April 19th Playbook

April 16th Ups and Downs: The White House gives Pennsylvania a C- for infrastructure, the Erie County Democratic Committee doesn’t endorse a candidate for Mayor, plus a Scranton businessman is not allowed on the ballot for Mayor of Scranton. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Commonwealth Court Candidates To Participate in Monday Forum: PennLive reports that Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and Dauphin Couty Libraries have set up a candidates forum for six candidates running for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The forum, which is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, will be moderated by Karl Myers of Stradley Ronon. 

SD48: League of Women Voters to Hold Forum on Tuesday: PennLive reports that the League of Women Voters of the Harrisburgh Area will be holding a candidates forum on Tuesday night for the four candidates running for the state Senate’s 48th District. Corinna Wilson, president of Wilson500, Inc. and former head of content at Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN), will moderate the event slated to begin at 7 p.m.

Lawrence To Assume Speaker’s Role in Cutler’s Absence: According to a press release from House Republicans, state Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester) will serve as the speaker pro tempore for House session this week, while House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) continues to quarantine because of a positive COVID-19 test. 

AP: 2020’s Election Keeps Coming Up in 2021’s High Court Race: The Associated Press reports the 2020 election keeps coming up in 2021’s race for Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  

Laughlin and Street To Host Roundtable on Adult Use of Marijuana on 4/20: State Sens. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), who introduced the first bipartisan bill to legalize recreational adult use of marijuana in Pennsylvania, will be hosting a roundtable discussion on Tuesday morning about their legislation to legalize adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth. 

Inky: People Fleeing New York and New Jersey for the Poconos Could Give Pa. Democrats a New Stronghold: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Democrats could look to the Poconos as a new region where they can grow.  

Harrisburg Mayoral Candidates Debate: PennLive reports that the five Democratic candidates for Harrisburg mayor participated in a “lively” debate on Saturday night. 

Fetterman Campaign Hires Lee and Dennis Horton as Philly Organizers: Lt. Governor John Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign announced on Friday that they have hired Lee and Dennis Horton as Philadelphia-based organizers. Lee and Dennis were granted clemency in February 2021. 

Post-Gazette: Peduto Outpaces Gainey Fundraising in March Campaign Finance Reports: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s reelection campaign raised $355,827 last month, while challenger state Rep. Ed Gainey raised $80,295 in March.  

Post-Gazette Previews Pittsburgh’s City Council District 4 Council Primary Race: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pittsburgh City Council’s District 4 Democratic primary race between Councilman Anthony Coghill and Bethani Cameron “will be Pittsburgh City Council’s biggest showdown” in the upcoming primary. 

Inky’s Takeaways from Kenney’s New Budget: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the 6 takeaways from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s new budget.  

Ramos Talks to Allentown Morning Call: Tim Ramos, the lone GOP candidate for Mayor in Allentown, talked to the Allentown Morning Call’s Andrew Wagaman on Friday about his bid for mayor during a Q&A.  

Allentown Mayoral Candidates Discuss Keeping City’s Children Engaged: WFMZ reports on how the five mayoral candidates in Allentown plan on keeping the city’s children engaged.  

Allegheny County Bar Association Updates Judicial Candidate Ratings: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Allegheny County Bar Association released updated ratings on Thursday for candidates seeking a spot on the Common Pleas Court for the May primary. 

Thompson Talks Pittsburgh Policies with City Paper: Michael Thompson, a math tutor who is running for the Democratic Party nomination for Mayor of Pittsburgh, talked to Pittsburgh City Paper in an interview about policies most important to the city.  

Haverford Township Commissioner Andy Lewis Dies at 64: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Andy Lewis, a Haverford Township commissioner for the Fifth Ward and former Delaware County councilperson, has died following a battle with  a Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder, according to an announcement on his social media account Saturday.

Beam Receives First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Encourages Others To Get Vaccinated: KDKA reports that Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam announced on Saturday that she received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and is encouraging Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated. 

Times-Tribune: Scranton backs lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s restrictions on local gun control: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Scranton supports a Philadelphia lawsuit challenging the state’s restrictions on municipalities enacting gun-control measures.  

Peduto Signs Executive Order Targeting Tax Fraud: KDKA reports that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed an executive order on Thursday to form a committee with trade groups to “better define exactly what a construction contractor is so it is easier to hold companies accountable when they do not pay their taxes.” 

Ortitay Proposes ‘Great Pennsylvania Giveback’: The Observer-Reporter reports that state Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington) has introduced five bills that he says “will help out fire and ambulance companies, frontline workers, small businesses, help clear a backlog of unemployed claims and expand the reach of broadband internet.” 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: 2020′s election keeps coming up in 2021′s high court race
AP: Pennsylvania jobless rate fell in March, as payrolls grew
AP: Pennsylvania sounds alarm on coronavirus vaccine hesitancy
AP: Pennsylvania high school keeps ‘Warriors’ name, drops mascot
Inquirer: FBI probes big pension fund’s $13.5 million in Harrisburg projects
Inquirer: Bad math: PSERS was warned but inflated investment returns anyway 
Inquirer: People fleeing New York and New Jersey for the Poconos could give Pa. Democrats a new stronghold 
Inquirer: What the first fund-raising reports tell us about the 2022 Senate race in Pennsylvania
WHYY Newsworks: Fetterman dwarfs competition in first fundraising numbers for Pa.’s Senate race
Patriot News: Pa. Commonwealth Court candidates to participate in Monday forum 
Patriot News: Pa. ABLE savings for people with disabilities cross $50 million mark 
Patriot News: The Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival in Kutztown 
The Independent: New bill would prohibit police in Pennsylvania from wearing military-style fatigues
WLVR: As 2020 Census Results Loom, Former PA Governor’s Son Travels The State To Raise Awareness Of Gerrymandering
WESA: Election Experts Recommend What Pa. Counties Have Been Asking For All Along: More Ballot Pre-Canvassing Time
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: We tried drawing our own Pa. congressional maps. Here’s what we came up with
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Auditioning for LG, Sims raises $285k in first six weeks of statewide campaign 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Republicans eyeing tighter voter ID requirements to meet wall of Wolf veto
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: An ‘off-year’ election? There’s no such thing for these local officials.
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Black Maternal Health Week highlights dangers, inequities for pregnant persons
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Looking to better days ahead | Five for the Weekend
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Congressional panel splits on regulation of ‘orphaned’ oil and gas wells
Morning Call: Put your phone down, drivers: Pennsylvania lawmakers discuss bill to make holding cellphone while driving a crime
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker seeks COVID Freedom Act with prohibition on ‘vaccine passports’; Gov. Wolf’s office calls it ‘dangerous’
PLSReporter: Schlossberg, advocates call for $100 million to 100 most underfunded schools
PLSReporter: Right 2 Know Episode 89: A Shot In The Arm
StateImpactPA: DEP looks to address environmental justice concerns in RGGI rule
Post-Gazette: Half of state’s nursing home staff declined vaccination
National Journal: Charlie Cook’s 2022 Look Ahead: Governor Races
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pennsylvania working to counter vaccine hesitancy
Politico: Biden takes on Dems’ ‘Mission Impossible’: Revitalizing coal country
Politico: Mesh mask lands Capitol riot defendant in hot water with judge
CNN: The 2020 election still hovers over the Supreme Court with another pending Pennsylvania case
KDKA: Gov. Tom Wolf To Receive His First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine Next Week
KDKA: Acting Secretary Of Health Alison Beam Receives First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Encourages Others To Get Vaccinated
KDKA: Minority-Led Businesses Take Biggest Hit Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
KDKA: Pennsylvania Casinos Took In Record-Breaking $403 Million From Gamblers In March 
KDKA: Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary Of Medical Marijuana Program
Times-Tribune: Casey bill aims to help expand disability aid
Times-Tribune: Can’t know your Senate candidates without scorecard  

Inquirer: 6 takeaways from Philly Mayor Jim Kenney’s new budget
Inquirer: Retired Philly cops knock DA Larry Krasner in the first TV ads of the Democratic primary
Inquirer: Philly protesters demand justice in police killings of Black people
Inquirer: All Philly adults now eligible for vaccines; Pa. identifies small group of cases among fully vaccinated people
Billy Penn: City retracts, apologizes for ‘fear-mongering’ request from Philly police to community groups
Billy Penn: Averting another Walter Wallace Jr. tragedy: $13 million boost for mental health crisis response
Philadelphia Business Journal: 40 Under 40: Philadelphia Business Journal’s complete Class of 2021
NBC10: Everybody over 16 is now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine in Philadelphia
NBC10: Dozens march in Center City in protest of the killing of Daunte Wright by police
KYW Newsradio: Vaccines now available for all Philadelphians 16 and older
KYW Newsradio: National Guard activated for Philadelphia as Derek Chauvin verdict expected
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia business owners fear new unrest from Chauvin verdict
KYW Newsradio: Philly officials race to fill COVID-19 vaccine appointments amid hesitancy concerns
Philadelphia Citizen: Watch: Meet The Electeds – Resurrecting Regionalism 

Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks reps: Yo Philly, help our commuters with refund
Bucks County Courier Times: Would help paying student loans keep residents in PA?
Inquirer: Andy Lewis, Haverford Township commissioner, dies of rare brain disorder
KYW Newsradio: COVID-19 positivity rates level off in Pennsylvania, but still high
Delco Daily Times: March planned for April 24 to protest environment issues in Chester
Daily Local News: Houlahan: Infrastructure plan will bring well-paying jobs to Chester County
Daily Local News: Officials receive $200K grant to address internet gaps in southern Chester County
Pottstown Mercury: Can Biden’s infrastructure plan return passenger rail to 422 corridor?
Pottstown Mercury: Lower Merion lawyer seeks district judge post

Post-Gazette: Peduto outpaces Gainey fundraising in March campaign finance reports
Post-Gazette: District 4 primary race will be Pittsburgh City Council’s biggest showdown
Post-Gazette: In call for user fees, a middle-class tax hike or a fairer way to pay for infrastructure in Pittsburgh region?
Post-Gazette: P-G EXCLUSIVE | Federal grand jury probing dark money — hundreds of millions of dollars — in U.S. steel industry
Post-Gazette: A post-pandemic push for federal R&D infrastructure could boost Pittsburgh-area labs
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Bar Association updates judicial candidate ratings
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Allegheny County reports 405 new cases, two deaths
City Paper: 2021 Mayoral candidates on Pittsburgh policies: Michael Thompson
KDKA: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Signs Executive Order Targeting Tax Fraud
KDKA: Pennsylvania Casinos Took In Record-Breaking $403 Million From Gamblers In March
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 405 New Coronavirus Cases, Increasing County Total To 93,684
Tribune Review: Trib Total Media named best overall newspaper for 3rd consecutive year in SPJ awards
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania sees rising covid cases, deaths, hospitalizations
Pittsburgh Business Times: No tuition hike at PASSHE’s 14 universities for 3rd straight year, including four of the 10 largest in Pittsburgh region

Observer-Reporter: State Rep. Ortitay proposes ‘Great Pennsylvania Giveback’
Observer-Reporter: Medical marijuana dispensary proposed for Peters draws council’s opposition
Observer-Reporter: Nearly half of long-term care workers decline COVID-19 vaccine in state
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 vaccine can skew mammogram screens
Observer-Reporter: Gov. Tom Wolf ready for his COVID-19 vaccine
Tribune Review: Extended family of Cassandra Gross hope to draw attention to case
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Acting city manager Penatzer aims for ‘continuity’ as Johnstown again seeks full-time hire
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria tops 13,000 COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates rise
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: COVID-19 cases added; no new deaths in tri-county region
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: COVID drives Cambria fatal overdose climb: Coroner says fentanyl blends amount to ‘Russian roulette’ for users
Altoona Mirror: Candidate nights televised
Altoona Mirror: Jackson seeking seat on City Council
Altoona Mirror: Lusk aiming to join Blair supervisors
Altoona Mirror: State sounds alarm on hesitancy over vaccinations
Altoona Mirror: More reps fight ‘vaccine passport’
Altoona Mirror: COVID-19 still spreading locally
Altoona Mirror: DA’s office going digital
Beaver County Times: Getting COVID could mean months of suffering

The Times Leader: Yudichak chairs hearings on impact of technology/energy infrastructure
The Times Leader: WB Council quizzes Brown about sale of city park, shootings and federal aid
The Times Leader: $15 backers rally outside Toomey’s offices
The Times Leader: Luzerne County still has $19 million in federal pandemic funding for rental assistance
The Times Leader: Millions awarded to Luzerne County infrastructure projects
The Times Leader: NAACP to hold voter registration drive at Wilkes
The Times Leader: COVID-19 surge leaves only one ZIP code with zero cases this week
The Times Leader: 68 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday; 1 death
Times-Tribune: Scranton backs lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s restrictions on local gun control
Times-Tribune: Can’t know your Senate candidates without scorecard
Times-Tribune: Casey bill aims to help expand disability aid
Times-Tribune: County officials: Scranton mayor lacks legal authority to stay liens filed against city properties
Times-Tribune: Union members rally for a $15 minimum wage
Times-Tribune: Times-Tribune wins 21 state journalism awards
Times-Tribune: New daily COVID-19 cases fall in NEPA
Citizens Voice: Primary prep picks up steam with election one month away
Citizens Voice: New first assistant DA “humbled” by swearing-in ceremony
Citizens Voice: Bobeck thinks law judge job prepared him for Luzerne County bench
Citizens Voice: Toohil believes family court judge position matches her passion and experience
Citizens Voice: Union members rally for a $15 minimum wage
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre council hires assistant clerk, takes heat over salary
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County school districts receiving nearly $200M in COVID-19 relief 
Citizens Voice: Local cops train to avoid Taser, gun mix-ups
Citizens Voice: NAACP to hold voter registration drive Monday at Wilkes
Citizens Voice: COVID-19 7-day case total, test positivity up in Luzerne County
Citizens Voice: 68 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday 

South Central 
Patriot News: Five Democrats spar in lively Harrisburg mayoral debate 
Patriot News: First question in Harrisburg mayor’s race: How’s Eric Papenfuse doing? 
Patriot News: League of Women Voters to hold Tuesday forum for 48th Senatorial District candidates 
Patriot News: Former Patriot-News building purchase part of FBI probe into PSERS: report
LNP | LancasterOnline: An Ephrata teen is running for mayor this primary election; another teen is running for council
LNP | LancasterOnline: Likely internal theft of $150K from Lancaster drug forfeiture funds still being investigated, AG says
LNP | LancasterOnline: Advocates want $100M boost for Lancaster, other underfunded school districts 
Carlisle Sentinel: Watch Now: March for Justice in Carlisle calls attention to police shootings, mental health challenges 
Carlisle Sentinel: Video: March for Justice for George Floyd, Daunte Wright and all victims of racialized police violence. 
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County announces nine polling place changes for May 18 primary election 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 57 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Saturday
York Daily Record: York County police departments add body cameras, see them as tools of transparency 
York Daily Record: Making York NAACP ‘strongest representative for people of color’ is new president’s goal 
York Dispatch: Saturday update: One death, 210 COVID-19 new cases in York County
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Pa. farmers are strapped for cash. Barn weddings are in demand. There’s one pricey problem

Lehigh Valley      
WFMZ: Rep. Schlossberg calls for more money for schools, admits getting it could be tough
WFMZ: Allentown’s youth: Mayoral candidates weigh in on keeping the city’s children engaged
WFMZ: Allentown expanding access to vaccine call center
WFMZ: ‘Voteswagon Tour’ raises awareness about redistricting
WFMZ: Reading to host mobile COVID vaccination unit next week
Morning Call: Replay live Q&A with Allentown mayoral candidate Tim Ramos
Morning Call: In final State of the City address, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez recounts year upended by pandemic
Morning Call: Replay our live Q&As with the Allentown mayoral candidates
Morning Call: Allentown NIZ sustains moderate tax revenue dip amid pandemic
Morning Call: Vulnerable immigrants, refugees in Lehigh Valley struggle to get COVID-19 vaccine
Morning Call: A Lehigh Valley farmer got his COVID-19 vaccination. Here’s why he said others should consider getting the shot, too
Morning Call: As vaccination numbers climb, Lehigh Valley’s public markets turning the corner
Reading Eagle: Tour campaigning for fair redistricting in Pennsylvania stops in Berks County
Reading Eagle: These 4 questions are on the primary election ballot; here’s what you need to know
Reading Eagle: Vote on controversial Berks County warehouse project near Route 222 graveyard delayed
Reading Eagle: How did a crowded festival take place in Reading during COVID? That’s what city officials want to know
Reading Eagle: Reading gets $130,000 Pa. grant to replace outdated guide rails
Reading Eagle: Reading officials concerned about dangerous intersections
Reading Eagle: Mobile COVID vaccination unit coming to Reading
Reading Eagle: Berks County had a better showing in weekly state health department COVID report than expected thanks to Pa.’s accounting of cases
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 217 COVID cases amid 2,853 completed vaccinations
Express Times: Lawmaker’s ‘Level Up’ bill takes aim at Pa.’s education inequity in Lehigh Valley, elsewhere
Express Times: Bethlehem development unfazed by pandemic as city saw $305M in new construction in 2020
Express Times: State offering free COVID testing next week in Easton
Express Times: Water rates are increasing in Bethlehem and 11 Lehigh Valley municipalities served by the city
Express Times: COVID in Pa.: 3M fully vaccinated but death average starts to climb as Lehigh Valley hits 1.5K total deaths | Pa. COVID vaccine map (04/17/21)

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: State Rep: Legislation would address hiccup for Sept. 11 ride
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Commissioners, controller share thoughts on shake-up
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City lieutenant sues mayor, ex-mayor, city
Erie Times-News: Erie Mayor Schember has two primary challengers
Erie Times-News: Enhanced security coming to Erie City Hall
Erie Times-News: How area lawmakers voted, week ending April 16
Erie Times-News: COVID-19 cases rise in Erie for 3rd straight week
Post-Gazette: Accused ‘bullhorn lady’ Capitol rioter in trouble with U.S. judge over mask
Centre Daily Times: Here’s why Gov. Tom Wolf, Penn State officials implored the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Centre Daily Times: April 16 update: Centre County adds 63 COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths; Pa. has 5,650 positives
Centre Daily Times: April 17 update: Centre County adds 57 new COVID-19 cases; Pa. adds 5,114

Josh Shapiro: ‘Ghost gun’ regulations a step in the right direction
Dawn Keefer: Support the “Save Women’s Sports Act”
Mark S. Singel: Both parties should reject hysteria and hatred 
Kerry Benninghoff: ‘Biden Bucks’ should cancel plans for state, local tax increases
Salena Zito: Trump didn’t form a populist coalition. He was the result of one
Mark O’Keefe: Will Pa. lawmakers pass local police radar bill — or let it pass them by again? 
John L. Micek: These are the greenest states in the U.S. How’d Pa. do? | Friday Morning Coffee
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Lawmakers should extend last call for restaurants that wish to stay open
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: No to court packing
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Getting out of Afghanistan after 20 years
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: John Boehner, former House speaker, gets revenge in his memoir
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: We need a serious discussion about a Lancaster County public health department, and with more than the usual voices
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Commendable distribution of CARES Act funds to Lancaster County businesses 
PennLive Editorial Board: Black people deserve the same respect from police officers as white men in suits
Maria Panaritis: Delaware County Council Vice Chair Monica Taylor learns to be ‘superwoman’ during the coronavirus pandemic 
Daniel Wolk: I’m a physician: Pa.’s Toomey needs to lead the fight for universal background checks
Keith C. Burris: Can politics make us better?
Phil Gianficaro: Odd that folks ignore the incredibly long odds of dying from J&J vaccine
Judith Higgins: We need to investigate nursing homes
Jules Lipoff: I’m a doctor who examines asylum seekers. I want Biden to fix the asylum system.
Will Bunch: From MN to Philly, cops, troops flood the zone, violate our rights – and make us less safe 
Cathy Wusterbarth and Mike Shriberg: Biden must take action on PFAS
Randy Padfield: Flexible disaster emergency declarations are necessary
David B. Burritt: The infrastructure bill that our city and country need
Tom Conway: Manufacturing investments must anchor American Jobs Plan
John Posenau: The state needs to honor its obligations to school districts and taxpayers
Rebekah Glick: I’m glad Messiah is named in the LGBTQ+ discrimination lawsuit 
Asher Rosinger: Nearly 60M Americans don’t drink their tap water – here’s why that’s a public health problem 
Donald J. Kudas: PIAA should have female referees for the girls games | PennLive letters
William M. Dallam and friends of Chuck Cenkner: In tribute to Charles L. Cenkner, a respected community leader | PennLive letters
David M. Shribman: Political stews are simmering in Florida
John Cole: The debate over the Emergency Powers Amendment, explained
Tony Norman: The cop who mistook her gun for a Taser (and other mysteries)
Ruth Ann Dailey: Faith and mutual antagonism
Vernon Clark: My time with Philly’s Black cowboys

  • Reader Poll: Have You Requested a Mail-In Ballot?

    • Yes. I enjoy mail-in voting. (50%)
    • No. I am going to the poll. (50%)

    Total Voters: 121

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