Close this search box.

February 23: One, Two, Three

♥️ It’s Friday, I’m In Love. Thanks for subscribing to the PoliticsPA Playbook. Have a great weekend.

PA Weather
☁️ Youngsville | Mostly Cloudy, 50
🌤️ Yeagertown | Partly Sunny, 54
☁️ York Springs | Mostly Cloudy, 53

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (32-23) | New York 96-110 | Fri vs. Cleveland | Sun vs. Milwaukee
🏒 Flyers (30-20-7) | Sat vs. NY Rangers | Sun vs. Pittsburgh
🏒 Penguins (25-21-8) | Montreal 4-1 | Sun vs. Philadelphia

What’s Happening
House Appropriations Committee hearings begin at 10 a.m.

What We’re Hearing
“I do go to Connecticut to see my daughter, and that’s a part of being a good dad, and I’m going to continue to do that. I rent a home there so I can do that when I’m there. And if there’s a political cost associated with that, so be it.” – Dave McCormick

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Kathy Rapp (Fri.), Rep. Doyle Heffley (Sat.) and Rep. Liz Hanbidge (Sun.).

Pennsylvania Political News Sent Directly to You
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. How Important Is a Candidate’s Position On the Ballot?

Ballot position

“It won’t go down as “must-see TV,” but Wednesday was an important day for candidates on the 2024 Pennsylvania primary ballot.

It was the “casting of lots” – the day when candidates for office find out how they will be listed on the primary ballot.

Candidates had already submitted how they want their name to be listed – Steve versus Stephen, for example. But who is listed first – Smith or Jones? That’s where the lots come in.” (PoliticsPA)


Two PA Democratic Campaigns Face Allegations Of Forgeries On Petitions Ahead Of Primary. “The campaigns for both Allen King, a candidate for a Philadelphia state Senate seat, and Mark Pinsley, a candidate for auditor general, listed at least two of the same people as circulators for their petitions they submitted to appear on the April primary ballot.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

‘Guardian Angel’ Donations Top $124 Million in 2023. “The donors, ranging from conservative billionaires and Uline founders Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein to liberal LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, contributed to 40 different committees — mostly far-right and conservative groups.” (PoliticsPA)

Trump Equates His Domestic Political Opposition To WWII Enemies Abroad. “In a speech on Thursday to the National Religious Broadcasters in Nashville, the former president drew a direct connection between the battles during that organization’s founding in 1944 and his current campaign to win back the White House.” (Washington Post)

Three Republicans Who Need To Convince Voters They’re Hometown Heroes. “Democrats are taking a page out of their 2022 midterm elections playbook and campaigning against three GOP Senate candidates by accusing them of not having close enough ties to the states they are seeking to represent.” (Washington Examiner)

Secretary of the Commonwealth Discusses Efforts to Help Jews During Passover Primary. “As Jews already know, April 23 is also the first full day of Passover. Therefore, halachically observant Jews cannot go to the polls to vote that day. The situation also may impact Jewish institutions that serve as polling places and Jewish poll workers.” (Philadelphia Jewish Exponent)

GOP Backs Voting By Mail, Yet Turns To Courts To Restrict It In Battleground States. “A Pennsylvania case could play a key role in the RNC’s strategy to make it harder for mail ballots to be cast and counted.” (Penn Capital-Star)



2. A Multi-Million Dollar Fight Will Determine Whether PA Taxes ‘Skill Games’ In Bars and Stores

PA Senator Continues To Push Skill Games Legislation

“On any given commercial corridor in Pennsylvania, there’s likely at least one “game of skill” machine.

The slot-machine lookalikes, which have proliferated across the state in bars and gas stations over the last few years by the tens of thousands, are unregulated and untaxed. Gov. Josh Shapiro wants to change that this year.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Haywood Releases Recommendations to Improve the Quality of Life for Black Pennsylvanians. “Senator Art Haywood released a follow-up report to his 2023 State of Black PA Report. This new report lays out 10 critical recommendations to improve the quality of life for black Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth.” (PoliticsPA)

The ‘Visible Power’ of Black Lawmakers. “The total number of Black legislators has remained flat for a decade or more, but Black lawmakers play an outsized role within Democratic caucuses and often represent safe districts that allow them to accrue seniority.” (Governing)

Legalized Marijuana Called A ‘Potential New Cash Crop’ For PA Farmers. “When it comes to marijuana legalization, Gov. Josh Shapiro envisions Pennsylvania being the first state in the nation to put its agriculture department in charge of this new industry.” (PennLive)

Independent Fiscal Office Warns Shapiro Budget Misses Revenue Mark by $8 Billion. “When Gov. Josh Shapiro gave his Feb. 6 budget address, he said it would include more than $46 billion in revenue collections. But the number crunchers in the state’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) put a damper on Shapiro’s lofty projections this week, dropping those projections by more than a billion dollars.” (DV Journal)


Around The Commonwealth

3. The Israel-Hamas War Has Become A Defining Issue Of Lee-Patel Democratic Primary For Congress

District 12 candidates spar over Israel, campaign finance at CMU forum | The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle

“As America braces itself for the 2024 election, the polls will tell you that voters are most concerned about such issues as the economy, immigration, the survival of democracy itself. But in Pittsburgh’s most bitterly contested Democratic primary race, that’s easy to forget.

The campaign in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District has been dominated by the war in Gaza, as first-term Congresswoman Summer Lee’s criticism of Israel has been attacked repeatedly. It was a defining issue in a candidates forum last month, and Lee’s chief rival, Bhavini Patel, raised it again this week.” (WESA Politics)


Why The Name Of Mayor Parker’s Top Political Consultant Might Ring A Bell. “New Philly Mayor Cherelle L. Parker believes in second chances — even for political consultants guilty of taking funds from a campaign.” (Philadelphia Inquirer Clout)

Innamorato Announces Return of Ballot Drop Off Locations for 2024 Elections. “Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato announced expanded services for Allegheny County voters for the 2024 elections. In addition to ballot drop off and “over the counter” voting services at the downtown County Office Building, the County Elections Division will also operate five staffed absentee/mail-in ballot drop off locations around the county.” (PoliticsPA)

In Annual State Of The County Address, Lehigh County Executive Points To Cedarbrook Expansion. “Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong highlighted new projects for pardoning residents, preserving farmland and planning for increasing housing Thursday in this year’s State of Lehigh County address.” (Allentown Morning Call)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Pennsylvania and the Entire Country Need More ‘Angry Black Women’. (Michael Coard)
  • If Biden and Trump Love America, They Should End Their Presidential Campaigns. (John Baer)
  • Why Republicans Are Making a Big Mistake on Biden’s Age. (Alex Conant)
  • Stop Keeping Secrets At Penn State; Publicly Debate Proposed Paterno Honor. (Scranton Times-Tribune
  • It’s Not A Democracy When The Parties Control Our Elections. (Lisa L.T. Rice)
  • The Governor Has No Clothes. (Rep. Josh Kail)
  • What We Learned From Fern Hollow. (Ed Gainey)


1 Thing

5. Lookin’ For a Sports Bar? So Are We

As if sports-crazy Philadelphia doesn’t have enough to boo about, we shockingly don’t even crack the top 50 cities in the U.S. with the most sports bars.

Driving the news: Our 6.8 sports bars per 100,000 residents is No. 67 out of 112 U.S. cities and is below the national average of 7.3, according to data from Yelp.

Our statewide numbers are just as anemic at 6.9 per 100,000.

Could Be Worse. You could live in Lancaster. (Axios Philadelphia)


Thanks for starting your morning with us.
Please invite your colleagues
to subscribe to the PoliticsPA Playbook

2 Responses

  1. You keep worrying about sports bars, while Trump plans to destroy democracy. How pathetic!!!!


  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

    • Yes. It's a national security risk. (60%)
    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
    • What's ByteDance? (0%)

    Total Voters: 30

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen