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Politics PA’s Up and Down: 1/21

Comcast and David L. Cohen. Pennsylvania is poised to become the media capitol of the world after federal regulators conditionally approved the Comcast-NBC merger. It seems both Governor Rendell and his right-hand man are headed for the bright lights.


Tom Corbett. Congratulations on your inauguration, Governor, and for your charming performance Tuesday night. Good luck next week, when the real work begins.

Anti-Marcellus Protesters. They stole the show on Tuesday, shouting through the Governor’s inaugural speech so that those in the crowd and those watching on TV could hear. The Marcellus Shale issue is one of the top issues the new Governor will have to deal with, but to interrupt a bipartisan ceremony seems like it did more harm for the cause than good.

Allegheny County GOP. Jim Roddey’s outfit is coming off a string of successes (including Tom Corbett’s win in Dan Onorato’s home county), but isn’t poised to capitalize in the race to replace Onorato as County Exec. The cadre of prospective candidates is less than impressive – among them, one has a looming trial, while another co-founded the local Tea Party in a county with twice as many D’s as R’s.

Berks County GOP. They face a tough special election given the demographics in the 11th State Senate district, but so far the party has done everything right. They have several promising, competitive candidates including one former sheriff and another who could put Reading’s sizable Hispanic population in play. And they’ve done it transparently – hosting a public candidates forum this week.

Rick Santorum. PoliticsPA wasn’t exactly certain how to rate the former Senator this week. He picked up a former Romney supporter in NH, then caught heat for comments about race and abortion. But Santorum’s focus is on winning a GOP primary, and equating Roe v. Wade to the Dred Scott case is fairly mainstream pro-life thinking. Ultimately, any time anyone talks about Santorum it’s a good thing for him.

House GOP. Republicans fulfilled a campaign promise this week with the repeal vote. But their replacement health care plan has yet to be seen.  After outlining $2.5 trillion in spending cuts, congressional conservatives side-stepped two politically difficult budget subjects: defense and entitlement programs. Talk the talk? Check. Walk the walk? TBD.

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