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February 2: Money. It’s A Hit

Bugs Bunny counting money

🦔 Friday. And great news – Punxsutawney Phil DID NOT see his shadow. An Early Spring Is On The Way

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Political News? Yes, Please
The PoliticsPA Playbook gives you all today’s PA political headlines in an easy-to-read email format. All by 8 AM. And it’s free. Subscribe now.

 

Top Story

1. A Billionaire-Backed Super PAC Is Pouring Millions Into Dave McCormick’s Campaign To Beat Bob Casey

David McCormick

“A super PAC supporting Republican Dave McCormick’s bid for the Senate raised $18 million in just four months, an astounding sum that comes from just 34 donations from some of the wealthiest people in the country.

The donors include Ken Griffin, the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, who gave $10 million to the group, and Pennsylvania school choice advocate Jeffrey Yass who gave $1 million. The haul is more than incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and McCormick’s campaigns brought in combined during a slightly shorter three-month period.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Related

A First Peek At McCormick’s Fundraising In Pennsylvania Senate Race. “The first peek at former hedge fund CEO David McCormick fundraising numbers shows the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania opening his checkbook as he tries to oust three-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • The Political Debate Over Natural Gas Burns Bright In Casey-McCormick Senate Race. (WESA)
  • Most Democrats Dominate Senate Fundraising, But Tough Year Looms. (Roll Call)

 

Casey and Fetterman Split With Biden Over Natural Gas Exports Pause. “Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman said Thursday they have concerns about President Joe Biden’s decision to pause approvals for additional liquefied natural gas plant exports, a rare break with the administration for the Pennsylvania Democrats.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

State

2. Transit, Education Expected To Headline Shapiro’s 2024 PA Budget Address

Shapiro Finalizes Budget

“Proposals to restructure Pennsylvania’s higher education system and boost public transit funding are expected to be centerpieces of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s upcoming Feb. 6 budget address.

But while the Democrat has already released overviews of some of those plans, his formal address will bring additional, key details. It will also confirm Shapiro’s priorities on a raft of other issues, from the question of whether he’ll keep supporting politically contentious school choice vouchers, to how hard he’ll push for a minimum wage hike, to his feelings on restoring a sidelined home-repair program.” (Spotlight PA)

Related

Inside The Numbers: A Look At PA-10 Fundraising. “Now that the fourth quarter fundraising numbers are in (October 1-December 31), the numbers indicate that Rep. Scott Perry’s legal concerns have been a drain on his cash on hand, while a pair of Democratic candidates may be pulling away from the rest of the field.” (PoliticsPA)

 

School Leaders Address Concerns In 2024 State Of Education Report. “Pennsylvania educators say student mental health needs, school budgets, and staffing shortages are the biggest challenges they face.” (WNEP)

PA Attorney General Launches Gun Task Force In Allegheny County. “Funded by $1.5 million from the state legislature, the task force will be a collaborative effort among local and state law enforcement to combat gun trafficking and illegal straw purchases.” (Tribune-Review)

Pennsylvania House GOP Leader Asks Attorney General To Probe Missing Data. “State Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said he asked State Attorney General Michelle Henry to review the recent IT failure that led to the loss early last month of thousands of records from the Pennsylvania State Police and State Employee Retirement System.” (Tribune-Review)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. Report: Why Increasing PA’s Minimum Wage to $15 Would Help All

Minimum Wage map

“Look around. Our neighbors to the north, east, west and south each have something that the Keystone state does not.

That would be a higher minimum wage than Pennsylvania.

Last increased in 2009, the Commonwealth’s minimum wage continues to languish at $7.25 with proponents and opponents to an increase still fighting after a decade and a half.” (PoliticsPA)

Related

5 Takeaways From Spotlight PA’s Event On The Dubois Corruption Case And Local Government Oversight. “A November Spotlight PA investigation reported how the former city manager of a small Pennsylvania city landed at the center of one the state’s most sweeping political corruption cases in recent years.” (Spotlight PA)

Is Philly About To Decide Democracy’s Future … Again? “At our November 2023 Ideas We Should Steal Festival, Governor Josh Shapiro had a few pointed words of warning for our fair city on the eve of America’s ultimate rematch: Democracy vs. Autocracy, Part Deux. “Philadelphia has a big test in 2024,” he said. “And it should be lost on no one what the data has shown us over the last few years in Philadelphia.” (Philadelphia Citizen)

Ridership Sags, Costs Soar, But Shapiro Still Wants More Money for SEPTA. “Despite exploding costs and plunging ridership, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) appears in line for another infusion of nearly $300 million in taxpayer cash.” (DV Journal)

Mayor Cherelle Parker Just Made 10 Appointments, But Some Top Jobs Remain Up In The Air A Month Into Her Tenure. “In some cases, the new guard looks like the old guard as some spots have the same officials, others haven’t been filled.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Candidate Announcements

 

Editorial

4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Abortion Rights Scored A Victory In PA Court, But The Fight Is Far From Over. (Kathryn Kolbert)
  • Pennsylvania Gets The Critical Economic Plan We Need. (Farnam Jahanian)

 

1 Thing

5. Southern York County and its Native American School Logo

Native American logo reinstated after 3 years at Pa. high school

“It was a passionate student letter in 2020 that caused the Southern York County school board to reconsider its logo: a Native American man, representing the “Warriors.”

Though the conversation had come up before in the suburban district located in southern Pennsylvania, 2020 was a turning point of racial reckoning after the death of George Floyd. Less than a year later, the school board voted to retire the warrior logo after it considered research that depicted what impact the reductive imagery had on Native and non-Native students.” (AP)

 

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2 Responses

  1. Dave McCormick wants to buy a PA seat in the US Senate. Rather than vote for the best candidate, MAGA GOP thinks we should have an auction for political seats. Highest bidder wins. Call it political capitalism.

  2. MAGA GOP thinks PA should keep the old minimum wage, so taxpayers can keep subsidizing employers by providing foodstamps, Medicaid, and other welfare benefits to their underpaid employees.





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  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?


    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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