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February 11th Playbook

We’ve got Friday on our minds. Term limits for Philly City Council? More candidates announce their intentions. Allentown Latino leaders meet to plot strategy. And the margarine of difference in one race is worth the read. Yes, margarine. Here is the Playbook.


Mastriano Fighting Facebook on Facebook: Beware. No matter what you may think, apparently there are Facebook police. Gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano (R-Adams/Cumberland/Franklin/York) has accused the social media giant of shutting down one of his pages due to “hacking.”

What’s Next for John Yudichak and NEPA?: Will the 24-year NEPA veteran run in a newly-drawn district, retire, or is there another option?

‘Democrats choose nominee to replace Wheatley — by the thinnest of margarines’: WESA reports that “two candidates seeking to be the Democratic nominee for a special election in state House District 19 tied in a vote by Democratic committee members on Thursday night. And Aerion Abney beat Glenn Grayson only after having a slip of paper with his name on it drawn from an empty tub of margarine.”

‘Former Brentwood councilor to challenge Benham in 36th House district’: WESA reports that “Stephanie Fox, a former member of Brentwood borough council and one-time Congressional candidate, will be challenging state Rep. Jessica Benham in the 36th state House district.”

‘Luzerne County Councilman Robert Schnee selected as Republican state representative contender in 116th District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County Councilman Robert Schnee will be the Republican contender for a vacant state representative seat in the 116th Legislative District, county Republican Chairman P.J. Pribula said Thursday night.”

‘Amilcar Arroyo will be the Democratic contender for special state representative election in the 116th Legislative District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Butler Township resident Amilcar Arroyo will be the Democratic contender for a vacant state representative seat in the 116th Legislative District, the county Democratic Party announced Thursday.”

‘Lower Allen Township commissioner announces candidacy for state House’: PennLive reports that “Lower Allen Township Commissioner Thomas Kutz announced on Thursday he will seek the Republican nomination for the open 87th state House District seat in the May 17 primary.”

‘The Pennsylvania Senate money race in 8 charts’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the wide-open Senate race is one of the most important, competitive, and expensive in the country, with control of the chamber in the balance.”

‘A new group is backing Lou Barletta and attacking Bill McSwain as ‘Pat Toomey’s puppet’’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the group’s website depicts a puppeteer controlling McSwain, a GOP candidate for Pennsylvania governor, with strings attached to a cross that says: “Property of Pat Toomey.””

‘Shapiro, Davis talk policy; Pittsburgh’s Black entrepreneurs say follow through on promises’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “in a visit Thursday to a collaborative working space for Pittsburgh’s Black entrepreneurs, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said if he’s elected governor this year, he’ll focus on building generational wealth for people of color — and not just “a contract here, a contract there.””

‘Progressives pick candidates, and fights, in Philly state House races’: Philly Clout reports that “Reclaim Philadelphia launched with a promise of an open and welcoming approach to politics. After helping several candidates win office, critics say, the group has become insular and unwelcoming.”

‘Allentown Latino leaders plot strategy after new Pennsylvania legislative maps scramble political plans’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “following Friday’s approval of new legislative maps, prominent Latinos in Allentown are trying to figure out how to take advantage of a House district created with their community in mind.”

‘Latino advocate promises lawsuit against new Pa. legislative maps’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “at least one Latino community leader is promising legal action over Pennsylvania’s newly approved state legislative lines.”

‘In Erie visit, Wolf touts ‘generational investment’ in education. Here’s what local schools would get’: The Erie Times-News reports that “Wolf was in Erie to promote his 2022-23 budget proposal, which includes a $1.25 billion increase in basic funding for public schools plus millions more for special education, early childhood education and state-owned universities.”

‘The Lancaster GOP will decide who it should endorse in 4 key state House races at its straw poll this weekend’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster County Republican Committee members will gather in closed-door meetings Saturday to decide who the party should endorse in four contested state House races, decisions that carry enormous weight in legislative districts where GOP voters far outnumber Democrats and independents.” 

‘Kelly among large group of lawmakers asking Biden administration to minimize any changes to Medicare Advantage’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, co-signed a bipartisan letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, asking for a “stable rate and policy environment” as the agency enters its annual phase of adjusting plans and collecting public feedback.”

‘State preserves 26 farms ‘protecting the land’ from potential non-farm development’: PennLive reports that “the Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that state, county and local governments have invested more than $6 million to protect nearly 2,000 acres of farmland from future development.”

‘Despite proposed $3M transfer in Wolf’s budget, Dog Law Bureau would remain in deficit, Ag. Dept. says’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “state agriculture officials said Thursday that they’re holding out hope for a long-term, legislative solution to the imperiled Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s ongoing funding crisis, despite a proposed $3 million departmental transfer in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year.”

‘An immigrant resource hub is being proposed by Pennsylvania Democratic state lawmakers’: WITF reports that “Pennsylvania Democratic state lawmakers and immigrant advocates are calling for a new office to attract immigrants to the Commonwealth and help them once they arrive.”

City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics last week.

‘Wolf, state lawmakers can coalesce around a corporate tax cut’: City & State PA reports that “while GOP lawmakers accused Wolf of living in a “fiscal fantasyland,” they all ended the day in agreement on at least one policy change outlined in Wolf’s budget: reducing the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax rate.”

‘Philly voters may be asked whether to place term limits on City Council’: WHYY reports that “legislation introduced on Thursday could place term limits on members of Philadelphia City Council.”

‘Philly City Council has a new district map, but it still doesn’t address prison gerrymandering’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia City Council has unanimously passed a bill redrawing the districts that will determine for more than a decade which constituents its members serve.”

‘Rules of the road: Car stops for minor traffic offenses will be off-limits in Philly’: WHYY reports that “​​Philadelphia police will soon be barred from stopping drivers solely for committing certain minor traffic violations, such as a broken brake light.”

‘State Rep. Says Her Work Isn’t Done On Bill That Could Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence’: KDKA reports that “state Representative Anita Kulik isn’t giving up hope on legislation that could protect victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.”

‘Houlahan celebrates passage of Postal Service Reform Act’: The Daily Local News reports that “U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th of Easttown, this week voted to improve mail delivery across Pennsylvania and strengthen the U.S. Postal Service with the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022.”

‘Residents demand Chester County officials end mask mandate in school’: The Daily Local News reports that “residents decried the ongoing mask mandate of children in school on Wednesday during public comment at the Chester County commissioners’ meeting.”

‘2nd Amendment draft ordinance spurs discussion’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “a proposed draft ordinance and agreement making Blair County a Second Amendment sanctuary generated discussion without consensus during Thursday’s commissioners meeting.”

‘States are dropping mask mandates. What about Philly?’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “as a slew of northeastern states announced plans this week to end mask mandates, Philadelphia was among major cities that did not change their plans.” 

‘How the protest movement engineered a takedown of the Rizzo statue after years of delay’: Billy Penn reports that “things often move slowly in Philly government, but not the removal of the Frank Rizzo statue. Controversy over the monument had been simmering for decades, but when the protest movement roared through in the summer of 2020, it was gone literally overnight.”

‘City Council gives preliminary approval to extending outdoor dining rules’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that could make outdoor dining and retail options a more permanent fixture of city life.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council divided on creating infrastructure committee in wake of bridge collapse’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “proposals before Pittsburgh City Council to increase focus on the city’s infrastructure in the wake of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse are drawing mixed reactions from council members.”

‘Mayor secures private funding for Scranton finance director post’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti secured outside funding for a finance director at City Hall — a new position council cut from her 2022 budget proposal.”

John Baer: Pennsylvania’s 2022 budget address is déjà vu all over again; here’s why that’s a bad thing 
Dave Reed: Court must be transparent when ruling on redrawn Congressional maps
Bruce L. Castor Jr.: Dangerous pipeline protests put first responders at risk
Paul Muschick: Should Pennsylvania legalize marijuana? Let’s look at the facts first
Sharif El-Mekki: Schoolhouse crumbling? That’s what you deserve, the Pa. GOP says.
Bruce Ledewitz: Why do Pa. courts have a say on mail-in voting? They probably shouldn’t 
John L. Micek: As Pa. grows more diverse, lawmakers propose office to welcome newcomers | Thursday Morning Coffee
Ruth E. Siegfried: The governor’s budget doesn’t do enough to help people with intellectual disabilities and autism
Larry Platt: “It’s Just About Doing the Right Thing”  
Larry Platt: The Fix: Council, Reform Thyself 
Reuben Jones and Joe Stine: Debate: Will cracking down on illegal guns reduce crime? | Pro/Con
Jamal Johnson: We need the National Guard to stop Philly’s gun violence crisis 
Joyce M. Davis: If you haven’t gotten the shots, doctors warn you’re likely to get omicron. Here’s why | Social View
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: The process to fill the vacancy on the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners lacked clear criteria
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Funding can stabilize State System of Higher Education 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Rebuilding a bridge — and an ecosystem
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Invigorating mine cleanup efforts
Akira Drake Rodriguez and Erika Kitzmiller: We have a lot to learn from teachers’ unions 
Abraham Gutman: The racist ‘crack pipe’ panic and the White House’s shameful capitulation 
Michael Clemmons: It’s time for Philadelphia to honor Stephen Smith, once the richest Black man in the U.S.
Stephen Silver: Sports betting is making it harder to enjoy the game

6 Responses

  1. Rep Kelly and others support Medicare replacement but they cost the government more than standard Medicare. Yes, many plans give free gym memberships but if you need care, you will pay usually a large co-pay.

  2. Senator Mastriano in his crowded field could get Gov nomination. It could happen with the Oz race clogging the media pipes.

  • 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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