Firefighters from Philadelphia and across the nation gathered this morning to say goodbye to one of the city’s bravest, Philadelphia Fie Department Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, who died battling a rowhome blaze last Saturday. The entire Triad team sends our thoughts and prayers to his family, and to the city.
During a meeting with Congressional leaders yesterday on the topic of immigration, President Trump said some…things. Or not, depending on whom you believe. The resulting international firestorm is what we call a normal Thursday these days.
Oprah Winfrey gave a great speech at the Golden Globes last week, prompting many to rally behind her as a potential Presidential nominee in 2020. Democrats who spent all of 2016 saying a billionaire with no experience should never be President could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. Senate will likely be taking a vote on the FCC’s recent net neutrality ruling due to a rather arcane Upper Chamber rule that guarantees floor action on any bill that has at least 30 co-sponsors. No word on the timing of that vote, but it will be one to watch when it occurs. For those who wonder if the Pennsylvania General Assembly has such a rule, the answer is no. Move along.
Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey has used a few parliamentary tricks of his own to get his mitts on a White House memo about how to repeal Obamacare without actually repealing it. Casey put a hold on judicial nominees until the White House coughed it up, a move that we are sure other members of the minority party watched with great interest.
A bipartisan group of U.S. House members has come up with a 17-bill package aimed at tackling the nationwide opioid epidemic, with a few Pennsylvania delegation members taking the lead. Ah, bipartisan action. Hope springs eternal in Washington all of the sudden. Probably explains why it is 68 degrees in D.C. right now. The world is clearly ending.
In related news, Governor Tom Wolf this week declared the opioid crisis as a full-blown State of Emergency in Pennsylvania. This extraordinary action will give first responders greater leeway when responding to overdose victims, among other things. This is the first time in memory a Pennsylvania governor has taken an action such as this one without there being an accompanying flood or snowstorm attached to it.
Of course, because this is an election year, Wolf’s potential opponents reacted with a mix of grudging agreement, or in the case of Senator Scott Wagner, an assertion that Wolf’s action will inadvertently open the door for law enforcement to confiscate your guns. Welcome to 2018.
The recently-enacted federal tax cut bill is again in the headlines, with Wal-Mart announcing it will boost worker wages and expand parental leave as a result of the new law. Wal Mart, apparently not terribly familiar with not stepping on one’s own message, also announced it will be laying off a few thousand people. Timing, people.
So, let’s get this straight. The U.S. Secretary of the Department of Energy, Rick Perry, drafts a plan (or more accurately, his staff did) to boost America’s coal and nuclear plants in their time of need. He submits said plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, whose members summarily throw it in the trash can. Isn’t the war on coal over, or did we miss something? Did a border skirmish break out that we were unaware of?
It was Farm Show Week in Pennsylvania this week, with people coming from near and far to sample the food, drink milkshakes and buy farm-type things, we assume. It was in this venue that some in the agricultural industry bemoaned the lack of high speed internet in rural areas, something that is becoming more and more crucial to modern agribusiness. If you haven’t yet seen a massive combine run by an iPad, you are missing out, friends. We are sure that wireless providers will get to that long-awaited broadband buildout someday. Eventually. Perhaps.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale would like the chance to expand his auditing authority to include both municipal authorities and the General Assembly. We suspect he might get one of those. We will let you guess which one.
The question of whether or not casinos in Pennsylvania would roll the dice (sorry, we had to) on a new Category 4 casino was answered with a $50.1 million YES, as Penn National Gaming becomes the first winner of the Gaming Control Board’s license auction. York County, welcome to the Show!
If you happen to be in Philly and are looking for something to do to keep the kids, or yourself, entertained, be sure to swing by the Franklin Institute. Along with corporate partner PECO and Triad Strategies, the Institute has been instilling kids with wonder and excitement for years. You won’t regret it!
Our Shameless Client Plug this week goes out to our friends at Lyft, who have partnered with a Chicago brewery to launch its own microbrew, raising the company profile in the city and encouraging beer lovers to forego the car keys and grab a Lyft instead. Paging Pittsburgh’s Voodoo Brewing (wow, another Shameless Client Plug!)
In our We Can’t Make This Up segment this week, we pivot from the usual absurd story to a truly heartwarming one. Chris Betancourt, a young man with terminal cancer, has landed a guest slot on Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia after getting a tattoo of a famous quote from that long-running show. Good stuff, Danny DeVito!
That’s what passes for news around here as we all prepare for the Pennsylvania Football Takeover this weekend! Fly, Eagles, Fly and Here We Go, Steelers! 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