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April 16th Playbook

The RNC and Trump campaign have ramped up their digital outreach in PA, while PoliticsPA asks our readers if the upcoming primary should be an all-mail election. Here is the Playbook. 

Pennsylvania Congressional Vulnerability: April 2020 Ratings: The first rankings for vulnerability in the election year include 2 GOP held seats and 1 Democratic held seat as the most vulnerable in the state.

Reader Poll: Should Upcoming PA Primary Be an All-Mail Election?: The Associated Press reports that some of the most populous counties in the state are pushing Gov. Tom Wolf to allow them to conduct the June 2 primary election entirely by mail.

RNC, Trump Campaign Ramps Up Digital Outreach in PA: Starting on March 13, the RNC and Trump campaign moved their operation to 100% online in Pennsylvania and around the nation.

SD17: Torsella Endorses Cappelletti: Treasurer Joe Torsella endorsed Amanda Cappelletti, Vice-Chair of the East Norriton Board of Supervisors, for the Democratic Party nomination for the 17th state Senate District. The seat is held by state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), who won his most recent reelection bid in 2016 by 27 points over Republican Brian Gondek.  

PA18: Sarandon Tweets Out Support for Dickinson: In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Susan Sarandon encouraged her followers on Twitter who live in PA’s 18th Congressional to check out and donate to Jerry Dickinson, a Democratc challenging longtime Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) in the Democratic Primary. Sarandon touted Dickinson’s support for Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and Affordable Housing. 

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Gov. Tom Wolf will veto bill to reopen more Pa. businesses, as top health official warns legislation puts ‘more lives at risk’ 
Spotlight PA: Pa.’s state universities facing immediate hit of up to $100 million as lawmaker floats closures as worst-case scenario 
AP: Wolf mandates masks as GOP seeks to relax business shutdown
PA Post: The Debate Over Restarting Construction Projects In Pennsylvania, Explained
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The latest on COVID-19 in Pa.: 26,490 confirmed cases in 67 counties
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Setting up clash with Wolf, Pa. House moves to loosen business shutdowns
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: State Senate sends Wolf bill aimed at reopening Pa. businesses
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Reps. Wild, Houlahan push for reopening of Obamacare exchanges during pandemic
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Wolf admin. orders businesses to require face masks for workers, customers
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Casey, Scanlon call for fairer distribution of COVID-19 relief fund money
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Advocates ask lawmakers ‘to act quickly, act now’ on surprise medical bill legislation
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Posthumously innocent? The first prisoner to die of COVID-19 in Pa. was hard at work trying to clear his name 
Patriot News: Pa. will now require most customers to wear masks, workers to wear them on the job, to slow COVID-19 spread 
Patriot News: Gov. Tom Wolf will veto bill that would allow more Pa. businesses to open during COVID-19 crisis 
Patriot News: Pa. Senate sends bill that would reopen businesses to Gov. Wolf; governor plans to veto 
Patriot News: Why did Pa. close schools instead of waiting as other states are? 
Patriot News: Pa. prison inmates might be safer from the coronavirus than the general public, statistics seem to show 
Patriot News: Wolf, Fetterman create task force to address disproportionate impact of coronavirus on minorities 
Patriot News: Half of all coronavirus deaths in Pa. have occurred in long-term care facilities 
Inquirer: Push is on to fight ‘inequality’ and allow food-stamp recipients to have groceries delivered. Gov. Wolf demands ‘red tape’ be cut. 
Inquirer: Legislature appears to lack votes to overturn Gov. Tom Wolf’s closure of nonessential businesses due to coronavirus 
Inquirer: All Pa. businesses must require employees and customers to wear masks amid coronavirus pandemic 
Inquirer: Democrats just scored a big upset in Wisconsin. But in the 2020 presidential race, the state makes them nervous. 
Inquirer: Coronavirus hits nearly 300 Pa. elder-care centers, accounting for half the state’s deaths 
Inquirer: He died in prison from the coronavirus – three days before a breakthrough in his 30-year fight to clear his name 
Inquirer: Everyone will have to wear a mask at Pa. businesses that are still open | Coronavirus Newsletter
Inquirer: ‘Hundreds’ of medical marijuana jobs in Pa. are going unfilled despite high unemployment
Inquirer: The Poconos were marketed as a pandemic haven. Now the area is a COVID-19 hot spot.  
Inquirer: Pa. small businesses have gotten almost $10 billion in coronavirus PPP loans as the program expands to self-employed workers  
WHYY Newsworks: Coronavirus update: New rules for Pa. companies still conducting business face-to-face 
Fox News: Pennsylvania Republicans push to reopen some businesses, with protest over stay-at-home order planned
Washington Examiner: Transportation secretary: Airports and airlines will get billions for much-needed boost 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State corrections chief: Worst-case scenario avoided, so far
National Journal: Bognet Releases First TV Ad
KYW Newsradio: Officials worry as number of calls to Pennsylvania’s child abuse hotline drop
KYW Newsradio: Advocates say first inmate to die in state prison from COVID-19 was innocent
KYW Newsradio: Customers, employees required to wear masks at essential businesses in Pennsylvania
Beaver County Times: Half of state’s coronavirus deaths in long-term care facilities 
The Hill: Pennsylvania state senate votes to override governor’s stay-at-home order
Philly Voice: Pennsylvanians desperately seeking alcohol now being turned away in Ohio, too
LNP | LancasterOnline: Wolf creates new task force to address how COVID-19 affects minorities
CNN: Pennsylvanians are driving out of state to buy liquor, so neighboring states are cracking down
CNN: Republican state lawmakers push for faster economic reopening 
CNN: How Philadelphia’s mayor is fighting a pandemic that’s hitting the city’s black community hard
PLSReporter: ‘We’re trying to adopt a standard’: Senate advances legislation to relax business closures
PLSReporter: Wetzel: First inmates set to be released Wednesday due to COVID-19
StateImpactPA: Coronavirus cases at Limerick nuclear station raised concern. Pa. plants say they’re working to prevent outbreaks during refueling outages
StateImpactPA: 500 construction workers to go back to work on Shell’s ethane cracker  

WHYY Newsworks: SEPTA is giving masks to riders after backlash to face-covering mandate 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly judge denies all emergency motions to release prisoners during coronavirus pandemic
Billy Penn: $95 million for Philly colleges: How much each school gets under the stimulus 
Billy Penn: Philly’s federal prison sued over lack of facemasks, testing and social distancing 
Billy Penn: Updated guide to coronavirus in Philly: Testing, schools, shopping, transit, unemployment and more
Billy Penn: Temple University execs take 10% pay cut, ask faculty to give up raises
Inquirer: Are Philly schools waiting too long to get students online after the coronavirus closures? 
Inquirer: Federal prison inmates in Philadelphia ask a judge to send them home to avoid the coronavirus 
Inquirer: As Philly courts continue with emergency coronavirus hearings, the Defender Association bypasses one judge 
Inquirer: SEPTA conductor dies of coronavirus complications; Trump says he’ll announce plans to reopen states with low virus rates 
Inquirer: Coronavirus killed panhandling and closed food pantries. This volunteer is scrambling to keep homeless Philadelphians alive. 
Inquirer: SEPTA gives surgical masks to riders amid coronavirus 
Inquirer: Philly is offering free meals for seniors and free diapers for babies. Here’s how to get them 
Philadelphia Magazine: Philly Coronavirus News: Many of You Should Get Your Stimulus Money Today 
Philadelphia Magazine: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Teens According to Four Philly High School Teachers 
Philadelphia Tribune: Community presents NW Philly Police District with 1400 face masks
Philly Voice: Bernie Sanders campaign uses text messages to circulate Hahnemann Hospital petition nationwide 
KYW Newsradio: SEPTA makes limited number of masks available as riders are being urged to wear them
KYW Newsradio: Philly teachers donate their stimulus checks to colleagues in need
Philadelphia Citizen: Citizen Virtual Town Hall: Talking With Ali Velshi 
Philadelphia Business Journal: How PHL will use $116 million in federal pandemic relief funds 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia takes over two additional hotels for COVID-19 quarantine space 
Philadelphia Business Journal: The Philadelphia-area hospitals that made, and lost, the most in fiscal 2019

Montgomery Media: Montco official on ending coronavirus shutdown: ‘We are not there yet’
Montgomery Media: Montco reports 11 more coronavirus deaths; testing site to open in Whitpain 
Montgomery Media: Montco coronavirus response fund reaches nearly $300K; first grants awarded 
Bucks Courier Times: Bucks cuts prison population as 20 prisoners, employees have coronavirus 
Bucks Courier Times: Coronavirus: 60 now dead in Bucks County 
Delco Daily Times: 40 to 70 percent of prison personnel expected to get virus, officials say
Daily Local News: Pennsylvania Senate sends bill in support of reopening businesses to Wolf’s desk
Daily Local News: Wednesday Update: Pennsylvania up to 26,490 positive coronavirus cases with 1,145 new patients 
Daily Local News: Chesco will apply for $91M in federal COVID funds 
Daily Local News: Two Chester County airports to receive funding from CARES Act 
Daily Local News: City of Coatesville implements proactive citywide health curfew 
Bucks Local News: APRIL 14 UPDATE: Bucks County Health Department reports 11 new COVID-19 deaths 
Bucks Local News: Township Association applauds legislature for passage of bill to enhance township’s ability to respond to COVID-19; urges Governor to sign legislation
Bucks Local News: Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund grants exceed $100,000 
Pottstown Mercury: Pottstown presses forward with plan for green energy plant 

Post-Gazette: State expands workplace guidelines; Allegheny eclipses 900 cases of COVID-19 
Post-Gazette: Area state senators line up along party lines in vote to reopen parts of economy 
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County asks for extended suspension of federal civil cases because of virus 
Post-Gazette: Range Resources fined for air pollution 
Post-Gazette: City schools prioritize student engagement as remote learning begins 
Post-Gazette: First Pittsburgh worker dies of COVID-19
Pittsburgh Business Times: Allegheny County on reopening: We’re not ready yet
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pittsburgh-area airports to receive millions in funding from coronavirus relief legislation
WESA: Councilors Begin Effort To Turn Vacant Lots Into Local Gardens 
WESA: School Leaders Say It Will Take A Long Time For Students To Make Up For COVID Closures 
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania rolls out data on nursing home coronavirus cases 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County officials: More coronavirus testing needed before businesses can reopen 
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania launches task force to address coronavirus outbreaks among minorities 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports 2 more coronavirus deaths, 11 more cases  
KDKA: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Says Coronavirus Cases Climb To 904, In Addition To 2 More Deaths 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: First City Employee Dies From Coronavirus-Related Complications 
KDKA: Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Senate Passes Bill To Reopen Businesses If They Follow CDC Guidelines

Beaver County Times: Shell to call back more workers; state says no waiver needed
Beaver County Times: Local legislators fall along party lines in votes on business reopening bill
Beaver County Times: Marshall cancels two May events over coronavirus concerns 
Beaver County Times: State eases CHIP requirements during COVID-19
Beaver County Times: Report: Local hospitals were in financial distress pre-COVID-19
Observer-Reporter: Two of three commissioners apply for June 2 mail-in ballots
Observer-Reporter: Upper St. Clair committeeman takes credit for Joe Biden’s entry into politics
Tribune Review: 3 more coronavirus deaths reported in Westmoreland County
Post-Gazette: State tells Shell it doesn’t need a waiver to build natural gas power plant
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: ‘Deep dive’ on nursing homes: Indiana County COVID-19 death is region’s first in long-term care facility
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State rolls out worker protections as lawmakers press for more businesses to reopen

Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County Coroner: Coronavirus cases locally, statewide likely underreported
Times-Tribune: Drive-thru testing coming to Mohegan Sun Arena
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County emergency declaration extended through May 15
Times-Tribune: Scranton City Council OKs Lucas’ appointment as fire chief
Times-Tribune: Amid outbreak, new data reveals disease toll on county nursing homes
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 – Complete Coverage
Citizens Voice: DOH confirms mass testing site at Mohegan Sun Arena
Citizens Voice: Virus’ rate of growth slows in Pennsylvania
Citizens Voice: Pandemic recovery plan on agenda for W-B council 
Citizens Voice: W-B mayor extends deadline for Mercantile Tax
The Times Leader: COVID-19 testing site at arena will open Sunday; Yudichak, township concerned
The Times Leader: Luzerne County COVID-19 cases rise by 44; 1 more death reported
The Times Leader: Casey calls for modern-day GI Bill for COVID-19 workers
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri said more coronavirus testing was requested in the region
The Times Leader: Levine confirms arena parking lot will be mass testing site

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: County GOP reps. take floor in contested COVID-19 re-opening bill
Carlisle Sentinel: Local and state coronavirus roundup  
LNP | LancasterOnline: Wednesday’s COVID-19 updates: Pa. up to 26,490 cases, Lancaster at 72 deaths 
LNP | LancasterOnline: First COVID-19 case among inmates, second among staff at Lancaster County Prison reported 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County colleges to get $23.5M in coronavirus relief, $11.7M for students 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Clay Township looks at budget again after project shortfall 
Patriot News: Pa. will now require most customers to wear masks, workers to wear them on the job, to slow COVID-19 spread 
Patriot News: Gov. Tom Wolf will veto bill that would allow more Pa. businesses to open during COVID-19 crisis 
Patriot News: Pa. Senate sends bill that would reopen businesses to Gov. Wolf; governor plans to veto 
Patriot News: Why did Pa. close schools instead of waiting as other states are? 
Patriot News: Pa. prison inmates might be safer from the coronavirus than the general public, statistics seem to show 
Patriot News: Wolf, Fetterman create task force to address disproportionate impact of coronavirus on minorities 
Patriot News: Half of all coronavirus deaths in Pa. have occurred in long-term care facilities 
Patriot News: Nearly 100 prisoners released from Cumberland County amid coronavirus 
Patriot News: Harrisburg school board member killed by COVID-19 worked front lines as a social worker despite risks
York Daily Record: Coronavirus in Pa.: 26,000 cases confirmed; lawmakers approve bill to open more businesses  
York Dispatch: York County sees one additional virus-related death, 10 new COVID-19 cases 
York Dispatch: ‘As you may guess, things have changed’: York school districts grapple with uncertain budgets 
York Dispatch: Wolf admin: ‘Too soon’ to say whether Pa. would defy Trump order

Lehigh Valley      
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: Death toll rises over 600; Lehigh County has state’s highest concentration of cases | COVID-19 case map (4/15/20) 
Express Times: As the coronavirus decimates air travel, Lehigh Valley airports get federal stimulus help
Morning Call: Susan Wild says Trump should change his mind and open special enrollment period for Obamacare 
Morning Call: About half of state’s 647 deaths are in nursing homes, with 21 reported in the Lehigh Valley 
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus business battle: Legislature votes to replace governor’s business-closure system with federal guidance; Wolf will veto 
Morning Call: East Stroudsburg University converts field house to temporary hospital for recovering coronavirus patients 
Morning Call: Allentown airports land $6.2 million in coronavirus relief 
Reading Eagle: Berks County waiting on more protective equipment for front line workers 
Reading Eagle: Pennsylvania Democrats call for special Affordable Care Act enrollment during coronavirus pandemic 

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Inmate influx expected in Lewisburg due to S.C. tornado 
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: District to hold budget talks virtually
Centre Daily Times: Coronavirus updates: Here’s what to know in Centre County on April 15 
Erie Times-News: Erie City Council moves Wi-Fi plan forward 
Erie Times-News: Merski asks community to ‘Light up Erie’ in support of medical community, others 
Erie Times-News: Coronavirus: Erie-area updates, Wednesday, April 15

Stan Saylor: Pennsylvania can solve our public health crisis and our economic crisis
Andrea Custis: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare Pa.’s education inequities. Here’s what to do next
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Bridging digital divide: Local groups work to get computers for schools 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Vetting Zoom: The booming teleconference software has major flaws 
Inquirer Staff: How can we cope with isolation during coronavirus? Formerly incarcerated women give advice. | Perspective
John L. Micek: During COVID-19 run on guns, background checks surged to highest point in nearly 3 years | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Candace McKinley: The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency of ending cash bail
Kim Firn: Coronavirus slows safety for asylum-seekers 
Patrick Sharkey: Our hidden frontline workers need more support 
Dan Simpson: Stopping the coronavirus may mean throwing out the rule book
Albert Hunt: Trump lays bare the Republicans’ mail-in voting hypocrisy
Jack Ludmir and Stephen K. Klasko: Uninsured pregnant women need support to confront coronavirus | Expert Opinion
Terry Tracy: Upper Darby school debate shows the limits of virtual government 
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: The governors driving Master Donald
Maria Panaritis: Through a cracked-open window, food and hope for the economic casualties of coronavirus 
The Angry Grammarian: Show me the data. Or is it datum? 
Helen Ubiñas: With the coronavirus, we’re facing an identity crisis. Who are we without our work, our roles, our old selves?

6 Responses

  1. Sample of lame Trump emails I’m getting:


    Yesterday, I asked my staff to send me the donor records of my most loyal supporters – the true leaders of our
    movement who will help carry us to VICTORY in November.

    I thought YOU would definitely be on there as one of my TOP supporters, but when they pulled your record, David,
    it showed that you were in the bottom 1% of all Trump Donors.

    I thought this was a mistake, but take a look for yourself:


    Supporter: David Diano
    Donor Since: NOT AVAILABLE
    2020 Campaign Cycle Gifts: $0
    Lifetime Total: $0

    I’m depending on your support, David, and I need you to step up. Where have you been?

    Donald J. Trump
    President of the United States

  2. The Republican Senate bill offering that county commissioners decide whether or not to reopen businesses makes you wonder what planet the Republican leadership in the Pa. Senate is on. Pa has the fifth ranking amount of virus cases in the country with sadly hundreds of people passing. This bill is absurd and is missing the point of what is going on.

    1. and our medical leader appointment by wolf is right on target.right…it’s got more mental problems that need attention than the virus…open up stores in a fair and equal manner…not hard to do even fora holes if the try hard…

  3. I filled out a Trump survey (for laughs), and even though I checked every box that indicating Trump was doing a sh*tty job, I wound up on the email list thanking me for my support of Trump.

    Furthermore, every day I get several of the completely lamest email pitches to donate money or sign a digital birthday card for Melanie, because that’s Trump’s “secret” surprise gift for his wife (instead of an actual gift).

    Some emails pretend to be from some staffer who specifically spoke to Trump about me and Trump asked why I hadn’t donated yet. (palm slapping forehead that anyone would fall for this)

    It’s a pretty sad digital campaign.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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