We begin this week’s festivities with a reminder that Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the nation’s most horrific and devastating terror attack. Before you clean the garage or fire up the grill this weekend, take a moment to remember those we lost. #NeverForget
The race for Pennsylvania’s electoral votes tightened up a bit this week with the release of a new Quinnipiac poll showing that Donald Trump now trails Hillary Clinton in the Keystone State by just five points, down from ten last month. Cue the “Pennsylvania is back in play!” editorials.
The Pledge of Allegiance has been in the news more often than when George H.W. Bush used it to bludgeon Michael Dukakis all those years ago. Instead of weighing in on whether it is kosher to sit, stand, kneel, genuflect or do cartwheels, we give you this interesting and not at all controversial story from Philly Magazine about the 11 things you may not know about the dear old pledge. We don’t traffic in controversy around here. We are too old and cynical.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and challenger Katie McGinty are locked in a neck-and-neck battle heading into the waning days of September, and as usual, the race has become a referendum on who, if elected, will do more for the “middle class.” Perhaps if everyone had the same definition of what constitutes this mysterious “middle class” they speak of, we can have a better informed debate.
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai joined Governor Wolf this week at a Harrisburg-area Wegman’s to buy the first bottles of wine available at grocery stores under the new law. Good stuff; wake us when we can buy Crown Royal with our steaks.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has spoken, and the referendum asking Pennsylvanians whether they favor extending the mandatory retirement ages for judges from 70 to 75 years of age will be on the ballot this fall. The decision follows a spate of legislating and repealing and filing suit that most legal scholars can’t begin to grasp. So if you like your judges with a bit more seasoning, so to speak, make sure to go vote this fall.
Philadelphians are much more likely to find a female driver behind the wheel of their Lyft or Uber rides than if they choose a cab, we found out this week. Apparently, women are much more comfortable working for ride-sharing companies than they are for traditional cab companies. We will leave it up to you to speculate as to why.
A Montgomery County court this week ruled that school districts cannot raise local property taxes above the state-mandated index if they are sitting on wads of surplus cash. While this ruling may not have caught your attention, it should. We imagine there are a whole lot of lawyers out there salivating at the chance to represent the poor, overtaxed masses.
The largest public employee union in the state ratified its latest contract with the Commonwealth this week. Before anyone gets all frothy and indignant that these folks got raises (the nerve!), check out the part about the more than $200 million in savings the state will reap from increased health care co-pays and deductibles. In one pocket, out the other.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale this week continued his audit-a-palooza by shining a light on the crippling debt pile that is lying in the middle of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. If lawmakers do not act soon to relieve the pike of this load of red ink, it may be cheaper to charter your own jet between Harrisburg and Philly than to drive it and pay the tolls. Oh, and all you EZ pass scofflaws; they are coming for you and the $20 million you owe.
DePasquale also uncovered the fact that almost 3,000 rape kits held by law enforcement agencies across the state have been untested. That’s not a terribly reassuring thought, now is it? Thanks, General.
If you live in Pennsylvania but work in New Jersey, you may be about to pay a whole lot more in income tax. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week detached himself from Donald Trump long enough to repeal the income tax reciprocity agreement the two states have had in place since 1977. There is a reason Philadelphians have a disdain for the Garden State, and you are not helping the matter at all, governor.
The state saw a 14 per cent increase in cigarette tax collections according to a report released yesterday. We guess that is what happens when you raise taxes on cigarettes. Cause, meet effect. Moving right along…
We have so many damned Shameless Client Plugs this week that we have no idea where to begin. OK, maybe we do know where. Here looks good. First, we give you our longtime friend Jim Kunz of the Operating Engineers schooling us all a bit on why pipelines – and more specifically the construction of said pipelines – are good for the economy.
In Shameless Client Plug two, we take you to Indiana, where Gov. Mike Pence (we recognize that name for some reason) has entered into an agreement with Agile Networks to lease the state’s communications infrastructure instead of allowing it to sit around doing very little to earn its keep. Check out his statement here.
Out in western PA comes Shameless Client Plug three. Our friends at McCaffery Interests are now moving to double the size of their Strip District Produce Terminal redevelopment project in Pittsburgh. Thanks to our partner, DTI Development, which is assisting McCaffery in transforming the iconic Steel City neighborhood.
And in SCP four we give you our friends at Magellan Health who are hosting an event in lovely Doylestown to raise awareness of mental health issues facing our youth. Check out the details here.
We reserve our final Shameless Plug for a non-client: on Sept. 27, the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association (the ink-stained wretches who cover and in some cases cause the news in Pennsylvania’s Capitol and beyond) will hold the 86th annual Gridiron show, including comedic appearances by Gov. Tom Wolf and members of the Pennsylvania legislature. Details and tix are here.
In our We Can’t Make This Up section this week, we take you to, well, the internet, where rumors are again circulating that megastar Taylor Swift is actually the daughter of a satanic cult leader, and could very well be a high priestess rather than a sugary-sounding pop diva. Oh, and the Illuminati are involved. She’s got a blank space, baby… and she worships the devil!
That’s what passes for news around here at Triad World Headquarters! We hope you stuck around long enough to want more next week, because we are coming back, and there is nothing you can do about it. From all of us at Team 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