RIDGE STILL FACES A TOUGH SELL ON PA STADIUM FINANCING
PA Gov. Tom Ridge continues to "pitch" for new stadiums
in the state to "what has proven to be one of his toughest
audiences -- members of the House Republican caucus,"
according to Reeves & Shelly of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.
Ridge met with about 70 GOP members last week and was "well-
received," but when he made his bid for up to $325M in new
stadium funding, observers said, "No one clapped." One
lawmaker: "He talked up stadiums, and it just isn't
happening." Ridge is hoping for a vote by February 10, and
several Ridge staffers say that stadium-funding backers "may
actually have lost ground, since the bill failed to pass the
House in November (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/17).
TEAM BUILDING: In Pittsburgh, Peter Shelly reported on
the "impressive lineup of lobbyists" that will aid PA's
teams on the stadium legislation. While the teams "have
built a balanced lineup, with lobbyists from the east and
west," they still face "tough odds in the House ... where
lobbyists have not fared well" (POST-GAZETTE, 1/16).