We may be nine days into December, but so far, this month’s biggest losers – potentially, since there is still a slim chance of finding a solution – remain the same as last month’s. The 600 employees slated to be laid off at three state Unemployment Compensation call centers on Dec. 19 are still crossing every appendage available in hopes that Gov. Wolf and GOP leaders will figure out a way to get out of their own way and pass a funding measure. We can’t wait to move this one out of the “L” column.  

 

WINNERS

Congressman Lou Barletta: This may wind up in the Losers column at a future date, depending on how well a Trump cabinet plays together and with the president-elect. But at this juncture, for Barletta, an early supporter of Trump’s who has been mentioned for both Labor and Transportation, getting to stay in the House of Representatives seems like a smart play.

PA Sen. John Blake: Taking a leadership role with Senate Democrats in a superminority isn’t the most ideal situation, but it’s a definite feather in Blake’s cap to be named caucus administrator, replacing Sen. John Yudichak .

Delaware County taxpayers: Now, this is how you do it. In the wake of the PA Legislature’s utter failure to enact legislation to fix the casino tax morass, officials in Delaware County and Chester negotiated directly with Harrah’s to ensure that the casino’s tax dollars would keep flowing to the area, obviating the need for a tax increase on residents.

 

LOSERS

Chaka Fattah: You know it’s bad when your attorneys are arguing for a sentence of only 11-14 years instead of prosecutors’ requested term of 17-22 years. On top of that, the FEC is demanding the return of $29,000 in prohibited contributions to the former congressman’s campaign fund.

Ed Pawlowski: Allentown’s mayor could only sit powerlessly by as Allentown City Council passed a 2017 budget that lopped off $1 million from his proposed spending plan. All eyes are now on Pawlowski’s threat of a lawsuit against council over their action.

Emily Youcis: We seriously debated not giving her any more oxygen, but just couldn’t pass up one last chance to type “Phillies’ white nationalist Pistachio Girl gets fired,” and to include her gold-standard tweet about it, “Was waiting for the right time to break it to the internet.”