Vice-Presidential candidate Mike Pence popped by Norristown this week to do a little campaigning and get his hair cut. The barber performing the duties can be forgiven for not knowing the name of his almost-famous customer, to be sure. When your running mate dominates every news outlet every day, it doesn’t leave whole lot of room to make a name for oneself.
President Obama this week promised that he would take one last shot at getting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact into law before riding off into the Chicago sunset, we learned this week. Now seems like as good of a time as any, considering both Presidential candidates hate the TPP with a passion. This is the legislative equivalent of lighting a bag of dog doo and leaving it on the front porch of the White House for the new President to deal with.
Donald Trump this week signaled that he just might be able to work with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in this country instead of rounding them all up and shipping them back home. Trump said he now favors only shipping “the bad ones” home, which is essentially Barack Obama’s immigration policy. Audacious stuff, Donald; not sure how the hard right is going to feel about that move.
We also learned this week that a 12-year-old boy is running Donald Trump’s campaign office in Colorado. We don’t know how much direct voter contact is coming out of that office, but we do know one thing: plenty of Snapchats are being sent.
Senator Pat Toomey had a pretty good week, as he won the endorsement of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun-control group launched by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Toomey raised plenty of eyebrows when he broke with the NRA over gun safety measures, so this one wasn’t a huge surprise, but notable nonetheless.
Pennsylvania has become the 49th state to launch a prescription drug database to help combat overdosing and prescription drug abuse. It is astounding how quickly this type of abuse moved from random incidents to a national health crisis.
Speaking of drugs, the maker of the Epi Pen is under a barrage of criticism this week after people began noticing a rather – ahem – sharp price increase. Mylan has boosted the price of the pens by 400 per cent, and what followed was a textbook example of how not to respond to a crisis. Somebody should suggest some media training for a certain politically-connected CEO.
Governor Wolf this week called for much stricter oversight of Pennsylvania’s 174 charter schools. His plea comes on the heels of a pretty scathing report by the state’s Auditor General, and a brutal assault on Pennsylvania’s charter school law by HBO’s John Oliver. Rarely is it good news to find yourself in the firing line of John Oliver.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes was out and about again this week, doing his best to assure folks that Pennsylvania’s voting machines will not be hacked, rigged or otherwise subjected to shenanigans this fall. It is amazing what an offhand and totally baseless remark by a Presidential candidate can do to the country’s collective paranoia level.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is looking to turn its 550 miles of right-of-way into one long broadband network as soon as next year, we found out this week. Toll roads across the nation are starting to explore this type of joint venture, which can yield some serious loot. Never again will your call be dropped as you approach meander along the mountaintop east of Breezewood.
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack (himself a military veteran) announced this week that he will create a task force focused on how to better care for and deliver services to our Pennsylvania’s veterans. We applaud you, Mr. L.G.
The iconic flipboard at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia is going the way of all flesh, Amtrak announced this week. Some newfangled digital board will take its place. We cannot help but be a bit saddened by this news. Now if you’ll excuse us, we are going to put some Zeppelin on our eight-track player and ponder the end of this era.
In other choo-choo news, Vice-President Joe Biden this week announced a new round of federal funds for Amtrak’s northeastern corridor, which experienced a record year in ridership last year. Biden, as some will note, has a train station named after him in Delaware, which has long been a goal of ours. Next stop: Triad station – we think we’ve earned it! Amtrak has no doubt seen a major increase in ridership with the number of Triad team members we have working in Philadelphia these days!
Staying on the rails for a moment, lawmakers headed out to the Steel City this week to discuss the state of the Commonwealth’s transportation system. Plenty of talk centered around adding train service between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. We hear the train a-comin’, but only once a day.
CORE Realty this week announced that it has come to an agreement to purchase Pittsburgh’s 31st Street Studios. For Pittsburgh film aficionados, this announcement signals that the industry is alive and well in western Pennsylvania.
Triad’s own Rick Kelly this week took pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to tell us how not to respond to a crisis. Exhibit A: Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, who continues to be a train wreck unto himself. Apparently the CEO of Mylan wasn’t taking notes.
In our We Can’t Make This Up section this week, we take you to lovely Fayette County, where a woman stabbed her husband multiple times because he drank one of her beers when she fell asleep. We love our beer as much as the next person, but this seems to be a rather disproportionate response.
That’s what passes for news around here as August comes to a close and we turn our gaze to the fall legislative session. Be sure to come back and visit soon, because our trains always run on time at Triad. From all of us to all of you, 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