Americans from all walks of life paused Monday to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have a simple request for all who engage in political discourse these days: maybe we can all come together a bit more often to reflect on his work, and not spend the other 364 days each year being total jackwagons to each other. Just a thought.
The federal government could be locking the doors and turning off the lights by day’s end if the U.S. Senate can’t pass a 30-day funding bill. We chuckle every time we hear an elected official say that government should be run like a business. If we ran our business that way, we would be out of business. Welcome back, our friends, to the show that never ends.
If you were wondering how our own U.S. Senator Bob Casey feels about the short-term funding plan, you can stop wondering. He’s a no, thank you very much.
President Trump took a short break from the Washington drama-fest to campaign for state Rep. Rick Saccone, who is running for Congress against Democrat Conor Lamb in a March special election. Trump carried that district by 20 points in 2016, and the nation’s eyes will be fixed on the suburban Pittsburgh seat to see if the “Trump Country” dog still hunts as we run up to the 2018 midterms.
Speaking of elections, Gov. Tom Wolf cruises in 2018 with a cool $11 million in the bank and no primary challenger in sight. Unlike last time around, Wolf has not tapped his own resources, so the signal is pretty clear: come strong or don’t come at all.
Amazon announced this week that it has pared down its list of potential sites for its second headquarters, plucking 20 lucky cities from a list of more than 200 applicants. Twitter was a-flutter across the Keystone State as both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh made the short list. The Amazon competition should be televised, it would make for much better viewing than The Voice.
Fellow corporate behemoth Apple also made a splash this week when the company announced it would repatriate about $250 billion in cash it had stashed overseas, thanks to the tax reform plan recently becoming law. Apple will also build a second campus somewhere in the United States, which we have no doubt will set off another round of “Pick my city!” hysteria and related groveling.
Governor Wolf announced he will seek to update rules governing how overtime pay is calculated, something that hasn’t been done for 40 years. According to business leaders, when the new rules take effect, the sky will indeed fall, so keep that thought in mind when planning any outdoor activities.
The surging stock market has helped boost the performance of the two state pension funds, which will slightly ease the burden on taxpayers who foot those collective bills. The governor and State Treasurer Joe Torsella, meanwhile, are still urging the systems to whittle down the number of investment managers, arguing that their cost far exceeds their value. We shall see if legislators take a crack at that problem when they tackle Pension Reform, Part 641.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined his counterparts from 21 other states in suing the FCC over the recent net neutrality ruling, proving that once again, nothing unites Democrats and Republicans like out-of-touch bureaucrats making weird rulings that the vast majority of people disagree with.
Trump administration policies on safety net programs will land on center stage in this year’s gubernatorial showdown, we learned this week. With the president allowing for work requirements under Medicaid and more food stamp state flexibility, the battle over these new regulatory actions will move to the states. On one side, four GOP gubernatorial hopefuls stand with Trump, and on the other, Governor Wolf.
And if you are not yet familiar with the four aforementioned GOP hopefuls, you can watch them spar on Saturday night, as they debate in Pittsburgh. It is only five short months until GOP voters need to choose a horse for November, so tune in, folks. You can watch Law and Order reruns anytime.
Days ahead of the NFC championship game, Minnesota Vikings fans are getting some advice from their local Fox News affiliate on what to expect. Hint: don’t wear purple and gold, and our personal favorite from a travel agent who said, “When you get to your seat, try not to be too inebriated, because they will be.” Fly Eagles, Fly!
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we bring to you the news that it rains diamonds on Neptune and Uranus. So, forget going to Jared and paying an arm and a leg for a diamond this Valentine’s Day. Just grab a flight to Neptune and grab some free diamonds.
That’s what passes for news around here as we breathlessly await the return of the general Assembly next week. Please make plans to join us for the fun, or tune in next week and we will fill you in on what you missed. 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