As Team USA continues its sheer dominance in the Rio Olympics, it is worth noting that swimmer Michael Phelps has now broken a 2,168 year-old record for most Olympic victories, a title formerly held by Leonidas of Rhodes. Leonidas’ family could not be reached for comment.
Of all the controversial things Donald Trump has said in the past few weeks (and there have been a handful, to be sure), his prediction that the elections are “rigged” seemed to strike quite a nerve here in the Keystone State.
First, a Philadelphia elections worker went off on Fox News’ Sean Hannity for the talk show host’s comments on voter fraud in the City of Brotherly Love. Hannity, who was born in New York City, lives in Centre Island, New York and to our knowledge has never voted in Pennsylvania, seems to have quite the working knowledge of Philly’s voting machines.
Then Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes weighed in on the topic when he assured our own Tony May that Pennsylvania’s voting machines are very difficult to hack, and that there are procedures in place to detect any monkey business. If you want to see that whole interview, check out Tony’s appearance on Face the State this Sunday at 8:30 AM on CBS-TV 21, or online here.
Tom Ridge this week joined with forty-nine other GOP foreign policy luminaries to pen a letter stating that they would not be voting for Trump this fall. Hillary Clinton, to be clear, is not exactly their brand of whiskey, either.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania got some good news this week, as Moody’s finally took its foot off the state’s throat and upgraded our credit rating. The ship of state may finally be making that wide turn towards calmer waters.
The news has prompted some Wolf Administration officials to consider floating up to $2 billion in bonds to help school districts renovate their aging classrooms. This is welcomed news to school officials, some of whom are sitting at 50-year-old metal desks with pictures of President Eisenhower on the walls.
Pennsylvania restaurants and hotels are lining up for licenses to sell up to four bottles of wine for takeout at their establishments. No word on how many boxes of wine will qualify.
Speaking of wine, CBS this week came out with a ranking of the drunkest cities in America. Spoiler alert: Wisconsin won the gold, silver and bronze.
The federal DEA this week continued to mystify the planet when it announced it would not re-classify marijuana from its current perch as a Schedule One narcotic (a title it shares with heroin and ecstasy), but did lift its own monopoly on growing pot for research. This has lawmakers envisioning large pot plantations in the Keystone State. Hey, agriculture is our number one industry, after all.
Governor Wolf continued his swing across the state, bringing light to our heroin and opioid addiction crisis. Wolf had originally asked the General Assembly for $34 million to fight the epidemic, but received only $20 million. Apparently, that extra penny tax on a pack of cigarettes that could have funded it would have been a bridge too far.
We interrupt this memo to bring you a video of a dolphin taking a woman’s iPad. It has nothing to do with Pennsylvania politics, but it’s Friday and we are slightly giddy.
Returning to our regularly scheduled memo, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are closing in on what could be a cure for AIDS, we learned this week. Their efforts were spurred by a federal research grant, proving once again that all government spending is bad. Hail to Pitt!
Pittsburgh is also the epicenter of research for driverless cars, according to our own Secretary of Transportation. For our part, we are still waiting for those flying cars that we were promised growing up watching The Jetsons.
Last week, we told you that the state had reached a contract agreement with the largest public sector unions. You know who hasn’t gotten a new contract? That would be the state system of higher education’s faculty members, who have now worked 408 days without a contract. Now would be a good time for everyone to remember that college classes start in about two weeks.
Our Shameless Client Plugs this week start out with our good friend Bob Latham, Executive Vice President of the Associated Pennsylvania Contractors. Check out Latham’s comments on the need for work zone cameras here.
And we cannot forget our friends at Pocono Raceway, who this week announced that the Verizon IndyCar series will be coming back to the Tricky Triangle for at least two more years.
Because this week has been one long, smelly barrage of unsavory political news, our We Can’t Make This Up section brings you the story of the Rhode Island Little League team who advanced towards Williamsport on the strength of a walk-off grand slam. That is the stuff dreams are made of right there.
That’s what passes for news around here on this oppressively hot Friday. If you are considering leaving a pet in your car for even two minutes today, please do us a favor and instead hit yourself on the head with a ball peen hammer. 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