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August 15: Encourage, Charge and Spar

🦘 G’day Tuesday. Thanks for joining us.

PA Weather
🌧️ Waterford | Showers, 73
☁️ Williamsport | Mostly Cloudy, 83
☁️ Wyoming | Mostly Cloudy, 81

PA Sports
⚾ Phillies (65-54) | Tue-Wed vs. Toronto
⚾ Pirates (53-66) | NY Mets 2-7 | Tue-Wed vs. Mets
⚽ Union | Tue vs. Inter Miami (Leagues Cup Semifinal)

What We’re Hearing
“If there’s anybody in the House I consider I have a relationship with, it would be Congressman (Scott) Perry.” – Mark Houck, GOP candidate for PA-01

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Sen. John Fetterman.

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Top Story

1. Perry Pushes Conservative Candidate To Primary Fitzpatrick

Pro-Life Father Targeted by Biden DOJ Announces Pennsylvania Congressional Run - Tennessee Star

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a moderate Pennsylvania Republican, has a primary challenger. And that opponent, conservative activist Mark Houck, said the reason he’s challenging Fitzpatrick is because Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, pushed him to get into the race.

“He said, ‘This is a decision you need to make,’ but if he were in my shoes, he would do it, were kind of his words, which is exactly what he did, so yeah, he did encourage me,” Houck said of Perry during an interview on Tuesday.

Let’s pause here to say how stunning this is. A sitting Pennsylvania House Republican urging someone to challenge another Pennsylvania House Republican is unheard of. And Fitzpatrick represents a purple district. If he were to lose in a GOP primary, Democrats could easily win the seat.” (Punchbowl News)

Related

Oz, Others Using Donor Money To Repay Campaign Loans. “Thanks to a 2022 Supreme Court ruling, Mehmet Oz is still raising money and repaying himself – at least $1.2 million this year according to a CQ Roll Call analysis.” (PoliticsPA)

Fetterman Spent His Senate Recess Meeting With PA Farmers and Small-Town Mayors. “His trip offered a lens into how he’s adjusting eight months in, frustrated by gridlock in Congress but healthy and energized to be back on the ground talking to constituents.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Fitzpatrick’s Seat Has Remained Safe In Purple Bucks County. Will That Change In 2024? “With over a year to go before the 2024 general election, Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick once again has what appears to be an insurmountable fundraising lead his earliest challengers.” (Bucks County Courier Times) 

Fitzpatrick Attracts An Anti-Abortion Challenger. “Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is an active target of Democrats in 2024, but now he’s drawn a primary challenge from the right.” (POLITICO)

PA GOP Blasts AP Story Targeting McCormick’s Residency. “Pennsylvania Republicans are rallying around potential 2024 U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick after an Associated Press article raised questions about the Pittsburgh native’s residency in the state.” (DV Journal)

 

State

2. Who Is Mike Roman, The Philly Campaign Operative Charged in Georgia With Helping Trump Efforts to Overturn The 2020 Election?

Mike Roman (@mikeroman) / X

“A Philadelphia GOP campaign operative was among 18 allies of former President Donald Trump indicted with him on Monday in a sweeping racketeering case accusing them of seeking to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 election.

Mike Roman, who served as director of Election Day operations for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, was charged by a state grand jury with seven counts including racketeering conspiracy and conspiracies to commit forgery, to impersonate a public officer, to commit false statements and to file false documents.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Related

Trump’s Efforts To Overturn PA Presidential Election Prominently Figure In Georgia Indictment. “Though Donald Trump’s fourth indictment was brought in Georgia, efforts by the former president and his allies to convince Pennsylvania Republicans to reject the 2020 election results in the state figured prominently in the 97-page document.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Proposal Aims To Permit Districts To Determine How Schools Are Funded. “Should school districts be allowed to determine how their schools are funded? Rep. Jason Ortitay says yes.” (PoliticsPA)

PA And Education Freedom: A Slow Walk Toward Unity. “Pennsylvania is in the midst of a battle for education freedom and may be coming close to creating the kind of mixed, strange-bedfellows coalition of supporters that could be a model for the nation – if the coalescing group can draw close enough to achieve unity on the issue.” (Forbes)

Pitt’s Transparency Has Been A Sticking Point In PA’s Budget Cycle. Here’s What The State-Related Universities Are Required To Report. “Debates about funding for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities have sparked renewed questions over accountability and transparency at these schools. ” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

PA’s New Labor Contracts To Cost Taxpayers $3.2B Over Four Years, Fiscal Monitor Says. “The price tag for that new labor contract between Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration and the biggest of the unions representing state employees projects to $3.2 billion in new costs over the next four years.” (PennLive)

Meet Amaya Capellán, PA’s New Chief Information Officer. “The former Comcast VP joined the state government this July with a mission to use technology to streamline services and processes for Commonwealth residents and employees.” (Technical.ly)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Bucks Commissioner Candidates Spar Ahead Of Election Season As County Government At Stake

Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Facts & Figures

“Interest is already brewing in this year’s county election as the Democrats won the majority on the board for the first time in decades four years ago and Republicans in the county are itching to take back control before next year’s presidential and Congressional election.” (Bucks County Courier Times)

Related

Democrats Scrambling After Hovis Withdraws From Westmoreland Commissioner Race. “Sydney Hovis of Scottdale announced via Facebook she formally petitioned to have her name removed from the ballot and, in doing so, blasted Democratic Commissioner Ted Kopas and the leadership party committee Chairwoman Michelle McFall.” (Tribune-Review)

Houck Drops Out of Northampton County DA Race. “Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck will no longer seek a second term in office, he confirmed Monday, citing the difficulties of running a general election campaign without the backing of a political party.” (LehighValleyNews.com)

Eleven Locations In Southwestern PA Tapped For Federal EV Charging Station Funding. “A PennDOT news release on Monday said 54 projects in 35 counties were picked on a conditional basis to receive a total of $33.8 million for expanding access and reliability of EV charging stations. Four federally compliant charging ports will be paid for at each location, the state transportation department said.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Fayette County Elections Officials Agree To Recount Six Precincts. “Fayette County elections officials are planning to perform a recount of the Republican primary elections in six precincts that were being challenged in court.” (Observer-Reporter)

DelVal Dems Block Bill to Bring Wage Taxes Back to Commuter Communities. “A proposal to send some of Philadelphia’s city wage tax back to the suburban cities and towns where commuters live has made it through the GOP-controlled state Senate. Now its fate is in the hands of Delaware Valley Democrats, who could cross the aisle and pass the law, but are currently sitting on the sidelines.” (DV Journal)

With Annexation ‘Dead,’ Wilkinsburg Looks Toward Possible Home Rule And Tax Changes. “Courts have seemingly ended an effort to annex Wilkinsburg into Pittsburgh. Officials and activists in the borough have high hopes for revitalizing the community of about 14,000.” (Public Source)

Former Bedford County DA Found Guilty. “Two simultaneous court hearings Monday brought a whole new twist to the idea of prosecutor versus defendant.” (Bedford Gazette)

 

Editorial

4. What They’re Saying

 

1 Soccer Thing

5. Messi-Mania Comes To Philly

Lionel Messi: Inter Miami's owner explains blockbuster deal | MLSSoccer.com

Messi mania is coming to Philadelphia today.

The unlikely path that Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami took to get to the semifinals of the League Cup has only ratcheted up excitement for the 7 p.m. match against the Union at Subaru Park, with tickets having sold out in minutes.

They’re now going for exorbitant prices on the resale market. A standing-room-only seat will set you back at least $269, per StubHub.

 

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