April 13, 2016
Both houses of Pennsylvania's legislature have belatedly voted to take the merciful and pragmatic step of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. The trouble is that, particularly in the House, lawmakers couldn't resist saddling the measure with overwrought restrictions reminiscent of the Rube Goldberg bureaucracy the state still imposes on another once-prohibited drug, alcohol. The state Senate can either substantially improve the legislation, which would require reapproval by the lower chamber, or largely accept it, getting the measure to Gov. Wolf's desk as quickly as possible and leaving major changes for another time.
April 12, 2016
Today's topic is political déjà vu. Pennsylvania is known for it. Same kind of stuff over and over. It even shows up in campaigns. Take our April 26 Democratic U.S. Senate primary, featuring Joe Sestak, Katie McGinty and John Fetterman. If you're following at all you might be thinking, hey, wait, this feels familiar. You're right. It's not a total match with a past campaign, and Fetterman is certainly something new, but there are similarities between this race and the 2010 Democratic Senate primary, which also featured and was won by one Joe Sestak.
April 7, 2016 |
The three Pennsylvania Democrats running for U.S. Senate engaged in their sharpest clash yet Tuesday night, their first broadcast debate reflecting the rising stakes as the race enters its final three weeks. Katie McGinty was the aggressor in trying to draw clear contrasts, quickly accusing front-runner Joe Sestak of supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Sestak, a former Navy admiral and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said she was distorting his record and relying on negativity.
April 5, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 A refreshing candidate for U.S. Senate Thanks to columnist John Baer for writing about the leadership qualities of John Fetterman, the lesser-known Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate representing Pennsylvania ("A fresh but little-heard voice in the Senate race," Wednesday). With graduate degrees in business and public policy from the University of Connecticut and Harvard and having served in AmeriCorps, Fetterman has brought resources and direction to the depleted but once-thriving steel-producing community of Braddock, outside Pittsburgh.
April 4, 2016
Political analysts Alan Novak and T.J. Rooney look at the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, where Braddock Mayor John Fetterman; Katie McGinty, the former chief of staff to Gov. Wolf; and former Rep. Joe Sestak are vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Pat Toomey. Alan Novak is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania T.J. Rooney is a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party N ovak: Pennsylvania's Senate race will be one of the top two or three campaigns in the country.
April 2, 2016
By Kenneth E. Davis The photograph at right shows what the legislative process looked like in 1972. Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and Republican Sen. Hugh Scott (with a younger me in the second row) testified in support of campaign reform. I was privileged to work for Scott for 10 years as his chief of staff. What has happened to the legislative process? The seeds of rancor were sown about 50 years ago with the civil rights battles in Congress. President Lyndon Johnson did prevail over his former Southern Democratic Senate colleagues with the help of Scott and a number of other moderate Republicans.
April 1, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama and Vice President Biden endorsed Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race Wednesday, adding the White House imprint to one of the country's most closely watched Senate races. "Katie is a true champion for working families," Obama said in a statement released by the McGinty campaign. It was a rare example of the president stepping so directly into a party primary - though one that doesn't always work. In 2010, Obama endorsed then-Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary for the same seat, but Joe Sestak ultimately won the nomination.
April 1, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURT Judicial jousting Touché, obstructionists. Well-played, Supreme Court. It appears that the Supreme Court will use its calendar as its check and balance against the U.S. Senate. Tuesday's 4-4 split over a California woman's lawsuit to strike down mandatory union fees clearly spanked the Republican obstructionists for shirking their duty to vet President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court as required by law ("Vacant seat lets unions prevail," Wednesday)
March 31, 2016 |
THIS ISN'T an endorsement. It's an observation. After covering every major Pennsylvania political race of the last quarter-century, I can say I've never encountered a candidate quite like John Fetterman. Not only doesn't he look like a politician, he doesn't act like one. Yet he's running for U.S. Senate. He doesn't work a room. He doesn't talk in platitudes. He isn't fed big servings of special-interest money. He just shows up at events and says things that make sense. Or he broadcasts, somewhere on discount outlets or YouTube, unusual ads that actually ask viewers to think rather than just watch colorful video of a pol talking with groups of ethnically diverse smiling people or cops or veterans or friendly, nodding senior citizens, while making sure to gently place a hand on someone's shoulder.