April 30th Ups and Downs
Pennsylvania will lose a U.S. House seat after reapportionment, President Joe Biden shouts-out Pittsburgh during his address to Congress, plus a bill sponsored by a GOP state rep in Luzerne County is signed into law. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Pennsylvania. Although the Keystone State remains as a battleground, there will be one less electoral vote on the line in the next presidential election. Pennsylvania is one of seven states that is losing a seat in the U.S. House after reapportionment. Pennsylvania will have 19 electoral votes up for grabs in 2020, while the loss in seat will also likely result in two incumbents in the state’s congressional delegation having to face each other for another term in 2022.
DeWitt Walton. It was a few years in the making, but his legislation passed this week. WESA reports that Allegheny County Council passed a measure to create a county police review board by a 9-to-5 vote. Walton, who sponsored the legislation, shared two stories of being personally threatened by police officers during traffic stops leading up to the vote.
Rick Santorum. Pennsylvania’s former GOP Senator received widespread (and warranted) pushback on social media this week after comments he made in regards to Native Americans. PennLive reports that Santorum, while addressing a Young America’s Foundation event, suggested that European settlers “birthed a nation from nothing” and added that “there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”
Tarah Toohil. The Luzerne County Republican’s legislation becomes law in Pennsylvania. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Gov. Tom Wolf signed Toohil’s Living Donor Protection Act into law on Tuesday. The Times Leader describes Toohil as a “strong advocate for organ donation” and added that she donated a kidney to her late mother in 2003.
Lt. Governor 2022 Hopefuls. Another step closer to changing the way Pennsylvanians select Lt. Governors. PennLive reports that the state Senate approved of a bill by a 43-4 vote on Tuesday to pass “a proposed constitutional amendment that would have a party’s gubernatorial nominee choose the candidate to be their lieutenant governor, subject to political party or political body approval, prior to the general election.” If this passes the state House by this summer, the proposed constitutional amendment couple go on the ballot by November 2021.
Pittsburgh. Not only is Pittsburgh one of the most important cities politically in the commonwealth, but it also received a shoutout on the national stage this week. During President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress, he referenced Pittsburgh by name when talking about his proposed American Jobs Plan. KDKA reports that several Pennsylvania Democrats thanked Biden for including Pittsburgh in his address.
Pennsylvania Capital-Star. It’s been a good week for our friends at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. A Capital-Star interview with state Rep. Seth Grove about election integrity was referenced during a CNN interview, while the outlet also announced that they received four Keystone Media Awards.
Jacquelyn Bonomo. According to the Citizens Voice, Bonomo, PennFuture President and CEO, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Citizens Advisory Council.
David Eric Schwager. The president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association stepped down from his role this week after he was charged with “patronizing a prostitute who police accused of trying to extort him,” according to the AP.
Raemon Prunty. This candidate for Braddock council was arrested, along with three other men from Allegheny County, on alleged drug-trafficking operation in Blair County, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
“Yes, covering the General Assembly is a very serious jo-” pic.twitter.com/YrOijqWlmr
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) April 30, 2021