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December 11th Playbook

A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge announced her candidacy for the PA Superior Court, while state Sen. John Yudichak announced that he tested positive for COVID-19. Here is the Playbook.

Lane Announces Bid for Superior Court: Lane was first elected to serve as a Judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 2013 and received a Highly Recommended rating from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for a seat on the Superior Court in 2019.

State Sen. John Yudichak Tests Positive for COVID-19: The Luzerne County Senator announced on Thursday morning that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in isolation at home.

As of Friday morning, we still are waiting for a call in a state Senate race. 

State Senate and House

Republicans have flipped four state House seats, (HD-33), (HD-55), (HD-123), and (HD-143), most notably unseating House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny). Democrats have flipped one seat in the Philly suburbs (HD-152). For the state Senate, Republicans have flipped one seat in western PA (SD-37), while Democrats have flipped one seat in the Philly suburbs (SD-9), and another race in western PA has not been called yet. 


State Senate 

SD-45: Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny) leads GOP challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 69 votes, as of Friday morning, according to DOS

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pennsylvania halts school sports, bans indoor dining 
AP: Pennsylvania blasts Texas’ bid to overturn Biden’s election 
Spotlight PA: Wolf temporarily suspends Pa. indoor dining, school sports 
Spotlight PA: Thousands of Pa. families face potential eviction come the new year 
Spotlight PA: The 2020 election cost Pa. counties millions in OT, was most expensive ever, officials say
Post-Gazette: Pa. says Texas election suit in Supreme Court just adds to ‘cacophony of bogus claims’
Patriot News: No more indoor dining, casinos and theaters will close and new limits on retailers: Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf 
Patriot News: Too little or too much? Reaction varies on Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf’s new COVID-19 restrictions
Patriot News: Tom Wolf has now tested negative for the coronavirus following positive test on Tuesday, continues to quarantine
Patriot News: Pa.’s first lady Frances Wolf tests negative for COVID-19
Patriot News: Another Pa. senator tests positive for COVID-19
Patriot News: ‘There’s going to be a loss of jobs’: Indoor dining ban hits restaurants already in crisis
Patriot News: Gyms, fitness centers will have to close again across Pa.: ‘It’s devastating,’ one owner says 
Patriot News: One day after Pa. casino execs send a letter to Wolf pushing to stay open, he shuts them down
Morning Call: Pennsylvania’s latest coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining, casinos, sports and more: What you need to know
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With vaccine on the horizon, Wolf imposes new COVID mitigation measures
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Third Pa. legislator this week tests positive for COVID-19, as Capitol rethinks pandemic-era swearing-in 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. First Lady Frances Wolf tests negative for COVID-19
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: States just one step away from COVID-19 vaccine rollout after federal panel OK
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Preserving Pa.’s farms | Friday Morning Coffee
WITF: Wolf Orders Halt On Indoor Dining, Limits To Gatherings Amid COVID-19 Surge
PLSReporter: Pa.’s new mitigation measures: no indoor dining, gathering limits tightened, youth sports canceled and more 
PLSReporter: Yudichak tests positive for COVID-19
Fox News: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf closes indoor dining, gyms as part of tightened coronavirus restrictions 
Fox News: Pennsylvania accuses Texas of seeking ‘to decimate the electorate’ in fiery Supreme Court brief 
Fox News: Missouri, 5 more states ask to join Texas Supreme Court election case against Georgia, others
Reading Eagle: A look at the claims in GOP letter calling for Congress to reject Pennsylvania’s electors
StateImpactPA: DEP deals blow to fracking plan at US Steel mill near Pittsburgh
National Journal: Will Democrats Nominate Pragmatists in 2022? 
The Hill: Pennsylvania governor bans indoor dining, gyms under new virus order 
The Hill: Pennsylvania AG calls Ted Cruz a ‘sad sack’ after Trump asks for his help in Texas lawsuit 
The Hill: Pennsylvania AG blasts Texas election suit as ‘seditious abuse’ of judicial process
KDKA: Derogatory Sign About Dr. Rachel Levine Causing Controversy In Waterford
Politico: Pelosi looks to lock down speaker’s vote in shadow of coronavirus 
Politico: Biden’s electors prepare to seal his victory, as Trump and coronavirus rage
CNN: READ: Brief from 106 Republicans supporting Texas lawsuit in Supreme Court 
CNN: READ: Pennsylvania’s response to Texas’ Supreme Court lawsuit 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pennsylvania’s unemployment claims jump 73% from previous week’s figures, more than 40,000 new claims filed last week  

WHYY Newsworks: Philly City Council passes bill to ensure jobs for laid-off hospitality workers 
WHYY Newsworks: Squilla becomes first Philly councilmember to test positive for COVID-19 
WHYY Newsworks: City Council creates Strawberry Mansion conservation district — a first for an ‘underrepresented’ community 
WHYY Newsworks: How Philly area hospitals plan to distribute the vaccine to their staffs 
WHYY Newsworks: Federal prosecutors charge four with murder of Philly police officer
Inquirer: City Council approves Philly construction tax and changes to property tax abatement in busy year-end session 
Inquirer: Philadelphia City Council extends mandate that landlords use Eviction Diversion Program 
Inquirer: Philadelphia City Council approves pandemic-era ‘Black Workers Matter’ protections 
Inquirer: Death penalty a possibility in new federal case against accused killer of Philly Police Cpl. James O’Connor IV 
Inquirer: COVID-19 is stressing some Philadelphia hospitals more than others, report suggests 
Inquirer: New Pa. restrictions on indoor dining, social gatherings begin Saturday; Delaware issues curfew as cases climb; vaccine candidate backed by U.S. delayed by setback 
Inquirer: Pa.’s new COVID-19 restrictions include indoor dining shutdown | Morning Newsletter
KYW Newsradio: A sometimes tense session as Philly City Council passes dozens of bills on taxes, development, employment
KYW Newsradio: City Councilmember Mark Squilla tests positive for COVID-19
KYW Newsradio: Philly restaurateur says COVID-19 guideline enforcement not consistent as Wolf announces new restrictions
KYW Newsradio: 4 men face federal charges for fatal shooting of Philadelphia Police Sgt. O’Connor
Billy Penn: Parks and Rec is reopening some fields usually locked for winter so people have more outdoor options
Philadelphia Business Journal: Kenney signs 180-day pause on restaurant evictions into law as more hospitality aid bills head to his desk

Daily Local News: Chester County adopts 2021 budget amid ‘toughest year’
Daily Local News: Chester County Magisterial District Judge Dan Maisano dies at 68
Daily Local News: Chester County nonprofits get $3.5 million in COVID relief funding 
Daily Local News: Chester County gets $1.8M for victims of abuse and rehabilitation
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County to avoid tax increase in 2021
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks disappointed with new COVID-19 rules
Bucks Local News: DEC. 9 BUCKS COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE: 19 more deaths reported; cases pass 20,000 mark

KDKA: US Rep. Guy Reschenthaler Joins Texas In Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania Election Results
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Businesses Hopeful To Survive Gov. Tom Wolf’s New Virus Restrictions
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Announces Over 1,100 New Cases, 6 Additional Deaths
Post-Gazette: Take Five with Patricia Sheridan and … Rich Fitzgerald 
Post-Gazette: What people are saying about the state’s shutdown 
Post-Gazette: URA board approves $47.5M Oakland office project while pushing for more minority, women involvement 
Post-Gazette: Pa. sees highest one-day COVID-19 death total, Allegheny reports 1,166 new cases
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
Tribune Review: Allegheny County commits another $2M to programs for needy
Tribune Review: Port Authority leadership urges prioritizing transit workers for covid-19 vaccine
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports 1,166 new covid cases, 2nd-highest daily tally 
Pittsburgh Business Times: PA senate president joins new Pittsburgh consultancy
Pittsburgh Business Times: One of Pittsburgh’s biggest law firms hires PA senator, adds Johnstown office

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State doing ‘broad’ review of Bedford jail
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State tops one-day-old record with 248 COVID-19 deaths, nation hits 3,000 deaths in one day
Beaver County Times: Beaver County sees nearly 1,500 COVID cases since Dec. 1
Pittsburgh Business Times: Westmoreland hits record Covid cases as Excela hospitals deal with influx
Tribune Review: Westmoreland doles out another $2 million in covid-relief grants to small businesses
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County sees record jump in covid cases with 505
Observer-Reporter: Local restaurants bemoan COVID-19 restrictions suspending indoor dining 
Altoona Mirror: Wolf toughens COVID-19 limits

The Times Leader: Sen. Yudichak tests positive for COVID-19
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Election Board members share views with inquiry committee 
The Times Leader: 291 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; 11,972 statewide
Citizens Voice: County council committee explores role of election board 
Citizens Voice: Sen. Yudichak tests positive for COVID-19 
Citizens Voice: Local restaurants react to short notice to cease indoor dining 
Citizens Voice: NEPA health systems preparing for COVID-19 vaccine distribution 
Citizens Voice: 291 new COVID-19 cases reported in county
Times-Tribune: Sen. Yudichak tests positive for COVID-19 
Times-Tribune: PA COVID-19 deaths surge as cases rise sharply in NEPA, state

South Central 
Patriot News: Harrisburg City Council president says she’ll run again, defends her actions during budget process
Patriot News: ‘There’s going to be a loss of jobs’: Indoor dining ban hits restaurants already in crisis 
York Daily Record: State rep., grassroots group tackle child abuse
York Dispatch: York City commissioner: Neighborhood walks aren’t for show, they reduce crime
York Dispatch: York County has 7 new COVID-19 deaths, 581 new cases
LNP | LancasterOnline: New claims for unemployment relief filed by Lancaster Countians jump 32% 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County’s 2 poorest school districts shortchanged $1.5M in coronavirus relief: report 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County jumps in positive COVID-19 cases with nearly 500 in the past 24 hours [Thursday’s COVID-19 updates]
Carlisle Sentinel: Discovery in Common Pleas Judge Thomas Placey’s case expected to end next month; additional allegation added 
Carlisle Sentinel: New shutdown orders prompt call for ‘all hands on deck’ support for Carlisle area businesses 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 262 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths for Cumberland County Thursday

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell to seek reelection? Nat Hyman says he’s backing the incumbent so progressive candidate is defeated
Morning Call: Allentown School District teacher is newest member of Lehigh County Board of Commissioners
Morning Call: Lehigh County adds Juneteenth as paid county holiday as a way of ‘doing the right thing’
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf announces 3-week set of restrictions including shutdown of indoor restaurant dining, high school sports, gyms and casinos 
Morning Call: $1 billion of PPP loans helped Lehigh Valley businesses weather pandemic. Which ones benefitted?  
Reading Eagle: Reading Mayor Eddie Moran criticized for trip to Puerto Rico during COVID pandemic 
Reading Eagle: Reading Mayor Eddie Moran extends closure of City Hall amid rising COVID cases 
Reading Eagle: Berks County official says number of excess deaths shows the very real impact of COVID
Reading Eagle: Gov. Wolf’s sports suspension ‘like a punch to the gut,’ Berks coaches say 
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 405 COVID cases, third-highest daily total of the pandemic
Express Times: Easton sets 2021 budget without tax or fee increases, but expects more worker furloughs
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: 11,972 new cases, 248 new deaths as state becomes 7th to cross 12K deaths; Northampton Co. hits record | Pa. COVID-19 county map (12/10/20) 
WFMZ: One-time political rivals in Allentown discuss 2021 Democratic mayoral primary, who should run
WFMZ: Northampton County approves final grants for small businesses
WFMZ: Reading mayor extends city hall closure through Jan. 4
WFMZ: Berks officials: Take rising COVID-19 numbers seriously

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Laughlin, others in GOP file brief in Texas voting case 
Erie Times-News: Bizzarro announces FCC investment in rural broadband expansion to Erie 
KDKA: Derogatory Sign About Dr. Rachel Levine Causing Controversy In Waterford
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: State halts school sports, bans indoor dining
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Care facilities battle COVID-19 surge
Centre Daily Times: Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority rates to increase in 2021. Here’s why
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 10 update: Pa. sets record for COVID-19 deaths; Centre County hospitalizations rise

Peter Schweyer: 1 million Pennsylvanians are facing utility shutoffs. How we can help
John Baer: Searching in vain for comfort and joy during Pa.’s coronavirus surge
Jon X. Eguia: New electoral districts are coming – an old approach can show if they’re fair 
Larry Platt: Et Tu, Martina?  
Tony Norman: ‘Paradise Lost?’ No, Pennsylvania regained!
Russell C. Redding and Jane Clements-Smith: Families are facing a food crisis; soon Pennsylvania’s food banks will, too
Dan Gordon: Understanding Pennsylvania’s Fracking Future
Ernest Owens: Let’s Talk About the Economic Reason “Defund the Police” May Be a Hard Sell in Philadelphia
Inquirer Editorial Board: Parking Authority is Philly’s Shangri-La: Despite new audit, nothing likely to change 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Countering white supremacy 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Repurposing social media 
Jason Han: Why I, a South Korean immigrant, think Donald Trump made America great again 
Abraham Gutman: ‘Habitual drunkenness’ is not a reason to deny someone like me U.S. citizenship 
Phil Gianficaro: Cosby supporters see only star, not the truth
Bruce Katz, Colin Higgins, Andrew Petrisin and Michael Saadine: The Virus and The City: Yo, Joe!
Sean P. Quinlan: Contrarians have always been a part of American history 
Salena Zito: As 2020 kills traditions, Christmas stands strong
Maria Panaritis: A Havertown woman is solving one of the world’s problems from her garage 
Dre Reed: Editorial cartoon: Philly school fundraiser

6 Responses

  1. The Daily Beast says Republican lawmakers from Pennsylvania called on the US Supreme Court to throw out their own state’s election procedures—a seeming reversal on earlier commitments to leave President Donald Trump’s 81,000-vote defeat in the Keystone State untouched.

    Two days after embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin to throw out their election results, top GOP officials in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives filed their own brief seeming to take the Lone Star State’s side. The friend-of-the-court brief Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff filed echoes to Paxton’s argument that, through their decisions and directives on the regulations governing rules on absentee ballots and vote-counting, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar and the state’s Supreme Court encroached on the legislature’s exclusive constitutional right to set election laws.

    “The executive branch shrank from its obligations to defend the Commonwealth’s laws, and then took to offering extrajudicial guidance to the Commonwealth’s county boards of elections,” the friend-of-the-court brief reads. “Finally, these efforts were condoned and furthered by the overreaching of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, in clear violation of the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.”

    In a separate filing, two dozen Republican Pennsylvania state senators, including Majority Leader Jake Corman, made an identical argument, though they officially declared themselves in support of neither their own state nor Texas.

    “This Court should affirm the grant of authority to state legislatures under the U.S. Constitution’s Elections Clause and disclaim state supreme courts and executive branch officials, from usurping that authority for themselves,” their attorney wrote.

    Corman had previously rejected President Donald Trump’s request that the legislature work to overturn his loss.

    Now, he joins Trump, a litany of GOP attorneys general, activists, and members of Congress who have urged the justices to act on Texas’s request.

    Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and Michigan—joined by scores of other blue states and a group of Never Trump Republican attorneys—encouraged the Supreme Court not to take up the case at all, asserting that Texas lacks standing to bring the case and that disputes over election law fall solely within the jurisdiction of state courts.

    Thankfully, the Court found in the favor of Democracy.

  2. If Gov Wolf followed the protocol and tested positive, the protocol is useless.

    If Gov Wolf didnt follow the protocol and tested positive, he has no right to shut down small businesses and create stress on our children, which the media intensifies.

    1. our binary thinking is stupid. There are far more choices than your dimbulb mind can handle.

  3. Let’s see if I understand the Republicans from Congress. The part of the ballot that they were on was fine because none of them are saying they won by fraud but the part of the ballot Joe Biden was on was littered with fraud because their leader Trump lost. Nice work if you can get it.

  4. Congressmen Joyce, Keller, Kelly, Meuser, Perry Reschenthaler and Thompson join the Texas/Trump lawsuit to disenfranchise millions of voters, including their own constituents, by attempting to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

    The brief for Pennsylvania said that the lawsuit brought by Paxton is “legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”

    “Texas invites this Court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next President of the United States. That Faustian invitation must be firmly rejected,” the brief said. It also argued that the lawsuit “seeks to invoke this Court’s original jurisdiction to achieve the extraordinary relief of disenfranchising all Pennsylvanians who voted and one-tenth of the voters in the entire Nation.”
    Attorneys for Pennsylvania also argued that Texas was twisting the use of original jurisdiction, which the Constitution grants the Supreme Court in cases “in which a state shall be party” — that is, it allows disputes between states to be brought directly to the high court.

    “Texas brings to the court only discredited allegations and conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact. And Texas asks this court to contort its original jurisdiction jurisprudence in an election where millions of people cast ballots under truly extraordinary circumstances, sometimes risking their very health and safety to do so,” the Pennsylvania brief said.

    This action by these Congressmen is truly disgusting and reprehensible.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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