn’t have a health department, the Chester County Health Department will be providing health services related to the pandemic in Delaware County. The state gave the move a thumbs up earlier this week.
RGGI. Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative received mixed reviews as supporters touted the projected positive environmental outcomes, while opponents viewed it as an overreach and could possibly lead to job loss. Wolf’s decision to join the RGGI seems to have changed the minds of a nuclear power station in Beaver County from closing its doors. Energy Harbord Corp. announced that it was rescinding its deactivation notice set for May and October 2021 for the two power plants employing 1,000 people and cited Wolf’s policy as the reason to keep the plants activated.
Montgomery County. After the firing of two top public defenders last month, the county is being accused in a lawsuit of firing these top ranking individuals based on their criticism of bail practices within the county, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. While the outcome of the lawsuit is to be determined, the firing has already resulted in protests from “national advocates,” a rally outside a Board of Commissioners meeting, a protest letter from the defender’s office’s lawyers, and more.
Joe Biden. The question now is who isn’t supporting the former Vice President’s bid for the White House in Pennsylvania. After garnering support for months from a significant portion of the state’s Democratic elected officials, other big names came off of the sidelines this week to offer support for his campaign including Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Treasurer Joe Torsella, and 71 other Democrats in the state. Another boost for Biden in PA is that American Bridge, which describes itself as “the largest research, video tracking, and rapid response organization in Democratic politics,” launched their first general election television ads in the state after endorsing Biden.
Mike Veon. The former Democratic state representative owes $19,000 to the state Department of Economic Development after he “badly” missed a deadline for challenging restitution ordered from a Dauphin County judge, according to PennLive.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
When “The Boys” ask you to go out to a pub crawl, holding hands and high-fivin’, never washing them hands and not tipping any service workers you see. pic.twitter.com/W8q9LcrkFO
— Pennsylvania Treasury (@PATreasury) March 15, 2020