August 24th Playbook

Rep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19, while a GOP super PAC launches an attack ad on Democratic challenger Christina Finello in PA1. Here is the Playbook.

August 21st Ups & Downs: Three PA Democrats take the stage for the DNC, the PAGOP has a new national committeeman, plus a report shows clean energy job growth. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Meuser Tests Positive for COVID-19: The Luzerne County Republican sent out a press release on Saturday afternoon announcing that he tested positive for COVID-19 and that he’s following CDC health and safety guidelines.

PA1: GOP Super PAC Links Finello to Pelosi in Attack Ad: Defending Main Street’s television ad describes Dem challenger Christina Finello as supportive of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “radical agenda.”

Dem Poll: Fitzpatrick 47, Finello 35: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick leads Christina Finello by 12 points, although 40% said that they never heard of the Democratic challenger. Former VP Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 9 points in the district as well.

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pennsylvania congressman tests positive for COVID-19
AP: Pennsylvania school athletics board greenlights fall season
AP: Fixing Pennsylvania mail-in vote glitches goes down to wire 
AP: July jobless rate, payrolls rise as Pennsylvania seeks aid 
AP: Nearly 60 gaming machines seized in illegal gambling raid 
WITF: Federal judge stays Trump campaign lawsuit over Pa. voting rules 
Erie News Now: Conversation with Pa. House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff
Spotlight PA: After Spotlight PA report on campus racism, lawmaker tells state system to take action 
Spotlight PA: Review of COVID-19’s effect on communities of color largely ignores Pa. inmates
Washington Examiner: How an Afghanistan veteran went from broken to featured Republican convention speaker
Inquirer: Republicans are trying to survive an anti-Trump wave in the Philly suburbs: ‘A lot of Democrats vote for me’
Inquirer: Donald Trump and Barack Obama agreed on one thing in dueling Pa. visits: Win, or it’s the apocalypse
Inquirer: Pennsylvania officially sues USPS over mail delays as postmaster general blames coronavirus 
Inquirer: Everything you need to know about voting by mail, or in person, in Pennsylvania 
Inquirer: As Penn State students return, the local business community fights to survive
Inquirer: Pa. issues a new round of penalties against Sunoco Pipeline for Mariner East mishaps
Inquirer: Republican National Convention: Start time, speakers, how to watch and stream first night 
Inquirer: ‘He’s not being educated’: For students with autism and severe disabilities, the pandemic is a disaster. What comes next?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Against Wolf’s wishes, PIAA greenlights fall sports  
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. should use up its $1B reserve before asking Congress for more COVID cash, Republicans say
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Schools stare down teen mental health crisis as they prepare for largely virtual year  
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: White and old no more. Forget everything you think you know about Scranton
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: House passes bill to boost post office funding by $25 billion, block service changes 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Postmaster general insists it’s his ‘sacred duty’ to ensure election mail on time 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: As Biden accepts the Democrats’ nomination, Pittsburgh faithful rally — safely — to the cause
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: An important milestone | Five for Your Weekend
Delaware Valley Journal: PA Republicans Say Biden Will Face a ‘Steel Curtain’ in Pennsylvania
Patriot News: Protests planned across Pa. post offices as House lawmakers take up bill to infuse $25 billion to service 
Patriot News: Faculty ranks at Pa. state universities could shrink by hundreds to cut costs 
Patriot News: Former Central Pa. teacher, new NEA president ready to ‘turn up the heat’ to rally support for public education 
Patriot News: Biden speech strikes good balance between attacking Trump and offering worthy agenda, Pa. viewers say 
Patriot News: 619 new coronavirus cases reported today in Pa. 
KDKA: Race For State Attorney General Heats Up In August As Candidates Go After Each Other
KDKA: Major Trump Federal Lawsuit About Pennsylvania’s Mail-In Voting Effectively Shut Down
USA Today: Trump campaign fails to provide evidence of Pa. mail-in ballot fraud
Morning Call: Lehigh County to conduct independent audit of Allentown Pa. House race in 2 precincts as Enid Santiago announces write-in campaign
Morning Call: Pennsylvanians back wearing masks but divided on how to reopen schools amid coronavirus, new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll shows 
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Congressman Dan Meuser tests positive for coronavirus
PLSReporter: PIAA votes to allow fall sports to take place at decision of local school districts 
PLSReporter: ‘They deserve better’: Wolf Administration applies for federal unemployment assistance program  
Fox News: 6 states sue USPS saying changes have harmed ability to conduct ‘free and fair elections’ 
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. offering ‘safe return’ to some parolees who have violated supervision rules
StateImpactPA: DEP fines Sunoco again for drilling mud spills, but Mariner East pipeline opponents say penalties aren’t fixing the problem 
StateImpactPA: No ‘bomb trains’: 14 states aim to take new rule on LNG transport off the rails 
National Journal: Poll: Fitzpatrick 47%, Finello 35% 
National Journal: Pennsylvania Poll: Biden 49%, Trump 45%.  
The Hill: How six key swing states handle voting by mail 
The Hill: Rep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 
KYW Newsradio: Study finds hundreds of Pa. child care centers in danger of closing without financial assistance
CNN: Trump campaign has to work overtime to counter the President’s message on mail-in voting 
CNN: Back to school in the age of Covid 
CNN: Pennsylvania congressman tests positive for Covid-19, won’t vote on USPS funding 
The Times Leader: AG Shapiro announces lawsuit to ensure safe, secure vote-by-mail

Philadelphia 
Philadelphia Magazine: Mayor Kenney Claims 200 Sanitation Workers Are Out Sick Daily. Union Head Calls B.S. 
Philadelphia Magazine: Fresh Air Host Terry Gross on Her Hardest Interviews and Her Secret Twitter Account
WHYY Newsworks: Organizers push to register more Puerto Ricans in PA ahead of elections 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly’s Black-owned business crisis: Walloped by the pandemic and closing at faster rates
WHYY Newsworks: Philly teens to reach out to shooters as violence increasingly targets their peers
Inquirer: Rally held for the Postal Service outside Philly’s historic post office
Inquirer: Philly school board rejects tax break for Hilco’s redevelopment of former refinery site
Inquirer: 2 dead, at least 11 shot — including six teens — since Saturday night in yet another violent Philly weekend 
Billy Penn: What is up with young adults in Philly not taking coronavirus seriously? Here’s what they said
Billy Penn: Philly’s newest Black Lives Matter mural is on its most prominent government building
Philadelphia Tribune: Some Black voters in Philly suspicious of mail-in ballots 
KYW Newsradio: Surge in deadly gun violence pushes Philadelphia leaders to delve deeper into causes
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia school board rejects tax breaks for new owner of PES refinery, jeopardizing redevelopment
KYW Newsradio: Housing insecurity worsens as pandemic prolongs without unemployment compensation
KYW Newsradio: Philly school board votes unanimously to endorse Black Lives Matter week
KYW Newsradio: 2 Philly nonprofits merge to better serve LGBTQ seniors
Philly Voice: Pa. applies for $300 weekly ‘Lost Wages Assistance’ federal unemployment program
Philadelphia Business Journal: ‘It’s a huge responsibility’: Philadelphia restaurant owners cautious about relaunching indoor dining on Sept. 8 
Philadelphia Citizen: Making Contact

SEPA
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Congressman votes yes to $25B spending bill in support of the U.S. Postal Service 
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Congressman introduces bipartisan bill to improve data sharing efforts crucial to combating COVID-19 
Bucks Local News: AUGUST 20 BUCKS COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE: Cases drop to average of 26 per day; one death reported
Daily Local News: Houlahan votes for $25 billion rescue package for Postal Service 
Daily Local News: Chester County commissioners plan Aug. 26 virtual public meeting 
Daily Local News: Rep. Howard to host virtual town hall with PECO Aug. 24 
Daily Local News: Houlahan urges action on unemployment insurance 
Daily Local News: Comitta announces bill to preserve environmental panel
Delco Daily Times: Marijuana sales booming during pandemic 
Delco Daily Times: Pandemic issues dominate Media council business 
KYW Newsradio: ‘So far, so good’: North Carolina lab offers speedy results for Montco’s coronavirus tests
Inquirer: Pa. issues a new round of penalties against Sunoco Pipeline for Mariner East mishaps
Inquirer: Republicans are trying to survive an anti-Trump wave in the Philly suburbs: ‘A lot of Democrats vote for me’
Pottstown Mercury: Libertarian candidate on ballot for 147th House Dist. race
Montgomery Media: ‘I don’t want to catch it’: Life inside Montgomery County prison during coronavirus pandemic

Pittsburgh 
WESA: Peduto Announces Public Safety Changes After Protest Ends In Pepper Spray, Arrest
WESA: One Week After Cyclist’s Arrest, Civil Saturdays Continues With Little Police Interaction
WESA: Local Activist Arrested In Front Of Peduto’s Home
Pittsburgh Business Times: Exclusive: U.S. Labor secretary hopes Pa. will apply for extended jobless benefits
Pittsburgh Business Times: How the PIAA, Allegheny County Health Department and WPIAL plan to proceed with high school fall sports
Post-Gazette: Protest follows arrest of activist after tense 2-hour standoff near Mayor Peduto’s home 
Post-Gazette: Peduto implements police oversight in wake of recent protests
Post-Gazette: Trump campaign files its evidence in mail voting suit 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 derails plans to address state funding for PennDOT, transit agencies
Post-Gazette: Delta Foundation to dissolve, says it can’t go forward without Pittsburgh Pride revenue 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Police social media policy under review as posts made by officer are investigated 
Post-Gazette: Amid pandemic and threats to ACA, health care providers turn to lobbying
Post-Gazette: Schools aim to feed students — including remote learners — this fall
Post-Gazette: No new deaths in W. Pa., as COVID-19 cases in the region rise by 188
KDKA: Neighbors Of Mayor Bill Peduto Show Support For Protesters Through Chalk Messages 
KDKA: Protests Calling For Police Accountability Expected To Continue In Pittsburgh 
KDKA: Trump Campaign Holds ‘MAGA Meet-Up’ In Murrysville
KDKA: Protesters Expected To Continue Demonstrations Following Week Of Protests Outside Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s House  
KDKA: Activist Arrested Near Mayor Bill Peduto’s Home After ‘Multiple Complaints From Area Residents,’ Police Say
KDKA: Two Black Lives Matter Protests Merge Into One; Hundreds Advocate For Police Reform
KDKA: LGBTQ Organization, Delta Foundation Of Pittsburgh, To Officially Dissolve  
KDKA: Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Recommends Postponing Fall Sports
KDKA: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 86 New Coronavirus Cases, No Additional Deaths
Tribune Review: Most of W.Pa. delegation will watch GOP convention from home
Tribune Review: Mayor Peduto shakes up Pittsburgh police units after escalating clashes with protesters
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh school board member forgets to turn off camera as she showers during virtual meeting
Tribune Review: Spokeswoman: Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is dissolving
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports 86 new coronavirus cases
City Paper: Peduto announces changes to police department following controversial police tactics this week; no discipline mentioned
City Paper: Pittsburgh Police Sergeant shares racist and anti-protest material on social media during ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations
City Paper: PHOTOS: Three demonstrations merge in Pittsburgh on Saturday, following week of criticisms directed at Pittsburgh Police and Mayor Peduto

SWPA 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Can we stop the slide?: Answers to halting population decline remain elusive 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Blair crosses 400 mark for COVID-19 positives, Cambria adds 12 cases over weekend
Beaver County Times: BLM march to DC comes through Beaver County 
Observer-Reporter: Attorney for counties suing Wolf, Levine, obtains confidential document to bolster case 
Observer-Reporter: Washington councilman sentenced on DUI charge 
Observer-Reporter: Allegheny County nears 10,000 COVID-19 cases
Tribune Review: Trump supporters rally in Murrysville as Wendy Bell headlines opening of ‘2020 Trump Victory Center’ 
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County adds 15 new coronavirus cases 
KDKA: Protesters Rally In Greensburg In Support of US Postal Service
Altoona Mirror: Blair, Cambria coronavirus numbers climbing
Altoona Mirror: Deanne Paul will ‘hit the ground running’ in Bedford County DA’s office

NEPA
Times-Tribune: U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 
Times-Tribune: Judge says he intends to sentence ex-Scranton mayor next month
Times-Tribune: Scranton sues businesses to recoup economic development loans  
Times-Tribune: Seven local districts to receive emergency funding for special education students 
Times-Tribune: No new NEPA deaths from COVID-19; state positive testing rate at 3%
The Times Leader: Meuser tests positive for COVID-19
The Times Leader: Report: Economic impacts of pandemic will affect local governments  
The Times Leader: Pedri recommends Mackey review
The Times Leader: 12 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; 619 statewide
Citizens Voice: Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County Republicans getting ready for convention week 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County to seek independent review of Mackey case
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre health staff investigated over 500 coronavirus cases in the city 
Citizens Voice: Still not clear how many Mackey case investigations will develop
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre NAACP announces upcoming meetings for election of officers 
Citizens Voice: Judge O’Donnell acquitted on harassment charge  
Citizens Voice: 12 more COVID-19 cases reported in Luzerne County on Sunday

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County officials alert voters of misleading mailers 
Carlisle Sentinel: Group holds rally in front of U.S. Post Office building in Carlisle Saturday 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 8 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Sunday
York Dispatch: DePasquale who? Dem candidate for Pa.’s 10th District hits road as name recognition lags 
York Dispatch: ‘Save the Post Office’ rally takes aim at postmaster general, president 
York Dispatch: York Hospital bans most visitors; York County outbreak among Pa.’s worst, state says
York Daily Record: Protesters rally in York to save the post office  
LNP | LancasterOnline: Sunday’s COVID-19 updates: Total cases in Pa. surpasses 129K, 6.4K coming from Lancaster County
Patriot News: Protests planned across Pa. post offices as House lawmakers take up bill to infuse $25 billion to service 
Patriot News: 619 new coronavirus cases reported today in Pa.

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Lehigh County to conduct independent audit of Allentown Pa. House race in 2 precincts as Enid Santiago announces write-in campaign
Morning Call: Pennsylvanians back wearing masks but divided on how to reopen schools amid coronavirus, new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll shows 
Morning Call: Post office protesters in Bethlehem rally against what they see as an attempt to suppress votes 
Morning Call: How will kids stay masked and distanced on school buses? That has Lehigh Valley parents and school officials worried. 
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Cases surpass 129,000 on Sunday, as 619 more people test positive
Reading Eagle: Congressman Dan Meuser tests positive for the coronavirus 
Reading Eagle: Supporters rally at Wyomissing post office against mail delivery changes made ahead of the November election 
Reading Eagle: Pennsylvania agriculture secretary in Berks County to announce relief payments for farmers who dumped milk 
Reading Eagle: Reading residents to protest garbage ordinance
Reading Eagle: Robesonia rally shows support for area police officers 
Reading Eagle: Berks has 33 new coronavirus cases, one new death, Pa. reports
Express Times: 378 additional Northampton County businesses could benefit from $4.7M in COVID-19 assistance 
Express Times: Bethlehem rally calls for U.S. Postal Service protection (PHOTOS) 
Express Times: Larry Holmes throws counter punch after Trump flubs name in Pa.: #wearentfriends 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Elections officials vouch by security of mail-in voting
Erie Times-News: Protesters oppose USPS changes at Erie rally 
Erie Times-News: Mayor to use Erie Water Works deal to keep city afloat
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Keller tours Energy Transfer
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Bellefonte council members considering mask mandate
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: County planning commission discusses COVID-19 funding
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 8 new COVID-19 cases
Centre Daily Times: 2 additional Centre Region municipalities adopt enforceable masking ordinances
Centre Daily Times: Penn State launches COVID-19 dashboard to track test results; 148 test positive pre-arrival
Centre Daily Times: Reopening updates: Centre County adds 2 cases of COVID-19, and other updates for Aug. 23

Opinion  
Rick Santorum: It’s not just about the economy
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: We all have to prepare, now, to vote in the Nov. 3 election — Pa. lawmakers ought to act soon, too 
Inquirer Editorial Board: USPS is key to voting but other parts of the system need improvement too 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Building on what can be built upon 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A service worth keeping 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Improve your diet 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Fish Commission lands one
John L. Micek: LGBTQ groups enter SCOTUS fight between Philly, Catholic charity over foster services | Friday Morning Coffee
Leo Hindery Jr: To keep Pennsylvania’s small businesses alive, revive a credit program that worked 
Aryanna Hunter: Why did Sen. Doug Mastriano water down a resolution honoring military sexual assault survivors? 
Ruth Ann Dailey: Mayor Peduto has work to do
Helen Ubiñas: For college students from Philly, closed campuses means they can’t escape the city’s gun violence 
Salena Zito: A historical city went from boom to bust in the blink of an eye 
Kim Krawczyk and Liza Piekarsky: Going back to school in a pandemic challenges our children’s mental health. Here’s how you can help
Tim Hartman: The Tipping Point | Editorial Cartoon
Roderick Random: Law, order message doesn’t promote law, order
Peter Durantine: Is America really the home of the free? What our history tell us
Chris Kelly: Trump jumps shark in Old Forge
Martha Jones: Black women are founders of American democracy. How will we live up to their ideals?
Lloyd E. Sheaffer: The most successful strategy in life 
Jenice Armstrong: Grandmother wants daughter’s opioid OD last month to be a warning 
Nasr Sadar: Lack of internet access holds immigrant communities back 
Will Bunch: QAnon giving America a scary look at what a ‘Biden resistance’ would look like in 2021 
Olivia Miller: US women hold more seats in government, but not enough
Keith C. Burris: Happy days or ‘Jaws’?
David Shribman: Trump’s Republican sideshow will go on
Gene Therapy: Biggest Trump story this week got little notice

3 Responses

  1. There is a God!!!
    Falwell Resigns from Liberty University

    August 24, 2020 at 5:14 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 174 Comments

    Jerry Falwell Jr. the embattled president of Liberty University and one of the biggest champions of President Trump, has resigned, Religion News Service reports.

    “Opposition to his presidency had been growing, but came to a dramatic head after two new reports about a young man Falwell and his wife befriended at a Florida pool, went into business with and who allegedly was sexually connected to the couple.”

  2. Finello needs to get the suburban vote out in Bucks County. How the Dems managed to lose to Fitzpatrick and Tomlinson in 2018 is political malpractice. This county has been trending blue big time for many years but the Bucks County Dems have been hapless in determined strategies for victory. Trump ran against Hillary. Two unpopular candidates at the same time with the winner being the most liked of two disliked candidates by voters. Biden is a popular guy and a Reagan like candidate in that negatives don’t stick. Because he has suffered terrible losses which make Biden real and human. He is a good candidate. My favorite is age criticisms. Good God, look around you and you’ll see lots of older folks. Do you think they want to be deemed “out to pasture”? Age is another unworkable criticism. If Bucks Dems mess up Finello/Fitzpatrick race, they should become Republicans. This is a wave year for Dems.

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  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?


    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

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