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December 8th Playbook

State Sen. Scott Martin will reportedly make an announcement on Saturday regarding his potential candidacy for governor. Here is the Playbook.


‘Sen. Scott Martin hints he will officially join Pa. governor’s race ‘soon’’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a two-term state lawmaker from Lancaster County and longtime local political figure hinted over the weekend that he will soon jump into the crowded Republican primary race for Pennsylvania governor.”

‘Pa. Senate election probe contract doesn’t say if the public will see the results, among other things’: WITF reports that “multiple federal investigations as well as court rulings and state-mandated audits of ballots from every Pennsylvania county have turned up no evidence of election problems that were out of the ordinary. The Department of State has said the last several election cycles ran smoothly. Even so, Pa. Senate Republicans are paying over a quarter million dollars in taxpayer money to an Iowa-based company, Envoy Sage LLC, to investigate those elections.”

‘Senator Laughlin endorses Pa. businessman for governor after dropping out of race’: WJET reports that “Senator Dan Laughlin has announced his endorsement for Pennsylvania Governor. Senator Laughlin confirmed he will not be running for Pennsylvania Governor, but will be endorsing businessman Dave White.”

‘Pa. House GOP lawmaker proposes Santa tax credit’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “State Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-Wayne, circulated a memo on Tuesday asking his colleagues to support his proposal to provide “a modest tax credit for those hiring Santas or Santas working on their own to help offset Santa-related costs.””

‘Feds approve Pennsylvania’s plan to distribute more than $1 billion in pandemic funds for Medicaid services’: WESA reports that “federal officials have approved a spending plan from the Wolf administration to distribute approximately $1.2 billion to home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities.”

‘Reports show local governments spent millions on lobbying efforts’: City & State PA reports that “a set of new reports from the Commonwealth Foundation show that local governments have paid upwards of $42 million to firms and other organizations that perform lobbying work over the last two decades – and may have spent a whole lot more.”

‘Justices take up Pennsylvania’s deadly force rules for cops’: The Associated Press reports that “the pending homicide case against a former Philadelphia police officer went before Pennsylvania’s high court on Tuesday, where justices appeared conflicted about whether and when they might change state law on police use of deadly force during arrests.”

‘SDOL board member Luis Morales considers joining 96th District race to represent Lancaster city in Harrisburg’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a School District of Lancaster board member is considering jumping into the 96th House District race, potentially creating a three-way Democratic primary race next year. Luis Morales, 32, said he is “exploring” a challenge to longtime state Rep. Mike Sturla. Morales created a political action committee last month to support a potential campaign.”

‘Dr. Oz May Be In, But PA’s 2022 GOP Senate Primary is Far From Settled’: Decision Desk HQ reports that “what a month it’s been in the Republican primary for the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate race. The front-runner is gone, a daytime TV star is in, and even more candidates loom on the horizon.”

‘Pa. Senate and governor’s races’: WHYY provides “an update on the Senate and gubernatorial races, the candidates and what’s at stake for the battleground state.”

‘Pa. review of medical cannabis vape products confuses and worries patients’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “an abruptly announced “review” of medical marijuana vape products by the Pennsylvania health department has medical marijuana patients wondering whether their medication is safe to use, and why state officials chose now to examine products that have been previously approved.”

‘Omicron variant detected in Pennsylvania. Here’s what you need to know.’: Spotlight PA reports on “what you need to know” about the Omicron variant in Pennsylvania. 

‘Capitol Christmas tradition returns with Rotunda tree’: PennLive reports that “a 20-foot tall Douglas fir Christmas tree now stands lit in the Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pa., after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled last year’s tree display.”

‘DA Krasner’s statement that the city has no crime crisis generates a debate – and a backlash’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “in his remarks Monday, Krasner focused on a strange phenomenon that he rightly pointed out was unfolding not only in Philadelphia but in other big cities: Even as gun homicides have soared to record numbers, crimes without firearms have been flat or falling. His comments left many shaking their heads but also added new fuel to a vexing debate among activists, residents, and academics about the nature of gunpoint violence in the era of COVID-19.”

‘Ex-Harrisburg official raises $10M for ‘Yelp for government’ review service’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a former Pennsylvania chief procurement officer has raised $10 million in venture capital to expand Procurated, his online government-vendor review platform, which asks state and local agency staff to rate the services they buy from private contractors.”

‘Council President Darrell L. Clarke wants to give lawmakers more influence over development’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “City Council may soon gain more influence over land use and development decisions in Philadelphia after a committee on Monday advanced legislation by Council President Darrell L. Clarke that could reshape the zoning board, an arcane but powerful panel that often has final say over whether proposed developments can move forward.”

‘Playing loud music could soon cost you a ticket in Philly’: WHYY reports that “the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Streets and Services held a hearing on the future of some unique traffic enforcement measures in the city.”

‘Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa leaving city government to head JEVS’: KYW Newsradio reports that “The Kenney administration is losing a key player. Cynthia Figueroa, deputy mayor of the Office of Children and Families, is leaving Philadelphia government to take over the reins of the social service agency JEVS Human Services.”

‘Councilmembers vote to protect hundreds of historic Roxborough homes, businesses’: KYW Newsradio reports that “a Philadelphia City Council committee took action Tuesday to protect more than 400 historic properties in Roxborough.”

‘Prosecutors drop charges against treasurer of PAC with ties to Gainey’: WTAE reports that “the Allegheny County district attorney has dropped a criminal charge against the treasurer of a political action committee with ties to Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Ed Gainey.”

‘Pittsburgh will officially make parking in bike lanes illegal’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “Pittsburgh City Council passed an ordinance on Dec. 7 that will outlaw parking in bike lanes in city limits, with some exceptions for paratransit vehicles dropping off or picking up disabled people, and pre-scheduled events. The ordinance, introduced by Pittsburgh City Councilor Bobby Wilson (D-North Side), passed council unanimously by a 9-0 vote.”

‘As Daneri resigns as DA, his successor will be the first woman in that role in Erie County’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Jack Daneri, county’s top prosecutor since 2009, is leaving with two years left in four-year term. First Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Hirz to step into job, run for full term in 2023.”

‘Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri reflects on tenure as resignation nears’: The Erie Times-News reports that “as he prepares to resign at end of 2021, Erie County DA Jack Daneri reflects on 12 years in office. His top aide, Elizabeth Hirz, will succeed him.”

‘1st Assistant Erie Co. DA Elizabeth Hirz to be county’s first female DA as Daneri resigns’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Erie County DA Jack Daneri is resigning at end of 2021 with 2 years left in term. His top aide, Elizabeth Hirz, will be DA and first woman in post.”

‘Washington council switches to virtual meetings this week’: The Observer-Reporter reports that “Washington City Council will hold virtual meetings this week after city employees tested positive for COVID-19.”

‘Luzerne County mail ballot return rate questioned’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County’s Election Board plans to randomly survey some of the thousands of voters who did not return Nov. 2 general election mail ballots even though they were recorded as requesting and receiving them.”

‘Carlisle Truth and Reconciliation Commission to hold first of monthly sessions Thursday’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Carlisle Borough’s first “Thinking About Race Thursday” event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at borough hall, immediately before the 7 p.m. borough council meeting.”

‘’I’m tired’: York City leaders, community discuss gun violence’: The York Dispatch reports that “people are tired of the gun violence in York, and so is the city’s top cop.”

‘Write-in candidate for Allentown constable has extensive record of criminal charges and convictions, court records show’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “from Alabama to Michigan and points in between, a write-in candidate for constable in Allentown has prompted public warnings and been sentenced to jail for crimes including theft and intimidating a witness, court records show.”

‘Easton council to vote on 2022 budget, Watermark Easton development agreement’: WFMZ reports that “Easton City Council will vote Wednesday on Mayor Sal Panto’s 2022 no-tax-increase budget, and on an agreement with Watermark Easton LLC for development on Larry Holmes Drive.”

‘Centre County’s $107M budget includes pay raises, but no tax increase for 12th year’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “Centre County Commissioners have adopted the 2022 proposed county budget, with a total operating budget of $107.7 million dollars. For the 12th straight year, residents will not see a tax increase.”

‘State College Borough Council extends indoor masking requirement through January’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “the COVID-related mask ordinance in the State College Borough has been extended through the end of January 2022.”

‘Pittsburgh, University of Cincinnati aim to study police, first responders in emergency situations’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Mayor Bill Peduto, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Office of Community Health and Safety are looking to move forward on an initiative to study and improve responses to emergency situations involving people with intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders or mental health concerns.”

‘Jeffrey Manning retires from Allegheny County Common Pleas Court’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, who served on the bench for more than 30 years, has retired.”

‘Freeport Councilwoman Mary Bowlin resigns, citing clashes with mayor’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Freeport Councilwoman Mary Bowlin has resigned.”

‘Harrisburg school board welcomes new members, selects new leaders’: PennLive reports that “four new school board members and two returning members were sworn in to help lead the Harrisburg School District Monday night.”

‘Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson to host one week of giving’: WHYY reports that “City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson is teaming up with local organizations to bring some cheer at the end of a rough year.”

‘Judge Sommer rules in Downingtown ballots case’: The Daily Local News reports that “a Common Pleas Court judge presiding over the case of six uncounted ballots in an oh-so-close race for a seat on the Downingtown Area School Board handed down a split decision in whether the ballots should be counted or not.”

‘‘Surge’ in COVID-19 cases contributing to longer waits at Pa. hospitals’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvanians in need of care may experience longer than usual wait times as COVID-19 continues to put stress on the nation’s healthcare system, two Pennsylvania healthcare facilities confirmed this week.”

‘New area code coming to Lehigh Valley, suburban Philadelphia’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “make room 610 and 484. A new area code is in the works for the Lehigh Valley and suburban Philadelphia counties. Area code 835 is expected to make its debut in 2023, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.”

‘State switches to weekly COVID-19 updates’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health will now provide weekly summaries of COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccine data, in addition to their daily updates of the interactive dashboards on their website. Until this week, the state had been providing updates each weekday on its website and by news releases.”

Paul Muschick: Want to do away with concealed carry licenses in Pennsylvania? Let’s make a deal
Michael Nutter: Larry Krasner owes an apology to the 521 families of Philly’s homicide victims 
Jeff Bartos: National Democrats Are Failing Our Children
Mary Gay Scanlon: It’s time for Pennsylvania to tackle youth incarceration.
David Thornburgh: Replacing Philly’s Republican election official demands integrity and experience 
Kathy Cook: PA legislature should not override RGGI
John L. Micek: Poll: Pa. residents sharply divided on employer vaccine mandates | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Pete Sirianni: If not Dr. Oz for Senate, how about Gritty or Taylor Swift?
Ernest Owens: Why Do We Even Have a Sheriff’s Office in the First Place?
Armenta E. Hinton and Vicki Van Hise: College students are hungry for more than education 
Joe McClure: Pearl Harbor attack mobilized Harrisburg in World War II
Inquirer Editorial Board: As overdose deaths rise in Philly, New York begins a lifesaving effort that we’ve so far failed to take 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Defacing any place of worship or religious symbol is wrong and disturbing
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Memories of Pearl Harbor are worth preserving
Judith Giesberg: Rename Taney Street after Caroline Le Count 
Jenice Armstrong: These two families are examples of how the wheels of justice move too slowly 
Tony Norman: Bad parenting + guns = another American tragedy
Will Bunch: Yo, media: The crisis is democracy, not Biden 
Michael Coard: Ninety years ago, a horrific lynching shook Maryland. What’s changed? 
Albert Eisenberg and Craig Yeomans: Who’s Ready To “Rewild” Philadelphia?

3 Responses

  1. Senator Scott Martin is totally for guns everywhere and totally against the environment. Not only does he have a zero score on legislation protecting the environment during his time in Harrisburg, he has also ignored the science that shows that the unborn fetus is harmed by pollution. He has voted to restrict the governor’s executive actions – wonder what he will do if he is elected?

  2. The “questions” surrounding the ballot rate of return in Luzerne County is laughable. Read the link posted here. Does anyone questioning the return have any familiarity with statistics? Most polls and studies have numerous people not answer the poll or study. In fact, the return in Luzerne County is good. A lot of polls and academic studies struggle to get a good return response.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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