December 4th Playbook

A Dauphin County Republican considers a run for Auditor General. Here is the Playbook.

DeFoor Weighs Run for Auditor General: The Dauphin County Controller says his professional experience plus his community involvement makes him a good candidate capable of reaching diverse demographics.

Pittsburgh to Host Dem Prez Hopefuls for Public Education Forum: Seven Democratic presidential candidates have confirmed their attendance for the “Public Education Forum 2020” on Dec. 14 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

The Full 2019 PA Society List of Events: The annual get together in New York City begins with events Thursday evening through Sunday morning.

Smucker Announces Reelection Bid: Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) announced that he will be seeking reelection for the 11th Congressional District. In a press release announcing his intentions on Tuesday, he said he looks forward to earning their vote and support again and pledged to elect “strong Republican leaders in our communities, regain the Republican majority in Congress and re-elect President Donald Trump.” Smucker won his most recent reelection bid in 2018 over Democrat Jess King by 18 points. 

Liv Bennett Endorses Jerry Dickinson for PA18: Newly elected Allegheny County Councilwoman Liv Bennett endorsed Jerry Dickinson for the 18th Congressional District, according to a release from the Dickinson campaign on Tuesday. Dickinson is challenging longtime Rep. Mike Doyle in the Democratic primary. Doyle ran unopposed in the 2018 midterms, but bested Democratic primary challenger Janis Brooks by 51 points in the primary. 

Manz Joins Bannon’s The War Room: Impeachment: Greg Manz, the 2016 Communications Director for President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, has joined former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon’s rapid response team at “The War Room: Impeachment.

Legislative Election Update: 

HD-147: State Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) announced that she will not seek another term in the state House. Toepel, who serves as the GOP Caucus chairwoman, was first elected in 2010 and won her most recent reelection bid in 2018 by 13 points

HD-104: State Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) announced that she is seeking an eighth term in the state House. She won her most recent reelection bid by 9 points

HD-06: Matthew Ferrence, an associate professor and chair of English at Allegheny College, announced that he is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the state House’s 6th District, according to the Erie Times-News. The district is represented by state Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford), who has held the seat since 2007 and ran unopposed in 2018. 

SD-49: Erie County Councilman Andre Horton announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state Senate’s 49th District, first reported by WJET. The district is represented by state Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), who bested incumbent state Sen. Sean Wiley (D-Erie) by 7 points in 2016.  

Harrisburg & DC   
Inquirer: West Philadelphia lawmaker Movita Johnson-Harrell expects to be charged with crimes, sources say
Inquirer: New Trump tariffs feed fears for Pa. steel, port jobs
Inquirer: The encouraging 2020 sign for Democrats buried in Philly’s election results 
Philly Clout: Donald Trump Jr. blasts Philly labor leader ‘Johnny Doc’ as a ‘swamp creature.’ He just visited the White House.
Patriot News: Shapiro to announce multiple charges filed against Philadelphia official
Patriot News: Cheyney University adds a biopharma company as a partner to aid in its long-term sustainability
Morning Call: Where Pennsylvania lawmakers stand on Trump impeachment as the probe shifts to next stage
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: High-ranking House Republican Toepel announces 2020 retirement
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Casey, who wants Trump impeached, votes to confirm POTUS’ pick to run U.S. Energy Dept.
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: In Fox News op-Ed, Pa. Rep. Scott Perry blames ‘deep state’ for Trump impeachment inquiry
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Overdose deaths down, Wolf says, renewing Pa.’s opioid disaster declaration for the 8th time
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘Enough is enough,’ Pa. Human Services’ secretary says of White House’s planned food stamps cuts 
AP: Prosecutor: ‘Buy-a-badge’ pipeline security plan was illegal
AP: Grand jury urges action in wake of alleged tax credit fraud
AP: School district to appeal ruling on use of ‘Redskins,’ logos
WITF: Pennsylvania restricted tobacco sales. Some tobacco control groups are still uneasy.
WITF: Pa.’s first-time hemp growers had high hopes, but it could take years to see if the crop is worth it 
PLSReporter: Amid deficit projections, fiscal conservatives warn of looming budgetary crisis
PLSReporter: New PennDOT secretary set to come at crossroads for agency, with senators airing concerns over local project funding
PLSReporter: Chester County DA charges Energy Transfer official in Mariner East investigation 
StateImpactPA: Chester County DA charges Energy Transfer security manager, others in scheme to use constables for Mariner East pipeline security
StateImpactPA: Suburban Pa. school districts see green in propane buses
KYW Newsradio: Wolf administration speaks out against proposed Trump policy that would impact SNAP food benefits
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania working to ease transition for veterans entering civilian workforce
Washington Post: Americans are split on impeachment, just like they were before the public hearings
The Hill: Yang says he would create safe opioid injection sites across the country

Philadelphia 
Inquirer: West Philadelphia lawmaker Movita Johnson-Harrell expects to be charged with crimes, sources say
Inquirer: Philadelphia City Council advanced a bill to change the controversial 10-year tax abatement
Inquirer: Former Philadelphia judge Lisa Rau won’t run against Attorney General Josh Shapiro in 2020 
Inquirer: A rush to change Philadelphia’s 10-year tax abatement stuck real estate developers with a tough choice
Inquirer: The encouraging 2020 sign for Democrats buried in Philly’s election results 
Inquirer: Philadelphia’s ‘Fair Workweek’ law gets delayed. Advocates call it ‘embarrassing.’
Inquirer: Inside Philly DA Larry Krasner’s new plan to drop low-level drug charges in favor of addiction treatment
Inquirer: Vox Media shuts down Curbed Philly
Philly Clout: Donald Trump Jr. blasts Philly labor leader ‘Johnny Doc’ as a ‘swamp creature.’ He just visited the White House.
WHYY Newsworks: Philly Council votes to shrink 10-year abatement, stoking real estate industry doomsday fears 
KYW Newsradio: Philly City Council gives preliminary approval to bill slashing 10-year tax abatement
KYW Newsradio: DA Larry Krasner responds to Maureen Faulkner’s claims that he can’t be impartial in Abu-Jamal case
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia City Council hears testimony on bill to slash 10-year tax abatement
Philadelphia Tribune: Real estate industry mobilizes to lobby City Council on 10-year tax abatement proposal
Philadelphia Tribune: Black-owned firms make up larger share of Philadelphia’s businesses than previously reported 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Former Philadelphia lawyer picked to head SEC cyber unit

SEPA
Daily Local News: Chesco D.A. files more criminal charges linked to Mariner East pipeline
Delco Daily Times: GOPers rip Dems for no-bid county audit
Delco Daily Times: DELCORA asks county council for approval to set up ratepayer trust fund
Delco Daily Times: Ridley budget calls for 1st tax hike in 5 years
Inquirer: Mariner East pipeline employees, contractors illegally paid state constables in ‘buy-a-badge scheme,’ DA says
WHYY Newsworks: Neshaminy to appeal state ruling on controversial nickname
Philly Voice: Mariner East pipeline employees accused of illegally paying Pa. constables to act as private security
Philadelphia Magazine: Chesco DA Announces More Charges in Mariner East Investigation 
Bucks Local News: Lower Makefield supervisor to chair communications and IT subcommittee for Marseglia-Harvie Transition Team
Pottstown Mercury: Phoenixville facing nearly 14% tax hike in 2020
Montgomery Media: Rep. DeLissio sets holiday open house on Dec. 13
Bucks Courier Times: Collett hosts ACA enrollment events in Hatfield, Warminster
Bucks Courier Times: Neshaminy BOE appeals mascot ruling 

Pittsburgh 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Council approves 2020 budget
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh Council advances plans for North Side pedestrian bridge
Post-Gazette: As Trump impeachment inquiry enters new phase, Reschenthaler calls it ‘broken’ beyond repair
Post-Gazette: Dem presidential candidates to face key education issues at Pittsburgh forum
Post-Gazette: City councilwoman’s reptile-regulation ordinance approved
WESA: Following Afghanistan Visit, Lamb Weighs In On Trump Foreign Policy, Military Pardons
KDKA: Local Politicians React To Impeachment Report Released By House Democrats
KDKA: City Council Passes Ordinance Putting Restrictions On Some Exotic Pets
KDKA: FBI Sends Warning To Pittsburgh, Says Region Is Susceptible To Holiday Scams 
KDKA: New Trend Shows Pittsburgh Police Officers Who Leave The City Now Returning
Pittsburgh Business Times: Peduto joins climate-action committee run by mayors
Pittsburgh Business Times: Mayor’s office: funds dwindling for URA projects
City Paper: Pittsburgh to host a racial justice town hall next week in East Liberty

SWPA 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Forum weighs pros, cons of legal pot
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Burns takes crack at luring petrochemical plant to county
Beaver County Times: U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb visits troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait over Thanksgiving
Beaver County Times: Shell: New steel tariffs would have “little-to-no” impact on Beaver County cracker plant
Beaver County Times: U.S. Attorney Scott Brady names Mike Warfield as Western District’s law enforcement coordinator
Beaver County Times: Democratic presidential hopefuls coming to Pittsburgh for public education forum
Observer-Reporter: O’Neal to host open house

NEPA
Citizens Voice: Reduced debt payment could lower county tax hike
Citizens Voice: Brown names McCormick new city administrator
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County sued over use of prisoners at recycling center 
The Times Leader: More Luzerne County budget cuts proposed
The Times Leader: Updated: Union, lawmakers demand safety improvements at SCI Dallas
The Times Leader: Union: Assaults up at crowded SCI-Dallas; DOC defends stats, practices

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County commissioners adopt 2020 budget with no tax increase
Carlisle Sentinel: Bill Tracker: Freezing property taxes for senior citizens
Patriot News: Rep. Sue Helm plans to seek an eighth term in the Pa. House of Representatives; ‘I like what I’m doing’
Patriot News: ‘We’ve been blind to the risks for too long’: Security concerns rise after shooting at Pa. judge’s office
York Dispatch: York City financial recovery exit denied months ago, state says
York Dispatch: Former York County judge to avoid conviction on DUI charge
York Daily Record: 5 things about York employees’ residency requirements

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Allentown reduces overtime pay, caps raises ahead of final vote on 2020 budget
Morning Call: Lawsuit: Raising property taxes easier in Allentown due to misleading ballot question
Morning Call: Emmaus looking at 9.6% property tax hike, plus a sewer rate increase
Morning Call: Where Pennsylvania lawmakers stand on Trump impeachment as the probe shifts to next stage
Reading Eagle: Economist tells Greater Reading Chamber that economic expansion will continue in 2020 
Reading Eagle: Reading City Council proposes zoning changes that would aid Alvernia’s downtown expansion
Reading Eagle: Bern OKs $4.05 million budget with tax bump 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Erie-area candidates emerge for state offices
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Mayor, finance committee clash over proposed budget
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Council to review city property name and renaming ordinance
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Comms approve loan to extend public sewage
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: No-tax increase budget passes; borough looks to update park 

Opinion  
Inquirer Editorial Board: Pa. is the Rust Belt of higher education
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Safe, smart and sensible: Pa. should expand drug disposal pouch program
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Keep Obamacare in place
Mike Zabel: One lesson of the Philly refinery disaster: Executives shouldn’t be rewarded for that failure
John L. Micek: How Pa’s ongoing debate over nat.gas is Frack-turing Democrats | Tuesday Morning Coffee 
Gary Blumenthal: Pa. Senate bill keeping Polk, White Haven centers open has serious flaws. This is why
Kate Shaw: Pennsylvania can turn its higher education disaster around 
Post-Gazette Commentary: Commentary: Is Donald Trump a better leader than Abraham Lincoln? Republicans say yes
Jeffrey Bryer: A doctor’s prescription for Medicare patients seeking a better deal
Will Bunch: Reagan’s forgotten Iran-Contra escape may reveal more about Trump’s fate than Watergate

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