Despite the encompassing impact the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory had on Philadelphia and the team’s legion of long-suffering fans across the state, it still seemed a little out of place to write about it in a column dedicated to politics on a website dedicated to politics. So, thank you to Gov. Tom Wolf for devoting the first section of his annual budget address to the win. Watching both sides of the aisle applaud the team’s first championship of the Super Bowl era answered the question of what could possibly generate a rousingly bipartisan bonhomie during what is usually a polarizing speech delivered to an increasingly fractious audience.
While Wolf’s words brought together a few hundred people, the greatest feat of oratory in the Commonwealth in recent memory – if not ever – unified a crowd on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway conservatively (very conservatively, if you ask those packed into those blocks) estimated at 700,000 people. They and those watching heard Jason Kelce, the team’s outspoken center, unleash five minutes of catharsis for the team, its fans and the region. Nothing to add here except the link to the most memorable speech ever delivered in full Mummery. If you haven’t taken the time to see it, do so now. If you have, do so again.
Sunoco: Despite continually disregarding regulations and requirements for construction of its controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline – including shoddy workmanship and unpermitted digging – the energy behemoth was fined a paltry $12 million by the DEP before being allowed to resume construction.
Football-loving pols: Some Philadelphia City Council members and Gov. Tom Wolf were offered – and accepted – a special opportunity to purchase face-value Super Bowl tickets from the Eagles.
Scranton Sewer Authority: Attorney General Josh Shapiro cleared the authority of wrongdoing in the controversial sale of the city’s sewer system – a deal larded up with $5.3 million in “professional fees,” and one that was condemned by both the Scranton City Council and the Dunmore City Council as a short-term, shortsighted cash grab that would result in dramatically higher bills for residential customers.
Chris Dush: Although to be fair, based on the amount of press his publicity stunt to impeach the five Democratic State Supreme Court Justices received, state Rep. Dush could just as easily have been in the above column. So, it’s a push? Except for the part where he hijacked attention and effort that was needed to make the court’s tight deadlines for redrawn maps.
Puerto Rican evacuees: Families evacuated from the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria will soon lose federal housing vouchers that have allowed them to seek refuge in mainland cities like Philadelphia – and no viable alternative has yet surfaced.
Claire Risoldi: The PA Supreme Court upheld a contempt judgment against the Bucks County GOP fundraiser for violating a court order barring her from contacting witnesses in a fraud case.