10:00 PM May 9th 2020
By Dwight D. Weidman
As we told you at about 2:30 PM today, Franklin County legislators, who we strongly urged to follow other PA jurisdictions in defying Governor Wolf’s lockdown order, finally prepared a letter stating that Franklin County would resume reopening on May 15th. According to our sources who were involved with the the process of gathering signatures, State Senator Doug Mastriano jumped the gun and released the letter early before all of the signatures could be obtained. At least one more county official, Commissioner David Keller, wanted to sign the letter, but was kept from doing so by Mastriano’s attention-grabbing haste. Keller had opposed Mastriano in the questionable and possibly tainted process in which he was selected by political insiders for the vacancy created by the sudden resignation of State Senator Richard Alloway in early 2019, so there is no doubt some friction there.
Mastriano is known to have aspirations for higher office, such as Governor, and his current job is widely regarded as a stepping stone. It remains to be seen how he will survive the tough vetting process that goes with seeking a statewide office. Senator Pat Toomey is also known to be interested in the governor’s mansion. The governor’s race will soon be the topic of an upcoming article here.
Despite all of the spotlighting, we are happy that Franklin County legislators finally got in line behind at least five other counties who have defied Wolf in the last few days. The Franklin County letter was a bit more ambiguous and weaker than the Lebanon County original, so we’ll see how it will all play out.
It appears that Governor Wolf is losing control of the process of dealing with COVID19 as dissatisfaction with his handling of the epidemic and doubts about the competence of his administration grow. The next week or so should be interesting!