Joe Sestak – Despite the Rasmussen poll yesterday, some internal polls have him within striking distance of Toomey, which led to a string of press about Sestak being the comeback kid. Time will tell if this is real momentum.
Tough one for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in Pittsburgh – City Council shelved his preferred plan to up the funding of the city’s struggling pension program by privatizing the city’s parking assets (for fifty years to the tune of $452 million). And to make matters worse, the Mayor wasn’t there to make his own case. He was out of town – in China meeting with business leaders there – for much of the political wrangling.
Gov. Rendell – For a lame duck, he seems to be staying busy, with the Obama rally last weekend, the trip to the White House on Monday, the Shale negotiations throughout the week, and a revamping of the intelligence gathering operation. Gov. Rendell is not going down without a fight.
State Sen. Pat Browne – The State Senate passed a pension bill on Thursday, but only because they included a proposal from State Sen. Browne (R-Lehigh) to have an independent fiscal office. How did it get into the bill? During budget negotiations over the summer, Browne managed to have this office be part of the final budget deal. The problem: State Rep. Dwight Evans is strongly opposed to the office and he feels that it is unnecessary, so now this pension legislation is going to be held up in the House. For his part, Gov. Rendell has said he would sign the bill with the fiscal office included but there are constitutional questions about whether the fiscal office is germane to the underlying legislation. With all that inside Harrisburg talk aside, a pension bill is being held up by a state senator intent on getting his own proposal into law. This seems to be par for the course in Harrisburg.
Pat Meehan may have more than a million dollars on hand for the stretch run in the seventh district, but he might need more if he’s going to use TV ads to subsidize his lack of debate appearances. That Meehan ducked this week’s League of Women Voters debate after a shaky performance last month doesn’t look good for the GOP nominee – especially in light of a couple polls showing the raise uncomfortably tight for a guy with relatively high name recognition in SEPA, running in a GOP district in what looks to be a heavy GOP year.
Rep. Dahlkemper – The New York Times did a story about money dwindling from the DCCC for advertising in an attempt to triage the races across the country. The Dahlkemper campaign disputes the story but national democrats say Dahlkemper is a sinking ship. Can Rep. Dahlkemper save her campaign before it is too late?
In the 13th congressional district, GOP challenger Dee Adcock’s campaign — looking to unseat incumbent Allyson Schwartz — this week pitched a press release under the headline “Poll finds PA 13th race is winnable.” The creatively worded release, however, actually goes on to cite the pushed ballot results. The Adcock campaign did not respond to PoliticsPA’s request for a polling memo or crosstabs. A memo of our own: Campaigns exist to drive the narrative your way as much as possible. We get it. But don’t drive it into the realm of the unethical.