December 23rd Playbook

A professor at the University of Pennsylvania announced that he has formed a Senate exploratory committee, while Treasurer-elect Stacy Garrity announced her transition committee. Here is the Playbook. 

Penn Professor Launches Senate Exploratory Committee: Eric Orts, a professor at Penn’s Wharton School of Business, announced that he has formed an exploratory committee for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, during an interview on the Michael Smerconish show.

Garrity Announces Transition Committee: Treasurer-elect Stacy Garrity announced the 61 members of her transition team. Rep. G.T. Thompson, Christine Toretti, Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, and Calvin Tucker will serve as honorary chairs, while Mike DeVanney will serve as chair and Joel Jukus serves as executive director. 

Maloney Names PA-Based Strategist As DCCC’s Top Staffer: Politico reports that incoming Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) has selected Tim Persico, a Pennsylvania-based strategist, as the committee’s top staffer for the 2022 election cycle. 

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

Harrisburg & DC   
WITF: Top Stories Of 2020: Here’s How Pennsylvania Laid The Last Brick To The White House.
Patriot News: What Pa. lawmakers liked and loathed in the $900B coronavirus relief package
Patriot News: New COVID-19 cases trend downward in Pa., although deaths continue to reflect surge
New York Magazine: The Full(est Possible) Story of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Congress passes massive ‘first step’ in pandemic relief with $900B package 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Energy projects statewide receive COVID restart grants | Wednesday Morning Coffee
AP: SEPTA union says quarantine leave policy not enough
Inquirer: Like ‘pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill.’ Even under Biden, Democrats’ plans face big obstacles.
Inquirer: In rural Pa., largely untouched by COVID-19 in the spring, deaths are now surging: ‘It’s just scary’
PLSReporter: Philadelphia extends “Safer at Home” restrictions to Jan. 15
PLSReporter: Dec. 22 COVID-19 Update: 7,962 new positives; health officials ask Pennsylvanians to stay home for the holidays
StateImpactPA: PA environmental groups praise Biden’s EPA pick 
StateImpactPA: Groups sue EPA over PA coal plant air pollution in Indiana County 
StateImpactPA: State gives $2.5 million to Pitt to study health impacts of fracking 
StateImpactPA: Pennsylvania is on the cusp of a solar energy boom. Some communities want to fight it. 
The Hill: Pennsylvania Trump supporter charged with voter fraud
CNHI News: Wolf: COVID relief will help but doesn’t go far enough
Politico: Trump orchestrates final loyalty test in dying bid to subvert election
Politico: New DCCC chair draws diversity warning from colleagues as he names top staffer

Inquirer: Philly to extend ban on high-risk indoor activities as officials anticipate holiday case surge
Inquirer: Overtime for Philly workers hit a record $200 million this year. A state oversight board wants a plan to reduce those costs.
Inquirer: Former Inquirer columnist Stu Bykofsky’s defamation lawsuit against The Inquirer can continue, Philly judge says
KYW Newsradio: Philly announces some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in January
KYW Newsradio: Mummers plan to strut, protest along Two Street despite canceled parade 
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia COVID-19 restrictions extended in anticipation of post-holiday spike 
WHYY Newsworks: Transit union calls out SEPTA for ‘Scrooge-like’ quarantine policy
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia extends ban on indoor dining, theaters and more
Philadelphia Business Journal: ‘We just want things done the right way’: Philadelphia-area bankers hope for smoother rollout of PPP 2.0
Philly Voice: Philly extends stringent COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 15
Billy Penn: Update: New details released showing who got PPP loans in Philly
Billy Penn: Thousands say they’re going to the Mummers march on New Year’s Day 

Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks lawmakers propose $500M in relief aid for Pa. hospitality industry 
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks sees COVID-19 cases slow, deaths rise 
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Commissioners approve 2021 budget; spending plan holds the line on taxes 
Bucks Local News: Falls Township extends outdoor dining through June 2021
Bucks Local News: DEC. 21 BUCKS COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE: 56 deaths reported; new cases decline
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County records 27 more coronavirus deaths over 7-day period
Daily Local News: Lawsuit shines spotlight on COVID-19 deaths at Southeastern Veterans Center
Daily Local News: Chester County coroner: Numbers will ‘get worse before they get better’ 

Tribune Review: Peduto: ‘$600 is not enough’ to help families struggling during pandemic
Tribune Review: Former Pittsburgh dentist among Trump’s late-term pardons
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh police brass tell city council they’re committed to reform 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports 10 new covid deaths, 797 new cases
KDKA: Pittsburgh Leaders Concerned As COVID-19 Relief Bill Excludes Cities From Funding
KDKA: Court Cases This Fall Preview Hotly Contested Races For Judicial Office In 2021
KDKA: Pa. Lawmakers, Leaders React To Passing Of $900B Coronavirus Relief Package 
KDKA: President Donald Trump Pardons 15 People, Including Pittsburgh Dentist Convicted Of Health Care Fraud
KDKA: Pittsburgh Dept. Of Mobility And Infrastructure Given $100,000 Grant To Help Restaurants & Small Businesses
KDKA: Pitt Awarded $2.5M Contract To Study Potential Health Effects Of Fracking
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 797 New Cases, 10 Additional Deaths
Post-Gazette: Alfonso Costa — local ex-dentist, developer and Ben Carson friend — is one of several pardoned by Trump 
Post-Gazette: Pitt to lead shale gas health study looking at possible ties to childhood cancers
Post-Gazette: Federal stimulus includes $10B for roads and bridges, including $410M for PennDOT  
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pittsburgh city officials, chamber of commerce react to new federal Covid-19 relief package
Pittsburgh Business Times: $2.5M state grant funds health research into natural gas drilling

Altoona Mirror: Van Zandt VA center to get doses of vaccine
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County issues final covid-relief grants 
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioners rescind covid grant to Salem gym, allow North Huntingdon to keep money
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: New COVID-19 cases level out, death surge continues
Observer-Reporter: Restaurant owners rally in Bethel Park to keep businesses open 
Observer-Reporter: Levine says vaccinations will start at Pennsylvania nursing homes next week

The Times Leader: Baker to serve on election integrity and reform committee
The Times Leader: Cartwright releases details of coronavirus relief/government funding bill 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri chats virtually with citizens during annual forum 
The Times Leader: 86 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County; 7,962 statewide
Citizens Voice: Pedri: County coped with challenges in “a difficult year” 
Citizens Voice: County’s daily COVID-19 case number dips below 100
Times-Tribune: Experts: Stimulus check good for some, not for most
Times-Tribune: State Dept. of Health reports another 322 regional COVID-19 cases, seven deaths

South Central  
York Dispatch: Helfrich: Toomey ‘was just wrong’ to ax lending from COVID-19 package
York Dispatch: York City Council member scuttles sweeping budget overhaul 
York Dispatch: 8 new COVID-19 deaths push York County’s total to 350
York Daily Record: City council mulls $235M sale of sewage plant in chaotic meeting, 2021 budget stalled  
LNP | LancasterOnline: Another 193 people in Lancaster County test positive for COVID-19 [Tuesday’s COVID-19 updates]
Carlisle Sentinel: Harrisburg region receives highest number of business violations over COVID-19 compliance
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 63 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Tuesday on a day test result totals were lower than normal

Lehigh Valley      
WFMZ: Reading Downtown Improvement District to discontinue Jan. 1 
WFMZ: Vaccine rollout in Berks continues with urgency, optimism
Morning Call: With stimulus set to revive PPP, many Lehigh Valley businesses counting on loans to endure COVID winter 
Express Times: Idea to drop Bethlehem’s open-container law to encourage bar patronage met with skepticism 
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: 7,962 new cases; deaths top 14K; December now state’s 2nd deadliest month of pandemic as cases plateau | Pa. COVID-19 county case map (12/22/20)
Reading Eagle: Shock and disbelief follows Reading City Council decision to end the Downtown Improvement District 
Reading Eagle: 10 Berks restaurants ordered closed for defying COVID-19 dine-in shutdown order, Pa. says 
Reading Eagle: COVID death toll for Berks County in December reaches 80, coroner says 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Kelly faults Wolf over bipartisan mail-in voting law 
Erie Times-News: City hopes 2021 calendars remind residents of important resources, dates and information 
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: State: More COVID-19 deaths in Lycoming, Clinton and Tioga counties
Patriot News: COVID-19 relief package could bring commercial air service back to Williamsport
Centre Daily Times: Police? Or social services? State College Borough Council passes budget during heated meeting
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 22 update: Centre County adds 36 COVID-19 cases, 1 death; Pa. has 7,962 positives

Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania should let restaurants keep sales tax to help them stay afloat
Erin Cosgrove: Pennsylvania needs more jobs. RGGI will create them — by investing in energy efficiency
Inquirer Editorial Board: Leave city planning to the planners instead of City Councilmembers 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Philly school board nominating process has lacked transparency
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Law enforcement must be consistent 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Remembering seniors in the holiday rush
Rochelle K. Kaplan: Why important Pennsylvania legislation rarely sees the light of day
Micah Brown: Sacrifice is what leadership looks like. Why don’t politicians get that? 
Solomon Jones: At the end of a tumultuous year, there’s one thing Americans can agree on 
Harry Campbell: Salt for snow and ice: Effects on waterways not very nice
Tiffany Montgomery: Real health-care equity means diversity everywhere — including nursing school faculty 
Will Bunch Newsletter: Put out-of-control cops high on 2021 agenda 
Trudy Rubin: How can Biden approach the Russia mess that Trump left in his lap? 
Inga Saffron: Developer’s condos would destroy South Philly’s famed Black ‘Doctors’ Row’

3 Responses

  1. Penn Professor is very impressive for Senate. Can he raise the needed capital to be taken seriously? Or is he a candidate of the Penn faculty lounge? Time will tell but he has an impressive resume and start.

  • 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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