Raise your hand if back in 2015 you envisioned the RNC nominating Donald Trump for President of the United States. Yeah, that’s what we thought. The unlikeliest of journeys ended in Cleveland last night, as Trump grabbed the baton and began his sprint to November 8th. Next up: Philadelphia.
Here is a quick clip of our own Pennsylvania delegation throwing its support to Trump on Tuesday night, courtesy of Pennlive.com’s John Micek.
And as pundits begin to coalesce around the point that Pennsylvania is perhaps the most important swing state on the electoral map, Team Trump has already begun targeting the make-or-break voting bloc that is Pennsylvania’s Amish community. As Lancaster goes, so goes the country!
With the nation’s political gaze now shifting to Philadelphia, Comcast has announced a plan to launch WiFi on Wheels to bring immediate connectivity to convention-goers around the city. Because nothing actually happens in this world if you can’t immediately post a selfie about it.
Philadelphia will now have the 10th highest cigarette tax in the nation, thanks to the recently-inked state budget deal. If you buy a pack of smokes in the City of Brotherly Love, you’ll be paying a total of $4.60 in taxes, which means you should probably buy them somewhere west of City Line Avenue.
For many who were not paying close attention, the new state budget also locked in the portion of Philly’s tobacco tax that goes to help fund the school district by removing the sunset date on that $2.00 levy. Thankfully for you, Triad was paying very close attention. You’re welcome.
And speaking of taxes in Philadelphia, a plan is moving through the General Assembly that would make changes to the state’s uniformity clause, allowing the city to tax residences and businesses at different rates. Before you break out the party hats, the plan would have to be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions and then go to voters for approval.
Standard and Poors has somewhat begrudgingly moved Pennsylvania off its credit downgrade list after the state budget became law last week, although the agency was quick to point out that the plan wasn’t technically balanced. S and P also went on to mention that Pennsylvania has more than enough capacity to absorb a tax increase to finish the job. That sound you heard was the Commonwealth Foundation passing out on the floor. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/SP-threatens-Pa-downgrade-.html
Governor Wolf has signed a bill that will legalize the growing of industrial hemp, we learned this week. Now if we could just figure out how to make roads and bridges out of hemp, we would be all set.
Wolf seems to have a bit of wind in his sails after the budget deal came together, and he continued his roll this week by announcing that Amazon will bring 5,000 new jobs to the Keystone State. We can assume that newly-passed tax on digital downloads wasn’t that big of a deal after all.
As legislatures across the nation buttoned things up until the fall, twenty-one states took a crack at legalizing and regulating fantasy sports, but only six were ultimately successful. Pennsylvania, you may recall, fell into the former group when the final bell rang last week. We are sure the fantasy sports industry is really excited about having fifty different laws to comply with someday.
The unrest in Turkey that dominated the news early in the week has a strange Pennsylvania connection. It seems as though the attempted coup against Tayyip Erdogan’s government may have been plotted by a cleric named Fethullah Gulen, who now resides in Saylorsburg. If we were he, we would be watching the driveway very closely for the appearance of black SUVs.
The midstate made national news this week when a woman was arrested for locking her two children in the trunk of her Corvette. As disgusting as the act was, people were transfixed by her mug shot, where she is smiling like she just won the Powerball jackpot. We assume that smile will fade when she ends up in prison for being an idiot.
If you were wondering when all these purported changes to wine sales in Pennsylvania will kick in, our pals at newsworks.org have a handy-dandy rundown for you. Yes, you will be able to have wine shipped to your house someday very soon, obviating the need to ever leave your house again.
Politico published a piece this week about how the Philadelphia Naval Yard came back from the brink and is now a thriving shipbuilding center. Triad’s own Mike Acker is a member of the Philadelphia Shipyard Development Corporation, so consider this a shameless employee plug.
On that note, our own Rick Kelly is back with a new podcast this week on the importance of media training. Yes, there is more to the media relations than sending out tweets, folks.
Rounding our employee shout-outs, we give you our own Tony May, who we presume finally made a decision as to what to watch last week: the RNC or the cowboy monkey rodeo.
In the shameless client plug arena, we bring you are friends at Magellan Health, who are receiving rave reviews for their statewide conference on behavioral health. Check out the coverage here.
And as the Pocono 400 approaches, we were saddened to hear that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be racing due to his lingering concussion. But wait! There is a silver lining! Some dude named Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement to pilot the number 88 car, making our own Alexandra D’Angola very happy indeed!
In our We Can’t Make This Up section, we are horrified to report that a piranha was caught – and then accidentally released – at a lake outside of Pittsburgh. Yeah, now we have piranhas. Have a great Friday.
That’s what passes for news around here as the sun scorches our headquarters. We will be back with a bunch more news next week proving we all don’t melt before then. From all your friends at Triad, have a great weekend!
The Triadvocate is a publication of Triad Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan lobbying, public affairs, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, issue management consulting firm located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh