One Pennsylvania lawmaker suggest bringing open primaries to the state, while another floats the idea of not allowing teachers to discuss politics in the classrooms. The race for Governor provides two very different ads this week, an organization changes its endorsement requirements, and much 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.
Television vs Radio. Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP challenger Scott Wagner released two ads this week that have very little in common. Wagner delivered a speech in Philadelphia detailing his plan to help Pennsylvania’s urban areas. One day later, he released a thirty second television ad courting the voters in Pennsylvania’s cities and paints Wolf as an out of touch with their needs. Wolf’s newest ad is a 1 minute long radio country song jingle that portrays Wagner as the candidate who does not look out for the little guy.
Free Speech in School. Well, at least the attempt was made. The Morning Call reported that retiring state Rep. Will Tallman sent a memo to the state House searching for support of a bill he called the “Teacher Code of Ethics.” The Republican from Adams County said in the memo, “Our K-12 school teachers should not be using their classroom time spent on political or ideological indoctrination.” The article cites several court cases that legal experts believe could be used to show that this bill would show unconstitutional overreach. The article also states that this bill “most likely stands no chance of becoming law.”
Fitzpatrick vs Wallace. Who wants the law enforcement vote more? The race for one of the closest watched seats in the state took to television this week sparring a back and forth between the candidates on who is more capable of keeping the district safe. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick released a television ad touting his record as an FBI agent and remembering his Uncle Phil who died in the line of duty as a New York City police officer. But in this same ad, he tries to tie Scott Wallace to convicted Philadelphia cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal for donations Wallace’s family’s organization has made to ‘Democracy Now!’, a liberal-leaning news outlet. Later that afternoon, Wallace responded with an ad of his own titled, “Safe” punching back at the claims from the Fitzpatrick ad that touts his resume on the Senate Judiciary Committee, “writing major crime legislation.”
Reading Political Stability. It’s been an eventful week in the Reading political scene. Three terminations or resignations of high-ranking city officials were made this week as Reading Mayor Wally Scott fired City Managing Director W. Glenn Steckman III, former City Solicitor Jan “J.D.” Krafczek resigned after being placed on administrative leave, and city Codes Department Manager Dana Damato was fired by city Human Resources Director Danny Gilmore. On Wednesday, Steckman III fired back at Mayor Scott deeming that “the city is now unstable.”
PA Now Endorsement Requirements. If you want the endorsement of The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Organization for Women, you’re going to have to make a promise. The organization specifically will ask candidates to sign a petition calling for the resignation of state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), state Rep. Nicholas Miccarelli (R-Delaware), and Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams. The candidates who don’t sign the petition, “no matter the reason,” will not be considered for the groups endorsement.
Eyes on PA. It’s a big day in PA. This afternoon in Philadelphia, President Barack Obama is going to host a rally for Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey. This evening in Hershey, Donald Trump Jr. will headline the PA Republican Party Fall Dinner. In next week’s, Ups and Downs, we’ll write about who “remembers the 21st night of September.”
Open Primaries. Could Pennsylvania become #17? The Morning Call reports that the Republican Senate president pro tempore, Joe Scarnati, has floated a bill to try to allow open primaries. Senate Bill 1234 would allow more than 740,000 independent “unaffiliated” voters the ability to either select a Democrat or Republican on the primary ballot. This article states that “the bill is a long way to becoming law,” but if passed would make Pennsylvania the 17th state to have open primaries for unaffiliated voters.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Fear, or a lack of it, is very hot in books right now. pic.twitter.com/lPqrR5Y9lw
— Dan McQuade (@dhm) September 20, 2018