December 4th Playbook

Rep. G.T. Thompson was elected to serve as the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee in the House, while former state Rep. Matt Gabler is now the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. Here is the Playbook. 

 

Thompson Elected Top Republican on Ag Committee: The Centre County Republican was elected by the Republican Steering Committee to serve as the GOP Leader of the House Agriculture Committee in the 117th Congress.

Gabler to Head PA Lumber Trade Group: The recently retired state rep began as the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association (PFPA) Executive Director on Dec. 1.

As of Friday morning, we still are waiting for a call in a state Senate race and multiple congressional candidates have also yet to concede. 

 

Congressional Races 

All incumbents have secured another term in Congress, although a few challengers have yet to concede in their races. 

PA7: Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) has defeated GOP challenger Lisa Scheller. The AP called the race for Wild on Nov. 6. As of Friday morning, Wild leads by 16,163 votes (or by 4.2 points) with 98% of estimated votes reported. Scheller has not conceded in the race.

PA8: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) has defeated GOP challenger Jim Bognet. The AP called the race for Cartwright on Nov. 6. As of Friday morning, Cartwright leads by 12,213 votes (or by 3.6 points) with 95% of estimated votes reported. Bognet has not conceded in the race.

PA17: Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) has defeated GOP challenger Sean Parnell. The AP called the race for Lamb on Nov. 7. As of Friday morning, Lamb leads by 2.2 points (9,969 votes) with 97% of estimated votes reported. Parnell has not conceded in the 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 89 votes, as of Friday morning, according to DOS

 

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Pandemic, partisan attacks exposed gaps in Pa.’s new mail-in voting law
Spotlight PA: Pa. hospitals on the brink of a staffing crisis as COVID-19 surges
KDKA: State Senate Race Between Jim Brewster And Nicole Ziccarelli May Be Decided In Court 
AP: Supreme Court again asked to block Biden win in Pennsylvania 
AP: Pennsylvania hospital beds filling up amid virus surge 
WITF: As GOP State Senators Held Public Event, White House Warned Of COVID ‘Red-Zone’ 
York Daily Record: Pa. legislators say they’ll investigate election but can’t convene early or appoint electors
York Daily Record: 2 Pa. senators have COVID-19 after Gettysburg hearing with Giuliani
Patriot News: Pa. GOP legislative leaders pledge to look into concerns about 2020 presidential election
Patriot News: Piano-playing Pa. reps put up Christmas tree in Capitol building at night 
Patriot News: Hoping to promote civility in Pa. House, lawmakers form unique bipartisan caucus to work through their differences
Patriot News: COVID-19 closes Pa. Capitol Complex once again, starting Monday    
Patriot News: Pa. school districts will face higher pension costs in 2021-22
Patriot News: More than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases reported, setting 1-day record
Patriot News: Where are Pennsylvania’s 386,837 coronavirus cases? Dec. 3 map, county-by-county breakdown 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Capitol complex closed to public because of rising COVID-19 cases 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: COVID-19 in Pa.: Pennsylvania charts highest one-day total at 11,406 cases of COVID-19
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. lawmakers renew bipartisan push on behalf of incarcerated women | Friday Morning Coffee
PLSReporter: Pa. Supreme Court declines to halt certification 
PLSReporter: Group of GOP lawmakers request special session on election issues 
PLSReporter: State eyes hospital preparedness as Southwest and Keystone regions anticipate staffing shortages
PLSReporter: Capitol Complex closed to public due to COVID-19
Inquirer: Pa. law paves way for ‘advanced recycling’ of plastics, but environmentalists remain skeptical 
Inquirer: Pa. approves Peco plan to offer hourly rates to encourage customers to shift energy use to off-peak periods 
Inquirer: Jobless workers avoid busy signals at the Pa. unemployment office thanks to this app
Fox News: GOP lawmakers ask SCOTUS to block final certification of PA votes count
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania recommends schools halt in-person learning if they exceed new COVID-19 case thresholds
WHYY Newsworks: $1 billion in relief sat around while Pa. businesses struggled 
The Hill: Pennsylvania Supreme Court refuses to halt GOP defeat in election lawsuit 
The Hill: Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters 
KDKA: Pennsylvania Republicans Want Gov. Tom Wolf To Call A Special Session On The 2020 Election

 

Philadelphia 
Inquirer: Comcast executive David L. Cohen is eyeing possible jobs in the Biden administration 
Inquirer: Philly’s Eviction Diversion Program shows some early success 
Inquirer: Facing a grim budget, Philadelphia School District may need to lay off employees 
Inquirer: Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days as cases surge in Pa. and nationally; Philly airport coronavirus testing to open
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia City Council moves to protect restaurants that rent space, Black-owned businesses
KYW Newsradio: PennDOT studies large-bridge tolls to fund repair, replacement
KYW Newsradio: Hite wants teachers prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine
KYW Newsradio: Philly has new strategic plan to end HIV epidemic 
Philadelphia Tribune: Kenney offers new tax relief for businesses; head of Black Chamber says it’s ‘overdue’ 
Philadelphia Gay News: School District of Philadelphia forms virtual gender and sexuality alliance
Philadelphia Business Journal: The 10 industries in the Philadelphia region that secured the most PPP funding
Philadelphia Business Journal: These Philadelphia-area businesses were approved for the maximum $10M PPP loan
WHYY Newsworks: Kensington residents to speak out about journalist voyeurs in their neighborhood
Billy Penn: Over 10% of Philly’s student Access Centers are shut down by COVID, and staff is raising safety concerns  

 

SEPA
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks sets Dec. 9 for 2021 budget hearing 
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County to urge masks in local parks 
Bucks County Courier Times: Co-responders join police in Bensalem
Inquirer: A new Bucks County program aims to pair police officers with social service workers
KYW Newsradio: In Montco, COVID-19 hospitalizations rise as staffing stretched thin
KYW Newsradio: In Bensalem, social workers to respond to certain 911 calls alongside— or instead of— police
WFMZ: Township in Bucks says it’s taking big step toward police reform
Delco Daily Times: State Rep. O’Mara, capital pay tribute to Delco’s Malinowski a year after firefighter’s death 
Delco Daily Times: COVID reaches highest daily case count in Delco

 

Pittsburgh 
KDKA: State Senate Race Between Jim Brewster And Nicole Ziccarelli May Be Decided In Court 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Southwestern Hospitals Will Have Staffing Shortages In The Next Week, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine Says 
KDKA: Allegheny County Court System Extends Order To Limit In-Person Proceedings 
KDKA: Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Firearms Division Resuming In-Person Appointments 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports Over 1,000 New Daily Cases, Director Says ‘It Pains Me To Report These Numbers’
Tribune Review: Pa. Supreme Court denies Mike Kelly, Parnell mail-in voting challenge
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh ranked among top cities for LGBTQ inclusivity 
Tribune Review: Staffing shortages threaten Western Pa. hospitals
Tribune Review: Allegheny County passes 30,000 coronavirus cases 
WESA: City Preliminarily Approves COVID Sick Leave Bill, Critics Worry About Cost To Businesses 
WESA: Western PA Voters Reflect On Election Results — And What Comes Next 
WESA: Allegheny County Passes Somber Milestone, Reports More Than 1K Coronavirus Cases 
Post-Gazette: Lawsuit seeking ouster of city Councilman Ricky Burgess is thrown out 
Post-Gazette: Port Authority will use $5.7 million EPA grant to buy electric buses
Post-Gazette: PennDOT delays six Allegheny County projects worth $15.5 million to $28.5 million 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Southwest Pa. hospitals could see staffing shortages in a week 
Pittsburgh Business Times: PPP lending in Pittsburgh metro: 32K loans for $4.1B-plus 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Levine: At least one-third of Pittsburgh region’s hospitals warn about staffing levels
City Paper: Crafton Borough passes LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance 
City Paper: An ongoing tally of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in Allegheny County

 

SWPA 
Observer-Reporter: State treasurer hopes to salvage PennDOT funding for roads, bridges 
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 surge in Allegheny County expected to worsen in December
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: County set to avoid use of eminent domain for 911 radio towers 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State tops 10,000 daily COVID-19 cases, region adds multiple deaths
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County sees record 400 new covid-19 cases, surpasses 10,000 total cases
Altoona Mirror: Blair office to get help with COVID-19 reports
Altoona Mirror: County DA’s office reopens
Beaver County Times: Beaver County adds 200 new COVID cases

 

NEPA
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Election Inquiry Committee takes a heated turn 
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre budget kept off agenda, still the focus of city council’s meeting 
The Times Leader: Pedri describes Luzerne County’s fast-rising coronavirus deaths as ‘astonishing’ 
The Times Leader: Record 362 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in county; death toll tops 300
Times-Tribune: Scranton Mayor Cognetti self-quarantining 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County employers benefit from $96 million in pandemic aid
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record high
Citizens Voice: Council unsatisfied with Brown’s offer to cut fee increases 15% 
Citizens Voice: Record 362 new COVID-19 cases in county, death toll tops 300

 

South Central 
Patriot News: Piano-playing Pa. reps put up Christmas tree in Capitol building at night 
Patriot News: COVID-19 surge puts Harrisburg region hospitals on brink of staffing crisis
York Daily Record: 2 Pa. senators have COVID-19 after Gettysburg hearing with Giuliani 
York Dispatch: York City’s top cop invites public to join him in ‘walking the walk’ twice a week
Carlisle Sentinel: Sunoco Pipeline holds public meeting, but those who fought for it are still unsatisfied 
Carlisle Sentinel: Levine warns of hospitalizations as cases rise to a record high in Pa.; region reports hospital staffing issues 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: Single-day record of 304 new cases of COVID-19 reported for Cumberland County Thursday
LNP | LancasterOnline: 8,700 unfilled jobs in Lancaster County mean unemployment claims could fall much lower, expert says 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Three Mile Island closer to clean-up after license transfer approved 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Coalition that includes Lancaster County expects staffing shortage in its hospitals in the next week 
LNP | LancasterOnline: 18 residents have died, at least 50 infected during COVID-19 outbreak at Lancaster County nursing home 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County inches near record with 378 new positive virus cases in 24 hours [Thursday’s COVID-19 update] 

 

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: State senator representing Berks County to introduce plan to help save PennDOT projects and jobs 
Reading Eagle: State Sen. David Argall tests negative for coronavirus; offices to remain open to public 
Reading Eagle: Berks County officials push for direct relief in next coronavirus stimulus package 
Reading Eagle: How is Berks County’s transportation plan? New survey lets the public weigh in 
Reading Eagle: Pa. sets coronavirus pandemic record with 11,406 new cases in a single day
Morning Call: Phillips Armstrong kicks off campaign for second term as Lehigh County executive 
Morning Call: Allentown authority relieved to turn page on challenge of NIZ’s constitutionality 
Morning Call: St. Luke’s and LVHN say they are OK as Pennsylvania coronavirus surge leaves some counties without ICU beds 
Morning Call: A COVID-19 vaccine that you drink? That’s what a company expanding in Allentown is working on
WFMZ: Northampton County Council approves budget, keeps taxes steady 
WFMZ: Berks County commissioners advocate for more federal COVID-19 relief funds  
WFMZ: Report: Some Allentown residents in NIZ paying rents close to three quarters of their monthly incomes  
WFMZ: Health officials monitoring rise of COVID-19 cases in Berks 
WFMZ: Lehigh Valley hospitals concerned but prepared for COVID-19 surge
Express Times: Are tolls coming to more Pa. bridges? It’s being eyed as option to address funding woes.
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: More than 11K new cases shatters record; hospitals see bed and staff shortage; 390 new Lehigh Valley cases | Pa. COVID-19 county map (12/03/20)

 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Pa. Supreme Court refuses to stay election ruling that went against U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly 
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Local leaders call for cooperation amid COVID surge
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: County budget brings no tax hike
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Council turning all stones in search of 2021 budget cuts
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: County water, sewer budget approved with rate increases for some
Centre Daily Times: Penn State signs on to international letter, urging G20 leaders to fight climate change
Centre Daily Times: Why State College earned a perfect equality index score for LGBTQ community protections. Again.
Centre Daily Times: Dec. 3 update: Pa. shatters record with more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases; Centre has 65

 

Opinion  
John Baer: If Joe Biden wants Pa. Sen. Bob Casey in his administration, who does the governor pick to replace him? 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: As COVID-19 crisis worsens, Lancaster County residents and other Americans need Congress to deliver relief
York Dispatch Editorial Board: A dose, a relief, in sight
Inquirer Editorial Board: Putting more food on more tables is job for Congress
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Branded for life; it’s wrong 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The promise of possibility
Paul Muschick: Coronavirus stimulus: Pennsylvania has stashed hundreds of millions that could help businesses
Larry Platt: The Age of Denial, Philly-Style  
Albert Eisenberg and Spencer Landis: What Reopening Plan? 
Francis Cretarola: Say goodbye to your favorite restaurants. There’s no relief coming. 
Eric Levitz: How Biden Could (Maybe) Fix His Senate Problem With One Weird Trick
Will Bunch: Absolute pardon power for a corrupt narcissist like Trump was a giant goof. How can we fix it? 
Trudy Rubin: Biden team should not let Trump empower Taliban in Afghanistan 
John L. Micek: A 9/11’s worth of Americans died in a single day from COVID-19, and Trump abandoned the field 
Sandra L. Strauss: We say America is a ‘Christian nation.’ Here’s what that would look like if we really meant it
Ana White: Don’t buy the myth of pandemic productivity. Look after yourself. These are trying times

December 4th, 2020 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “December 4th Playbook”

  1. Bono says:

    Hypocrite Sean Parnell, one of eight Republicans suing the state over its mail-in balloting law, arguing that it’s unconstitutional, PRAISED the very same law on Twitter in April 2020, saying it put “in place” a system that “can safeguard public health & protect the voting process.”

    “Use it!” Parnell, who lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-17th District on Election Day, wrote of the state’s no-excuse balloting law.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision threw out an order from the Commonwealth Court that intended to stay the state’s certifying process for November’s general election. In its decision, the state Supreme Court said that the petitioners should have filed any challenge to the mail-in voting law months earlier and not after two elections were conducted using it.

    Parnell and Mike Kelly argue there’s a reasonable probability the high court will take their case because the state Supreme Court violated their due process rights in its decision.

    The filing goes back through the petitioners’ argument that the way the legislature enacted Act 77 was incorrect, and that a change to voting had to be done by constitutional amendment.

    However, those are the same arguments that the state Supreme Court already rejected. The filing also suggests that, contrary to what the court ruled, that the petitioners lacked standing to challenge Act 77 prior to the general election.

    Parnell’s head is stuck in Trump’s big ass. No wonder he won’t concede.

  2. Thomas Paine says:

    Defund police and socialism were big hits for Republicans this past cycle. Bognet was a horrible candidate who ran a gimmicky campaign and almost won but for 3.6 points. Bognet’s only issue aside from the buzzwords socialism and defund police was Cartwright was a successful attorney. Like it is bad to have success in a profession and then want to go into public service. Yet, despite a mediocre and hapless campaign Bognet came close but as the saying goes close only counts in pitching horseshoes.

  3. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    Trump continues to undermine democracy. Despicable behavior. Will Trump sell nuclear secrets to Russia after he is booted from office?

    1. Denny Bonavita says:

      Trump will probably tell the Russians lies about our nuclear secrets; he lies about everything else.

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