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Pileggi's defeat: A blessed check

| Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

“Revolutions are not about trifles,” Aristotle once wrote, “but they are produced by trifles.”

As it relates to this week's shake-up in the leadership of the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate, we certainly agree with the Greek philosopher on his first point. But to his second, we vociferously disagree.

On Wednesday, the GOP caucus sent Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi packing after eight years in favor of Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. As recently as late September, Mr. Corman had supported Mr. Pileggi, considered by many to be the most powerful pol in Harrisburg.

But a growing number of the many also had tired of Pileggi, a “moderate” who did much liberal bidding, playing chief obstructionist to a conservative agenda that, largely adopted by the House, should have sailed through the upper chamber. Think stalled paycheck protection and liquor- and pension-reform legislation. And those were no trifling matters.

But with Gov. Tom Corbett defeated by Democrat Tom Wolf this month, it was clear that Republicans had to do something to blunt the worst of Mr. Wolf's forthcoming liberal agenda, such as a constitutionally dubious progressive income tax and a shale gas extraction tax that Pileggi surely would have enabled.

What a pity that Pileggi wasn't removed sooner and that real reforms were thwarted. But what a blessing that a better check on the new governor will be in place.

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