Can name recognition lift Barletta? How would a Carville-backed Super PAC impact the Senate race? Candidates announce intentions for office despite the delay in map approval. Is a tuition freeze in the offing for state universities? Here is the Playbook.
BREAKING: Supreme Court Suspends Candidate Petition Circulation Period: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the start date for circulation and filing of petitions for candidates for the 2022 primary. The court cited that oral arguments would begin Friday, February 18 and the first date to circulate and file petitions is Tuesday, February 15.
Can Name Recognition Help Barletta Overcome Cash Crunch?: He was the Republican brand in 2018 for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. He was endorsed by the president. It was Lou Barletta’s time. Until it wasn’t. Can the 66-year-old make a run at the governor’s mansion?
Carville-Backed SuperPAC Could Help Lamb Close Fundraising Gap: Penn Progress. Get to know the name. It is a super PAC that has set a target of raising $8 million for TV ad time and other paid media for the May primary, and it is supporting Democrat Conor Lamb for U.S. Senate.
McCormick Counters Oz, Receives Pompeo Endorsement: Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave his endorsement to David McCormick for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
‘State Rep. Pam Snyder To Retire At End Of Current Term’: KDKA reports that “state Rep. Pam Snyder is set to retire at the end of her current term, her office announced.”
‘Northampton County Commissioner Tara Zrinski to run for Pennsylvania Senate in 14th District’: WFMZ reports that “Tara Zrinski dropped a run for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives when a sudden redistricting put her into a fellow Democrat’s district. The Northampton County Commissioner has now set her sights higher with a bid for the new state Senate 14th District seat, which includes parts of Lehigh and Northampton counties.”
‘Susquehanna Township commissioner to seek House seat’: PennLive reports that “two-term Susquehanna Township Commissioner Justin Fleming will seek the Democratic nomination for the redrawn 105th state House District seat in the May 17 primary.”
‘Harrisburg city councilman to seek state House seat’: PennLive reports that “Harrisburg City Councilman Dave Madsen announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the reconfigured 104th state House District.”
‘Former Elizabeth GOP commissioner to challenge state House incumbent in primary’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Andrew Kuzma, an attorney who served as commissioner for the last six years, officially announced his bid for the 39th District on Wednesday, pledging to put taxpayers first, fight for election reform and give parents more control over their children’s education.”
‘Fetterman noncommittal on candidate event organized by Western Pa. Democratic coalition’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pennsylvania Lt. Gov John Fetterman, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Braddock, is facing criticism for failing to sign up for an online candidate event organized by a coalition of Democratic political groups in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
‘Doug Mastriano spent a day claiming Facebook is censoring him — on Facebook’: Philly Clout reports that “state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Franklin County Republican running for governor, this week claimed Facebook is censoring him because the company dislikes his conservative opinions.”
‘Bill creating $25M grant program for EMS agencies on its way to governor to sign’: PennLive reports that “the Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously to send to Gov. Tom Wolf a bill that creates a $25 million Emergency Medical Services COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program with money the state received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.”
‘State System chancellor praised for progress, scorned for degree program cuts’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “a day after receiving a historic appropriation boost in Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed commonwealth budget, the head of Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities drew legislative praise for keeping campus reforms on track but also heated questions over lost academic majors.”
‘State universities’ leader promises tuition freeze if it receives $550 million in governor’s budget’: PennLive reports that “students attending the soon-to-be 10 state-owned universities would be spared a tuition increase next year if the historic level of funding that Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed for the State System of Higher Education in his 2022-23 budget comes through.”
‘Poorer cities, growing suburbs get most out of schools plan’: The Associated Press reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf hit the road Wednesday to begin selling his proposal for what would be the largest-ever increase in aid for Pennsylvania’s public schools, several times over, as school officials digested the news and Republicans who control the Legislature warned that it will never happen.”
‘See how the final Pennsylvania state Senate map scores in every key area’: Spotlight PA reports that “a panel has approved a final Pennsylvania Senate map that could make small changes to the partisan composition of the chamber while improving traditional metrics.”
‘GOP lawmakers celebrate Act 77 ruling, though what’s next is unclear’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Republican lawmakers who filed suit against Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballot law said Wednesday that they were confident that it would be upheld by the state Supreme Court.”
‘Pa. residents are ‘drinking better, not more’ driving liquor sales growth during pandemic, industry group says’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the 2020-21 fiscal year was a “fantastic” year for the distilled spirits industry, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and disruptions to the supply chain, industry officials said Wednesday.”
‘Endorsements in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race keep stacking up.’: City & State PA “put together a list of the most current endorsements in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race compiled from a combination of press releases, social media posts and candidate websites.”
‘Hotline’s Senate Power Rankings’: The National Journal reports that “Pennsylvania takes the top spot in our first look at the competitive contests in 2022.”
‘Lancaster city council rift between Diaz, Smith-Wade-El and other members on display as council chooses new member’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the appointment of a new Lancaster city council member on Tuesday night exposed a rift between the council’s top vote getter, Janet Diaz, and her five colleagues – a gap that promises to continue this spring as Diaz faces council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El in the Democratic primary race for a seat in the state Legislature.”
‘State Rep. Manny Guzman appointed to House Appropriations Committee’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Rep. Manny Guzman announced Wednesday that he has been appointed to serve on the House Appropriations Committee.”
‘Rep. Cartwright votes to reform and improve U.S. Postal Service’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright Tuesday said for too long, the U.S. Postal Service has been plagued by burdensome requirements that lead to delivery delays and reduced services.”
‘Drafts offered for 2nd Amendment agreement’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “Blair County Commissioner Amy Webster presented a draft ordinance Tuesday that could make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary, as voters directed by referendums in the November election.”
‘Wolf budget ups basic ed funding 30% in Luzerne County; Wilkes-Barre Area up 50%’: The Citizens Voice reports that “basic education allocations to Luzerne County’s 12 school districts would total $238.6 million and rise 30.2% under Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget.”
‘Wolf calls for additional $21.7 million to Schuylkill schools’: The Reading Eagle reports that Wolf’s “proposal would bring an additional $21.7 million to Schuylkill County school districts.”
‘Scranton wants to spruce up Biden Street’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “the city wants to spruce up Biden Street with a $4 million streetscape overhaul.”
‘E-scooter bill would clear way for more Pennsylvania cities to join Pittsburgh’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a bill moving through the state Senate would allow other select Pennsylvania cities, including Greensburg and New Kensington, to legalize and regulate e-scooters through similar pilot programs.”
‘Rep. Mercuri’s bill making it easier to complete mortgage process signed into law’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law sponsored by state Rep. Rob Mercuri, R-Pine, that eliminates the requirement for mortgage brokers to work out of a licensed location that home buyers must visit to complete the process.”
‘Spotlight PA to launch first-ever regional reporting bureau based in State College’: Spotlight PA reports that “the bureau will publish via Spotlight PA’s extensive distribution network, elevating issues of regional importance to a statewide audience, while also fostering mutual understanding among all Pennsylvanians. The bureau will focus on State College, Centre County, north-central Pennsylvania, and the northern tier.”
‘Report: Philadelphia’s economic recovery from the pandemic is lagging behind the national average’: KYW Newsradio reports that “Philadelphia is lagging behind the national average in recovering jobs lost to the pandemic, according to a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.”
‘To stem violent crime, Philly needs a united criminal justice system, police commissioner says’: Philly Voice reports that “Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis could lead to the loss of an entire generation of Black and Brown residents unless there is greater cohesiveness in addressing it, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said on a podcast earlier this week.”
‘How many police officers should be on Pittsburgh’s streets? Public safety director nominee weighs in’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “in his interview with Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday, the mayor’s nominee for public safety director said he’s been talking with the administration about the need for a new police recruit class, saying the number of officers on the streets cannot be primarily determined by crime rates and population.”
‘Pittsburgh City Council’s Private Debate On Pay Hike May Have Violated State’s Sunshine Law’: KDKA reports that “Pittsburgh City Council may have violated the state’s Sunshine Law when council members discussed and debated their own pay raise behind closed doors.”
‘Area legislators comment on Wolf’s budget proposal’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports on how the “area legislators” responded to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal.
‘Lancaster city council appoints new member during Tuesday night’s meeting’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster City Council voted Tuesday night to appoint nonprofit consultant Katie Walsh as its newest member.”
‘Governor’s proposal leaves bad taste in mouths of lawmakers’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf’s eighth and final budget address sounded upbeat tones of money surpluses and past accomplishments, but local lawmakers heard discordant messages.”
‘Cumberland County becomes one of first places in U.S. to embrace new way to prevent sudden death’: PennLive reports that “the county is joining a program called “4 Minute City,” using technology to address the frequent failure of AEDs to work as intended.”
‘What the latest campaign filing report from Brenton Davis shows’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis ended 2021 with roughly $500 in his campaign war chest and nearly $45,000 of debt, according to his latest campaign finance report filed with the county elections board Jan. 31.”
‘Erie City Council OKs ARP funds for storm sewer repairs, Savocchio Park plan, demolition’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Erie City Council has allocated more than $8 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for storm sewer system repairs, demolition of two high-profile blighted properties and an ambitious plan to revamp an eastside business park located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.”
Keith Naughton: The Pennsylvania scrum for Toomey’s US Senate seat
Paul Muschick: What was missing from Gov. Wolf’s final state budget address
Alex Rhone and Kyle Turley: It’s time to rethink how Philly redraws councilmanic districts
John L. Micek: How Pa’s advocacy community reacted to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget plan | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Pat Carone Krebs: Delaying the primary election until June is an excellent idea
Kelly Flanigan: Some Pennsylvania legislators are trying to block clean energy options
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Redistricting reform is dead. Long live redistricting reform
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Don’t buy the nonsense that Audit the Vote PA is selling about 2020 election ‘anomalies’ in Lancaster County
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pittsburgh City Council should end pay raise bid after debacle
Jenice Armstrong: If Washington’s NFL team can finally ditch their racist name, why can’t these local schools do it?
Hasshan Batts: Black History Month is necessary because our ancestors’ contributions, empires and dynasties have been erased from U.S. history books
Jonathan Zimmerman: I was a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Here’s what happened.
Trudy Rubin: The view from a Ukrainian coast guard boat isn’t pretty