August 7th Ups & Downs
Sen. Bob Casey takes a role with the DNC, a former state rep begins a house-arrest portion of her sentence, plus mail-in advocates tout good news, but see possible trouble ahead for the election. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Bob Casey. One of former Vice President Joe Biden’s earliest endorsers will have a significant role in the upcoming convention to formally nominate the fellow Scrantonian. Sen. Bob Casey was named to be one of the eight vice chairman of the Democratic National Convention. Casey said that he’s “honored” to serve in this role at the upcoming convention and lauded Biden’s record working on behalf of “hard-working Americans.”
Mail-In Voting. Advocates for mail-in ballots had a reason to celebrate last week when Sec. of State Kathy Boockvar announced that the state will be paying for mail-in ballot postage for the election in November. But as the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Voting by mail doesn’t work without the “mail” part,” pointing to the “Major mail delivery problems in the Philadelphia region,” that is causing concern for the upcoming election.
Movita Johnson-Harrell. The former Philadelphia state rep who pleaded guilty and was charged to theft and related charges began serving the house-arrest portion of her sentence. She was released from prison early due to the coronavirus pandemic in April.
Wolf’s Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions. Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic will stand despite a challenge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the AP reports.
David Pedri. The Luzerne County Manager was quoted by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany this week as an example of elected officials being nervous about how mail-in voting can play out on Election night this November. The Times Leader reports that he was “as shocked as anyone” when he was mentioned during the briefing, although he did add that he still is a “strong advocate for mail-in ballots.”
Brian Sims. State Rep. Tom Murt said he called the police to his house after Rep. Brian Sims told him on a phone call that he’d “ruin” him and that the fellow state rep was “finished,” the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports. Murt told the outlet that he wasn’t sure what was the cause of the call, although he “speculated it was over a proposal” that Murt released earlier in the week on an LGBTQ bill of rights. The Philadelphia Democrat sent out a tweet denying the claims made by Murt, but ultimately deleted that tweet and did not respond to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star’s request for comment.
Doug Mastriano. Local faith leaders criticized the Franklin County Republican’s comments on COVID-19 safety measures, but the response from the elected official is what warrants the down arrow. Mastriano blasted those local faith leaders critical of him in a Facebook Live video and accused them of “denying” the power of Christ and said that they were “cowards hiding behind their keyboard,” for penning the letter, according to the York Dispatch. Mastriano has since deleted the Facebook Live video.
Christina Finello. The congressional hopeful in Bucks County backed out of a debate planned at WBCB with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick citing scheduling issues. However, the Ivyland Borough Councilwoman attempting to unseat Fitzpatrick received welcoming news when former President Barack Obama endorsed her in his first wave of endorsements.
Sheryl Dubaskas Cordes. The daughter of the late Mayor Bernard “Ace” Dubaskas was unanimously selected by the Edwardsville Borough Council to fill her father’s term that runs through 2021, according to The Times Leader.
Bucks County Republicans Labor Support. Although the PA AFL-CIO overwhelmingly endorsed Democrats across the state for the upcoming election, they did issue several endorsements of Republicans in the state as well. The labor union announced its support for Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and a few other GOP candidates for the state legislature in the Philadelphia suburb.
Todd Burkhart. The New Holland Borough council member had to pay a $600 fine to the state Ethics Commission for his role in approving invoices for a company he owns, according to LNP | LancasterOnline.
Legacy of Frederick L. Voigt. The Philadelphia political scene lost an important figure this week. The longtime election watchdog in Philadelphia died this week at the age of 76, due to pancreatic cancer.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Say what you will about local news, but in May 2006 an Inquirer columnist called Sen. Bob Casey the political equivalent of oatmeal and the man has never forgotten it pic.twitter.com/auaOTqp62l
— Max M. Marin (@MaxMMarin) August 3, 2020