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February 26: The Long and Winding Road

😀 Good Morning and Welcome to the New Week. Thanks for reading the PoliticsPA Playbook.

PA Weather
🌤️ Zelienople | Mostly Sunny, 60
☀️ Zullinger | Sunny, 60
🌤️ Zebleys Corner | Mostly Sunny, 57

PA Sports
🏀 Sixers (33-24) | Milwaukee 98-119 | Tue vs. Boston
🏒 Flyers (30-22-7) | Pittsburgh 6-7 | Tue vs. Tampa Bay
🏒 Penguins (26-21-8) | Philadelphia 7-6 | Tue vs. Vancouver

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

What We’re Hearing
Americans For Prosperity Action, the powerful conservative group supporting Nikki Haley in the Republican presidential primary, will no longer spend money on behalf of her campaign.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Sen. Gene Yaw.

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. What Should PA Voters Expect In The U.S. Senate Race? Lots Of Ads And No Crudité Gaffes

Bob Casey, Dave McCormick

“Coming on the heels of the chaotic 2022 U.S. Senate race, the campaign for Pennsylvania’s other seat this year might seem downright quaint.

The battle two years ago between now-Sen. John Fetterman and TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz was politically unusual by any measuring stick with the personalities involved, Oz’s repeated gaffes (remember the crudité video?), the Fetterman camp’s social media prowess and, of course, Fetterman recuperating from a stroke that kept him off the campaign trail for two months.

This year’s race between Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Dave McCormick will likely shatter spending records as control of the Senate sits in the balance, but the weirdness level should be dialed way down, said one state political analyst.” (PennLive)


Trump and Biden Are Poised For A Rematch In PA Here’s What’s Changed Since 2020. “In the last two months, President Joe Biden landed in Marine One amid log cabins at Valley Forge National Historical Park and former President Donald Trump touched down in his “Trump Force One” branded jet at Philadelphia International Airport for a quick pop-in at a sneaker convention. They’re becoming Pennsylvania frequent fliers.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Pennsylvania Seeks Legal Costs From County That Let Outsiders Access Voting Machines To Help Trump. “A rural Pennsylvania county and its elected officials may have to pay the state elections agency hundreds of thousands of dollars to reimburse it for legal fees and litigation costs in a three-year battle over allowing outsiders to examine voting machines to help former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud.” (AP)

Moderates Pitch ‘Pared Down’ Bipartisan Spending Deal For Ukraine, Border Security. “Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Jared Golden (D-Maine) on Sunday urged their House colleagues to back their “pared down” proposal for Ukraine aid and border security, claiming the effort could serve as a “pressure point” to get spending passed.” (The Hill)



2. Is Pennsylvania’s Film Tax Credit Program Competitive? Some Say State Should Do More To Lure Hollywood

Pennsylvania expands film production tax credit by $30 million in state budget | PhillyVoice

“Pittsburgh-shot movies such as 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and locally filmed television shows like Netflix’s “Mindhunter” can engender incalculable levels of prestige and civic pride — and, more importantly, eminently calculable upticks in Hollywood-generated jobs and revenue.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development recently revealed that the Keystone State saw “total productions of more than $379 million” that resulted in more than 8,500 jobs statewide during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Some state lawmakers and industry advocates believe that economic stimulation can largely be attributed to Pennsylvania’s film incentive program.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Rep. Ciresi: Bill Would Make School Vouchers More Accountable. “A bill that would reform how the state’s three primary private school voucher programs work in an attempt to ensure taxpayer money goes to those who need it was introduced by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-146th.” (Media News Group)

A Q&A With State Sen. Gene Yaw, Chair Of The Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. “State Sen. Gene Yaw plays a major role in determining the direction the state Senate takes on energy policy.” (City & State)

Lafayette College Gets Ready To Roll Out Red, White And Blue Carpet For U.S. Vice Presidential Showcase. “College officials intend for the scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 25, debate to be more than a war of words between two politicians. Instead, Lafayette will host a days-long celebration of democracy.” (


Around The Commonwealth

3. York County Schools Could Net Extra $22 Million A Year If PA Education Advocates Prevail

School District of the City of York / Homepage

“In Erie County, a superintendent says a handful of relatively straightforward state reforms could free up enough money for his school district to make security upgrades and invest in more mental health services.

Across the commonwealth, Montgomery County education leaders predict the same changes could help them pay to install air conditioning units in their middle schools. And in Beaver County, projected savings from the proposal could help stave off future tax increases for residents, another superintendent says.

These public school leaders are talking about reforming Pennsylvania’s cyber charter funding structure, a decades-old system that many districts agree is broken and a growing budgetary albatross.” (York Daily Record)


The Prison, Probation And Prognostication Edition | Inside Johnny Doc’s Trial. “What punishments doled out to Dougherty allies tell us about the prison time he could be facing.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Doctor Is Out: 6-County Swath Of Northern Pennsylvania Will Soon Have No Maternity Care. “Rural hospitals are in crisis, experts say, and shuttering maternity units is just the latest cost-cutting move to stem the flow of red ink.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Newville Officials Say They Didn’t See State Audits That Indicated Financial Discrepancies Years Before Distress. “Several state audits could have offered some clue of Newville’s financial discrepancies years before they came to light in December 2022, but borough officials claim they never saw them.” (Carlisle Sentinel)

Sunday Shows

  • Face The Nation: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. (CBS News)
  • This Week in Pennsylvania: Sen. Scott Martin (ABC27)
  • PA Newsmakers: Mail-In Ballots, Budget, and Public School Funding (WGAL and others)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • Democrats and Republicans Agree On Something: No Outside Competition. (Kyle Sammin)
  • Politics Today: Facts Need Not Be Factual. (York Dispatch)
  • Gainey, SEIU Connections Mark Return Of Machine-Style Politics To Pittsburgh. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • As PA Ages, The State Clamors For Younger Workers With Different Skills. (Carrie Amann)
  • Diversity Can Bring Unity And A Symphony Of Life. (Michael J. Hussey)
  • Fear of a Black Female President. (Susan J. Demas)
  • Another Win For Public Access In Pennsylvania. (Daily Item)
  • Time For All Pennsylvanians To Enjoy The Digital Age. (Nathan Flood)
  • Lawmakers Must Help First Responders By Passing Legislation Addressing Train Transport Of Hazardous Materials. (LNP)


1 Thing

5. A Sure Sign of Spring

A full day of spring training baseball from Florida and Arizona.


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One Response

  1. Trump fancies himself a favorite of black voters because he is an indicted criminal. Think about that mentality..


  • 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

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