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October 13th Playbook

A U.S. Army veteran has launched her candidacy for the 1st Congressional District, while First Lady Jill Biden will visit Allentown today. Here is the Playbook. 

 

News

‘Democrat Ashley Ehasz announces bid for PA’s 1st Congressional District seat now held by Fitzpatrick’: The Bucks County Courier Times reports that “Ashley Ehasz, a former Army pilot and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, announced her candidacy Tuesday morning for Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, a seat currently held by Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.”

‘Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he’s running for governor’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Shapiro, a 48-year-old Abington Democrat who was reelected last year to a second term as the state’s top law enforcement officer, made the announcement in a video posted online. He’s scheduled to hold campaign events Wednesday in Pittsburgh and Montgomery County.”

‘The mild-mannered senator behind a major liberal push’: POLITICO reports that “Bob Casey isn’t known as an outspoken liberal, nor does he seek the spotlight. That’s all changing this fall.”

‘Val Arkoosh is vying for Pa.’s open U.S. Senate seat. And she’s prioritizing women in the workforce’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “one of the few women running in the crowded race to fill Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat in 2022 has a lofty plan to help women return to work after many left their jobs to assume childcare duties amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Meuser decides not to run for governor; will seek re-election to Congress’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser Tuesday announced he will not enter the race to become Pennsylvania’s next governor.”

‘5 reasons why PA Dems are suing Republicans over election subpoenas’: City & State PA reports on the “5 reasons why state Dems are dueling with their Republican counterparts.”

‘The field of Senate candidates is crowded. Who has the most financial support from Pa. voters?’: WESA reports that “the contest to replace outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey — one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country — is well underway. Dozens of candidates have announced bids for the seat, and several with national name recognition have raised millions to fund their efforts.”

‘Fetterman, Bartos are outraising competitors for Pa.’s open U.S. Senate seat’: “WESA’s Lucy Perkins breaks down the latest fundraising data for candidates vying to fill outgoing U.S. Senator Pat Toomey’s seat.”

‘Candidates For Pennsylvania Supreme Court Say The Race Is Not Partisan, Even Though They Run Under Party Labels’: KDKA reports that “three weeks from Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to elect county, municipal and school officials. But it is a statewide race for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that is attracting a lot of attention.”

‘Democrats scrutinize Pennsylvania congressman’s efforts to help Trump overturn 2020 election’: CNN reports that “Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry is under renewed scrutiny after a Senate report released last week provided fresh details about Perry’s role in helping former President Donald Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.”

‘The need for fees? DCNR says ‘no’ to visitor fees for infrastructure repair costs’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a senior Wolf administration official took her fight for more state funding for badly needed infrastructure repairs at Pennsylvania’s state parks to Bucks County on Tuesday, where she warned that failure to fund vital repairs could hurt the state’s $29 billion outdoor recreation industry.”

‘First Black woman appointed deputy commissioner rank in state police history’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf has confirmed the appointment of Lt. Colonel Kristal Turner-Childs as deputy commissioner of staff for the Pennsylvania State Police, making her the first Black woman to hold the rank.”

‘Over nearly 3 hours, Gainey and Moreno debate on how to boost Pittsburgh’s equity and safety’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “in their most extensive debate yet, Democratic mayoral nominee Ed Gainey and Republican Tony Moreno clashed on the intricate details of how to push Pittsburgh into a more equitable and safe future.”

‘Ex-Luzerne County election director Morgan takes Pa. USDA post’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “former Luzerne County Election Director Bob Morgan has been hired as Pennsylvania’s Rural Development State Director by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a release issued on Tuesday.”

‘Allentown voters will decide whether to remove English as the city’s official language. They may not realize it based on the ballot question.’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Allentown voters will decide whether to keep English as the city’s official language this November, but they may not realize that question is even on the ballot.”

‘Snapshots from last month’s charity Capitol All-Star softball game’: City & State PA provides multiple pictures from last month’s charity Capitol All-Star softball game. 

‘Election 2021 Q&A: Bethlehem mayoral candidates answer questions on taxes, roads and economic development’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “four years after Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez ran unopposed for a second term, voters will pick his successor in the Nov. 2 election.”

‘Election 2021 Q&A: Northampton County Council candidates on warehousing, elections and taxes’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “voters’ decisions in the crowded Northampton County Council race could have major long-term effects as they choose who will control the county coffers and decide other important decisions for the next four years.”

‘Governor Wolf visits Gilson Child Development Center’: WJET reports that “Governor Tom Wolf made a visit to Erie on October 12th. The governor announced an investment in early education that will impact thousands of children in the upcoming school year.”

‘Recap: Erie County Executive Forum’: WJET reports that the candidates “discuss their stances on a wide variety of issues including the COVID-19 vaccine, community college, the future of Erie County and more.”

‘‘He said he could have me replaced’: City official alleges threat from Johnny Doc’: WHYY reports that “Building union leader Johnny “Doc” Dougherty threatened the former head of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections during a meeting in Councilmember Bobby Henon’s office, saying he could have the commissioner fired, according to testimony heard Tuesday in federal court.”

‘John Dougherty and Bobby Henon Trial: Day-by-day updates’: The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a “recap of the latest developments and recent coverage.”

‘Sen. Casey endorses Tyler Titus for County Executive’: WJET reports that “U.S. Senator Bob Casey endorsed Democratic nominee Tyler Titus for Erie County Executive.”

‘Second lady of Pennsylvania endorses Samantha Kaag for West Reading mayor’: The Reading Eagle reports that the “Second lady of Pennsylvania endorses Samantha Kaag for West Reading mayor.”

‘PA School Boards Group Disavows National Organization’s ‘Domestic Terror’ Claims’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “the Pennsylvania School Boards Association tells Delaware Valley Journal it disavows a letter last week from the national school board group asking that parents protesting education policy be investigated as possible violent domestic terrorists, That letter resulted in swift action from Attorney General Merrick Garland — and a swift backlash from advocates of parental rights and opponents of federal interference in local law enforcement.”

‘Fitzgerald presents proposed 2022 budget as County Council members revisit indoor mask mandate’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Allegheny County Council got its first look at the county’s proposed 2022 budget, which includes no tax increase thanks to American Rescue Plan funding, while revisiting an indoor mask mandate at Tuesday evening’s meeting.”

‘Bill would require Pittsburgh police to provide details about interactions with the public’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh City Councilors Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require more frequent disclosures by police about their interactions with the public.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council approves grant for police training on crime database, electric bikes’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved the use of a $117,219 federal grant to train law enforcement on the use of a national crime database and to upgrade standard police bicycles to electric bikes.”

‘Activists rally outside Sewickley home of Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter in support of reconciliation bill’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “Pittsburgh members of the Democratic Socialists of America, Sunrise Movement, and the Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance woke up early on Tue., Oct. 12 to deliver a “job offer” to the gated Sewickley Heights home of Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and former lobbyist and pharmaceutical executive. Activist stood in front of the gate of suburban Pittsburgh early in the morning on Oct. 12.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council bill introduced to help political candidates access childcare’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “Pittsburgh City Councilor Corey O’Connor (D-Squirrel Hill) introduced a bill on Oct. 12 to allow candidates seeking elected city offices to use campaign funds for childcare during an election cycle. Councilors Erika Strassburger, Daniel Lavelle, Deborah Gross, Bruce Kraus, and Theresa Kail-Smith co-sponsored the bill.”

‘Delco Council to vote on establishment of health department — pending state approval in January 2022’: WHYY reports that “on October 20, Delaware County Council will vote on an ordinance that could transform their Department of Intercommunity Health Coordination into the Delaware County Department of Health.”

‘Philly Historic Commission official resigns, says Kenney meddled in vote over LGBTQ, African American landmark’: WHYY reports that “a city employee who serves on the Philadelphia Historic Commission has resigned from his job and commission post with an accusation that Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration pressured him to vote against the historic certification of a site of LGBTQ and Black history on behalf of a developer.”

‘‘We need deeds, not words’: Philly produce worker calls for living wages, path to citizenship at D.C. rally’: WHYY reports that “a worker from Philadelphia was among the featured speakers at an event in Washington, D.C., calling on Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s complete Build Back Better agenda.”

‘City should consider building its own animal shelter, controller’s audit says’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh Public Safety’s Bureau of Animal Care & Control should consider building its own animal shelter as an alternative to contracting impound services, a city controller audit found.”

‘Norwin High School Student Calls For Change After 2 Other Students Wear Confederate Flag To School’: KDKA reports that “the Norwin School District is embroiled in controversy after photos spread on social media of high school students wearing the Confederate flag to school.”

‘Here are the highest-paying jobs in the Pittsburgh metro’: Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “the list of the top 25 highest-paying jobs throughout the Pittsburgh region has changed since a year ago, according to new data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2020.”

‘Commissioners approve $2.5 million funding agreement for Greene broadband project’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “during their meeting last week, Greene County commissioners approved an agreement with Appalachian Regional Commission that will bring $2.5 million in grant funding to the county so broadband access can be expanded to homes in three communities.”

‘Poll workers still needed in Washington County for upcoming election’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “Washington County is still looking for poll workers to help with the Nov. 2 general election, although the need is not as urgent as it has been in previous off-year general elections.”

‘City Council allocates ARP funds’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “City Council Tuesday approved an “initial earmark” of $4 million in American Rescue Plan funding for 11 projects designed to begin solving stormwater problems in various sections of the city.”

‘Concert to run for Swoyersville mayor again, after all’: Citizens Voice reports that “Christopher Concert will seek another term as Swoyersville mayor after all.”

‘Hundreds from NEPA school districts attend anti-mask rally’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “a large group of parents from throughout Northeast Pennsylvania gathered at the Lake-Lehman High School stadium Tuesday night to protest mask mandates imposed on Pennsylvania school students.”

‘Luzerne County IT proposes $1.86 million project with American Rescue Plan funding’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County’s Information Technology Department is asking county council to spend $1.86 million of its American Rescue Plan funding for equipment and services related to the coronavirus and cybersecurity.”

‘No Luzerne County tax hike proposed for 2022’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County Acting Manager Romilda Crocamo did not seek a real estate tax increase in the proposed 2022 budget she presented to county council Tuesday night.”

‘Delaware County approves more than $7M in funding for Green Ways projects’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Delaware County Council unanimously approved more than $7 million of funding for the second round of the Green Ways Grant Program by moving nearly $1.7 million from the Capital Improvement Plan.”

‘Lawsuit argues Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health vaccine mandate violates First Amendment’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the group behind the very public fight in Lancaster County over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate implemented by the University of Pennsylvania Health System has filed a lawsuit.”

‘LNP was hit by a sophisticated ransomware attack; here’s what that means’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “foreign ransomware extortionists disabled access to some critical Steinman Communications systems and computer files in what company executives described as a sophisticated criminal attack that continues to limit the company’s ability to publish a complete newspaper.”

‘Former WGAL anchor to join Fox News as New York correspondent’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a former WGAL anchor has signed with Fox News Channel to serve as a New York-based correspondent.”

‘Philadelphia officials rebuff nursing home group’s request to extend vaccine mandate deadline’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia on Tuesday rebuffed a request by a nursing home trade group for an extension of a Friday deadline to have all staff at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.”

‘Pa. Health Dept: More than 16K new COVID-19 cases over holiday weekend’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 16,287 new cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania during a four-day period stretching from 12 a.m. on Saturday to 12 a.m. on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to more than 1.48 million since the start of the pandemic.”

 

Opinion  
Paul Muschick: 1 in 4 Pennsylvanians now getting COVID has been vaccinated. What that tells us
Mark O’Keefe: The House GOP’s silence on police radar bill isn’t just deafening, it’s deadly
Rebecca Poyourow: A ballot drop box in every neighborhood in Philly: Why can’t we have nice things?
Nichola D. Gutgold: What motivates First Lady Jill Biden, who is visiting Allentown
Christine Flowers: Shapiro’s Political Prosecutions Act Is Getting Old
Frank McGovern: The Biden Administration is threatening to hurt the real estate industry by taking away tools it needs to survive 
York Dispatch Editorial Board: It’s time for Scott Perry to go
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Health care workers obviously should be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect their patients
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: No tax increase to enable PPS failures 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The FBI launches new effort against hate crimes
Dr. Barbara Wendeborn Brandom: PA may hold the fate of the world in its decisions about natural gas development
Ronald Fraser: Pennsylvania has a do-it-yourself justice system that hurts the accused 
Ken Weinstein: I’m a real estate developer who supports affordable housing — and paying my fair share 
Tony Norman: Look within the community to make long-overdue changes
Jeremy Jones: The child tax credit is saving Philly families. We can’t let its expansions expire. | Expert Opinion
Jessica Blatt Press: Ideas We Should Steal: Mobile Farmers’ Markets
Bruce Ledewitz: No, Joe Biden and the Dems are not collapsing 
Solomon Jones: Despite Jon Gruden’s fall, much work remains for the NFL on race 
Trudy Rubin: Maria Ressa and Dimitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize for defending press abroad should wake Americans up 
Gene Therapy: More unbearable news in Pennsylvania’s oldest rivalry
Courtney Duchene: Business for Good: Journal My Health 
Chris Freind: Musk and Bezos are boldly blasting us to the New World

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