PoliticsPA Up & Down: 12/31 Edition
State Senator Mike O’Pake. His legacy of fighting for children, the elderly, and his native Reading speaks for itself, and the bipartisan outpouring of sentiment for PA’s longest-serving legislator from colleagues and constituents is truly touching. There’s no doubt he got through St. Peter’s Gate swiftly. After all, we’re sure he had a map.
Public Employee Unions. They’ve lost the high ground. Gov-elect Corbett turned down the easy way out, a one-year extension of current agreements, in favor of a direct confrontation with the 3 biggest public sector unions in PA. With total GOP control of state government and average Pennsylvanians feeling the economic pinch, expect to see an all-out effort to limit pension benefits.
Governor Rendell. The outgoing Gov took a lot of heat, and boosted his prospective-pundit stock, for his now-infamous “nation of wussies” comment after the Eagles-Vikings game was postponed last Sunday. But Rendell was right about one thing: after the Favre-less Vikings stunned the playoff-bound Eagles, the Birds and fans alike would’ve preferred the game had been played any day other than Tuesday.
Risa Vetri Ferman. If Montgomery County’s district attorney has ambitions for higher office, she bolstered her bona fides by directing a high-profile and expensive bust of the alleged Kingpin of Prussia. .
Bruce Barclay. The scandalous fall of Cumberland County Commissioner Barclay concluded this week, with a merciful sentence of probation without jail time. .
State Rep. Frank Oliver. The Patriot-News reported this month that Rep. Oliver, a Harrisburg veteran of almost 40 years, will be eligible to collect a maximum yearly pension of $235,686. Apparently it pays to be anonymous. .
Harrisburg City Council. After months of wrangling and bad national press, the council passed a budget with no tax increases, no firefighter layoffs, and no sale or lease of land. And it passed by a veto-proof margin.