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October 14th Playbook

First Lady Jill Biden visited Allentown on Wednesday, while Attorney General Josh Shapiro formally launched his campaign for Governor. Here is the Playbook. 

 

News

‘First lady Jill Biden visits Allentown for chat with Latinos, preschoolers’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “First lady Jill Biden visited an Allentown preschool Wednesday afternoon where she met with students, staff and members of the Lehigh Valley’s Latino community to promote her husband’s stalled Build Back Better agenda.”

‘Shapiro declares candidacy for governor, blasts Republicans’: The Associated Press reports that “launching his gubernatorial campaign Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general sought to tie the crowded Republican field to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn last year’s election.”

‘Democrat Josh Shapiro Says His Run For Governor Is Not An Extension Of The Wolf Tenure’: KDKA reports that “Shapiro is trying to buck history. The Democrats have never held the governor’s office for 12 years in a row.”

‘See the reasons why Pennsylvania’s legislature paid millions to outside law firms in 2019 and 2020 (FULL LIST)’: Spotlight PA and The Caucus reports that they “sorted through thousands of heavily redacted documents to reveal how the legislature spends your tax dollars on private lawyers.”

‘Pa. lawmakers hand out millions in public contracts to law firms that fill their campaign coffers’: Spotlight PA and The Caucus reports that “the mutually beneficial system, which is entirely legal, enriches the campaigns of Pa. lawmakers, who in turn hire firms for all types of legal matters — and all paid for by taxpayers.”

‘A basic guide to vetting your local candidates in Pennsylvania’s 2021 school board elections’: Spotlight PA reports that “these races are more contentious than ever, but getting information on candidates and who is funding them is difficult. Use Spotlight PA’s step-by-step guide to find the information you need.”

‘Pennsylvania lawmakers are locked in a partisan battle over the release of disease data shielded by 1955 law’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the question of whether state-held data on many diseases — including COVID-19, HIV, chickenpox and Lyme disease — should be accessible to the public has turned into a party-line battle in Harrisburg, with the news media pushing for accessibility.”

‘‘We have an opportunity here’: Pa. Redistricting Commission hears testimony on racial gerrymandering’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the commission in charge of redrawing Pennsylvania’s legislative maps conducted its seventh public hearing Wednesday by homing in on the topics of the Voting Rights Act and racial gerrymandering.

‘Pa. Republicans unveil lobbying reform package to address ‘most pressing loopholes’ in law’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “four Republicans in the upper chamber introduced a package of bills on Wednesday that would impose new requirements for lobbyists and political consultants to avoid conflicts of interest and define the relationship between lawmakers and those who try to influence them.”

‘Kim Ward: How the senator from the Meadowlands toppled the status quo’: City & State PA reports that “the past year has presented countless challenges to Pennsylvanians across the state. For state Sen. Kim Ward, the challenge of taking over as House Majority Leader came with a twist.”

Sands Joins Ruthless Podcast: Carla Sands, who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, “joined Josh Holmes on the Ruthless Podcast to discuss her campaign for U.S. Senate. “Sands spoke to her background as a businesswoman, a mother and the Ambassador to Denmark for President Donald Trump,” according to a press release from her campaign. 

‘In KDKA Exclusive, Vice President Kamala Harris Address Supply Chain Issues And Build Back Better Compromise’: KDKA reports that “supply chain issues remain front and center as consumers find fewer products on the shelves. In an exclusive interview seen only on KDKA, political editor Jon Delano asked Vice President Kamala Harris what the government is doing about it.”

‘‘I’m in the hot seat’: Perry admits while answering questions regarding scathing Senate report’: ABC27 reports that “Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA 10th) admits he is on the hot seat and on Tuesday spoke for the first time about a senate report alleging he sowed seeds of mistrust following the 2020 election.”

‘This Week in Pennsylvania: Oct. 10, Part 2’: ABC27 reports that “On This Week in Pennsylvania, Dennis Owens covers the hot topics in Pa. policy and politics with the help of analysts, Chris Nicolas and Pete Shelly.”

‘Officials say they’re continuing to fight fraud involving Pennsylvania’s beleaguered unemployment system’: WESA reports that “State Labor and Industry officials said Wednesday the agency is continuing to fight fraud that has plagued Pennsylvania’s unemployment system, as well as making progress on whittling down a backlog of unemployment claims.”

‘School board election mailing alleging ‘trickery’ is a trick, these central Pa. Democrats say’: PennLive reports that “in a twist, the pandemic is now just part of a larger tableau of issues that include property taxes and questions of allegiance to administrators and teachers’ unions, or taxpayers.”

‘Pennsylvania RGGI opponents mount tense last stand’: POLITICO reports that “Pennsylvania, one of the biggest coal-producing states in the country, is inching closer to joining a regional carbon trading program to significantly reduce its carbon emissions — unless fossil fuel advocates and their legislative allies succeed in blocking the move and disrupting its energy transition.”

‘Democrats in the ’burbs: Actually, let’s fund the police’: POLITICO reports that “more than a year after calls to “defund the police” took off on the left, Democrats are taking pains to distance themselves from the slogan — hoping to inoculate campaigns against charges that they want to strip resources from law enforcement.”

‘Five candidates are vying for four seats on Allentown City Council. Here’s how they’d tackle concerns about crime, quality of life and housing’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Allentown voters will decide in November between three incumbent council members and two challengers to fill four seats on City Council.”

‘How will Allegheny County’s council districts be reapportioned?’: WESA reports that “Allegheny County Council does not have any set standards to guide the county council district reapportionment process. A proposed rule would establish a uniform process for the reapportionment of Allegheny County council districts.”

‘Pitt professor releasing video to bolster run for Congress’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “in a video obtained by the Post-Gazette that will be posted to his campaign social media accounts Wednesday, University of Pittsburgh law professor Jerry Dickinson says he’s determined to fight for a more equitable America for his two daughters while telling the tale of his own roots in a foster family — a “multiracial Brady Bunch,” he says — where many of his siblings came from broken homes.”

‘Former President George W. Bush, Former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge To Speak At Eradicate Hate Global Summit In Pittsburgh’: KDKA reports that “The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is sponsoring the Eradicate Hate Global Summit ahead of the third observance of the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue.”

‘Penn State implements vaccine mandate for faculty and staff on its main campus’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Pennsylvania State University announced Tuesday that the roughly 22,000 faculty and staff at the university’s main campus must show proof of coronavirus vaccination by Dec. 8 — even if they are working remotely.” 

‘Something very important for 2024 happened in Pennsylvania today’: CNN reports that “the choice for Pennsylvania voters next November could well come down to Shapiro, who fought subpoenas for voters’ personal information in the state, and Barletta, a close Trump ally and believer in the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. The choice they make could determine what happens in Pennsylvania in 2024 — assuming Trump is on the ballot again.”

‘Time is running out for Pennsylvanians to apply for a mail ballot in the general election’: WHYY reports that “Pennsylvanians who want to vote by mail have a limited window of time to submit their applications before the general election on Nov. 2.”

‘First Lady Wolf, Corrections Secretary highlight needs for women returning from prison’: WJET reports that “on Wednesday, First Lady Frances Wolf hosted Women In Reentry: An Overview, the first in a series of virtual conversations between formerly incarcerated women, corrections professionals, reentry experts and advocates.”

‘Wiretap recordings in Henon/Dougherty trial reveal Henon, Verizon union relationship’: KYW Newsradio reports that “jurors heard more recorded wiretaps Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon and labor leader John Dougherty. The focus of Wednesday’s court session centered on Henon and his relationship with another union, the one that represents Verizon workers.”

‘US Supreme Court won’t hear dispute over injection sites’: The Associated Press reports that “the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wednesday it will not review a nonprofit group’s effort to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia to try to reduce overdose deaths. The high court’s decision in the widely watched test case is a setback for the two dozen U.S. states and cities that supported the petition.

‘Feds accuse ex-staffer of Philly Councilmember Mark Squilla in an election fraud case tied to former U.S. Rep. Ozzie Myers’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a former staffer for City Councilmember Mark Squilla was federally charged Wednesday with falsifying election results for years at a South Philadelphia ward where she served as a judge of elections.”

‘Pew dashboard for Philly economy finds jobs down 8% since before pandemic’: WHYY reports that “behind the empty storefronts and top-level unemployment stats, Philadelphia’s economy is slowly recovering. That’s the main takeaway from a new dashboard from The Pew Charitable Trusts that combines data from the federal government, a credit agency, and other sources to give a rolling look at local business health in our region.”

‘Brian Sharif Taylor Kicks Off Campaign to Fill Delco House Seat’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “Brian Sharif Taylor, a 14-year Army veteran, is the Republican nominee for state representative in the 164th Legislative District. Taylor is running in the November 2, 2021 Special Election to fill the seat left vacant when former Democratic state Rep. Margo Davidson resigned in disgrace after she was caught stealing taxpayer money.”

‘’Fluctuating’ crime levels in Philadelphia, police commissioner says’: KYW Newsradio reports that “at a Philadelphia City Council gun violence prevention committee hearing on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw noted that some districts have ramped up arrests in certain areas. It was one of many such hearings held throughout the year.”

‘Port of Philadelphia expects 16% increase in volume as nation feels supply chain stress’: KYW Newsradio reports that “American consumers have been paying more for a lot of things — if they can even find those things on store shelves. President Joe Biden is meeting Wednesday with industry leaders to discuss how to address the supply chain bottlenecks that are to blame.”

‘U.S. Rep. Boyle shows his fury at Sixers star Ben Simmons by tweeting ‘Office’ GIF’: PhillyVoice reports that “it’s not the first time the politician has voiced his frustration with Philly sports.”

‘Local lawmakers hear from healthcare workers, first responders impacted by hospital consolidation’: The Daily Local News reports that “with the fate of Tower Health’s Brandywine, Phoenixville, Pottstown and Reading hospitals up in the air, and with two of its hospitals closing by year’s end, local healthcare workers, first responders, administrators and advocates addressed concerns and impacts on quality and access to health care, and township services.”

‘Chester City Council asks Receiver to approve Asset Purchase Agreement with Aqua’: The Daily Local News reports that “on Wednesday, Chester City Council unanimously voted to ask the city’s Receiver to approve a $410 million asset purchase agreement with Aqua for the assets of the Chester Water Authority.”

‘Brown outlines plan to distribute federal funds’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown held a news conference at City Hall where he announced his 9-Point Plan, that would see some of the city’s $37.1 million in yet-to-be received funding through the American Rescue Plan will go to non-profits, along with the entrepreneurial community, new and existing homeowners, social services organizations and more.”

‘City Council pushes ahead amended zoning bill that would aid developer’s plan to reshape part of Oakland’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday advanced, with changes, controversial zoning legislation crucial to a developer’s bid to reshape parts of Oakland despite pleas to delay action on the issue until the completion of a neighborhood master plan.”

‘Allegheny County Bar Association rates judicial candidates for general election’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the Allegheny County Bar Association on Tuesday announced its rankings for 17 candidates vying for judgeship on the county’s Common Pleas Court on Nov. 2.”

‘Allegheny County sends mail-in ballots to voters’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “mail-in and absentee ballot packets have begun to go out to Allegheny County voters, according to the Division of Elections.”

‘Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen Orders Deputies To Be Vaccinated By Dec. 1 Or Face Termination’: KDKA reports that “Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen has ordered his deputies and other staff members to be vaccinated by Dec. 1 or face termination.”

‘Westmoreland County approves drop boxes for mail-in ballots’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a drop box for mail-in ballots will be available at the Westmoreland County Courthouse starting Oct. 18 and at five regional locations during the two weekends before the Nov. 2 general election.”

‘Protesters gather as First Lady Jill Biden visits Allentown’: WFMZ reports that “some protesters gathered during First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to the Lehigh Valley.”

‘Democrats contest all 3 row offices on ballot’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Democratic candidates are contesting three open county row office positions on the ballot this year, the first time the party has competed for every open seat in two decades. The positions voters will fill are county controller, clerk of courts and recorder of deeds.”

‘Lancaster County’s multiracial population soared in last decade, census data shows’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster County’s multiracial population skyrocketed from approximately 10,200 people in 2010 to nearly 35,000 in 2020, reflecting a county that continues to grow more racially diverse, according to last year’s census.”

‘You might need more than one stamp to send your Berks County mailed ballot’: The Reading Eagle reports that “the U.S Postal Service says it will still deliver ballots and the county says it will pick up the postage shortfall.”

‘Reading approves 2-year contract with rank-and-file employees’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Reading finalized a new contract with its rank-and-file employees Monday night. The city now has two-year agreements with its four collective bargaining units.”

‘Commissioners approve natural gas pipeline extension’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “the County Commissioners approved approximately $551,000 toward extending natural gas lines as part of developing the Timber Run Industrial Park in Brady Township. Total cost of the project is $870,000 with $280,000 coming from a state grant.”

‘JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on the Philadelphia market and the ‘battle ahead’ for big banks’: The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “a little more than three years to the day that JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon came to Philadelphia to announce the company would be opening 50 branches in this region over the ensuing five years, the top executive at the nation’s largest bank returned Wednesday on the same day the bank reported its third-quarter earnings.”

‘Available ICU hospital beds in Pa. dip to lowest point since start of pandemic’: WESA reports that “at hospitals around Pennsylvania, there are now fewer available intensive care unit beds than at any point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Pennsylvania Health Department.”

‘Pa. Health Dept: 5K new COVID-19 cases; More than 3K hospitalized’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 5,012 new cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to more than 1.49 million since the start of the pandemic.”

‘In Pa., 70% of adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania has now hit a key milestone in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday 70% of Pennsylvania’s adults are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.”

 

Opinion  
Doug Mastriano: We Must Listen to the Voices of Parents In PA, Not Silence Them
Anthony Hardy Williams: Focus on the issues that matter
Bill White: Zombie apocalypse overruns Pennsylvania Republican Party
Kevin Sabet: PA Cannabis Legalization Will Have Dire Consequences
Thomas Koenig: Philly-Area County Will Test Dems’ Suburban Dominance
John L. Micek: New report on flooding threat to infrastructure is a dire warning to Pa. | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Kevin Sunday: Industry deserves some credit for better air quality in Pennsylvania and throughout the country
Chris Woods: Unions Are On The Ballot This Election Season 
Toni Richards-Rowley: Pa. legislators must enact expert recommendations to minimize racial profiling in children 
Torren Melone: These Italian Americans want Philly’s Chris Columbus statues taken down
Joyce M. Davis: PennLive’s “Peace & Justice” webinar will bring a stark warning: America is in trouble | Social Views
Paul R. Levy: “Clean and Safe Is The Foundation For Economic Recovery” 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: In Eastern Lancaster County School District, exceptions to the state’s school masking order are far too easily granted
Maegan Llerena and Leo Murrieta: To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters
Daniel Teixeira da Silva and Kayla McLymont: Why are incarcerated people, the only Americans with guaranteed health care, dying of COVID-19 faster than the general public? 
Alison McCook: Millions of people have died of COVID-19. How do we honor them and help those left behind? 
Stephen F. Gambescia: The Catholic Church needs women deacons now 
Sascha Meinrath: Connectivity is key but too many people don’t have it
Christine Flowers: Feds are trying to redefine the meaning of terrorism
Lowman S. Henry: Newspeak, Jedi mind tricks, and the American left
Inga Saffron: Affordable housing would help a changing area of West Philly. Parking is wrecking the design.
The Grammarian: Josh Shapiro and Donald Trump agree on this aspect of the Big Lie — and it’s more dangerous than you think

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