The week that was. We started under the cloak of privacy at the GOP State Committee meeting and we finish with temperatures – at least here at the home office – touching 55 degrees. Yes, we’re ready for spring. The Governor released his final budget proposal. The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on the congressional maps. Money – raised and spent – continues to make news around the Commonwealth. And the 76ers get their man. All this and more in Ups and Downs.
David McCormick. The candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nod seized on a pair of opportunities to get digs in on one of his rivals – Dr. Oz. McCormick picked up an endorsement from Mike Pompeo, in which the former Trump Administration Secretary of State stated that McCormick would “confront the Chinese Community Party head-on.” This directly contradicts the Oz ad calling the former hedge fund CEO of being soft on China. Then a Super PAC released a TV ad calling Oz “right for Hollywood” as he prepares to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday.
Tom Wolf. The two-term Democratic governor gave his final budget address on Tuesday and swung for the fences, delivering a $43.7 billion spending proposal for the Commonwealth. Dems cheered. Republicans, not so much. Education funding is perennially popular, so the administration is hoping for a home run.
Seth Grove. The York County state representative has his congressional map – HB 2146 – in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. While the high court may reject it in favor of another, it is all that Grove can ask for to be this close to adoption.
COVID-19. As the number of new infections continues to fall from its January high, we can only hope that this is the beginning of better days. So an up arrow for our direction and a down arrow for the number of infections.
Bill McSwain. The former U.S. attorney gets an up arrow for the ability to put $4.8 million into a media buy, thanks to The Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The arrow is balanced due to The 1776 Project Committee out of Georgia who is supporting Lou Barletta and going after the McSwain campaign by tying him to Pat Toomey who remains unpopular in many GOP circles.
Mehmet Oz. The candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, joining over 2,700 other “stars.” We don’t know who nominated Oz, but anyone can nominate a celebrity as long as the celebrity or his/her management is in agreement with the nomination, according to the Walk of Fame website. There also is a $50,000 sponsorship fee upon selection. The fee is used to pay for the creation and installation of the star, as well as maintenance of the Walk of Fame. Finally, after someone has been selected, the recipient has up to two years to schedule their ceremony. The timing of Friday’s event … interesting.
James Harden and Ben Simmons. Harden has the opportunity to cement his legacy as one of the NBA’s top players if he can lift the 76ers to the promised land. Simmons is off to Brooklyn and is ready to play now that his mental health issues are behind him. SMH.
Doug Mastriano. The state senator from Franklin County earned his arrow by spending a day claiming that Facebook is censoring him – on Facebook. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mastriano has 70 Facebook pages between the campaign and counties in the Commonwealth. He stated that Facebook shut one page down due to “hacking.” And it went on from there.