Sen. Casey – A great deal of names have been thrown around as potential challengers to the Senator and so far failed to stick – especially some of the bigger ones (Gerlach, Dent). However Thursday’s Quinnipiac poll took the varnish off the perception that Casey is invincible. Let’s give it a month or two and see how the GOP’s recruiting efforts pan out.
Rep. Patrick Murphy – With the Defense Authorization Act stalling in the Senate, Rep. Murphy, Majority Leader Hoyer and Speaker Pelosi took a stand and introduced a stand-alone repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It passed the House and now heads to the Senate where its prospects are uncertain, but Rep. Murphy got one legislative victory before he leaves office at the end of the year.
Reps. Dent, Fitzpatrick and Gerlach – Southeastern PA is riding the GOP wave all the way to the bank thanks to key committee assignments for these three Congressmen. Fitzpatrick joins the bank-overseeing Financial Services Committee, Gerlach ascends to the powerful, tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and Dent takes the cake with an appointment to the Appropriations Committee.
State Rep. Josh Shapiro & the Legislative Audit Committee – It’s great when good politics and good policy come together, in this case by highlighting the legislative surpluses that exist in General Assembly budgets. Hopefully, the Speaker and the Senate President Pro-Tem will re-evaluate the legislature’s budgets next year and determine whether the surpluses are needed.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz – Rep. Schwartz did everything right. She’s an expert on health policy, a hard worker, and she contributed almost $2 million to Democratic campaigns in 2010. But because of incoming Speaker John Boehner’s decision to cut House committee sizes by 10%, it looks as though Schwartz will be bumped from the important Ways and Means Committee.
Roger Stone – The infamous GOP operative made two big splashes at PA Society this week. The first was with a fake poll which showed Sen. Arlen Specter with a lead in a hypothetical primary for Philly mayor (and matching buttons). The second splash came at PoliticsPA’s Governor Mifflin Society event, where Stone (who has a reputation as a swinger) was accompanied by several beautiful young women in revealing outfits. “They’re the only professionals in the room,” quipped one insider.
Commissioner Steve Urban – Commissioner Urban took public his bad blood with the Luzerne GOP this week, and everyone involved looked bad. This was like a parent who screams at a young child for misbehaving in the mall. Guess what mom, the kid isn’t the one embarrassing themselves. Haven’t Luzerne county voters suffered enough negative headlines out of the courthouse?
Dominic Pileggi – Democrats were knocking down the doors to get into his PA Society Reception. To many on both sides of the aisle, his reputation as the last reasonable man has become enhanced.