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Sunday pops: Costa’s post-Parkland gambit |

Sunday pops: Costa’s post-Parkland gambit

Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, talks with Tribune-Review editors and reporters in 2015.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
A vehicle drives by a pothole larger than a car on Route 711 in Stahlstown, Westmoreland County, on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018.

State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, is introducing post-Parkland legislation to prohibit future investments by Pennsylvania’s retirement funds and treasurer in makers of “any military-style weapon,” “large capacity ammunition clips” or “accessories that enhance the capabilities of assault weapons” (bump stocks). Passage by the GOP-controlled Legislature seems unlikely. But if Republicans seeking re-election defeat or don’t allow votes on his bill, Democratic challengers will use that against them. Will Mr. Costa’s strategy backfire on him and his party? Stay tuned. … Democratic state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale confirmed to PennLive Feb. 21 that he was considering running in the new 10th Congressional District as drawn by the state Supreme Court and quickly challenged by Republicans. The suspense didn’t last long: He said last Monday he won’t enter that race. Expect widespread speculation that he’s eyeing a 2022 gubernatorial bid to continue. … As more motorists fall victim to winter’s bumper crop of potholes, they learn, to their chagrin, what the Trib recently reported: State law makes obtaining PennDOT or Pennsylvania Turnpike reimbursement for pothole damage to vehicles virtually impossible. The state’s “sovereign immunity” rules do keep taxpayers from footing blown-tire and bent-rim bills. But those rules also deprive those agencies of a powerful incentive — avoiding such reimbursement — to do a better job of fixing potholes. Like legalized gambling, when it comes to potholes, the “house” — the state — always wins.

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