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December 1st Playbook

PoliticsPA lists the events for PA Society this weekend in New York City, while Dr. Oz formally joined the GOP race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Here is the Playbook. 


The Full 2021 PA Society List of Events: Things are shaping up to be fairly subdued this weekend at Pennsylvania Society.

‘Celebrity surgeon Dr. Oz running for Senate in Pennsylvania’: The Associated Press reports that “Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon best known as the host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show” after rocketing to fame on Oprah Winfrey’s show, announced Tuesday that he is running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat as a Republican.”

‘America First Party candidate Bradley Lanning announces bid Congress, setting up GOP primary against Fitzpatrick’: The Bucks County Courier Times reports that “America First Party candidate Bradley Lanning announced his congressional bid and will challenge U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in the Republican primary next spring.”

‘Pa. lawmakers’ salaries to rise by nearly $5,000, the largest increase in quarter of a century’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania lawmakers will see a record bump in their paychecks starting Wednesday.”

‘Pa. court temporarily reinstates school face mask mandate’: PennLive reports that “the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on Tuesday reinstated the Gov. Tom Wolf administration mandate requiring students, teachers and staff to wear face masks.”

‘Gov. Wolf addresses how omicron variant will impact Pennsylvania’: Gov. Tom Wolf talked to KDKA Newsradio on Tuesday about how the omicron variant will impact Pennsylvania. 

‘Hanukkah celebrated in Harrisburg with lighting of menorah on Pa. Capitol steps’: PennLive reports that “November 30th marked Harrisburg’s annual celebration of Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights, traditionally held on the steps of the state Capitol building steps with the lighting of the city’s largest menorah.”

‘New at Pa. Farm Show 2022: Beer sales, pierogi, dog agility and cowboy church’: PennLive reports that “For the first time in two years, the Pennsylvania Farm Show returns in-person.”

‘Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf will use computer-drawn maps and other tools to help spot gerrymandering’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Pennsylvania’s new congressional map will help shape political power for a decade — and Gov. Tom Wolf is laying down some rules as it gets drawn.”

‘Philly’s only Republican city commissioner leaving to take over good government group’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, the sole Republican on the board that oversees the city’s elections, is soon resigning from his post to take over as head of the good government group Committee of Seventy.”

‘Here are the candidates to replace Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate’: The Philadelphia Inquirer lists the candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2022 in Pennsylvania. 

‘Former top Pa. education official testifies that school funding is a ‘root cause’ of achievement gaps’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Pennsylvania has wide achievement gaps between students that are directly linked to school funding, a former top state education official testified Tuesday during a historic trial over how the state pays for public schools.”

‘Bucks County students push to make the Hershey’s Kiss Pa.’s state candy’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “to build civic engagement, eight students and a Bucks County middle school teacher are pushing for Pennsylvania to pick its newest state symbol — the Hershey’s Kiss, as the official state candy.”

‘How to support Pa.’s veterans and service members this holiday season’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate to nonprofit, tax deductible programs that support the commonwealth’s approximately 800,000 veterans and service members.”

‘Berks County reports 35 late bilingual ballots, most due to late post office delivery’: WITF reports that “a review of late mail-in ballots in Berks County shows bilingual voters ultimately were not largely affected by an incorrect deadline date in 17,000 Spanish-language ballot instructions.”

‘State report shows strong natural gas production growth in 2021’: StateImpactPA reports that “after a bruising year in 2020, natural gas production and prices in Pennsylvania are on the rise this year.”

‘Somerset County’s salary board suspends DA’s pay, benefits’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “Suspended Somerset County District Attorney Jeffrey Thomas’ pay and benefits are now halted.”

‘Glass, bottle shortage making it harder for customers to get alcohol, Pennsylvania restaurant owner says’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the shortage of glass that was a factor in a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board September decision to ration certain alcohol sales remains a challenge for many businesses, with one restaurant owner telling state lawmakers on Monday, “Nobody can get glass.””

‘Judge rules Lehigh County mail-in ballots without dates should be counted; votes could affect close county court race’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “rejecting a Republican judicial candidate’s appeal, a Lehigh County judge ruled Tuesday that mail-in ballots without dates on the return envelopes must be counted and the votes included in the results of the Nov. 2 election.”

‘New local judges are named to court seats — though not always the ones they hoped for’: WESA reports that “the 10 candidates elected to Allegheny County Common Pleas judgeships this fall have been assigned to their courtrooms — and though several campaigned on a platform to reform criminal justice, only one is set to actually begin hearing criminal cases.”

‘A clean start: Ed Gainey’s vision for Downtown Pittsburgh starts with redding it up’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “For Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Ed Gainey, building a better Downtown starts with cleaning up Downtown.”

‘Ed Gainey talks policing, cleaning up Downtown during Q&A with public’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “as he prepares to take office, Mayor-elect Ed Gainey met with Pittsburgh residents, business owners and activists to discuss issues that he hopes to tackle while in office.”

‘Inflation, government spending and a little bit of Omicron: Senators question Yellen, Powell’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Sen. Pat Toomey “blames Dems’ ‘spending spree’ for economic issues; Treasury secretary disagrees.”

‘Allegheny County Council approves 2022 budget’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Allegheny County Council voted almost unanimously at Tuesday evening’s meeting to approve the county’s 2022 budget, with no tax increase despite revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council removes pension offset for city’s nonunion employees’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “nonunion Pittsburgh city employees who were facing a reduction in pension benefits are now eligible to receive full pension pay, as City Council removed the pension offset Tuesday.”

‘Mayor Bill Peduto Helps Light Pittsburgh’s Official Menorah’: KDKA reports that “Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto lit the Shamash candle on the city’s Menorah on Monday evening.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council passes lead safety bill aiming to curb potential lead exposure in children’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday adopted a lead safety ordinance that aims to prevent potential lead exposure for city residents, and children in particular.”

‘Peduto’s communications director leaving role with city this week’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s communications director will be leaving her role with the city at the end of the week, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.”

‘Asian student attacked on SEPTA train heads public safety rally’: FOX29 reports that “hundreds of people took to Center City on Tuesday to call for an end to Asian Hate and an increase in safety for young people. The rally comes in response to a viral video showing a group of Asian students from Central High School being attacked on a SEPTA train.”

‘Political, religious groups join together in Philly to ‘shine a light’ on antisemitism’: WHYY reports that “political and religious groups joined together in Philadelphia to raise awareness about antisemitism on Tuesday, the third day of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.”

‘Police Commissioner Outlaw points to social media as a reason for homicide spike’: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that “Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw attributes social media and immediately reacting to perceived disrespect before analyzing a situation as one of the causes for the rise in homicides overall and among young people.”

‘Rob Wonderling announces plans to depart from chamber’: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that “Rob Wonderling will be stepping down from leading the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia next year.”

‘Philadelphia City Council allocates $3.25M in cultural funds, plans second round of Illuminate the Arts grants’: The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “Philadelphia’s Illuminate the Arts grant program, an emergency aid initiative that seeks to help the local arts and culture industry recover from Covid-19, has received a fresh $1.5 million capital injection for distribution.”

‘Rostraver commissioner arrested by police, accused of harassing rivals via text, social media’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “John J. Lorenzo, chairman of Rostraver Township commissioners, is accused of using prepaid, disposable “burner” phones and set up fake Facebook accounts to harass political opponents and rivals for more than two years, according to criminal complaints filed Tuesday.”

‘Deadline for Allegheny County employees to show proof of vaccination is Wednesday’: WTAE reports that “Wednesday is the deadline for Allegheny County employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

‘Luzerne County election board meeting rescheduled to Dec. 6’: The Citizens Voice reports that “Wednesday’s scheduled meeting of the Luzerne County Board of Elections has been postponed until Dec. 6, board Chairwoman Denise Williams said.”

‘Commissioners to vote on Lackawanna County’s 2022 budget’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Lackawanna County commissioners will vote Wednesday on a tax-hike-free 2022 budget that minority Commissioner Chris Chermak vowed to oppose, citing an operating deficit the spending plan carries.”

‘Bethlehem’s new mayor names equity and inclusion director, a 1st for a Lehigh Valley city’: The Express-Times reports that “under the city’s new mayor, Bethlehem will become the first Lehigh Valley city with a director of equity and inclusion.”

‘Erie County Executive Elect Brenton Davis to meet with Mayor Joe Schember this week’: WJET reports that “Erie County Executive Elect Brenton Davis will be meeting with Erie Mayor Joe Schember later this week.”

‘City of Williamsport proposes budget with no tax hike’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter presented a 2022 budget proposal on Monday that has no tax increase.”

‘Lancaster judge changes his mind in Warwick school board race ruling, though decision is still up to Commonwealth Court’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a Lancaster County judge said Tuesday that his previous ruling on write-in votes cast in a local school board race was incorrect, a reversal that’s likely to change the outcome of the contest.”

‘Contempt hearing for Washington County clerk of courts set for Thursday’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “Washington County Clerk of Courts Brenda Davis has been ordered to appear before President Judge John DiSalle Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for criminal contempt proceedings after refusing an order last week to hand over juvenile court files that had been kept in her office.”

‘If the vaccine works so well, why is COVID-19 surging again in Pa.?’: PennLive reports that “as the share of vaccinated people in Pennsylvania has grown over the summer and fall, so has the number of COVID-19 cases.”

‘Pa. registers 113 more COVID-19 deaths: daily update’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania reported 5,766 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday and 113 new deaths, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 33,421.”

Paul Muschick: Don’t fear the omicron variant. But be very afraid of more government restrictions
John L. Micek: In a season of sweets, Pa. company encourages conscious consumption | Tuesday Morning Coffee
David Rudovsky: With Driving Equality bill on the books, a pilot program takes aim at police stops of pedestrians 
Abraham Gutman: Philly’s celebration of Palestinians should give courage to progressives everywhere 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Are any of Philly’s anti-violence tactics working? Without better tracking, we’ll never know.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Bagging up throwaway culture
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: After vandalism of Lancaster city menorah, large crowd at Penn Square Hanukkah ceremony restores some light
Tony Norman: Chasing down a metaphor
Gloria Merrick: It’s a wonderful life in Allison Hill | Latino Touchpoint
Michael Coard: America still has slavery-era citizen’s arrest laws that legalize lynching 
Will Bunch Newsletter: Omicron shows how U.S. exports misinformation 
Jessica Blatt Press: Generation Change Philly: The Fair Justice Funder 
Trudy Rubin: Boris Johnson stirs up new Irish Troubles for his own personal political gains

2 Responses

  1. All I know is that many Democrats would be eager to see the GOP nominate a sitting duck like Dr. Oz for Senate.

  2. What a biased article by The Philadelphia Inquirer on the Senate candidates. Way more glowing remarks for the Dems versus the Republicans.

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