A Trump and Obama take on the keystone state, Pennsylvania’s favorite rivalry jumps in the race for Governor, women candidates in the state legislature are on the rise, and much more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Rep. Mark Rozzi. Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 261, which would eliminate the statute of limitation for prosecutions of sexual abuse of minors; extend the civil statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors until the victim reaches 50; waive sovereign and governmental immunity for claims; and remove caps on damages against governmental parties sued for sexual abuse of minors, The Times Leader reports. Rep. Mark Rozzi, sponsor of two amendments of the bill, went public in August sharing his story of being raped by a Catholic priest when he was 13 years old. Rozzi said, “go home and be proud and let people know you stood with victims.” SB 261 passed the House by 173-21 vote, and next would need passage from the state Senate.
PA Unemployment Rate. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.1% in August, making it the lowest point since 2000. The national rate is currently at 3.9%.
PA GOP and Trump Bond. It’s as strong as it ever was. Well, that’s at least what the message was on Friday night at the PA GOP Fall Dinner, headlined by Donald Trump Jr. Multiple speakers raved about the Trump agenda, while the constant theme of the evening remained that it is beneficial to align yourself with the President policies if seeking office in 2018. “Donald Trump is on the ticket this November,” Trump Jr. said. “They are going to govern with my father, like my father and for all of you.” Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio believes that PA will stand behind Trump in 2020 once again as well, “Pennsylvania is Trump country, we all know that.” According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, President Donald Trump is set to visit Philadelphia on Tuesday “to discuss small business jobs at electrical contractor convention.”
Philadelphia’s DNC Spending. Where’d it go? The AP reports that the inspector general’s office found “significant deficiencies” involving a federal grant for the July 2016 Democratic National Convention. “We found significant deficiencies in Philadelphia’s management of the grant funds, and overall, we identified over $14 million in unallowable or unsupported expenditures,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said. Philadelphia spokesman, Mike Dunn acknowledges that the city should have handled it differently. “We acknowledge that there was room for improvement in how the grant was administered — that we learned from those mistakes — and we’ve implemented procedures to make sure those issues are addressed,” Dunn said.
Women in the PA Legislature. A trend in Pennsylvania and the nation. In races for 203 state House seats, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “31 women likely will prevail — either facing no challenger or another woman — and an additional 62 are running against men.” Currently there are only 42 house seats held by women, which is about one fifth of the chamber. In the state Senate women currently hold 7 of the 50 seats, but after the 25 seats that are up for election in November, “six more women likely will join two others whose seats aren’t up for election, for a grand total of eight seats. Another 10 are vying for seats against men.”
Healthy Endorsements. Or an up arrow for tasty endorsement, depending on if you like ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, has selected 11st District Democratic candidate Jess King as one of seven progressive candidates that they will raise money for through new ice cream flavors. The deadline for ideas for flavors and names of the ice cream is today. King is facing incumbent Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) for the seat. A new poll released from the King campaign this week showed the Democrat trailing by less than 10 points.
Bob Casey and Tom Wolf. It’s been a good stretch for the Democratic incumbents. Four polls released in the last 10 days show Casey and Wolf up double digits over GOP candidates, Rep. Lou Barletta and Scott Wagner. The new polls were released by Rasmussen Reports, Morning Call/Muhlenberg College, Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia Center for Politics, and Franklin & Marshall College poll. On Friday, September 21 just a couple hours before Donald Trump Jr rallied the Republican base in Hershey, former President Barack Obama held a rally in Philadelphia for Sen. Bob Casey, Gov. Tom Wolf and other Democratic candidates up for election in November.
Wawa vs Sheetz. We can argue about which is better another time, but we can see what gubernatorial candidate they prefer now. This morning’s Philly Clout article reports that Wawa’s political action committee donated $10,000 to GOP candidate, Scott Wagner. They donated $2,500 earlier this year to his campaign as well. The PAC for Sheetz donated $10,000 to Gov. Tom Wolf’s reelection campaign. When the Inquirer asked which convenience store each candidate prefers, they did not choose a side (a third party spoiler chain, Rutters, rules York County anyway).
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Why not another Pennsylvania rivalry? Meet Gritty.
Penguins on the Flyers new mascot.
lol ok https://t.co/3sSJcbLSfF
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 24, 2018
Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird. pic.twitter.com/wLmGBa0Oyh
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) September 24, 2018