Sy Snyder, Editor
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The folks at PoliticsPA.com
took a look at our smartest legislators.
We looked at sheer
brainpower and intelligence... and here's what we found.
His command of the English language leaves most people fumbling for a
dictionary, if they can even spell the word. The breath and depth of his
knowledge of history also distinguishes this Democratic Floor Leader.
Extremely well rounded and well read, DeWeese is capable of holding an
intelligent conversation on just about any topic.
Wake Forest University
The policy wonk of policy
wonks, Harper was described by one insider as "just plain really smart."
This freshman lawmaker from Montgomery County is a tenacious reader who
truly enjoys the policy-side of state government...and understands it.
In just one short year, Harper has distinguished herself as one of the
smartest members of the House.
A professor of economics, this
Lebanon County Republican will make the House a little less bright as he
departs at the end of this term. Krebs may not be the most articulate
member of the General Assembly but he has a firm grasp of the issues,
particularly those affecting education. His moderate, common sense
approach to solving problems will be missed in the House.
Michigan State University
The only graduate in the
legislature of this prestigious Ivy league school, Ross not only has an
intellectual understanding of complex issues but he also has an abundance
of common sense. A quiet member of the House, this Chester County
Republican learned quickly how to influence the process by working through
the proper channels behind the scenes.
The longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in the history of
our Commonwealth didn't get there without knowing a thing or two. Always
quick and sharp with his Irish wit from the Speaker's rostrum, Ryan has
used his brains and immense experience to guide the House. A man of true
wisdom, this Delaware County Republican has affectionately earned the
title, "Father of the Legislature."
A new addition to the state
Senate this year, Orie earned a reputation in the House as an extremely
effective and hardworking legislator. This Republican from the North Hills
of Allegheny County is very detail oriented and her demand for perfection
can make life challenging for those who work for her. A former prosecutor,
we wouldn't be surprised to see this Senator on the bench someday.
Until then, expect her to be a knowledgeable leader in the legislature on
the issues she champions.
|JD, Duquesne University
Arguably the smartest
legislator in Harrisburg. Very few leaders can tweak a
state budget in the morning and make heads roll in the afternoon.
Fumo is one such leader. Described as simply "brilliant" by most,
this South Philly Democrat is truly in a league by himself.
Despite serving in the minority for so many years, Fumo wields
tremendous influence in state government through smarts...and toughness.
MBA, University of
This Westmoreland County Democrat
may well be the policy wonk of all legislators. His depth of understanding
on numerous issues is truly remarkable. His elevation to the Senate
allowed this liberal leaning lawmaker to have his issues more thoroughly
discussed than during his tenure in the more conservative House. As a
Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, Kukovich clearly has a greater
understanding of state government issues than any of the candidates
running for governor.
Unquestionably one of the
smartest legislators. As the only person in the Senate with a
health care background, Murphy is uniquely positioned on this and other
issues. The author of a recent book, The Angry Child : Regaining Control When Your
Child Is Out of Control, demonstrates the scope of his expertise.
One of the GOP's rising leaders, this lawmaker from the South Hills of
Pittsburgh might well be taking his brains to Washington in a run for
the U.S. Congress.
University of Pittsburgh
This Republican Senate Whip from
Dauphin County has long had a reputation as one of the smartest
legislators. Articulate and quick on his feet, Piccola can translate his
knowledge into action. He is poised to make an excellent Senate majority
leader. His firm grasp of the issues, and his ability to effectively
communicate, has enhanced his name as a future candidate for governor.
George Washington University