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Governor’s ‘good’ deed carries plenty of baggage

It’s a bit difficult to attack Gov. Tom Wolf when he manages to do the right thing. But his expansion of crowd limits announced earlier this week — which could impact allowable attendance at high school football games as early as tonight — is, as usual, a mix of good and the typical heavy handed way that Wolf has done business since the pandemic began in the spring.

Here’s the example of why, despite claiming credit for giving people what they want, Wolf is again wrong:

We already went through a period in which some businesses could open but others not, and a waiver program that the state auditor general has attacked for its inconsistencies and “puzzling decisions.” The initial “green” status that was the least restrictive under the governor’s reopening plan allowed a percentage of people to patronize most businesses, but stuck with unrealistic numerical limits for sports facilities.

When the PIAA established return to play guidelines using the governor’s own recommendations, he hornswoggled the kids by suddenly and arbitrarily changing the recommendation.

He scored a “win” when a federal appeals court granted a stay after a lower court tossed his limits because they were arbitrary and meaningless. Only after he had the power of that stay to lord over high school kids again — and the legislature passed a bill by a wide margin to overrule him — did the governor come around and decide maybe, just maybe, mom and dad could watch their kids play this fall.

As if, given the right to make their own choices, the schools would do something to put the kids at risk.

Of course, the new allowances have their own problems. Restaurant seating could be 25 percent or 50 percent, while other indoor venues start at 20 percent and drop to 10 percent. So, a wedding venue with a capacity of 500 is limited to 100 guests — fewer than a restaurant that seats 250 (and meets the 50 percent requirement).

High school administrators are going to need a slide rule to figure out how many can attend.

It’s time for someone to take common sense out of the closet, dust it off and use that as the measure. Oh, wait, the legislature keeps trying that and someone keeps vetoing.

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