August 17: Debatable

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Mastriano Open to Anti-Biased Debates. Wolf Signs Order to Restrict Conversion Therapy. Is Dr. Oz Serious? Here is the Playbook.

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Congrats to Trevor Naglieri, campaign manager for Jeremy Shaffer’s PA-17 campaign, on his engagement last Saturday.

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Top Story

1. Mastriano Challenges Shapiro to Pair of Debates With Stipulations

GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has called for his Democratic opponent, Josh Shapiro, to meet him in a pair of debates this fall.

With stipulations.

In a letter sent to Shapiro, Mastriano called for two 90-minute debates in October that would be organized by both campaigns, rather than outside organizations.

The state senator from Franklin County explained that his debate challenge is “designed to give both candidates an even playing field and mitigate the bias of mainstream media which traditionally moderates the debates.” (PoliticsPA)


Mastriano Rewrites Debate Rules to Thwart Anti-GOP Bias. “Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano today proposed two debates with his Democratic foe that aim to end the historical anti-GOP bias in media-run candidate showdowns.” (Washington Examiner)

  • Mastriano Challenges Shapiro to Two Debates, But With Conditions. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Mastriano Challenges Shapiro to Two Debates, But Only On His Terms. (PennLive)


Poll: Shapiro 50, Mastriano 35. “A new poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) and commissioned by Pittsburgh Works Together shows Democrat John Fetterman with a 51-33 lead over Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat.” (POLITICO)



2. Wolf Signs Executive Order Banning Conversion Therapy

“Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Tuesday to ban conversion therapy, a discredited form of therapy that seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, for minors.

The executive order directs state agencies to discourage conversion therapy for people of all ages, and to instead promote evidence-based practices for supporting LGBTQ people. The order also directs the Department of Human Services, among other agencies, to ensure that state funds are not being used to provide or reimburse for conversion therapy.

“Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the people it supposedly seeks to treat,” said Wolf. (NBC News)


Gov. Wolf Signs Executive Order to Protect LGBTQ Pennsylvanians From Conversion Therapy. “The executive order mandates that all state agencies discourage the practice in the state and ensure that no state resources are used to provide conversion therapy. The order also directs state agencies to publicly report licensed professionals who have utilized the practice and make updates to state policies to better support its LGBTQ employees.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Wolf Issues Executive Order Discouraging Conversion Therapy, Urges Legislative Action. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
  • Wolf Signs Executive Order Restricting Conversion Therapy. (Axios)


U.S. Senate

3. Is Dr. Oz Serious?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican Senate nominee in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, is flailing.

He’s down by about eleven points in the polls, despite the fact that his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman — the goateed, heavyset, six-foot-eight-inch lieutenant governor of the state whose down-home, working-class public presentation is straight out of Pennsylvania central casting — was off the campaign trail for the past three months after suffering a stroke. (Fetterman held his first post-stroke public rally late last week.)

Oz needs a course correction, and quickly. Whatever he’s doing right now clearly isn’t working.” (National Review)


Poll: Fetterman 51, Oz 33. A new poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) and commissioned by Pittsburgh Works Together shows Democrat John Fetterman with a 51-33 lead over Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat. POS, considered a GOP firm, is rated A- by (POLITICO)

Fetterman Gains Green From Crudite. “The John Fetterman campaign is reporting that it has raised $500,000 over the last 24 hours since the viral tweet about crudite.” (PoliticsPA)

Fetterman Campaign Raises $500K in Wake of Viral Oz ‘Crudite’ Video. “Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) raised more than half a million dollars in the past day for his Senate campaign after an ad from his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, went viral on social media.” (The Hill)


Around the Commonwealth

Internal PA-08 Poll: Cartwright 52, Bognet 46. “A week after an internal poll from Jim Bognet showed the Republican with a slender lead in the 8th Congressional District, another internal poll is out and gives Democrat Matt Cartwright a six-point advantage.” (PoliticsPA)

Nascimento Airs Positions at Gilbertsville Town Hall. “(Christian) Nascimento, the Republican running against Democratic incumbent Madeleine Dean for Pennsylvania’s 4th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, does believe there should be an ID required to vote and does not believe in “no excuse mail-in voting,” but he also opposes nationalizing elections, and recognizes that Pennsylvania’s voting laws, like them are not, are the law until “we get a legislature and governor who changes them.” (Reading Eagle)

Bernstine Introduces Bill to Arm Teachers. “House Bill 2771 would allow school employees who possess a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit to be armed while on school property. An employee who wishes to carry a firearm on school property would also be required to complete a rigorous firearms course from a certified instructor with a signed certificate showing completion of a training and proficiency course for the firearm the employee intends to carry on school grounds.” (New Castle News)

Closed Primary Elections Disenfranchise Independent Voters, Veterans, House Committee Hears. “‘I am like other independents who don’t want to be forced to join a party to participate in the primary,’ Jennifer Bullock said.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Moving to Open Primaries in PA Vetted by House Committee. “Pennsylvania has roughly 1.3 million voters who are registered neither as Democrats or Republicans and unlike in 41 other states, they can’t cast a ballot in primary elections.” (PennLive)

Did Overturning Roe v. Wade Lead to Spike in New Voters? It’s Complicated. “The Supreme Court ruling that kicked abortion rights back to the states in June might have also contributed to a spike of tens of thousands of new voters this summer, with Democrats seeing the biggest gains.” (Bucks County Courier Times)

Snyder County Director of Elections Leaving Post. “Snyder County Director of Elections Caleb Shaffer is leaving the position Sept. 2. He’s been director of the county elections office since March 2021 and is leaving to take a job as an account manager covering Central and Eastern Pennsylvania for ES&S, a voting machine manufacturer.” (Sunbury Daily Item)



2 Responses

  1. Dung has stipulations for any debate: 1. No fact checking. 2. No security team for his opponent. 3. All questions must be cleared through QAnon. 4. Only MAGA audience permitted. 5. Broadcast only on OAN.

Comments are closed.


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