It appears Ed Rendell has had a change of heart regarding the PA Primary. Less than a month after saying the legislature had “no appetite” for moving up the Pennsylvania presidential primary, he has come out saying we should move the primary up. [HT Keystone Politics]
Rendell’s Secretary of State yesterday read a statement to a senate panel– probably the one mentioned a few posts down– saying ”It is manifestly unfair that Pennsylvania and its voters, who arguably are among the two or three most important states in determining the outcome of November’s presidential election, have virtually no say in choosing the respective parties’ nominees because our primary is so late…”
Fast Eddie indeed! Perhaps someone took him aside and explained moving the primary forward could be helpful to the state Democrat party, even if it is at the expense of helping nominate a GOP presidential candidate they find less than ideal nationally.
Apparently the remaining opposition to this measure is centered in the state GOP. Moving the primary date forward will also move forward when local school boards submit their budgets– and proposed tax increases. This potentially means new local officials will end up with a budget crafted by their predecessors, thereby limiting their options. Well, Secretary of State Pedro Cortes (funny, eh?) thinks this sort of conflict can be avoided by tweaking the relevant statutes. Whether he actually *wants* to do that is another matter entirely.
Another objection has to do with the potential shortening of the pre-election cycle, making things marginally more difficult for those endeavoring to unseat local incumbents. Since the GOP took a recent spanking they are obviously interested in taking back power. I suppose we should wish them well. But if the state GOP plans to obstruct plans to move our primary forward they will be putting partisan political interests before my desire to be represented in the presidential primary. Some would argue I should care more about local politics than national politics. My vote, and my time, can have a real impact locally. Nationally I am inconsequential.
The way I see it, though, I can actually work to make my state senator see an issue my way even if he is a Democrat. The occupant of the White House, though, will not be taking my calls. So I want my national influence to be as great as possible.
PS: This blog accepts all credit due for moving this process forward.