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December 15th Playbook

The state’s presidential electors officially cast their votes for President-Elect Joe Biden, while a former state Senate President Pro Tem announced his next career move. Here is the Playbook. 

Scarnati Joins Newly-Formed Lobbying Firm: The former Pa. Senate President Pro Tem has joined Allegheny Strategy Partners, a public affairs and business development firm, as a partner.

O’Connell Announces Re-Election Bid for Allentown Mayor: Mayor Ray O’Connell said that the city has moved forward the past few years, but believes there’s more work to do on various matters.

As of Tuesday 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 Tuesday morning, according to DOS

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: With unusual attention, Pa. presidential electors officially cast votes for Joe Biden 
Spotlight PA: Mailed ballots, tight deadlines caused a crunch for Pa. elections officials. Now, comes the reckoning. 
Spotlight PA: As coronavirus hits home, Pa. GOP shifts messaging but still rejects mandates
AP: Pennsylvania casts 20 electoral votes for Joe Biden 
AP: Pennsylvania to get more than 100,000 vaccine doses
Inquirer: Pennsylvania’s electors cast the state’s Electoral College votes for Joe Biden
Inquirer: ‘Ticket-splitting’ voters in Bucks County show it’s the most competitive Philly suburb
Inquirer: Wealthy towns outside Pittsburgh went big for Biden. Can Democrats count on them again?  
Inquirer: Jobless workers have spent months waiting to get paid Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits: ‘It’s a nightmare’
Patriot News: Pa. electors choose Joe Biden for president
Patriot News: Few protesters march in Harrisburg as Electoral College convenes
Patriot News: Gov. Wolf, N.J. Gov. Murphy, make plea for federal COVID-19 aid
Patriot News: First COVID-19 vaccines administered in Pennsylvania
Patriot News: All of Pa.’s 67 counties now seeing substantial spread of coronavirus: officials   
Patriot News: First shots fired in COVID-19 war, but we still face a long winter of masking and social distancing
Patriot News: License to carry permits extended for fifth time this year
Patriot News: Which states have the most confirmed coronavirus cases (12/14/2020): Where does Pa. stand?
Patriot News: Where are Pennsylvania’s 499,764 coronavirus cases? Dec. 14 map, county-by-county breakdown
Patriot News: Coronavirus cases in Pa. just under 500K, with 330 deaths over 2-day period
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania’s presidential electors make it official, formally certify vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Post-Gazette: GOP lawmakers mum on next moves after Electoral College affirms Biden victory 
Post-Gazette: Deadline near for qualified Pennsylvanians to get rebates on property taxes and rent 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Masked, and from a distance, Pa. electors cast their 20 votes for Biden, Harris 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: COVID vaccine arrives in Pa., mitigation still needed, Levine says 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Report: Feds need to close racial gaps in program that helps kids living with disabilities | Tuesday Morning Coffee
USA Today: GOP continues fight after Electoral College vote
The Times Leader: Wolf, Murphy, call on Congress to provide COVID-19 relief package now
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Coronavirus Vaccine Months Away For General Public, Dr. Rachel Levine Says
KDKA: Gov. Tom Wolf Encourages Pennsylvanians To Use ‘Pennie’ For Health Insurance Coverage As Deadline Approaches
WHYY Newsworks: Pennsylvania casts 20 electoral college votes for Biden
PLSReporter: Pa. electors cast votes for Biden and Harris 
PLSReporter: PA GOP casts procedural electoral vote for Trump, Pence
PLSReporter: Wolf, Murphy call on Congress to pass new round of coronavirus relief
PLSReporter: Conservative group decries earmarks in most recent state budget
PLSReporter: Dec. 14 COVID-19 Update: First vaccines arrive in Pa.; hospitalizations rise 
Fox News: Pennsylvania sheriff leaves Dems, switches to GOP due to party’s ‘socialist agenda’ 
Fox News: Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia cast votes for Trump, hoping for court victories
Philly Voice: Govs. Wolf, Murphy urge Congress to pass new COVID-19 relief bill
The Hill: Top Judiciary Democrat’s bill would criminalize threats to election officials

KYW Newsradio: Councilmember pushes back on DA, police, calling Philly gun violence ’emergency situation’
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania starts distributing 97K doses of COVID-19 vaccine to hospitals
Inquirer: As shootings soar, Philly Police and DA pledge a new collaboration on gun crimes 
Inquirer: Pa. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon pushes to make intimidation of elections officials a federal crime  
Inquirer: Free internet access available for some now struggling to afford it, city says  
Inquirer: Philly’s COVID-19 hotels for homeless people are shutting down over loss of federal funding 
Inquirer: Savvy Philly property mogul has pulled off eye-popping flips. Some now want to see him in court. 
Inquirer: First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected to arrive in Philly, N.J. on Tuesday
Inquirer: Pa. health-care workers are getting their COVID-19 vaccines | Morning Newsletter
Philadelphia Tribune: Is mandatory inclusionary zoning next on City Council’s agenda? 
Billy Penn: Homicides dropped after Philly gangs signed a 1974 peace pact. What can we learn from the org that brokered the truce?
WHYY Newsworks: SEPTA wants to delay planned fare increases in hopes of luring riders back
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia restaurants notch big win with free rapid Covid-19 testing site for employees

Pottstown Mercury: Rep. Hennessey among legislators seeking invalidation of Pa. electors 
Pottstown Mercury: COVID vaccine on way to Chester County 
Pottstown Mercury: Montgomery County’s coronavirus positivitry rate continues to surge
Inquirer: ‘Ticket-splitting’ voters in Bucks County show it’s the most competitive Philly suburb
Inquirer: Pa. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon pushes to make intimidation of elections officials a federal crime 
Montgomery Media: Study: PA shorted poor school districts with federal COVID aid
Bucks Local News: Thomas to reintroduce legislation to create state registry of medical directors 

Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania’s presidential electors make it official, formally certify vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Post-Gazette: GOP lawmakers mum on next moves after Electoral College affirms Biden victory 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh City Council to move $4.1 million from Mon-Oakland Connector to affordable housing, small business programs 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Two-day total of over 18,000 cases reported in Pa., more than 1,600 in Allegheny
Inquirer: Wealthy towns outside Pittsburgh went big for Biden. Can Democrats count on them again? 
Tribune Review: ‘Stop the Violence Fund’ shifted from Pittsburgh police budget after outcry 
Tribune Review: Restaurant owner sues Braddock mayor, claims defamation 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County’s latest covid cases up from previous weekend
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports Two-Day Total Of 1,647 New COVID-19 Cases
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
City Paper: In historic moment, UPMC delivers first round of COVID-19 vaccines to Pittsburgh frontline workers 
WESA: Pittsburgh City Council Plans To Pull Mon-Oakland Connector Funding This Year
WESA: With New State Restrictions, Restaurant Workers Say They Need Federal Support
WESA: First COVID-19 Vaccines Rolled Out In Pittsburgh
WESA: A Spike In Coronavirus Cases Across Allegheny County Wallops Port Authority, Too

Observer-Reporter: Gov. Tom Wolf makes plea for federal COVID-19 relief funds
Observer-Reporter: COVID cases increase over the weekend
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County adds 666 new covid cases over 2 days
Altoona Mirror: Cambria tops US COVID-19 surge
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Johnstown eyes $3.75M in capital improvements
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: As vaccine arrives for health-care workers, hospitalizations surge

Times-Tribune: MONDAY UPDATE: Lackawanna County, Scranton continue to explore potential for local health department as pandemic rages
Times-Tribune: Clarks Summit rises to the top in new COVID-19 cases
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County to receive third wave of federal funding to help provide shelter
The Times Leader: 275 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; 7,962 statewide
Citizens Voice: 275 new COVID-19 cases reported in Luzerne County 

South Central 
Patriot News: Harrisburg City Council approves 2021 budget that creates 17 new police jobs
Patriot News: Few protesters march in Harrisburg as Electoral College convenes
LNP | LancasterOnline: ‘Finally women can be represented’: Pa. Electoral College casts its 20 votes for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris
LNP | LancasterOnline: Ray of hope: COVID-19 vaccine expected to arrive in Lancaster County this week
LNP | LancasterOnline: As Lancaster County toll hits 600, pace of coronavirus deaths now rivals spring peak
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County’s COVID-19 case count increases by more than 200 [Monday’s COVID-19 updates] 
York Dispatch: York County COVID-19 death toll approaches 300
Carlisle Sentinel: Carlisle Borough Council affirms election results, calls on officials to ‘cease their baseless claims’
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 138 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County in Monday’s report; new single-day high of 361 cases in Sunday’s report

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Allentown mayoral race: Who’s running, who isn’t and who’s still undecided 
Morning Call: Many of nation’s long-term care facilities with most coronavirus deaths are in Pennsylvania, including two in the Lehigh Valley, data shows
Reading Eagle: Reading passes 2021 budget and raises real estate tax 2.5%
Reading Eagle: COVID hospitalizations reach 168 in Berks County as more than 500 new cases are reported
Express Times: COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Lehigh Valley hospitals this week. How they’ll be distributed.
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: 7,962 new cases as state nears 500K total; record number of ventilators in use; vaccines headed to Lehigh Valley | COVID-19 county map (12/14/20)

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Williamsport City Hall open by appointment only
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Sheriff’s office launches new app to connect to county residents
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 135 new COVID-19 cases. Tioga County sees 24 new cases, Clinton 39, Sullivan 2
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 14 update: Centre County adds 201 weekend COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Metcalfe keeps wasting time
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Focus a second stimulus where it is most needed
Lauren Footman: As homicides rise, Philly police must quit the lip service and start building community bonds 
Hannah Herbert and Marissa Baron: We’re future OB-GYNs. Pa. needs to drop its support for ‘crisis pregnancy’ centers 
Carolyn Cannuscio, Rachel Feuerstein-Simon, and Kevin Volpp: Philly survived COVID’s first wave, with tough losses. How do we survive the next one? 
Jon Geeting: A Jobs Bonanza For Black Philadelphians? 
Stewart Mader: Air Force One to Amtrak One: Joe Biden can accelerate economic recovery by renewing America’s rails 
Tony Norman: The Great American Coup Attempt of 2020
Alan Avery-Peck: Hanukkah’s true meaning is about Jewish survival
Elaine P. Zickler: Adult children need to quit parenting their parents during COVID-19
Kenneth Bourne II: Shaming exhausted parents for their kids’ school attendance issues is misguided and unfair 
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Seeing election results clearly

3 Responses

  1. Dr Levine: PLEASE open the gyms, even at 1/2 capacity. These fitness centers aren’t sweaty gyms like in the 1950’s. Todays fitness centers are safe, well run and way less risk than someone one on one with a hair stylist for example.

    You are penalizing people who are trying to stay healthy.

    You are hurting hard working, honest people without common sense justification.

  2. SD-45. Winning by 69 votes. Amazingly close. Another example that every vote counts.

  • 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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