This week we begin with culinary news. The latest entry in this year’s dead-horse stew cook-off is Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is seeking to challenge the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. A Wisconsin recount has begun, a PA court has scheduled a hearing on the issue for Monday, and Michigan residents are more interested in a recount of J.T Barrett’s first-down yardage on the next-to-last play of the Michigan-Ohio State football game. Evidence regarding the first down was inconclusive, but at least there was evidence.
President-elect Donald Trump got busy with several key cabinet nominations. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and the NY Times obliges with a list of the nominees to date.
One of them still could be PA Congressman Lou Barletta, albeit as labor secretary, not as the more coveted post of transportation secretary. Barletta came early to the Trump party and hung around even when things looked bleak for a time.
Trump announced he intends to extricate himself from all current business matters “in total” by putting the kiddoes in charge of his businesses through a blind trust, allowing him to focus entirely on the presidency. Surprisingly, the anti-Trumpians said that won’t be good enough, and what he really needs to do is sell everything.
Trump and VP-elect Mike Pence announced that they persuaded Carrier Corp. to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in Indiana instead of losing them to Mexico. Former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders complained that Trump played right into Carrier’s hands with the very tax breaks and regulatory treatment the company had sought. “AND GET OFF MY LAWN!” he added.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi secured an eighth term as Democratic caucus leader, but many took notice that Ohio back-bencher Tim Ryan won nearly a third of the votes, signaling considerable dissatisfaction with the party’s policy agenda of late.
According to Roll Call, PA is on course to lose yet another congressional seat after the next census. If so, it will be the first election since 1800 in which the Keystone State tallied fewer than 20 electoral votes.
And speaking of electoral votes, state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) says he’ll launch an effort to see that Pennsylvania’s electoral votes all go to the national winner of the popular vote rather than the candidate who carries the Keystone State. Eleven states already have committed to such an approach.
The curtain came down Wednesday on the 2015-16 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Twenty-two representatives and six senators – 11 percent of the 253-member legislative branch – won’t be back for the next one. PennLive’s slide show details the departures.
Pennsylvania’s revenue collections for the first five months of the fiscal year are 2.4 percent below projections, translating into a shortfall of nearly $262 million. The Independent Fiscal Office says the state faces a projected current-year budget deficit of $500 million, which will balloon to $3 billion per year by 2021. The aforementioned departing lawmakers will probably not miss crafting next year’s budget.
The PA District Attorneys Association offered up a list of best practices for handling police-involved shootings. Among the recommendations was to farm out investigations to outside agencies, let DAs direct them, and don’t release officers’ names unless/until they are charged.
Altoona-based Sheetz Inc. said it will proceed with salary increases it had already communicated to employees to comply with a Federal Labor Standards Act rule that a federal judge’s injunction has put on hold. All Sheetz salaried employees will earn at least $47,500 per year.
A shout out to our Penn State friends as they psych up for the B1G championship game tomorrow night with yet another White Out, this time at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Beat the Badgers, and at worst the Lions will spend Jan. 2 in Pasadena.
Shameless Client Plug alert: Bob Latham, of Associated PA Constructors, discussed President-elect Trump’s transportation investment initiative on this week’s edition of PA Newsmakers, hosted by Terry Madonna.
Our We Can’t Make This Up feature takes us to Orlando, where police arrested 64-year-old Daniel Frederick Rushing at a traffic stop after noticing a rock-like substance on the floor of his car and concluding it must be crystal meth. Two field tests supposedly confirmed this, and it wasn’t until a state crime lab determined two weeks later that it was another highly addictive substance, Krispy Kreme donut glaze.
And that’s what passes for news around these parts. We’ll be back next week with another veritable patisserie of news, information, speculation and innuendo. From your pals 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