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April 18th Playbook

The future of closed primaries in PA. Swing voters speak out. GOP lawmakers look to reform election laws. House candidate Hunt has interesting backstory. Here is the Playbook.

PA Weather
Kittanning | Rain, snow, 40
Kingston | Rain after 5 p.m, 52
Kennett Square | Rain, 49

PA Sports
76ers | d. Toronto, 131-101; tonight vs. Toronto (leads 1-0)
Flyers | lost at Buffalo, 5-3; TUE at Toronto
Penguins | lost at Boston, 2-1
Phillies | lost to Florida, 11-3; tonight at Colorado
Pirates | d. Washington, 5-3; today at Milwaukee
Union | lost to Toronto FC, 2-1

Will PA Get Rid of Closed Primaries?: As the number of people who leave or choose never to join a political party continues to increase, the pressure is mounting on lawmakers to let independent voters participate in primary elections.

PA Swing Voters Speak Out in Focus Group: Recently, 13 Pennsylvania voters participated in the Swing Voter Project. It is not clear that those who follow politics truly understand the mindset of the swing voter.

Ups and Downs 4/15: It’s the holiday weekend edition of Ups and Downs. It’s about endorsements, polls, mail-in ballots, drop boxes, forums and yes, peeps.

PA Senate Race: ‘Fetterman, McCormick win first-quarter ‘money primaries’ in Pa. Senate race’: PennLive reports that “Dr. Mehmet Oz is a fundraising leader too, largely on the strength of more than $11 million in commitments from his personal fortune.”

  • Inquirer: Now we know how much Mehmet Oz and David McCormick are personally spending on their Pa. Senate campaigns
  • Inquirer: John Fetterman still has a huge cash advantage in the Pa. Senate race, even after Conor Lamb’s best quarter
  • ABC27: Mehmet Oz visits Cumberland County, talks Trump endorsement
  • CBS21: Face the State | How effective is an endorsement from Former Pres. Trump for candidates?
  • The Times Leader: Bochetto feels he is best choice for U.S. Senate seat
  • Altoona Mirror: Nexstar hosts live GOP Senate debate
  • City & State PA: Endorsements in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race keep stacking up.

PA Governor Race: ‘Shapiro: Dem candidate’s ad wrongly implies endorsement’: The Associated Press reports that “an ad by one of three people seeking the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor this year drew a complaint Friday and a sharply worded letter from the party’s presumed nominee for governor.”

  • City & State PA: Dave White and Bill McSwain trade barbs as governor’s race intensifies 
  • PennLive: Pa. Republican gubernatorial candidates to face off in debate on Tuesday
  • CBS21: Face the State | Gubernatorial Candidate Lou Barletta (R)
  • ABC27: This Week in Pennsylvania: Melissa Hart
  • WJET: PA Governor Candidate Josh Shapiro visits Warren
  • The Bradford Era: Shapiro rallies Democrats in Port Allegany

‘After failed election reform negotiations, Pa. GOP lawmakers take tougher approach’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Republican lawmakers told Gov. Tom Wolf last year they brought him their best proposal. Now they’re proving it.”

‘Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate drops to 4.9%’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a point in March to 4.9%, another indication the state’s jobs picture continues to strengthen.”

‘Pa. labor leaders respond to workplace allegations at state AFL-CIO’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “labor leaders across the commonwealth are calling for a thorough but expeditious investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct and gender discrimination brought against Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.”

‘‘No shame in the OnlyFans game’: Pa. House candidate, former stripper, Alexandra Hunt responds to social media troll by starting account on adult site’: PennLive reports that “Alexandra Hunt is pretty up front about who she is and the life she has lived.”

‘Former stripper running for Congress says ‘climate emergency’ partially prompted decision to get an abortion’: Fox News reports that “Alexandra Hunt, who is running for the Democratic nomination for a Philadelphia-area congressional district, has used her past to drive attention to her progressive campaign platform, including by starting an OnlyFans page for herself that is not associated with her campaign.”

‘Commitment 2022: Steve Irwin running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th District Democratic primary’: WTAE reports that “attorney and activist Steve Irwin is running in the Democratic primary for Congress in the 12th District. Irwin, of Squirrel Hill, has the backing of retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, former Pittsburgh mayors Tom Murphy and Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and several labor organizations.”

‘Gov. Wolf promotes cash-for-Pennsylvanians concept in Monroe County; Republicans say not so fast’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf went to Monroe County to make his latest pitch for sending checks to Pennsylvanians using federal relief money, but a top Republican lawmaker said it was unclear how much money is available.”

‘Gov. Wolf makes stop in Poconos to promote PA Opportunity Program’: The Pocono Record reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf stopped by Stroudsburg’s Pocono Family YMCA on Thursday to promote a recovery initiative that would put up to $2,000 in Pennsylvanians’ pockets.”

‘Toomey talks natural gas, cryoptocurrencies and politics in TL visit’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey was in the area last week to voice his support for Pennsylvania’s natural gas workers and industry and to meet with industry leaders to discuss the state of the industry in the region.”

‘Pitt fears attacks on fetal tissues use, redistricting could hurt state funding, tuition breaks’: WESA reports that “there are mounting concerns in Harrisburg and Oakland that the University of Pittsburgh’s multi-million dollar appropriation from the state is under renewed threat from House Republicans — a dispute that could end tuition breaks for Pennsylvania students at the school and perhaps rework how the state supports higher education.”

‘In Pennsylvania, Ukraine invasion and urgent climate report drive new interest in renewables, efficiency’: StateImpactPA reports that “Pennsylvania’s renewables industry may have an opportunity to sell more solar panels or wind turbines as prices of fossil fuel-powered energy spike in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and warnings of climate chaos intensify, analysts said.”

‘Animal welfare bill’s limbo status shows need for reforms of Pa. Legislature’s rules, advocates say’: The Caucus reports that “inside the doors of the Capitol, democracy can get a little baffling.”

‘Lycoming County commissioners float possible 2020 election audit’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “petitions are circulating calling for an audit of the 2020 Lycoming County election results, County Commissioner Tony Mussare announced at the commissioners’ weekly meeting.”

‘Suit seeks to overturn renewed Philadelphia mask mandate’: The Associated Press reports that “several businesses and residents have filed suit in state court in Pennsylvania seeking to overturn Philadelphia’s renewed indoor mask mandate scheduled to be enforced beginning Monday in an effort to halt a surge in COVID-19 infections.”

‘Lancaster lawmakers call for $2M to combat bird flu’: ABC27 reports that “in response to the news of a confirmed case of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu (HPAI) in Lancaster County, Senator Ryan Aument (R-36) and Representative Mindy Fee (R-37) announced they will be introducing a bill to provide $2 million in additional funding for the detection, response, and prevention of avian flu.”

‘Pa., national transportation agencies step up battle to eliminate distracted driving as deaths, injuries pile up’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “as part of their response to a yearslong rise in highway deaths, national and state organizations are taking aim at distracted driving, hoping to reduce what one official called “a plague on our roads.””

‘PCN to air, stream 3 primary debates’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “PCN will air live debates for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial primary races.”

Legislative Election Updates

‘Your guide to the 2022 primary challengers’: City & State PA “compiled a list of all incumbent legislators facing challengers in the 2022 primary.”

‘Philly Democratic committee angers party members with 2 Pa. House endorsements’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee surprised and dismayed many party members this week with its endorsements in two primary races for seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.”

‘Schuylkill businessman is seeking GOP nod for state House’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Jamie Barton is seeking the Republican nomination in the 124th District.”

Regional Spotlight: Southeast and Lehigh Valley
Philadelphia Magazine: Paul Martino’s Audacious Plan to Disrupt the Republican Party
Morning Call: Pa. and Lehigh Valley residents can get recreational marijuana in New Jersey next week. Here’s what they risk bringing it over the border
Philadelphia Gay News: Candidates make their case to LGBTQ voters
Inquirer: Jurors in Kenyatta Johnson bribery trial expected to resume deliberations
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia’s renewed mask mandate begins. Here’s how that affects you
Morning Call: Former Lehigh Valley nonprofit director, political organizer who worked for Mayor Ed Pawlowski convicted of computer fraud 
Philly Voice: Peabody Award nominees include ‘Philly D.A.,’ the PBS docuseries on Larry Krasner
Inquirer: Philly mask mandate draws jabs from Stephen Colbert and City Council members
Inquirer: Why is Philly requiring masks again today when other cities aren’t? We asked the experts
NBC10: How Chester Continues to See Decline in Murders
Inquirer: Philly’s first-time home buyers will get more help from the city when its grant program returns
Inquirer: Penn law professor Amy Wax makes more inflammatory comments on national TV
Inquirer: How the pandemic altered the relationship between Philly restaurants and diners
Inquirer: COVID has killed more than 5,000 Philadelphians. These neighborhoods lost the most.
Inquirer: This Philly-area trader earns more than $1B a year and pays a lower income tax rate than most Americans
Inquirer: Philadelphia school board member Maria McColgan resigns
Inquirer: Edward Furman Sr., accountant, Montgomery County official, family man, dies at 67
Philly Voice: Open primaries would allow 1.1 million independent voters to take part in elections, lawmakers say
Morning Call: Lehigh County commissioners unanimously appoint new coroner, replacing Eric Minnich after resignation
Morning Call: Bethlehem approves Lehigh University solar farm, despite neighbors’ objections
Morning Call: Video shows leader of Allentown nonprofit using a racial slur; mayor removes him from Council of Youth
Morning Call: Rents rise dramatically in Allentown, new report shows; a studio apartment now averages about $1,600 a month
Morning Call: Nearly all fentanyl that kills Pennsylvanians is made in Mexico with compounds from China, elsewhere, official says
Reading Eagle: Berks needs poll workers for the upcoming primary election
Reading Eagle: As pandemic concerns ease, Berks parades and events are making a comeback
Reading Eagle: Reading’s new Climate Corps is looking for recruits, age 18 through 24 [Updated]
Billy Penn: Philadelphia’s mask mandate makes national headlines and sparks local debate 
Billy Penn: Most people don’t follow the city budget process, but schools, housing, and police stand out 
Billy Penn: When are the spotted lanternflies coming, and should I still be trying to crush the bejesus out of them?
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia Weekly to cease print publication
KYW Newsradio: Suit seeks to overturn renewed Philadelphia mask mandate
KYW Newsradio: Philly’s ‘Great Resignation’: Nearly twice as many workers as usual left city jobs last year
WFMZ: Berks Commissioners authorize study of the health services in the county
WFMZ: Ballot drop-box legislation won’t affect upcoming primary in Berks County, Commissioners say
WFMZ: Berks County expected to receive about $13M from national opioid settlement
WFMZ: Flag raising ceremony in Allentown celebrates Syrian Independence
Delco Daily Times: Officials announce $1M to improve Darby rail crossing safety
Daily Local News: Houlahan to hold ‘State of the Sixth’ town hall April 19 in Phoenixville 
Daily Local News: Comitta secures $50,000 for Domestic Violence Center of Chester County
Bucks County Courier Times: New leadership announced at the Bucks County Courier Times & Intelligencer
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority is worth $1 billion. Is it for sale?
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County OKs $9.2M in contracts, $1.89M for dredging of Schuylkill Canal
WHYY: Philly adding more bike patrols to keep an eye on Center City
WHYY: As Philly brings back masks, is its COVID response system too sensitive? Or a model for other cities?
WHYY: Philly increasing pay for lifeguards and offering free training to boost the ranks

Heather S. Heidelbaugh: Who decides Pennsylvania’s voting laws? The commonwealth’s constitution
Mark S. Singel: Like Vladmir Putin, Trump is a threat to democracy
Kimberley Strassel: Democrats’ Risky Keystone Bet
Paul Muschick: How taxpayers could save $5 million in Allentown, $2.7 million in Bethlehem and $878,000 in Parkland
Lamont McClure: Studying Gracedale salaries would just waste money
Larry Platt: Welcome To Fearadelphia 
Kathy Cook: Pennsylvanians deserve clean drinking water
Jill Sunday Bartoli: Let’s all be pro-life
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pa.’s recovery homes need oversight; underfunded licensing program won’t provide it 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pa. can benefit from onshoring strategic manufacturing 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Beyond debate: A damning withdrawal by the RNC
PennLive Editorial Board: Americans can’t depend on China to safeguard our own economy and security 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County GOP commissioners and state lawmakers make partisan moves to eliminate ballot drop boxes
Aaron Goldstein: No kid should be hungry
Nancy Eshelman: Isn’t 45,000 deaths from gun violence in a year enough to wake society up? 
Barbara W. Brandom: Grant Township is fighting back
David Shribman: The value — and urgency — of voting in America
Ashley Comans: Wilkinsburg needs a better water authority

3 Responses

  1. Reliance on fundraising will increase with open primaries. If you register Independent you understand that you may have less choices but I’m not sold on the value of D’s voting in R primaries and vice versa.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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