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November 15th Playbook

A new poll shows state Sen. Doug Mastriano leading the GOP primary race for Governor. Here is the Playbook. 

 

News

‘New poll shows Mastriano leading potential GOP gubernatorial field’: City & State PA reports that “a new poll from an organization dedicated to electing Democratic governors found that state Sen. Doug Mastriano is currently leading a field of prospective GOP candidates for governor roughly a year out from state’s 2022 gubernatorial election.”

‘GOP roars back to life in Trump-resistant Pennsylvania suburbs’: POLITICO reports that “largely overlooked amid the party’s dismal suburban results in Virginia and New Jersey last week, Republicans regained ground in the vote-rich Philly suburbs after years of losses under Trump.”

‘Lawsuit over school funding disparities opens’: The Associated Press reports that “a Pennsylvania judge heard conflicting descriptions of the state’s education funding as a trial began Friday in a lawsuit designed to compel lawmakers to funnel more money to schools in lower income areas.”

‘New limits would curtail lobbyist perks for Pa. lawmakers, but one leader could stand in the way’: Spotlight PA reports that “a coalition of Republican leaders has publicly backed placing limits on gifts to elected officials and public employees — although one key leader has so far refused to endorse the change, a potentially fatal roadblock.”

‘Wolf admin denies legislative panel access to COVID death data, says it’s not a government agency’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Wolf administration has ruled that a six-decade-old legislative committee is not a government agency, blocking its efforts to access 100 redacted death certificates for a study of COVID-19 data reporting.”

‘Shapiro pledges to pass nondiscrimination as governor’: Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2022, spoke with Philadelphia Gay News “about why he supports the LGBTQ community and how he’ll push LGBTQ rights forward as governor.”

‘Group to again lobby Harrisburg lawmakers for ‘People’s Maps’ over traditional Pa. politics’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a citizens group that solicited public input to create “People’s Maps” to guide officials in drawing new legislative districts for the Pennsylvania General Assembly will make a final pitch on Monday.”

‘Hundreds gather for anti-mandate ‘freedom rally’ at Penn State’s Old Main. Here’s what happened’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “with colorful signs advocating liberty and medical choice – with slogans like “Medical discrimination is discrimination” and “But … science” – several hundred people gathered in front of Old Main on Friday to rally against the “oppression” of both Penn State’s employee vaccine mandate and such mandates in general.”

‘Elanco superintendent files as a candidate for PA-11 race to challenge Smucker, changes political parties’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster County’s longest-serving school superintendent this week took a step toward challenging U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker in next year’s midterm elections. Bob Hollister, who has led the Eastern Lancaster County School District since 2008, filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday as an official candidate for the 11th District seat held by Smucker.”

‘Democratic Latino Caucus eyeing third candidate to enter primary for Sturla’s seat’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus is working to recruit a candidate to enter the primary race for the seat held by state Rep. Mike Sturla, the incumbent Democrat who represents the city of Lancaster in the House.”

‘Pennsylvania kids’ enrollment in Medicaid increased by 14% during the pandemic’: WESA reports that “children’s enrollment in Medicaid increased by 14% statewide during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released last week. All 67 counties saw increases in children’s enrollment, according to the report, from Harrisburg-based advocacy group Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.”

‘Pennsylvania lawmakers, prison reform advocates seek to expand eligibility for compassionate release’: WESA reports that “a bipartisan group of state legislators, activists and former prisoners gathered in downtown Pittsburgh Friday to support a bill to expand Pennsylvania’s compassionate release program.”

‘Sooner or later, mask decisions will be handed back to the school boards’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “whether Pennsylvania’s school mask mandate ends in January as state officials planned or earlier because of decisions soon to come in court, the pressure will once again be on local districts to navigate what has become one of the most contentious issues of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Sen. Casey officially introduces his Five Freedoms for America’s Children Act, aims to make expanded child tax credit permanent’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the bill proposes the most sweeping expansions to children’s health care, early education and school meal programs in recent memory, including increasing funding for child care subsidies; automatic enrollment in Medicaid through age 18, pulling in roughly 4 million uninsured infants to teens; and making permanent the expanded child tax credit — monthly payments made available to millions of American families on a temporary basis under Congress’ latest round of pandemic relief.”

‘Jason Richey, Republican Attorney In Pittsburgh, Says He’s The Strongest Candidate For Governor’: KDKA reports that “an All-American college wrestler from Aliquippa, Richey said his blue-collar roots, success as an attorney and western Pennsylvania geography are a winning combination for victory in the Republican primary next May.”

‘Summer Lee picks up endorsement from the Working Families Party’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “Lee has added to her list with an endorsement from the Working Families Party, a minor political party that advocates for policies like increasing the minimum wage, progressive taxation, universal paid sick days, addressing student debt, and energy and environmental reform.”

‘Montco, Bucks Sue State Over Dates on Mail-In Ballots’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “the Montgomery County and Bucks County boards of elections have filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of State secretary seeking to clarify the rules for mail-in and absentee ballots.”

‘Cognetti to witness infrastructure bill signing’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti will attend President Joe Biden’s signing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Monday.”

‘DA-elect Nicole Ziccarelli burst onto scene, but her rise should not come as a surprise’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profiles Washington County District Attorney-elect Nicole Ziccarelli. 

‘‘Corrupt agreement’ or ‘lawful lobbying’? Catch up on the federal bribery trial of Johnny Doc and Bobby Henon’: Billy Penn reports that “if you haven’t been following the day-to-day drama, here’s a handy recap.”

‘Philadelphia failed to meet diverse-contracting goal in 2020’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has released a report showing that less than a third of city contracts went to firms owned by women, people of color, and people with disabilities in 2020. The 30% rate of what is known as MWBE contracting fell below the administration’s 35% goal.”

‘Biden’s infrastructure bill poised to reconnect Philly neighborhoods split by highways’: WHYY reports that “a portion of the Vine Street Expressway could be capped, and Philadelphia’s Chinatown reconnected, thanks to President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill.”

‘Allentown plans to spend most of American Rescue Plan funding on capital projects. Activists say more money should go to ‘people suffering on the streets’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “months after Allentown first learned it was receiving $57 million, many leaders of Allentown nonprofits say city officials are not being transparent enough in how the money is spent. They feel as if the city is not including the grassroots organizations enough.”

‘Whitehall Mayor Michael Harakal stalked, inappropriately touched women working for the township, complaints allege’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that Ashley “Nischan and the two other women through interviews with The Morning Call and complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission accuse Harakal of inappropriate behavior that included invasion of their personal space, touching them without permission, asking inappropriate personal questions, making sexually explicit comments and taking women employees for drives in his personal vehicle to isolated locations.”

‘Former Reading solicitor accuses mayor of sexual harassment’: The Reading Eagle reports that “a former Reading official has accused Mayor Eddie Moran of sexual harassment, propositioning her for sex and then firing her when she rejected his sexual requests, according to a lawsuit filed in Berks County Court.”

‘FOP, Krasner both claim victory in ‘Do Not Call’ court decision’: KYW Newsradio reports that “both sides claimed victory in a Commonwealth Court decision last week, in the Fraternal Order of Police’s suit against Philadelphia’s district attorney. However, it appears each may have some basis for their claims.”

‘Pittsburgh outlines energy strategy in new document’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh’s energy strategy now has been extended to private developers.”

‘Cumberland County posts budget as it awaits closing of Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center sale’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Cumberland County’s 2022 budget is out for public review, although the county’s financial future depends largely on not following that budget.”

‘Council members questioning media approval rule for Philly schools staff’: KYW Newsradio reports that “several City Council members are asking questions about a proposed School District of Philadelphia rule requiring central office approval before employees can talk with the press.”

‘COVID-19 vaccine mandates get attention in Pennsylvania Legislature as Lehigh Valley hospital doctor speaks out’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the issue of whether Pennsylvanians should be mandated to get the COVID-19 vaccine continues to percolate in the state Legislature, fueled by concerns of people like Dr. Chaminie Wheeler.”

‘Rep. Dan Meuser visits small businesses in Hamburg’: WFMZ reports that “Congressman Dan Meuser is getting a look at how small businesses in Hamburg are holding up. Meuser stopped by several shops and restaurants in downtown Hamburg Friday afternoon.”

‘Lillian Griffin, civic leader and tireless volunteer, dies at 99’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Lillian Griffin, 99, formerly of Drexel Hill, a longtime elected Pennsylvania Republican committeewoman for Delaware County and a relentless volunteer and philanthropist, died Friday, Oct. 29, of kidney failure at her home at the Springfield Senior Commons assisted living residence.”

‘PODCAST: Will Philly’s ‘Driving While Black’ Enforcement Ban Send Crime to the Suburbs?’: The latest Delaware Valley Journal podcast talks with “former federal prosecutor and district attorney Tom Hogan” about “the impact of Philadelphia’s law enforcement policies on the collar counties of the Delaware Valley.”

‘Oliver North speaks at event that raises funds for veterans in Berks’: The Reading Eagle reports that “America needs more communities to step up and support its veterans the way that Berks County does, retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North said Friday during a fundraising luncheon in Reading.”

‘Pa. Health Dept.: Two-day total of more than 10.8K new COVID-19 cases; 2.6K hospitalized’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 10,848 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth during the two-day period between 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday and 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 1.61 million cases since the start of the pandemic.”

 

Opinion  
Charlie Dent: The revolt of the centrists
Greg Moreland and Rebecca Oyler: Putting more tolls on Pennsylvania’s highways is not the answer to our transportation problems 
Mark S. Singel: I’m with Uncle Joe 
George Heitmann: Democrats need something more to say than ‘I’m not Trump’
Paul Muschick: How a landmark trial that started Friday could rescue Allentown schools
Klint Macro: You are your family’s first responder
Molly Pisciottano: Tobacco prevention programs are still needed in Pennsylvania 
Brad Mallory: Support Senators Gordner and Mensch’s SB 525 to protect our parks and forests
Jason Berry: Beyond Sandusky: the survivors’ movement
Chris Kelly: Republican legislature is true enemy of fair funding
Deborah Gordon Klehr: Pa. lawmakers have neglected their duty to quality education across the state 
John L. Micek: Report: Federal spending on children rose to 4-year high in 2021 | Friday Morning Coffee
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Police in Pennsylvania should provide the FBI with use-of-force data  
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Banning drilling under county parks still misguided
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Giving blood benefits donors and recipients 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The Carnegie’s new fee structure benefits teens and families
PennLive Editorial Board: The people must decide how to spend the federal windfall coming to Pennsylvania 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Long-needed infrastructure bill finally passed, but Rep. Smucker failed to serve Lancaster County’s interests by voting no  
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County’s elected officials and civic and religious leaders must denounce antisemitism and other forms of hatred 
Vincenza Portzline: People with disabilities deserve a seat at the table, too
Keith C. Burris: Voters are unhappy; duh!
David M. Shribman: Modern Politics is a study in contradictions
Ruth Ann Dailey: Politics should be about ideas, not ‘identity’
Tony Norman: White tears over Kenosha
John Cole: Pa. school funding’s endless bus ride | Editorial Cartoon
Randy LoBasso: 101 people have died because of traffic violence in Philadelphia. It doesn’t have to be this way
Will Bunch: Rittenhouse, Arbery cases, Jan. 6 probe reveal stench of America’s broken justice system

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