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December 14th Playbook

The state’s presidential electors will meet in Harrisburg today to cast their vote for President-Elect Joe Biden. Here is the Playbook. 

December 11th Ups and Downs: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Republican challenge to the state’s election results, Philly passed a new construction tax, plus the 2021 race for the state’s Superior Court has begun. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Staats Names House Majority Deputy Whip: According to a release, state Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) has been named the PA House Majority Deputy Whip for the upcoming session. 

As of Monday 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 Monday morning, according to DOS

Harrisburg & DC   
LNP | LancasterOnline: Everything you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Electoral College ceremony Monday
AP: Electoral College vote a big step to move past election 
AP: Judge denies motion to toss Pennsylvania mask mandate 
AP: DOJ probe of Catholic church abuse goes quiet 2 years later 
AP: Pennsylvania governor reports second negative virus test 
AP: Officials: Detention facility at center of scandal is closed
Spotlight PA: See how often your local Pa. district judges are actually in the courtroom 
Spotlight PA: Pa. corrections dept. tells officer with COVID-19 symptoms to return to work early
Post-Gazette: As COVID-19 vaccine distribution starts, Pa.’s lack of specifics complicates planning
Post-Gazette: State’s electors gather Monday in Harrisburg to fulfill U.S. constitutional duty
Inquirer: Pat Toomey is ready to work with Joe Biden. A little.
Inquirer: A family’s push to change Pennsylvania’s DUI law seemed like an easy win. But it died a slow death in Harrisburg.
Inquirer: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Texas bid to void the vote in Pennsylvania and other battleground states
Inquirer: In emotional vote, Pa. Board of Pardons recommends release for Philly’s Horton brothers
Inquirer: Nursing home residents have rights. Here’s what they are in Pennsylvania, and what to do if they’re violated.
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Texas suit that tried to overturn election results 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Survey: Parents weigh-in on education, exposure risk during the pandemic | The Numbers Racket 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: As fall COVID surge continues, Pa.’s hospitals, healthcare systems feel the strain 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The Electoral College meets today. Remember these GOP lawmakers who tried to stop it | Monday Morning Coffee 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Treasury Twitter account to shut down, leaving legacy of snarky, relatable PR
USA Today: Coronavirus cases surge 16.8% in Pennsylvania
Patriot News: Indoor dining ban begins per Gov. Wolf’s orders
Patriot News: Tougher penalties for stalking minors: bill backed by Pa. lawmakers heads to President Trump
Patriot News: Some Pa. restaurants defy indoor-dining ban, others comply with takeout, outdoor seating 
PLSReporter: Pa. responds to Texas SCOTUS suit 
PLSReporter: Supreme Court rejects Texas challenge to Pa. election 
PLSReporter: State prison reorganization stokes anxiety for those with incarcerated loved ones 
PLSReporter: Wolf tests negative for COVID-19 for second time
PLSReporter: Right 2 Know Episode 74: Memopalooza 
PLSReporter: Dec. 12 COVID-19 Update: 5,668 hospitalized; 1,151 in the ICU
KDKA: ‘Stay Out Of Pennsylvania’: State Attorney General Josh Shapiro Calls Texas Election Lawsuit A Threat To Democracy 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Secretary Of Health Dr. Rachel Levine Testifies In Front Of Congress About Vaccine Shipment
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tests negative for COVID-19 twice since positive result
The Hill: Pennsylvania governor tests negative after coronavirus diagnosis 
The Hill: House Republicans who didn’t sign onto the Texas lawsuit 
The Hill: Trump allies in Congress to challenge election results: report
Morning Call: Number of Pennsylvania road deaths kept climbing even as millions stayed home
New York Times: Trump Allies Eye Long-Shot Election Reversal in Congress, Testing Pence

Inquirer: A former Philly homicide prosecutor fired by District Attorney Larry Krasner is challenging him for reelection 
Inquirer: Philly tax break just a drop in the bucket for struggling restaurants 
Inquirer: In emotional vote, Pa. Board of Pardons recommends release for Philly’s Horton brothers 
Inquirer: Tiny-house villages coming to NE and West Philly, part of deal that closed Parkway homeless encampment
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia officials re-examine police responses involving people with disabilities
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia expanding ‘PHLConnectED’ free student internet program
KYW Newsradio: Pa. restaurant industry leaders upset with indoor dining ban
KYW Newsradio: City moves homeless people at risk of COVID-19 from Center City hotel to permanent housing
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia aims to bring Black and brown advisers into next city master plan
WHYY Newsworks: Listening, not trying to convince: How Black Philadelphians are approaching vaccine hesitancy in their communities
Billy Penn: Four Seasons Total Landscaping becomes high-end diorama art in Berlin
Philly Voice: Philadelphia moving homeless residents from COVID-19 prevention spaces to permanent housing

Levittown Now: Congressman Largely Silent On Election Outcome
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks GOP turned out in 2020, but not for Trump 
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County tourism ads plant seeds for travel now — and later
Daily Local News: Local lawmakers react as Trump continues to challenge election results 
Daily Local News: As COVID spikes in Chester County, officials declare disaster emergency
KYW Newsradio: Suburban gyms stay open despite governor’s COVID-19 order to temporarily close
Delco Daily Times: State Receiver questions Chester’s fiscal stability 

City Paper: Activists criticize level of funding for Pittsburgh Police Department in 2021 budget proposal
City Paper: Pittsburgh councilor Corey O’Connor wants to reallocate some city budget funds away from Mon-Oakland Connector proposal
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
KDKA: Video From Inside Allegheny County Jail Raises Concerns Among Elected Officials Over Food Service 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: URA Receives $600,000 In Funding For Various Relief Programs 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports More Than 1,100 New Cases
Tribune Review: Western Pa. nursing homes scramble for staff to care for covid patients 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports nearly 1,200 new coronavirus cases; 2 deaths
WESA: City School District’s Kindergarten Class Shrank By 21 Percent; PPS To Propose Tax Increase
Post-Gazette: Lawmakers face end-of-the-year economic cliff as COVID-19 relief bill remains elusive 
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County reports more than 1,000 additional COVID-19 infections

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Thompson selected as GOP’s ranking member on Agriculture committee
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Local elected officials respond to election questionnaire
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Surge in virus outbreak puzzles local officials
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Report: Cambria County has nation’s most severe COVID-19 surge
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria adds 11 COVID-19 deaths, leading nation in new cases per-capita
Tribune Review: As virus cases, deaths mount, Westmoreland hospital officials plead for public’s help
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County posts 568 covid-19 cases; 9 deaths
Altoona Mirror: Local counties hit virus case record
Altoona Mirror: Loretto inmate sues over outbreak conditions
Altoona Mirror: Professors weigh in on post-election moves
Observer-Reporter: Retired state Rep. Daley survives COVID-19
Observer-Reporter: Washington extends tax deadlines to try to help local businesses
Observer-Reporter: Fayette, Washington counties report more than 200 new COVID cases 

Citizens Voice: Local GOP state reps explain why they signed brief in election case
Citizens Voice: Meuser explains brief challenging election results
Citizens Voice: County budget adoption set for Tuesday; no tax hike
Citizens Voice: Council election looms; incumbents offer advice to first-time candidates
Citizens Voice: 344 cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: League of Women Voters of Lackawanna County announces virtual campaign school
Times-Tribune: New COVID-19 cases rise again after one-day drop
The Times Leader: Baker fears Wolf’s measures will be tough on workers, families
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Council weighs proposed tax break for Hazleton project
The Times Leader: Stimulus checks had big impact locally
The Times Leader: Luzerne County’s coronavirus hospitalizations and positivity rate rise again, new report shows
The Times Leader: 344 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; death count at 362

South Central 
York Dispatch: Rep. Scott Perry backed failed lawsuit seeking to overturn Trump’s Pa. loss 
York Dispatch: Citing legal reasons, York City refuses meeting with local sewer authority 
York Dispatch: Advocates call for release of ICE detainees in York County 
York Dispatch: York County local governments drain reserves amid pandemic 
York Dispatch: York County has 7 new COVID-19 deaths, 348 additional cases
Carlisle Sentinel: Trump virus coordinator, former Carlisle student Birx seeks role in Biden government
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 201 new cases of COVID-19 and 5 additional deaths for Cumberland County Saturday
LNP | LancasterOnline: Did some businesses take federal loans and still lay off all of their employees? [Lancaster Watchdog]
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County’s COVID-19 case count grows by over 500 in the past 24 hours [Sunday’s COVID-19 update]

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: It’s official: Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell will seek four more years in office
Morning Call: Number of Pennsylvania road deaths kept climbing even as millions stayed home
WFMZ: Allentown Mayor Ray O’Connell seeks reelection 
WFMZ: Small businesses in Berks react to new COVID restrictions 
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: Near-record 12.7K new cases, 225 deaths; bans on indoor dining, school sports start Saturday | Pa. COVID-19 county case map (12/11/20)
Reading Eagle: Berks County records 362 more COVID cases in state Department of Health reporting 

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City Council narrows proposed budget to 1 mill hike, with promise of further discussion next week
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 162 new COVID-19 cases. Clinton County sees 45 new cases, Tioga 56, Sullivan 1
Centre Daily Times: What information should be available about inmates in Centre County? Activists want more
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 12 update: Centre County has 80 new COVID-19 cases; Pa. adds 11,084
Erie Times-News: Pa. reports 217 new cases of COVID-19 in county
Erie Times-News: How our federal legislators voted

Doug Mastriano: I’m trying to prevent Gov. Wolf from hijacking election
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Pa.’s GOP: Pro-Trump, anti voting 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Joe Biden can help Philadelphia on day one, with a supervised injection site 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Even minor voting glitches harm confidence
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: The COVID-19 pandemic has left Pennsylvania and Lancaster County with only terrible options 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Feds using our cellphone data: Scary 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: No raise is right move 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Order takeout, not delivery 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Virtue signaling and flag banning
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A year like the tree 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Trickle-down microeconomics
Paul Muschick: If three weeks of COVID restrictions fail, what’s next for Pennsylvania?
Paul Muschick: Tom Wolf and COVID-19: Will his infection undermine his message?
Gary Blumenthal: Washington, D.C. could learn a lot from Pa. leadership
Leo Addimando: Why Philly developers support both the new construction tax and 10-year abatement 
Andrew Wilps: Joining RGGI is a vital step in addressing Pa.’s carbon pollution problem 
Paul Lagnese: Corporate America’s covert attack on your family
Marwan Kreidie and James Zogby: How Biden won over Arab Americans in Pennsylvania and other ethnic voters
Nancy Eshelman: I can’t say anything nice about Rudy Giuliani, the election fight or Christmas parties 
Timothy R. James: Why won’t the city meet with the York Area Regional Sewer Authority?
John A. Tures: The evidence that the Electoral College has been historically unfair 
Jeff Inglis: Why does the Electoral College exist, and how does it work? 5 essential reads
Phil Gianficaro: Time has come for Trump to leave
Jenice Armstrong: African Americans who refuse to take the coronavirus vaccine have their reasons
Stu Bykofsky: D.A. candidate Vega was raised on work ethic
Keith C. Burris: COVID-19 and the right stuff
Margaret Barajas: How medical response teams saved lives in Pennsylvania
David M. Shribman: Historians will long debate legacy of transformative Trump
Ruth Ann Dailey: Ode to joys recovered?
Helen Ubiñas: A support group for gunshot survivors is now the focus of a documentary — and it’s beautiful 
Aaron Wasser: Nursing students should keep training in-person during COVID 
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Unmask the problem
Tim Hartman: A double whammy | Editorial Cartoon
Rob Tornoe: Cartoon: Canceling Christmas

3 Responses

  1. SS-45…A good reminder that every vote counts. Ask Sen Brewster. Amazing race. Winning by 69 votes. Pres Johnson barely won his first Senate race. It happens. It’s better when you win.

  2. Baby-man Trump continues his hissy fit and threatens to hold his breath if Electoral College votes for Biden.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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