It’s been a week of chaos, commotion and celebration in the commonwealth. The Philadelphia Phillies clinched a World Series berth, and will play the Houston Astros in the first match-up of the seven-game series on Friday. A much more personal battle took place earlier this week when John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz faced off for their first – and likely only – debate on Tuesday. And state lawmakers had a debate of their own over a proposal that would provide billions of dollars in tax breaks to specific industries.
Scroll down for more of this week’s Winners & Losers!
Kerry Benninghoff -
The majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earned one more legislative victory as session came to a close this week. Kerry Benninghoff sponsored legislation earlier this year to divest the state of Russian and Belarusian assets, a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that bill was unanimously approved by the state Senate on Wednesday. A lot of state entities already took steps to divest from Russian assets, but still, the legislation sends a firm message: Take your assets elsewhere, Vlad.
Dennis Owens & Lisa Sylvester -
This week’s U.S. Senate debate drew lots of attention for how each of the candidates performed, but the performance of the debate’s two moderators – ABC27 anchor Dennis Owens and WPXI anchor Lisa Sylvester – was largely praised by observers both near and far. Sure, any debate will produce criticism, but the duo pressed candidates with tough questions and didn’t show favor, so a tip of the cap is in order for how they handled a brutal, and unprecedented, debate.
Stephen DeFrank and Randy Vulakovich -
There was good news all around for state appointees this week. The Pennsylvania Public Utility is back at full strength after the state Senate approved three nominations, including two new commissioners. One of them, Stephen DeFrank, was named vice chair of the PUC this week, while former state lawmaker Randy Vulakovich was confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Cheers to Vulakovich, and here’s hoping that DeFrank will bring some new … energy … to the utility regulator.
Lisa Deeley -
We have a mail-in ballot controversy in Philadelphia, but it’s not what you might think. Lisa Deeley, the city’s leading election official, is catching criticism this week for reportedly misleading voters on when mail-in ballots would be sent out. The city’s ballots had to be changed after City Council President Darrell Clarke decided to add special elections for Council to the November ballot. Deeley claimed those races hadn’t slowed the ballot mailing process, when in fact, the timeline to send the ballots out was pushed back twice.
Matt Darin -
A Philadelphia medical marijuana dispensary is facing the heat for allegedly breaking the city’s Fair Workweek law. Frankie Kelly, a former employee of Curaleaf, led by CEO Matt Darin, filed a complaint this week alleging managers at the South Philadelphia dispensary routinely changed schedules and failed to compensate workers for the abrupt changes. You’d think those in the bud business would be laid back, so hopefully they can cure the beef.
Solomon Wieder -
From where’s the beef to where’s the chicken? Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp., whose operations are overseen by director Solomon Wieder, was found in contempt this week by a federal court for failing to pay penalties and addressing violations related to safety at its facilities. The U.S. Court of Appeals said Birdsboro failed to pay more than $160,000 in penalties or provide proof the issues were abated following repeat workplace safety violations. You can always trust OSHA to keep workers under their wing.