So much for the afterglow: Like their compatriots in the swamp to the south, PA Republicans have found that, just as Mr. Spock intoned to his erstwhile romantic rival, Stonn, in the Star Trek episode, “Amok Time,” “you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting.” Leadership battles, a failed effort to bring the nation’s most restrictive abortion bill to a vote and a looming $500 million deficit for the fiscal year have all combined to take a bit of the shine off of last week’s shellacking of the state’s Democrats (who would no doubt love to trade their problems for the GOP’s).
And now, for the rest of this week’s winners and losers:
Ori Feibush: The Philadelphia developer, who lost a bitter election battle to incumbent Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson last year, won a $45,000 judgment against a ward leader and PAC that a jury found didn’t deliver on their GOTV promises. Considering Feibush claims to have spent $160,000 on services the defendants didn't provide – and that Ed Nesmith, the ward leader in question, successfully countersued Feibush for $15,000 – this verdict seems to be the definition of “settling.”
Ed Rendell: the Democratic stalwart has been getting paid $5,000 a month by a casino on the tiny island of Saipan – the largest of the Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth – for … well, that’s not exactly clear yet. In fact, we have a feeling we’ll be reading more about Hizzoner and Best Sunshine Live casino – and its operator, Donald Trump acolyte Mark Brown – before too long.
Larry Farnese: The 1st District PA senator retained his post as Democratic caucus secretary despite a challenge by PA Sen. John Yudichak, who claimed that bribery charges against Farnese – which Farnese is contesting – disqualified him from holding a leadership position.
Philly GOP: Seems like one of the first things they teach in Remedial Public Relations: When asked to comment on a hate crime, condemn it and those involved. Evidently, the Philly GOP missed that lesson. Following a rash of high-profile hate crimes in Philadelphia – including swastikas in South Philly and racist texts sent to black Penn students – in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory last week, Philadelphia Magazine’s Holly Otterbein reached out to get the Philly GOP’s response. What followed was, um, not the organization’s finest moment.
Kathleen Kane: We know, right? Just when you think you’ll never see her name pop up here again, something comes along like this week’s revelations that the investigation into her time as AG and subsequent impeachment is ongoing, and that she knowingly thwarted a case against Northeast PA power brokers.
Pennsylvania animals: Take heart, Philly GOP: You weren’t the only group in the commonwealth with skewed optics this week. Somehow, the entire Legislature managed to whiff on the no-brainer issue of protecting animals. How, you may ask? By adjourning this week without passing a group of animal cruelty bills, including Libre’s Law, which would have strengthened the penalties for animal abuse. Basically, it makes it look like PA lawmakers don’t care about animal welfare – a bad, completely avoidable look.