As autumn descends upon the Keystone State, we find ourselves with a scant six weeks until our slice of heaven provides the electoral margin necessary to elect the next leader of the free world. That’s right, Pennsylvania voters; you are pretty much in charge from here on out. And based upon a poll released this week, the winner will be the candidate who is “least terrible.” Warms the cockles of the heart, doesn’t it?
With Pennsylvania holding most of the electoral marbles, expect to see both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump (and their surrogates) around these parts quite a bit. That sound you hear is the mass hyperventilation from Camp Clinton as her once-commanding lead continues to evaporate nationwide.
Donald Trump spent Thursday in the Steel City whipping up support for the shale industry, which he claims will cease to exist under a Clinton Presidency. This must be especially galling for Clinton, who was attacked relentlessly by Bernie Sanders during the Primaries for being too cozy with the shale industry.
Lest we forget, the battle for control of the U.S. Senate will probably also be decided within our borders (lucky us), and that race continues to be closer than Angelina and…never mind. It’s close. The Toomey/McGinty debates will be held on October 17th and 24th, for anyone interested. And we know you are.
It was a genuinely crappy week to be hauled in front of Congress as lawmakers in Washington started out by mercilessly beating Wells Fargo to a pulp over that company’s fraudulent activity. And lest anyone think this was a partisan show, we can assure you there was plenty of vitriol from both sides of the aisle. You have achieved quite a bit when you can unite Congressional Democrats and Republicans, Wells Fargo. Congratulations.
Twenty minutes later, a House Oversight Committee opened up a can of you-know-what on Mylan Labs, the makers of the now-infamous Epi Pens, which you can procure at your local drug store for roughly the price of a mortgage. If there is a more tone deaf group out there, please send them our way. Our Crisis Communications team would be happy to slap some sense into them.
Like swallows returning to Capistrano, the state Senate will return next week to join their House colleagues. Facing the General Assembly is either a full legislative plate or plenty of time on their hands, depending on to whom you listen. Among the outstanding items that could see action are pension reform (which has been on the agenda for five years), tackling the opioid and heroin crisis, and finalizing an expansion of gaming that will fill the final $100 million budget hole that legislators agreed to fill in June.
Also on the horizon may be a renewed effort to pass a law that will allow any outside organization (rhymes with NRA) to sue local governments over gun ordinances. The previous foray was thrown in the trash by the courts, who ruled that the process used to pass the law was flawed. With strong pro-Second Amendment majorities in both chambers, the potential of the first veto override attempt under Governor Wolf remains very real on this one.
The Obama Administration this week announced it will draft guidelines for how states should regulate self-driving vehicles. Many states, including our own, have jumped into the self-driving space with both feet, a phenomenon which has given federal bureaucrats pause. The feds don’t like to be in the passenger seat.
If you are interested in liquor and beer laws in Pennsylvania, Pennlive.com this week has a great rundown on the recent changes to Pennsylvania’s liquor laws, and what may be next. Suffice to say that liquor privatization is not dead, folks. It is not even mortally wounded.
Next Wednesday, the House and Senate will convene in a joint session (there will be no joints, so calm down) for Governor Wolf’s address on the aforementioned opioid crisis. Rarely have we seen something rise to the level of public health crisis as quickly as this one.
Governor Wolf this week also laid out a four year plan to address hunger in Pennsylvania. While perhaps not as sexy as some other topics the governor has sought to address, this one seems like an effort that everyone can get behind. Who can be against feeding people?
The faculty members at the State System of Higher Education are poised to walk off the job as talks between them and the board that oversees the system have bogged down yet again. And trust us, we are being generous by using the phrase “bogged down.”
Creepy looking clowns have begun invading our small towns across the state, scaring the living daylights out of people. Seriously? This is what we have come to in Pennsylvania? Just stop. Nobody likes clowns.
It is that time again where we begin throwing around bouquets to our friends and clients. Shout-out number one goes to our pals at Lyft, who not only led a drive to provide school supplies to Philadelphia schools, but are also leading the charge to finalize legislation that will continue to direct millions of ride-sharing dollars into those same schools. This is what a true public-private partnership looks like, folks.
Next up are our friends at the University of Pennsylvania, the venerable institution that this week cracked the list of the top fifteen universities in the world. Yes, the entire planet.
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment, we take you to the Pacific Northwest, where a woman destroyed her vehicle when a spider appeared in her rear-view mirror, causing her to crash. If you think this might have been a bit of an overreaction on the driver’s part, we have spoken to several Triad associates who essentially said “yeah, that sounds about right.”
That is what passes for news around here as we breathlessly await the start of the final sprint to Election Day. Just think folks; only six more weeks of being inundated with campaign commercials that you can already recite by heart since you’ve already seen them 5,000 friggin’ times!! 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