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February 14th Playbook

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party announces their “Back to Blue” tour, while state Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson) decides to withdraw from the Auditor General’s race to run for the state Senate’s 25th District. Here is the Playbook. 

PA Dems To Launch “Back to Blue” Tour: The tour includes visits to Erie, Scranton, Harrisburg, Monessen, and Bensalem.

Dush Drops Auditor Bid to Seek Scarnati Senate Seat: The Jefferson County Republican told PoliticsPA that he was pleased with the way his Auditor General bid was going, but said that a state Senate bid was where his “heart was from the beginning.”

Reader Poll: Should PA Move Its Primary Date?: A bill that was unanimously approved in the Pennsylvania state Senate would move the state’s primary date for the 2024 presidential election up to the third Tuesday in March.

PA16: Dahlkemper Endorses Kristy Gnibus: Former Congresswoman and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper endorsed Kristy Gnibus for the Democratic nomination for the 16th Congressional District. Gnibus also rolled out endorsements from Tyler Titus, an Erie School Board Director, and Terrance L. Crumby, Farrell City Councilman on Thursday.

Giffords pro-gun control group endorses Houlahan and Lamb: First reported by Politico’s Morning Score on Thursday, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) gun control group endorsed nine freshman Democrats, all with military or national security backgrounds, that included Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny).  

Biden Features State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta on Twitter Campaign Video: Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted out a video of state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), explaining in his own words the reasons he sought elected office to represent his home district, for a part of the Biden campaigns “Black History: The Soul of the Nation” series. 

Chester County Dems Endorse Hartman for Auditor General: According to a release from Christina Hartman’s campaign, the Chester County Democratic Committee endorsed her in the upcoming Democratic primary for Auditor General after receiving more than 65% of their vote.  Hartman, a non-profit leader and former Lancaster County congressional candidate, has been endorsed by more than 60 elected officials, including former Governor Ed Rendell, and state Reps. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) and Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) and more. 

Mark Meyer Joins Long Nyquist & Associates: Mark Meyer, former Chief of Staff to State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre), joined Long Nyquist & Associates. Meyer worked in the Pennsylvania state Senate since 1994 and served as Corman’s top administrator and staffer from 2010-2020. 

Legislative Election Update: 

HD-117: Patrick Musto, a Dallas resident and school board member, announced his intentions to seek the Republican Party nomination for the seat held by state Rep. Karen Boback (R-Luzerne), according to the Times Leader. Boback bested Libertarian Lou Jasikoff by 64 points in her most recent reelection bid in 2018. 

Harrisburg & DC    
Spotlight PA: With Pa. Senate President Joe Scarnati not seeking reelection, the state’s two top GOP leaders are leaving
Spotlight PA: Millions of dollars in Pa. tax credits may not be paying off for taxpayers
Patriot News: Outgoing Pa. Senate leader reflects on his time in Harrisburg and his ‘personal, not political’ decision to leave
Patriot News: With Joe Scarnati’s retirement, who is next in line to lead the Pa. Senate?
Patriot News: After Pentagon raises injury count in Iranian missile attack, lawmakers are paying more attention 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘Anytime Joe would speak, members listened.’ After two decades in Harrisburg, Scarnati leaves a complicated legacy
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Congressional hopeful Brier courts Black voters in tough Democratic primary fight
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa’s Dean: ‘I’m looking forward to … telling my granddaughters,’ as U.S. House removes ERA barrier
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Toomey, Casey split on bipartisan Senate vote to limit Trump’s war-making authority
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: A look at homelessness in the Keystone State, by the numbers | The Numbers Racket
AP: State urges judges to uphold felon name change restrictions 
WITF: Joe Scarnati, top state Senate Republican, announces retirement
PLSReporter: Scarnati set to depart Senate with legislative, political legacy, despite questions about his replacement
PLSReporter: With new criminal integrity unit, AG looks to mirror successful programs in Philly, New Jersey
PLSReporter: DEP outlines draft cap-and-invest regulations at air quality meeting
KYW Newsradio: Statewide upgrade to assistance benefits means system shutdown this weekend
StateImpactPA: Bankruptcy judge approves Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ sale to a developer that has no plans to re-start a refinery
StateImpactPA: Wolf’s cap-and-trade proposal takes a step forward
Inquirer: Send in a Marine: Pa. Republican lawmaker seeks overhaul of the state’s costly school pension fund
Inquirer: How does the news really make us feel? This Penn expert looks at how it changes our habits.
Inquirer: Advocates want Gov. Tom Wolf to declare Philadelphia schools a ‘disaster’ area because of asbestos
Beaver County Times: Shapiro sues company for bogus vehicle repair warranties
Beaver County Times: Toomey’s bill makes equipment expensing provision permanent
Politico: House passes bill to revive Equal Rights Amendment
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Power shift in Senate could reignite push to help adult survivors of childhood sex abuse  
Fox News: Attempts to tighten ‘ghost gun’ rules face resistance from hobbyists
CNN: Buttigieg ramps up Super Tuesday organization as campaign faces critical next step

Philly Clout: Former Philly state Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell’s life is coming to the stage. She can’t go because she’s in jail.
Philadelphia Magazine: How Mike Bloomberg Ate Joe Biden’s Lunch in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Magazine: The South Philly Refinery Explosion Was a Failure in City Transparency 
Northeast Times: Solomon endorses Bloomberg for president
Inquirer: Advocates want Gov. Tom Wolf to declare Philadelphia schools a ‘disaster’ area because of asbestos
Inquirer: Philadelphia is one step closer to setting up a permanent agency to protect worker rights
Inquirer: Sold: Chicago’s Hilco is the new owner of Philadelphia refinery and 1,300 acres
Inquirer: This Chicago firm is about to make its mark on South Philly’s refinery site
Inquirer: Philadelphians facing foreclosure get a reprieve
Inquirer: One of these will be Philly’s new ‘I Voted’ sticker
Billy Penn: Help pick the logo for Philly’s new ‘I Voted’ sticker
Billy Penn: Philly’s long-term flooding plan could involve relocating parts of neighborhoods
WHYY Newsworks: Bankruptcy judge approves PES refinery’s sale to Hilco Redevelopment Partners
WHYY Newsworks: Mummers say they’re working weekly to keep blackface out of parade
WHYY Newsworks: City notified about potential closing of West Philly Mercy Hospital’s inpatient facility
PLSReporter: City Council passes two charter amendments
Philadelphia Tribune: Activists and City Council members question police commitment to stopping gun violence in communities of color
KYW Newsradio: Teachers union calls on governor to declare state of emergency amid asbestos crisis
Philly Voice: ‘We’re scared of it’: Mummers say that they aren’t taking Mayor Kenney’s threats lightly
Philly Voice: Philly seeks refining ban on toxic chemical released in PES explosion

Delco Daily Times: Leach contests Dem endorsement of a rival
Delco Daily Times: Community Briefs: Killion’s ‘THON Week’ resolution approved by senate
Daily Local News: Horse advocates decry Wolf’s plan to divert funds for student loans
Daily Local News: Chester County officials OK environmental and EAB appointments
Bucks Courier Times: Bucks election board keeps polls at Bristol, Warwick churches, moves others
Bucks Courier Times: Lower Bucks Hospital nurses protest staffing levels

WESA: County Controller Pleads To Misdemeanor, Prosecutors Drop Felony In Detroit Incident
WESA: Wagner Makes Deal In Detroit Hotel Incident
WESA: ‘Absolutely Not Clear’ Why Federal Prosecutors In Pittsburgh Will Vet Giuliani’s Ukraine Claims
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner takes plea deal in Detroit case
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh police officers reject Peduto’s pay hike offer; another contract vote to happen Monday
Post-Gazette: Chelsa Wagner plea deal in Detroit case means no felony, but case dismissal in dispute
Post-Gazette: URA will consider loan to preserve affordable apartments in Friendship
Post-Gazette: Judges asked to overturn rejection of medical marijuana patient’s Section 8 application
Pittsburgh Current: Allegheny County DA Appeals Judge’s Acquittal Of Man First Convicted By A Jury Of Sexual Assault
KDKA: Allegheny Co. Controller Chelsa Wagner Pleads No Contest To Disturbing The Peace Charge In Detroit 

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Power shift in Senate could reignite push to help adult survivors of childhood sex abuse 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria Couny Commissioners pass resolution expressing support of Second Amendment
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: “Slay the Gerrymander” event scheduled to provide information on how legislative districts can be fairly created
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: President Trump appoints Cambria County woman to National Council of Arts
Observer-Reporter: Half a billion invested in county last year
Tribune Review: Newly elected Monessen district judge trying to pass test in order to take office
Tribune Review: Republican commissioners nix labor pact for Westmoreland County projects
Tribune Review: Region’s financial, job health focus of Washington County State of the Economy event
Altoona Mirror: Blair faces fiscal issues
Altoona Mirror: Blair County pension fund assets sold

Times-Tribune: Feds seek sentence of 30 years or more for ex-Scranton Mayor Courtright
Times-Tribune: Scranton council still pushing for more streamlined cover sheets for proposed legislation
Times-Tribune: Flynn to host hearing on municipal tax burden
The Times Leader: Musto announces candidacy to challenge Boback for 117th seat
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre council approves balanced budget
The Times Leader: Luzerne County voters can start applying for no-excuse, mail-in ballot option
Citizens Voice: Wolf vetoes bill on state centers
Citizens Voice: County still researching options for ways to fight stormwater fee

South Central 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Conoy Township supervisors want to become ‘2nd Amendment sanctuary city’
LNP | LancasterOnline: Federal government wants to seize 36,000 pounds of meat, poultry from Lancaster County farm
York Dispatch: Advocacy group rallies opposition ahead of West Manchester Twp. defluoridation vote
York Dispatch: Pa. leads nation in premature deaths due to air pollution, study finds
ABC27: Rutter’s data breach impacted at least 70 Pennsylvania stores

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: Berks County DA, commissioner latest to criticize district judge, system in jailing over unpaid fines
Reading Eagle: Trayvon Martin’s mother delivers message of peace and hope at Penn State Berks
Reading Eagle: Muhlenberg Township commissioner’s comments spark argument with teachers
Reading Eagle: PennDOT’s $125.4 million upgrades on I-78 and Route 61 starting soon
Morning Call: Easton getting enhanced emergency alert system 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Community college backers: Senator’s exit won’t impact efforts
Erie Times-News: Laughlin aims to improve state agencies’ data breach reports
Erie Times-News: In switch, Erie’s Presque Isle to get extra sand money
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Chamber recognizes three businesses for excellence

Inquirer Editorial Board: U.S. Attorney McSwain compares sanctuary cities to slaveholders. That’s offensive.
Inquirer Staff: Does Philadelphia need a public bank? | Pro/Con 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Act in the public interest: Protect the integrity of the .org domain
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Romance scams: Beware of sending money and gifts online 
Sara Innamorato: Socialized risk, privatized profits
Charles D. Ellison: Philly Is Key To Trump’s PA Strategy
John L. Micek: Report: Ransomware attacks have cost Pa. healthcare providers $4.5M since 2016 | Thursday Morning Coffee
John Baer: Presidents Day in Pa.? It just raises questions 
Brian O’Neill: A celebration of writing lowlights
Elizabeth Wellington: Danielle Outlaw’s fingernail drama is about more than nail polish 
Albert Eisenberg: Trump’s embrace of trillion tree plan is good environmental policy 
Anwar Curtis: This Harrisburg couple is working to increase access to opportunity — one child at a time 
Bruce Ledewitz: No, Donald Trump wasn’t convicted and removed from office. But here’s why impeachment worked 
Maria Panaritis: The pilot and the professor: A Tuskegee touchdown on the Main Line 
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoons: A moderate win in New Hampshire
Will Bunch: Trump’s banana republic: Police state for the poor, free pass for president’s pals and the rich 
Trudy Rubin: Trump interference in Roger Stone case: A pattern of undermining the rule of law

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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