Monday, February 8, 2016

Mayoral Mayhem

It just keeps getting worse for Harrisburg's mayor.

Mayoral Mayhem


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Things just keep getting worse for the mayor of our capital city.

BE: What now, more protests?

JB: A public-opinion poll released today in the Harrisburg Patriot-News conducted by Daily News pollster G. Terry Madonna.

BE: And the findings are?

JB: Well, G. Terry says he can't remember a poll he's done (and he's done them for decades) when an incumbent anything had a lower job performance rating.

BE: Harrisburgers unhappy, eh?

JB: Apparently so. Get this: a year and a month after taking office, Democratic Mayor Linda Thompson has a 70 percent unfavorable rating: "F" for handling city finances; "F" for communicating with residents; "F" for working with community groups.

BE: Egad, what's she doing, threatening to murder protesters a la Gadhafi?

JB: Not yet. But the city's in the fiscal tank, there's little evidence she's doing anything about it, her staff keeps quitting and she's thumbing her nose at those calling for her to leave office.

BE: Thumbing her nose?

JB: OK, not thumbing her nose in public. BUT she did appear at her office window during a City Hall protest, smile, bow, wave and give the crowd a two-thumbs-down sign. AND a picture of that graced the newspaper's front page.

BE: Seems a tad defiant.

JB: Well, a Patriot reporter put the picture in my face saying, "You'll never get a money shot like that from Nutter!"

BE: Yeah, we can't even get a contested mayoral race from Nutter.

JB: Thompson does have one thing going for her though.

BE: What's that?

JB: As today's Patriot story says, there's no Harrisburg mayoral election until 2013.

BE: Two more years! Two more years!

JB: Grrrr.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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