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February 19: Washington’s Birthday

🎩 Happy Birthday, Mr. Washington. Yes, we’re at work when you might not have to be on this Washington’s Birthday – not Presidents’ Day.

PA Weather
☀️ Uniontown | Sunny, 40
🌤️ University Park | Becoming Sunny, 39
☀️ Upper Darby | Sunny, 41

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (32-22) | Thu vs. New York
🏒 Flyers (29-21-6) | New Jersey 3-6 | Wed vs. Chicago
🏒 Penguins (24-21-7) | Los Angeles 1-2 | Tue vs. NY Islanders

What We’re Hearing
“That’s why (Biden) should be leaning on … Kamala Harris, who is way more charismatic than him. He should be leaning on … other surrogates like [California Gov.] Gavin Newsom or [Gov. Josh] Shapiro in Pennsylvania. … And he should just be — I guess, if you want to call it — the brains of the operation behind the scenes.” – author, radio host and comedian Charlamagne tha God

Pennsylvania Political News Sent Directly to You
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Top Story

1. Will Biden Campaign Focus On Saving Democracy Resonate In Swing States? Here’s What PA Voters Say

Joe Biden: What you need to know about the 46th president - ABC News

“Northampton County, which includes most of Bethlehem, is a traditional bellwether for Pennsylvania, one of the most important presidential swing states, and Latinos are a key part of the campaign coalition President Joe Biden is trying to rebuild.

One of the messages he has delivered in previous visits to Pennsylvania is that former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, is a danger to American democracy. Biden is hoping that message energizes the same voters who turned out four years ago, when Northampton County narrowly flipped to him after supporting Trump by a thin margin in 2016.

Based on his interactions with visitors to the Hispanic center, Raymond Santiago isn’t so sure. It’s the price of groceries and lack of affordable housing that dominate conversations there.” (AP)

Related

PA Election Officials Are Bracing For Another Round Of Lawsuits, Recount Requests, And Claims Of Fraud In 2024. “All eyes will be on the key battleground state for a likely rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Shapiro, Top Biden Surrogate, Acknowledges Close Race With Trump: ‘Stop Worrying and Start Working’. “Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, one of Joe Biden’s top Democratic surrogates, on Sunday urged the president’s other supporters to start putting in the work to reelect him amid worries over his prospects at the ballot box.” (ABC News)

Former Federal Judge Says Trump Likely to Remain On Ballot. “Speaking in Lancaster last week, former federal judge John E. Jones III said that it is likely that former President Donald Trump will remain on the ballot in Colorado and other challenging states.” (PoliticsPA)

US Election: What if Biden or Trump Leaves the Race? “Apart from immense political confusion, here is what would happen, according to the rules and experts.” (CNHI News)

 

State

2. Dauphin County Democrats Vote For Open Primary Race vs. Scott Perry

Democrats | Dauphin County | Dauphin County Democratic Committee

“The Dauphin County Democratic Committee voted Saturday to declare an open primary in the Democratic Party’s race to identify a challenger to incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Perry for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District seat this fall.

Five of the six candidates on the April 23 primary ballot — Rick Coplen, Shamaine Daniels, Blake Lynch, Mike O’Brien and Janelle Stelson — turned out to compete for the party’s nod; or at the very least, to make sure none of their opponents captured it.” (PennLive)

Related

PA Election 2024: The State Senate Races To Watch As Democrats Seek The Majority. “Political insiders told Spotlight PA that only a small number of districts, mostly in Western and central Pennsylvania, are competitive in this year’s state Senate elections.” (Spotlight PA)

Latest Crop Of PA House Candidates Show Incumbency Still Rules The Roost. “The unofficial roster of candidates for Pennsylvania House seats in the April 23 primary election appears to strengthen an already rock-solid tenet of Pennsylvania legislative politics: Incumbency is king.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

BEFC Chair Says Equitable Education Funding Will Position Pennsylvania To Be An Economic Powerhouse. “It is something that Pennsylvania lawmakers can no longer ignore. It’s Basic Education Funding in the Commonwealth.” (PoliticsPA)

Gov. Shapiro’s Budget Calls For Deep Cuts To Cyber Charter School Funding; Public Schools In For Windfall. “The move has public school officials singing Shapiro’s praises but leaves cyber school administrators anxious and frustrated.” (Tribune-Review)

Pennsylvania High Court Takes Up Challenge To The State’s Life-Without-Parole Sentences. “Pennsylvania’s high court will consider whether some automatic life sentences for those convicted of murder violate constitutional protections for defendants, the justices said Friday.” (AP)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. ‘Nobody Looks Good’: Many Entities Failed Before the Fern Hollow Bridge Did

What's next for the Fern Hollow bridge? A timeline from collapse to now

“A nearly two-year federal investigation into the 2022 collapse of Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh found problems with every entity involved, from the city’s maintenance and the state’s oversight of the bridge to the private inspectors who were hired to keep tabs on its condition before the deteriorating southwest leg buckled, bringing the rest of the bridge down on a cold January morning.

That’s a summation of the numerous findings and analysis contained in more than 5,000 pages among 58 distinct investigative documents released last month by the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency investigating the bridge’s collapse.” (Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Related

Shapiro’s Medical Debt Relief Plan Draws Concerns From Rural Hospital’s Admins. “Warnings about the fiscal health of Pennsylvania hospitals have sounded for years. Roughly 4 in 10 operated at a loss in 2022, industry data show.” (CNHI News)

What Shapiro’s Budget Pitch Could Do for Pennsylvania’s Rural Communities. “As the populations of Pennsylvania’s rural counties shrink, officials hope future state spending can help slow projected losses by making investments that attract new residents and support local economies.” (Spotlight PA State College)

‘A Massive Job’: A Look At The Role Of The County Manager, An Important But Anonymous Job. “Quick, name the Allegheny County manager. No, not the county executive, the manager.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Magisterial District Judge In Wayne To Resign So All 3 MDJs Aren’t On Ballot In Same Year. “Magisterial District Judge Bonnie L. Carney, one of three district judges serving Wayne County, has announced she will retire mid-term so that the three seats are not up for election simultaneously in 2027.” (Tri-County Independent)

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

 

1 Thing

5. THON Does It Again

THON 2024 raises record-breaking $16.9 million | Penn State University

“It was another record-setting year for Penn State’s THON and its fundraising efforts to support pediatric cancer patients and research.

THON 2024 raised $16,955,683.63 for the Four Diamonds at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the student-run philanthropy revealed on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. The announcement came following the conclusion of the annual 46-hour dance marathon that began at 6 p.m. on Friday, the culmination of a year of fundraising efforts.” (StateCollege.com)

 

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