Winners and Losers for the week ending July 27
Progressive, liberal, socialist: regardless of how you label your affiliation, as long as you were on the left end of the political spectrum in Philadelphia, it was a very good week. Glowing articles about the growing influence of Reclaim Philadelphia and Philly Socialists were just part of the movement’s moment in the sun. Another win: the announcement by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney that he would be ending the city’s arrest data-sharing agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement a move that precipitated the disbandment of the Occupy Ice encampment on the City Hall apron. Finally, perhaps nothing better symbolizes the leftward swing in the city than the continuing foment over the rapid-fire appointment of state Rep. Mike O’Brien’s chief of staff Mary Isaacson to replace him in the 175th District race (see below) – a move that would have generated little more than a Philly Shrug little more than a year ago has continued to roil the wards, thanks to progressive committee people’s objections to the process.
Conor Lamb: Following a Monmouth University report that showed the freshman Democratic Congressman with a double-digit lead over his GOP rival and fellow Congressman Keith Rothfus, the Cook Political Report moved the PA-17 congressional race from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.”
Paul Mango: Proving that his second-place finish to Scott Wagner in the GOP gubernatorial primary didn’t hurt his conservative bona fides in the slightest, the former health care consultant was appointed by the Trump administration to become chief of staff for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Jay-Z: He really is a business, man. The rap mogul and creator of the (mostly) wildly popular and commercially successful Made in America festival got Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to blink without too much effort when he threatened to pull the entire event from Philadelphia after Kenney initially said it would move from its central location on the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. To the surprise of virtually no one, MIA will stay put.
Scott Perry: That’s certainly one way to stand out from your peers. Perry became the only PA Congressman to join in the far-right Freedom Caucus move in the US House of Representatives to call for the impeachment of Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over Rosenstein’s continuing to do his job and not giving in to naked partisan demands from the GOP over the Russia investigation. How weak a gambit was this? Congressman Mark Meadows, one of the co-sponsors, walked back his endorsement of the motion a day after filing the articles of impeachment.
Mary Isaacson: As the choice to replace her boss, Democratic state Rep. Mike O’Brien, on the November ballot for the 175th District – a race without a GOP opponent – Isaacson should be in the above column. But the questionable alacrity with which she was nominated by the district’s wards, combined with vocal outcry from some newly elected committee people looking for a more democratic selection process, tarnished the brass ring for her.
Stephen Lukach, Jr.: The Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts was charged with stealing public funds and then forging documents to cover his actions, according to federal investigators.