It can feel kinda self-defeating to do this feature right now and not feature the week’s glaringly obvious choices in each category, but we’re keeping the blinders on and staying focused on the homegrown product. Winners & Losers, that is – what sort of homegrown products did you think we were talking about?
Jim Kenney: The Philadelphia mayor’s much ballyhooed pre-K expansion is finalizing contracts and beginning enrollment – with the presumption that his much ballyhooed soda tax to fund it all doesn’t get taken out by an ongoing court challenge. Kenney staffers were reportedly busy crossing their fingers.
Melonease Shaw: A judge inexplicably tossed charges that the lobbyist took money meant for welfare grants and spent it on line dancing lessons and other frivolous expenses, probably over issues with a statute of limitations. So if you want to spend $300,000 of state money on trips to Atlantic City, just don’t get caught for a while and you’re cool.
West York: The tiny town’s mayor – who unrepentantly shared racist internet memes depicting President Barack Obama as a primate, among other social media abominations – finally stepped down. Now the residents can start working on being known for something other than “that town with the racist mayor.”
Sen. Stewart Greenleaf - The state senator spearheaded efforts to make police body camera footage nearly inaccessible to the public. Police departments may as well invest in selfie sticks to go with their officers’ new equipment, because that’s about all the cameras will be good for if Greenleaf’s bill becomes law.
Sen. Mike Folmer - Back in 2012, civil libertarian groups applauded a bill by Folmer that flatly told the federal government it wouldn’t include biometric technology in state ID cards on the grounds of general creepiness. Now PA driver licenses are a few years away from being unsuitable for use at airport security, border crossings, military bases and other federal properties. Uh...thanks?
Rep. Mark Rozzi - The legislative session is likely to end without a vote on Rozzi’s bill to expand the statute of limitation on sex abuse charges, which has languished in the face of intense lobbying by church groups. Rozzi and thousands of other Pennsylvanians are victims of sexual abuse and there’s nothing funny about the state’s continued refusal to help them receive a small measure of justice.