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Ups and Downs

Looney Tunes

As winter comes to a close and spring is right around the corner, it’s time for us to take stock and look at last week’s Ups and Downs.

Dave McCormick. The former CEO of Bridgewater Associates is hinting at another run for the U.S. Senate seat during his book tour promoting, Superpower In Peril. His possible campaign received a boost when Kathy Barnette said she was not a candidate, but showed cracks when a poll showed Doug Mastriano with an 18-point edge over McCormick.

Up arrowJohn Wood. The relatively unknown Democratic candidate for Mayor in Philadelphia came up lucky on Wednesday, drawing the top spot on the 12-person ballot. Why is that important? A 2004 study found that in 71 of 79 NYC Democratic primary contests, candidates received a greater proportion of votes when they were listed first compared to any other position.

Doug Mastriano. The state senator from Franklin County is considering another run at higher office – this time for U.S. Senator. A recent PPP poll showed Mastriano ahead of potential challenger Dave McCormick by 18 points. Alas, he is also taking slings and arrows from traditional GOP pundits who remind him of his unsuccessful run for governor last year.

Up arrowCoffee Cans of Destiny. Wednesday was ballot lottery day around the Commonwealth when the order of names of the May 16 ballot was established. While there are various ways to choose lots, you have to admire that age-old tradition of selecting lots from a coffee can or a potato chip can to determine whether a candidate is first, second or further down the list on the ballot.

Up arrowDan Laughlin. The state Senator from Erie County has proposed legislation to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 203 to 150 members. This would increase the size of the House districts by approximately a third, bringing the ratio of lawmakers in Pennsylvania more in line with other states. This legislation will be unique from previous versions by including language that each Senate district will encompass three House members. This will allow for a more unified voice to each district and encourage bipartisanship. The bill has been referred to the State Government Committee.

Up arrowHarrisburg. The city finally and figuratively burned the mortgage on debt accumulated over two decades from a flawed municipal incinerator upgrade launched by then-Mayor Stephen Reed. Mayor Wanda Williams confirmed the city’s final payment of $8,335,968 and change to its municipal bond insurers has posted. 

Down arrowBethany Hallam and John Weinstein. The Allegheny County Councilwoman floated a way to get the County Treasurer right back on a powerful local sewer board through a secret deal that immediately raised legal and ethical questions. She reached out to state Rep. Emily Kinkead last April, saying that if Kinkead resigned her seat on the Alcosan board — creating an opening for Weinstein — the politically powerful, longtime treasurer would stop supporting Kinkead’s opponent in that year’s Democratic primary, several people with knowledge of the proposal said. Kinkead rejected the idea, won reelection and is still on Alcosan’s board.

Up arrowPA Chamber. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is running a Twitter contest to decide “the most interesting products made in Pennsylvania.” Thirty-two companies and products are competing for the right to be called “the coolest thing made in the state.”

Up arrowBrian Burick. The former Lawrence County Commissioner will return to the post after a judge selected him to fill a vacancy. Burick served as commissioner from 1996 through 2004. He will not be seeking election this spring.

Down arrowJoseph Leschinskie. The former Shamokin City Councilman has 10 days to withdraw his name from the spring ballot after Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said the Shamokin resident is not legally allowed to hold office. Northumberland County President Judge Charles Saylor said Leschinskie had prior felony convictions that legally barred him from being seated as an elected official.

Down arrowJeffrey L. Thomas. The suspended Somerset County District Attorney was convicted of sex and physical assault charges during a jury trial this week, the Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday. Thomas was charged with the incidents in Cambria and Somerset counties and was suspended as the DA following the sexual assault allegations from Sept. 18, 2021.

2 Responses

  1. You twice reference a poll that was refuted by the polling company as fake under the Mastriano/McCormick items. Integrity and journalistic ethics ring a bell with you?


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