Anyone who has spent the past four days navigating the traffic nightmare of Greater Philadelphia knows exactly who the biggest losers are in the state this week. Bright side: you couldn't ask for a better argument for and justification of working from home every now and then. And if erstwhile mass transit users are the losers, then you know who the winners must be:
Willie Brown and the Transit Workers Union: Going out on strike a week before a presidential election in an overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold where high voter turnout is necessary to swing this swing state blue is certainly one way to bring attention to your union's quest for a new contract. We can only imagine the pressure being brought to bear on SEPTA officials to resolve the impasse immediately. Now that SEPTA has asked for an injunction to the strike, the TWU has to be careful not to overplay its hand, lest it end up in the other half of this feature next week.
Matt Darragh and Joe Hohenstein: the two Democratic challengers for the PA House seats out of Northeast Philly each received presidential endorsements this week: Darragh for his tilt against Martina White in the 170th District, and Hohenstein in his battle against longtime incumbent John Taylor in the 177th District.
Pedro Cortés: the Pennsylvania Secretary of State has been forcefully pushing back against Republican charges of voter fraud in the state since they first began gaining national traction, and penned a comprehensive primer on a citizen's voting rights in the commonwealth, which was published in media outlets across PA.
Pat Toomey: What does $50 million buy these days? If you're the GOP incumbent in the race for the US Senate seat – the most expensive race in US history, by the way – the answer is: not much. Despite the lucre laid out on his behalf by his campaign and a host of supporting PACs, Toomey not only hasn't been able to achieve any separation from Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, but, according to a number of polls released this week, he's losing ground to her.
FieldWorks LLC: the Washington, DC-based grassroots organization with Democratic ties has had offices raided this week on suspicion of voter registration fraud, first in Delaware County on Monday, and yesterday in Philadelphia. Republicans in the state, including US Rep. Patrick Meehan have been having an, um, field day taking the group – and, by extension, the Democratic GOTV process – to task over the allegations.
Jim Kenney: the Philadelphia mayor was forced to cancel a fundraising event for his PAC on Tuesday after it was revealed that no fewer than four law firms sponsoring the event (out of 21 sponsors in all) had contracts with the city – a potential violation of Philadelphia's pay-to-play laws. The PAC returned some $80,000 that had been raised through the event.