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February 17th Playbook

Election officials and counties ask for help. Tale of two cities as Allentown and Reading look to address Latino voters. The House Select Committee wants to hear from a pair of Pennsylvanians. Did you wager on the Super Bowl? A lot of money was wagered here in PA on the Big Game. Here is the Playbook.


Bipartisan Officials Say This Is What’s Needed For Safe, Secure Elections: We need help. That was the overarching theme of the Senate State Government Committee hearing Tuesday in Harrisburg. The committee heard from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP).

Latino Pols Strategize Next Moves After Redistricting: Allentown and Reading. A-Town and Baseballtown. The Queen City and the Pretzel City. Two Pennsylvania cities an hour apart that have differing plans in parceling out Latino voters.

Select Committee Wants to Talk With Mastriano: The January 6 Commission has hit closer to home with its latest subpoenas that include gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.

‘Pennsylvania mail-in voting law dealt another blow in court’: The Associated Press reports that “a statewide court that declared that Pennsylvania’s expansive 2-year-old mail-in voting law violates the state constitution followed that up Wednesday by saying its ruling can take effect in mid-March, a week after the state Supreme Court hears arguments on the appeal.” 

‘Gov. Wolf trots out his college scholarship plan that has horse racing industry saying ‘nay’’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf’s push to make a college education an attainable goal for all Pennsylvanians by creating a $200 million scholarship program is drawing strong opposition from the horse racing industry that would see its primary funding source for purses and breeder incentives largely drained.”

‘What to know about Doug Mastriano and why he got subpoenaed in the Jan. 6 Capitol probe’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Mastriano is a leading contender in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for governor. Here’s what you should know.”

‘Progressive activists ask Wolf Administration to bar Jan. 6 “insurrectionists” from GOP primary ballots’: PennLive reports that “a national progressive group’s effort to get state elections officials to use their powers to bar “insurrectionists” from future elections ballots reached Pennsylvania Wednesday.”

‘Ballot access on the docket as courts consider what’s next for Pennsylvania’s maps’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a Wolf administration proposal to trim the spring petitioning period for political campaigns by seven to 12 days could pose a new challenge for upstart candidates looking to get on the May 17 primary ballot.”

‘Who the Jan. 6 House committee wants to hear from in Pa. and why’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “with more than 50 Pennsylvania residents charged for actions related to the Capitol riot, the commonwealth is among the states with the most arrests tied to Jan. 6.”

‘State to come up with options for Capitol escalator that’s often down’: PennLive reports that “the state Department of General Services is looking at options about what to do with this set of frequently malfunctioning escalators in the Capitol East Wing.”

‘Final GOP witness in Pa. school funding trial disputes $4.6 billion spending gap’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “in arguing that Pennsylvania’s method of funding public education is so inadequate and inequitable as to be unconstitutional, the school districts, statewide groups, and parents suing the state have cited an expert’s calculations that districts are underfunded by $4.6 billion.”

‘‘The brand is so toxic’: Dems fear extinction in rural US’: The Associated Press reports that “the party’s brand is so toxic in the small towns 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh that some liberals have removed bumper stickers and yard signs and refuse to acknowledge their party affiliation publicly. These Democrats are used to being outnumbered by the local Republican majority, but as their numbers continue to dwindle, the few that remain are feeling increasingly isolated and unwelcome in their own communities.”

‘As virus surged, few Pa. schools signed up for free COVID-19 testing’: Spotlight PA reports that “nearly six months into the school year, the majority of Pennsylvania schools have not opted into a free, on-site COVID-19 testing program provided by the state health department.”

‘Toomey: Fed able ‘to fully function’ despite vacancies on its board following GOP boycott of nominating committee’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “the U.S. Federal Reserve is able to “fully” tackle its duties despite vacancies on its board, Sen. Pat Toomey said Wednesday, a day after he led his party members in a boycott of a scheduled committee meeting to advance multiple nominees to the central bank’s top panel.”

‘Dems, allies slam Pa.’s Toomey, Republicans for blocking Biden’s Fed nominees’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Democrats and their allies went on the attack Wednesday, accusing Republicans of playing games with the nation’s economic recovery after Republican members of a key U.S. Senate committee boycotted a vote on President Joe Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board.”

‘Democratic group commits $10M to fight election misinformation’: City & State PA reports that “a national Democratic super PAC announced Wednesday that it is launching a $10 million effort to identify and defeat Republican candidates running for elected roles that oversee elections in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania.”

‘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.” 

‘Pennsylvania school removes CNN from classrooms, can choose patriotic videos instead’: Fox News reports that “a Pennsylvania school board voted to end mandatory streaming of a CNN-affiliated program in its middle school amid arguments that such broadcasts are biased.”

‘High-ranking oil and gas official resigns from DEP’: StateImpactPA reports that “the top deputy for oil and gas programs is out at the state Department of Environmental Protection. As of Friday, Scott Perry is no longer Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management at DEP, an agency spokesman confirmed in an email.”  

‘Pennsylvanians bet $68 million on Super Bowl, a 26% increase over 2021 wagers’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry is off to a strong start after Super Bowl LVI set a record for wagers in the Keystone State, according to preliminary figures from state regulators.”

Legislative Election Updates

‘Lombardo seeking GOP nomination in 118th Legislative District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County Council Vice Chair John Lombardo on Wednesday announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 118th Legislative District.”

‘Hanover Twp. Democrat Malacari announces for 119th Legislative seat’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Vito Malacari of Hanover Township Wednesday announced that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for State Representative in the 119th Legislative District.”

‘Sobel enters 73rd District race’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “there are policies that John Sobel thinks he can better help the local area address by getting involved in state-level government, as opposed to remaining a Clearfield County commissioner.”

‘Pa. Rep. Perry Stambaugh to seek re-election to Perry County House seat’: PennLive reports that “Rep. Perry Stambaugh announced on Wednesday his intention to seek re-election to a second term of office representing the 86th House District and will run for the Republican nomination for that seat in the May 17 primary.”

Regional Spotlight: Northeast
Times-Tribune: Republican White says he’s ‘blue-collar’ candidate in governor race
The Times Leader: Report: Northeastern Pa. leads state in job creation 
Citizens Voice: Luzerne County Council interviews 12 applicants for vacant seat
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre’s negative balance for 2021 likely to change 
The Times Leader: Cartwright announces $11.5M for community infrastructure, resiliency
Times-Tribune: Domenick resigns from Lackawanna County prison board, calling new policies ‘corrupt’

Katie Muth and David Argall: Should Pa. governors and lieutenant governors run on the same ticket? | Pro/Con
John Baer: Pennsylvania’s GOP race for governor is a hot mess, and it’s starting to bubble 
Patrick Beaty: Pennsylvania’s Congressional redistricting process has failed again
Paul Muschick: Talk about getting off easy: A $150 fine for a state official who ripped off taxpayers
Bill White: Will Pennsylvania’s government go full MAGA next year?
55 SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS ACROSS PA: We see the effects that fair – and unfair – funding has on our students
John L. Micek: A state judge sends a strong message on Pa.’s local gun preemption law | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Austin Jepsky: Allegheny County needs regional municipalities
Solomon Jones: The Inquirer’s failures on race are rooted in America’s foundational lie of white supremacy
Helen Ubiñas: ‘Please take pictures’: Philadelphia moms who lost children to gun violence don’t want us to look away 
Helen Ubiñas: In their own words, 7 moms whose kids were killed by gun violence share what they’ve lost
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Health care competition in Western Pa. is a big game of Risk
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Outdoor dining is here to stay. That’s good news for Pittsburgh restaurants
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Dear York City officials: Quit the oath of office malarkey and govern
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County DA finds a way to fund county drug task force salaries — without using drug forfeiture proceeds 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Safety fixes desperately needed on stretch of Route 72 where young girl killed 
Elizabeth H. Hughes: From the publisher of The Inquirer: An apology to Black Philadelphians and journalists
Keisha Hudson: It’s time to nominate more defense attorneys to be judges 
Jenice Armstrong: Pulling drill rap videos from TikTok won’t stop the violence plaguing cities 
Dr. Valerie Kinloch: Genius, joy and love: Increasing educator diversity
Jason Han: Health care workers must be as kind to themselves as they are to patients

One Response

  1. So funny that Trumpers do not know Trump brand is toxic, because they are not welcome at his hotels and probably cannot afford them.

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