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April 17: My Hometown

President Joe Biden visits hometown of Scranton

⏱️ Halfway Home On A Wednesday

PA Weather
☂️ Ambridge | Showers, 78
🌧️ Hollidaysburg | Rain Likely, 69
☔ Carbondale | Afternoon Showers, 60

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (47-35) | Wed vs. Miami (play-in tournament)
🏒 Penguins (38-31-12) | Wed vs. NY Islanders (season finale)
🏒 Flyers (38-33-11) | Washington 1-2 (season finale)
⚾ Pirates (11-7) | NY Mets 1-3 | Wed vs. NY Mets
⚾ Phillies (10-8) | Colorado 5-0 | Wed vs. Colorado

What’s Happening Today. President Joe Biden will make remarks at the United Steelworkers Headquarters in Pittsburgh. The PA House is in session.

Today’s Springsteen Lyrics. “Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be king, And a king ain’t satisfied Till he rules everything” – Badlands

Happy Birthday. Cake and candles for Rep. Guy Reschenthaler.

A Pennsylvania Politics Newsletter? Sign Me Up. Did you know that the PoliticsPA Playbook reaches over 7,200 subscribers? Add your name to the list and we’ll deliver all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read email format by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now.

 

Top Story

1. Biden Visits His Pennsylvania Hometown To Call For More Taxes On The Rich And Cast Trump As Elitist

President Joe Biden made a nostalgic return to the house where he grew up in working-class Scranton on Tuesday, kicking off three days of campaigning across Pennsylvania by calling for higher taxes on the rich and casting Donald Trump as an out-of-touch elitist.

When the Democratic president wasn’t trying to blunt the populist appeal of his Republican predecessor’s comeback bid, he appeared to savor his trip down memory lane. He lingered longer than expected at his childhood home, where an American flag waved softly in the wind on the front porch and neighbors crowded the sidewalk under flowering trees and a pale blue sky. The president later posed for photos with children, some wearing school uniforms, in the backyard.” (AP)

Related

Biden Touts Scranton Roots, Takes Aim At Trump’s Economic Plans. “President Joe Biden returned to the city where he was born Tuesday and used Scranton to sharply contrast the way he and ex-President Donald Trump grew up.” (WVIA)

Steelworkers Union Headquarters To Be Backdrop For Biden Economic Speech. “President Joe Biden heads to Pittsburgh Wednesday, the middle stop on his three-day pre-primary tour across the nation’s most populous swing state.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Progressives Seek to Neutralize AIPAC’s Spending Threats. “The promise of an onslaught of spending from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has loomed over Democratic primaries for months — but it hasn’t yet materialized.” (POLITICO)

SCOTUS Upholds $5,000 Fine Against Smucker For Dodging Metal Detectors In Capitol After Jan. 6. “The court chose not to hear the GOP lawmakers’ appeal, effectively upholding the lower court’s ruling against Smucker and the two other lawmakers who did not pass through metal detectors on their way into the House chamber.” (LNP)

 

State

2. PA Election 2024: What The Latest Fundraising Reports Tell Us About The Attorney General Race

2024 PA Attorney General candidates

“The five Democrats running to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general raised almost $1.2 million in the weeks leading up to the April 23 primary, mostly from Philadelphia trade unions, lawyers, elected officials, and other monied interests based in the city.

In the two-way Republican race, the party-backed candidate outraised his opponent while getting a major spending boost from a conservative political group backed by Pennsylvania’s wealthiest man, Jeff Yass.” (Spotlight PA)

Related

PA Primary Preview: Auditor General. “A pair of candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General in Malcolm Kenyatta and Mark Pinsley. The winner of the primary will face incumbent Republican Tim DeFoor in November.” (PoliticsPA)

 

Preparing For Perry: The PA-10 Democratic Primary Enters Its Endgame. “Democrats seeking to challenge U.S. Scott Perry in the fall look to separate themselves ahead of the April 23 contest.” (City & State)

A Warrant Has Been Issued For State Rep. Kevin Boyle’s Arrest. “Boyle, 44, a Democrat seeking an eighth term in next week’s primary election, was expected to be charged with violation of a PFA by communication.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

PA Bill That Bans Handheld Cellphone Use By Drivers Also Blocks Right-To-Know Law Data Access. “A single sentence within a legislative bill that would allow Pennsylvania to ban handheld cellphone use by drivers — a ban long sought by lawmakers — has generated pushback from transparency advocates.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Why Are 2 Staffers Still Being Paid After This 2021 PA Commission Disbanded? “More than two years have passed since the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission approved new maps defining House and Senate district boundaries.” (PennLive)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. A TOPGUN Veteran And A Central PA News Anchor Both Think They Can Beat Scott Perry

Election 2024 Pennsylvania | News | goskagit.com

“Democrats’ mission to oust U.S. Rep. Scott Perry could fall on the shoulders of either a former newscaster or a TOPGUN veteran.

The field of challengers is crowded, with six Democrats on the ballot who are all eager to oust Perry from his seat. But experts say two candidates have emerged above the rest: Mike O’Brien, 42, who launched his campaign in September after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, and Janelle Stelson, 63, who left her job as a WGAL television news anchor to launch her campaign in October.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Related

State House Previews

  • HD-199: 2 Democrats Vie For Chance To Challenge GOP Incumbent For PA House Seat. (PennLive)
  • HD-183: Incumbent Veteran, Newcomer Face Off in 183rd District GOP primary. (LehighValleyNews.com)

 

Union County Leaders Discuss Spellings For Write-In Votes. “Voters in Union County may need to brush up on their spelling skills to have their write-in votes counted for the person they intended.” (Daily Item)

ACLU Urges Washington County To Notify Voters Of Problems With Mail-In Ballot Envelopes. “These are eligible voters. Their ballots are fine,” said ACLU Pennsylvania legal director Vic Walczak. “The county knows there’s an error. It should give them an opportunity to correct it.” (WESA)

How to Track Your Pennsylvania Mail Ballot. “Ballots must be returned to county election offices by 8 p.m. on Election Day on April 23 in order to be counted.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Austin Murphy, Longtime Congressman, Regional Political Leader, Dies at 96. “Murphy represented Pennsylvania’s 22nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, and then in the redrawn 20th District from 1993 to his retirement from the House in 1995. The districts included Washington, Greene and Fayette counties.” (Washington Observer-Reporter)

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

 

1 Tax Thing

5. Fewer, Bigger Refunds

4 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely | FCAA Can Help

“Tax refunds are bigger this year, but fewer people are getting one, Axios’ Kelly Tyko reports from IRS data.

💸 By the numbers: As of April 5, the average refund was $3,011, a 4.6% increase over the same time last year.

That’s likely because of new tax brackets, an increased standard deduction and higher limits for 401(k) plans.

But there was a 3.3% drop in the total number of refunds processed — and there’s no clear explanation for why fewer people would be getting refunds this year.” (Axios)

 

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