Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pa. Incumbent Toppled

Here come the results from the Pennsylvania primary, and the anti-incumbency movement has claimed the biggest head of them all: Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill of Lebanon County, "who helped craft the unpopular legislative pay raise, was ousted from office in an upset defeat in Tuesday's primary," AP reports. He's conceded, after getting walloped by a man who is basically a political nonentity running on voter anger.

UPDATE: As the numbers roll in, more and more incumbents are going down. Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer is out, too. This is a state issue in a state election; it means little to the national political scene, except as a wind tunnel model of what an election looks like when the base rebels. Here's the picture for an incumbent -- True -- who adamantly opposed the legislative pay-raise fiasco. A few miles away, here's what it looks like for one (Armstrong) who did not.

The ousting of incumbents by intra-party revolt is something unseen in these parts since 1964. And what set it off was a perceived callousness and arrogance among the leadership on an issue that involved a relatively small amount of money per taxpayer. Months and months have passed since the midnight pay raise vote. Nobody, it seems, has forgotten. People around here get even.