Angry taxpayers on Tuesday tossed out the two Republican Senate leaders who helped engineer last year's legislative pay raise, an issue that apparently cost 15 House members their jobs, too.
Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer of
Altoona, and Senate Majority Leader David Brightbill of conceded to their challengers, becoming the first lawmakers in major leadership posts to lose a primary election in 42 years. The House defeats would be the most since 1980. Lebanon County
"We have had a dramatic earthquake in
," said Jubelirer, a 32-year legislator. Pennsylvania
The defeats of Jubelirer and Brightbill "will send shock waves throughout he political establishment for years to come," said Mike Young, a retired
political science professor. Penn State University
Read it here.
This does not bode well. Conservatives have essentially displaced the Republican Party's corrupt, moderate leadership and are now ascendant. The Democrats, meanwhile, have marginalized their radicals and are sitting squarely in the middle of the political spectrum. The fall elections will pit principled conservative candidates against corrupt Democrat moderates. It's not going to be pretty.
Ed Morrissy is jubilant. He writes:
Well, hold on there. These guys still have to win in the general elections this fall, and right now it looks as though the Democrats are going to clean their clocks.
The existing Republican leadership in Pennsylvania outraged fiscal conservatives with their pay raises and spending habits. However, instead of declaring defeat and retreating to their homes, these conservatives organized and found candidates for primaries -- especially those for the leadership that betrayed them. They donated, raised more funds, campaigned, and ensured a strong turnout to counter the incumbent advantage.
And they succeeded.
Without a doubt, the Pennsylvania Republican Party got the message....
The political story of this year in Pennsylvania will be the housecleaning performed on the state legislature, and it puts candidates of both parties on notice that conservatives have grabbed the momentum. Don't be surprised if that changes the entire tenor of the debate on Pennsylvania public policy
He is right in one way, though. This fall's elections will be a crucial test of the oft-stated Republican litany that principled conservatives will inevitably triumph over the mushy middle.
Sometimes I get the feeling that these guys, like the radical lefties, are more interested in gaining control of the Party than in winning elections.