Triad Strategies Adds Todd Brysiak as VP of Government Affairs
Can PA find the right tools to bridge its skills gap?

Friday Happy Hour: Purple People Eaters Edition

Philadelphia had a parade to end all parades on Thursday, bringing the city its first ever Lombardi Trophy.  The Eagles did what we all thought was impossible, and that was turning Vikingsevery Steelers fan into a Philly supporter, at least for one day! Fly, Eagles, fly and congratulations!

Congress and President Trump also accomplished what many may have thought was impossible by agreeing on a two-year budget deal instead of the normal five-day budget deals we’ve all become accustomed to.  McConnell and Schumer, together, for one shining moment.

Couple this with the recently-passed $1.5 trillion tax cut, and we find that Trump and the GOP have now poured more money into the economy than the famed Obama stimulus package.  If the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill passes this year, it will make Obama look like quite the miser.

This being Washington and all, the festivities had their moments of drama. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi strode to the microphone Wednesday and… wouldn’t leave.  Eight hours later, Pelosi wrapped up her speech about getting a DACA deal done (alliteration alert!) by saying the House Democrats would be a big, fat NO on the budget deal without immigration reform.  Uh, never mind.

Not one to let a dramatic opportunity to pass, President Trump proclaimed that another government shutdown might be a good idea.  Trump had laid his immigration cards on the table and seemed comfortable allowing the shutdown to land at Pelosi’s feet. 

Trump this week announced that he would like to have a big military parade in Washington sometime very soon.  Early reports from the Pentagon seem to indicate that they would like to have such a parade on something called “Veterans Day.”

Our nomination for the most overused word of the week goes to “tumultuous,” but frankly, we can’t think of a better modifier to describe the events on Wall Street since last Friday. However, things were looking up a half-hour into today’s trading, after a 1,000-point decline on Thursday.

Here at home, Gov. Tom Wolf spent a few minutes (and that is not an understatement) addressing the General Assembly on Tuesday, laying out his budget plans for the upcoming year.  It seems like just yesterday we finished last year’s budget, doesn’t it?  In any case, the theme was pretty simple: tax shale, invest in schools and workforce development and call it a day.  Not a whole lot there to grumble about, although there was indeed grumbling.

The PA House this week took a step forward and then two steps back on a bill to reduce the size of the legislature.  A bill to trim the House membership from 203 to 153 did indeed pass, but only after being amended.  Due to the fact that the exact same bill has to pass in two consecutive legislative sessions before being sent to the voters for ratification, the clock starts anew, and the plan will not see the voters until 2019 at the very earliest.  If you had your heart set on voting to cut the legislature this year, set your heart on something else. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner is hopeful that his internal party polling will translate to an endorsement at a party meeting this weekend. The other three other candidates – House Speaker Mike Turzai, consultant Paul Mango and lawyer Laura Ellsworth – say they will soldier on regardless.

A report was released this week asserting that Russian hackers did get their grubby mitts on voter registration data in several states (Pennsylvania was NOT one of them), renewing fears that the Russkies will be at it again in 2018.  Most folks across all levels of the intelligence community believe this to be so, except for one, notable person who lives part-time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Pennsylvania’s congressional map gerrymandering saga took a decidedly sharp turn this week, as one lawmaker announced a plan to impeach the five Democratic PA Supreme Court justices for their decision to throw out the map and draw a new one themselves if the legislature doesn’t act by today.  While we are pretty sure his plan won’t be voted anytime soon, it did get him quite a bit of airtime nationally. Not all of it was positive, to be kind. 

Lawrence County will be the home to a new Category 4 casino, we learned this week.  Mount Airy Casino won the lottery to locate a new mini-casino in New Castle, a full 12 years after New Castle was awarded a Category 1 casino that was never built.  Strange days, indeed.

A Triad shout out to Tom Murt, state representative and Iraqi war veteran, who shall henceforth be addressed as Dr. Murt.

Here at Triad World HQ, we welcomed Todd Brysiak to our merry band of governmental relations professionals. Todd most recently served as chief of staff to the PA House Majority Leader Dave Reed.

In other Triad developments, our Kirstin Snow weighed in on President Trump’s State of the Union performance.

Our We Can’t Make This Up segment takes us on the set of game show Jeopardy, where all three contestants whiffed on the entire category called “talkin’ football.”  Check this out – you’ll feel better about yourself.

After further review, that’s what passes for news around here this week!  Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next time!

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

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