December 21st Playbook

President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a new petition with the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn the state’s results. Here is the Playbook. 

December 18th Ups and Downs: A lawsuit backed by 7 PA Republican Congressmembers to overturn the results in the state was unsuccessful, New York Times Magazine profiles Philly City Commissioner Al Schmidt, plus college enrollment declines in the state. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Biden Selects Former Erie Resident For Climate Position: President-elect Joe Biden has hired Ali Zaidi, a climate expert and longtime advisor to Biden, to serve as Deputy National Climate Advisor. Zaidi grew up in Erie County, the Erie Times-News reports. 

Biden Hires Include PA Native For White House Communications and Press Staff: According to a release from the Biden-Harris transition, President-elect Joe Biden hired Amijah Townsend-Holmes as a Press Assistant and Emma Riley as the Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications. Amijah Townsend-Holmes, who served as a Personnel Assistant on the Biden-Harris Transition, is originally from Pennsylvania. Reilly served as Deputy Communications Director for the Biden-Harris campaign in Pennsylvania. 

Wolf Hires Groarke As Deputy Chief of Staff for Federal Affairs: According to Politico, Jack Groarke has been hired as deputy chief of staff for federal affairs for Gov. Tom Wolf. He previously served as the director of economic development for Sen. Bob Casey.  

Gleim Named to House Majority GOP Whip Team: According to a release, state Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland) has been appointed to serve as a deputy whip for the upcoming session under House Majority Whip Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion). 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Trump wants Supreme Court to overturn Pa. election results 
AP: Pennsylvania spent $35M on plastic face shields in early ’20 
Spotlight PA: Pa. misses deadline to spend $108M in rent, mortgage relief from CARES Act
Inquirer: 2020 was an ugly year in Harrisburg. Don’t expect 2021 to be much better.
Inquirer: Trump campaign brings new U.S. Supreme Court challenge over Pennsylvania’s 2020 election
Inquirer: 10,000 Pennsylvania votes are in limbo. They won’t change the outcome. They could still have a huge impact.
Inquirer: Why medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is some of the most costly in the U.S.
Post-Gazette: Despite state’s certification, GOP could oppose swearing-in of Jim Brewster in Pa. Senate
WHYY Newsworks: History will remember 2020. Here’s four ways it will shape Pa. politics moving forward
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. Supreme Court punts on challenge to Trump’s efforts to keep undocumented immigrants out of Census count 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Toomey, lawmakers resolve fed loan standoff, clearing path for COVID relief bill, report 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Under Pressure: Many Americans spend more on holidays than they are comfortable with | The Numbers Racket
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Year in review: Finding the good in 2020 | Five for the Weekend 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Dems’ bill would give grants to bars restaurants dealing with COVID restrictions | Monday Morning Coffee
Morning Call: Congress reaches deal on coronavirus relief bill after compromise over Toomey’s Fed restrictions
Morning Call: Pennsylvania LGBTQ survey shows health issues that also increase coronavirus risk
The Times Leader: Toomey hearing examines testing and treatment for Alzheimer’s patients
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Pa. Senator Bob Casey Receives COVID-19 Vaccine
PLSReporter: Dec. 18 COVID-19 Update: Slight decrease in hospitalizations, but still double spring high 
PLSReporter: Pa. unemployment rate drops to 6.6 percent
StateImpactPA: Study: PA heart failure patients near fracking were more likely to be hospitalized
National Journal: Chrissy Houlahan Confirms She Is Mulling Senate Bid 
The Hill: Trump campaign asks Supreme Court to overturn three rulings on Pennsylvania mail-in ballots 
Politico: Trump wants Supreme Court to overturn Pennsylvania election results 
Politico: Biden fills out incoming communications team with campaign veterans 
Politico: ‘An emergency’ like ‘we’ve never seen’: Inside Biden’s Cabinet confirmation drive
CNN: Hill leaders reach $900 billion Covid relief deal in breakthrough following partisan disputes

KYW Newsradio: Former prosecutor Vega announces run for district attorney against Krasner
KYW Newsradio: Some find optimism about Center City’s rebound from COVID-19 recession
KYW Newsradio: Philly officials: New federal relief package without aid to cities could have dire impact
KYW Newsradio: School board grades for Hite are down, and he isn’t arguing
Inquirer: Here’s how some Philadelphians plan to spend the $600 stimulus check 
Inquirer: School administrators say they were forced to resign over conservative Facebook posts
Billy Penn: Catering workers describe maskless parties and high-risk gigs, as biz owners hope for a safer spring
WHYY Newsworks: Philly advocates push Pa. lawmakers to adopt tiny homes building codes 
Philadelphia Tribune: Blacks fail to make inroads into high-paying, senior-level city jobs under Kenney 
Philly Voice: Pa. Supreme Court rules Philly D.A. Larry Krasner can continue handling Mumia Abu-Jamal appeals

Bucks Local News: Bucks County Republican delegation backs legislation to restore hospitality industry
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Commissioners urge limits on travel, social gatherings over holiday season to prevent spread of COVID-19 
Bucks Local News: Bucks County officials make recommendations on Christmas services, family gatherings  
Daily Local News: Former Chester County sheriff gets her day in court; on trial for theft 
Daily Local News: Chester County jury trials suspended, again
KYW Newsradio: Ex Chester County sheriff, deputy to stand trial on theft charges
KYW Newsradio: Bucks County officials discuss how to deal with businesses defying COVID-19 orders
KYW Newsradio: Montco, Bucks residents finally getting reimbursed for PFAS-contaminated water
KYW Newsradio: Montgomery County opens $5 million grant program for restaurants affected by COVID-19
Delco Daily Times: Former public defender sues over termination

Post-Gazette: Despite state’s certification, GOP could oppose swearing-in of Jim Brewster in Pa. Senate
Post-Gazette: Congress approves bill, inspired by Bethel Park family, to investigate unexplained deaths in children 
Post-Gazette: In Pittsburgh, efforts underway to improve supply and quality of face masks 
Post-Gazette: Long Live Belarus, demonstrators shout in Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette: Nine months in, impact of COVID-19 on education starting to show 
Post-Gazette: Virus tied to surge of overdoses in Allegheny County 
Post-Gazette:  Allegheny County reports more than 1,000 new COVID cases, 7 additional deaths
KDKA: City Of Pittsburgh Receives First Place Award At U.S. Conference Of Mayors Climate Protection Awards
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Several Restaurants Defy Statewide Restrictions, Stay Open For Indoor Dining
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 1,015 New Coronavirus Cases, 7 New Deaths
WESA: Coronavirus Vaccine Comes To Allegheny Health Network
WESA: With Unemployment Aid Set To Run Out, ‘I Have No Idea How I’m Going To Pay My Bills’
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports another 1,000-new covid case day, 7 deaths
City Paper: Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania now offers hormone therapy for transgender and non-binary patients
City Paper: Sharpsburg passes LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance, following a failed attempt this fall
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County

Observer-Reporter: Peters district magistrate announces Common Pleas Court candidacy
Observer-Reporter: Restaurants revolt against Gov. Wolf’s order suspending indoor dining
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 hospitalizations double spring’s totals, state says
Altoona Mirror: Hospitalizations continue climb
Altoona Mirror: Frontline workers get first vaccines
KDKA: Greene Co. District Attorney Says He Will Support Businesses Defying Governor Wolf’s Shutdown Orders
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County Sheriff won’t enforce Gov. Wolf’s new covid-19 orders
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County posts 410 covid-19 cases; 8 more deaths 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria commissioners approve 2021 budget with no tax increase
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria, Blair both see 10 new COVID-19 deaths; region’s numbers continue to climb

Citizens Voice: Citing consultant, Brown calls council’s budget numbers unreliable
Citizens Voice: Chamber leaders urge Wolf and legislators to pass stimulus packages
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre General Hospital frontline workers receive vaccines
Citizens Voice: COVID-19 vaccine not expected at area nursing homes for weeks
Citizens Voice: 152 new COVID-19 cases, four deaths reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
The Times Leader: WB General, Geisinger begin administering vaccine to staff
The Times Leader: 152 new cases of COVID-9 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday
Times-Tribune: Cartwright receives COVID-19 vaccine
Times-Tribune: Another Democrat considers bid for city tax collector
Times-Tribune: New COVID-19 cases in NEPA well below record high 

South Central 
Patriot News: Harrisburg bans evictions into 2021 under emergency ordinance
Patriot News: State oversight board rejects Harrisburg’s 5-year financial plan
York Dispatch: At least $175M offered for York City’s wastewater system
York Dispatch: Saturday update: York County again has 10 new COVID deaths
Carlisle Sentinel: Claremont sees nine more COVID-19 deaths; nursing home toll countywide at 166
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: Cumberland County reaches 250 total COVID-19 deaths in Saturday’s report; 198 new cases reported
LNP | LancasterOnline: What are your municipality’s rules for sidewalk snow removal? [Lancaster Watchdog]
LNP | LancasterOnline: ‘It’s maddening’: Lancaster County hemp growers critical of rule that can deem crops illegal
LNP | LancasterOnline: Pa. Department of Health reports 320 new cases in Lancaster County in past 24 hours [Sunday’s COVID-19 update]
York Daily Record: York County on brink of 20,000 cases of COVID

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Congress reaches deal on coronavirus relief bill after compromise over Toomey’s Fed restrictions
Morning Call: Lehigh County Judge Banach retiring after 17 years; “I took this job personally and it’s killing me.”
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Nearly 10,000 new cases reported Saturday
Express Times: Pa. county is offering select employees $750 if they get the COVID-19 vaccine
Express Times: The justice system is producing ‘bad outcomes,’ says Lehigh Valley group planning to do something about it
Express Times: Healthy and sick kept together at Lehigh County Jail as COVID-19 cases double, inmates say
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: 9,320 new cases, 216 new deaths; vaccines distributed to Lehigh Valley health care workers; Lehigh Valley crosses 30K mark with 416 new cases | Pa. COVID-19 county map (12/18/20) 
Reading Eagle: First vaccinations in Berks County delivered at Penn State Health St. Joseph
Reading Eagle: 290 new COVID cases in Berks County
WFMZ: Northampton County offers Gracedale employees incentive to get COVID-19 vaccine 
WFMZ: Local ride service programs among those affected by budget cuts in the Lehigh Valley
WFMZ: LVHN, St. Luke’s health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Biden taps ex-Erie County resident for climate post
Erie Times-News: Taxpayers won’t face a penalty on their 2021 tax bill if paid in full by end of new year
Erie Times-News: Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 220 new cases of COVID-19 in Erie County on Saturday
Centre Daily Times: How Centre County feels effects of climate change, and what local leaders are doing about it
Centre Daily Times: State College mayor joins others around country in letter urging Congress for more LGBTQ protections
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 19 update: Centre County adds 141 COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths, state Health Department says
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Council passes tax-hike budget
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: CNN: Williamsport 19th worst for COVID-19 spread
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: 4-3 vote for police contract
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: UPMC Williamsport administers Pfizer vaccine to frontline workers
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 92 new COVID-19 cases. Tioga County sees 21 new cases, Clinton 26, Sullivan 1

York Dispatch Editorial Board: Smucker showed courage through inaction
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Covering health care needs 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Class at top, hacks below 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Look for a Levi 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Save the monarch 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Wonder in the skies
Paul Muschick: COVID and indoor dining: Concerns are valid but data scarce to support closures
Paul Muschick: It took 52 years, but this Lehigh Valley veteran finally got his Bronze Star
Aasta Mehta and Morgan Cephas: Extend Medicare coverage for pregnant women 
Salena Zito: Livelihoods and liberty left in the lurch
Nick Sherman: Purchasing the Crossroads Center was right for Washington County
Ruth Ann Dailey: Bah Humbug to the lockdown?
Chris Kelly: Cracked carols for a COVID-19 Christmas
David M. Shribman: Happy Forefathers’ Day!
Charles Ellison and Ivan Walks: The COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Making sure they’re distributed fairly is the challenge. 
Gene Therapy: Started 2020 threatening to leave Twitter, ending that way, too
Peter Schorr: Four steps to navigate a physically distant holiday season if you’re struggling
Dick Polman: Lest we forget, Republicans were un-American long before Trump 
Paige Wolf: I’m immunocompromised. Please get the COVID-19 vaccine for my sake. 
Mary Adamson: Who will die today? A nurse’s typical day in the COVID ICU. | Expert Opinion
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: They got us through 2020!
Randy Bish: The COVID-19 ‘hoax’ explained for mask-deniers | Editorial Cartoon

2 Responses

  1. The idiotic constant horsephooey challenges to the recent November election is all we talk about whether it comes from Trump or the Pa State Republicans but the real issue is the decline in attendance in higher education in Pa. It seems people are getting freaked out by the ongoing stories of student loan debt that now according to the Wall Street Journal has eclipsed credit card debt and there appears to be less interest in higher ed according to the statistics. Bad news. Education whether is two year, four year, certificate programs is vital to economic well being and should be available to everybody.

  • Will Doug Mastriano Run For U.S. Senate?

    • No. Not Enough Support From Mainstream GOP. (91%)
    • Yes. Let Doug Be Doug. (9%)

    Total Voters: 892

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