Exhale. What a week! Campaign finance reports are out. Appointments are made. The state House and Senate maps are approved. The courts … oh those courts. Phil saw his shadow. And Gritty is in a better mood. All this and more … in this week’s Ups and Downs.
John Fetterman and Conor Lamb. The two Democrats announced a huge cash reserve entering 2022 with Fetterman bringing $5.3 million into the year and Lamb at $3 million.
Seth Bluestein. Bluestein stood against the unfounded allegations of some Republicans after the 2020 election, receiving death threats alongside former Commissioner Al Schmidt. That trial by fire earned him bipartisan support and confirmation by Philadelphia City Council to be Schmidt’s replacement. Bluestein will fill the remainder of the term of which concludes in January 2024.
The Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are on a two-game winning streak. Hey, it’s something.
Kerry Benninghoff. The House Majority Leader continued to fight for his members to the end, making his plea to amend the LRC’s approved map but fell short by a 3-2 vote. An up for the fight … a down for the defeat.
Patricia McCullough. The Commonwealth Court judge had been given the responsibility of choosing a congressional map. Then it appeared the State Supreme Court took that role away from her. Finally, the Supremes designated her Special Master and charged her with making a recommendation to the high court. A roller coaster week for Judge McCullough.
Pennsylvania bridges. The Commonwealth ranks second in the country for bridges in poor condition (3,198) according to data from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Only Illinois has more at 4,504. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that PennDOT has ordered a review for five bridges with construction similar to the Forbes Avenue bridge that collapsed last week.
Punxsutawney Phil. The most-famous groundhog in Pennsylvania saw his shadow – again – at sunrise at Gobblers Knob on Wednesday. Nothing against Phil … but who is really cheering for six more weeks of winter?