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January 20: A Judicial First

Debra Todd, Chief Justice of PA Supreme Court

Good Morning. For all the fans out there – E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!

PA Weather
Greensburg | Rain and Snow Showers, 37
Chambersburg | Cloudy, Breezy, 44
Conshohocken | Cloudy, 45

PA Sports
Eagles | SAT vs. NY Giants
Penguins (22-15-7) | FRI vs. Ottawa | SUN vs. New Jersey
76ers (29-16) | Portland, W 105-95 | SAT vs. Sacramento
Flyers (18-20-7) | Chicago, L 4-1 | SAT vs. Detroit

What We’re Hearing
“With extraordinary measures now in effect, the debt ceiling is officially a ticking time bomb we can’t [defuse] soon enough,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Joe Kerwin.

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Top Story

1. Todd To Be Installed As First Female Chief Justice Of PA Supreme Court

Ellwood City native Debra Todd was a 'superstar from the start.' Now she leads the Pa. Supreme Court | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Debra Todd knew that in 2023, she would become the first female chief justice in the 300-year history of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Her predecessor and longtime friend Max Baer had planned to retired in December, and as the next longest-serving member, the role of chief would fall to her.

But when Baer died suddenly on Sept. 30, Todd was forced to move into the position more quickly than she expected.” (Tribune-Review)


Event To Mark Todd’s Rise As First Female PA Chief Justice. “Pennsylvania state Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd will be formally installed as chief justice in a ceremony set for Friday afternoon in a downtown Pittsburgh hotel.” (AP)



2. Shapiro Officially Nominates Michelle Henry For Attorney General

Josh Shapiro's successor for attorney general is no stranger to the big stage | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As reported here a week ago, Gov. Josh Shapiro moved one step closer to rounding out his cabinet with the announcement that he has nominated Michelle Henry to serve as Attorney General.

Henry, 53, who presently serves as Acting Attorney General, is nominated to fill out the remainder of Shapiro’s term and her selection has been sent to the Senate for advice and consent. Henry has risen from intern in the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office to now serve as the chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth. (PoliticsPA)

  • Shapiro Nominates Top Aide Michelle Henry To Be PA’s Attorney General. (PennLive)



States Push For New Voting Laws With An Eye Toward 2024. “The tug of war over voting rights and rules is playing out with fresh urgency at the state level, as Republicans and Democrats fight to get new laws on the books before the 2024 presidential election.” (New York Times)

How Rozzi Has Shaken Up Harrisburg’s Halls Of Power. “Less than two months after Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives gathered in front of Independence Mall in Philadelphia to claim a slim majority in the state House, the power structure in Harrisburg is as unpredictable as ever. The election of a new House Speaker has prompted fresh questions about how the state Capitol will function in the opening months of 2023.” (City & State)

Mastriano’s 2022 ‘After Action Review.’State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Franklin County Republican who got crushed by nearly 15 percentage points in November’s election for governor, has developed a four-point plan to prevent that from happening again. One problem: Mastriano is not following his own plan.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Reader Poll: When Will The PA House Agree On The Rules? (PoliticsPA)


Around The Commonwealth

3. McCormick Making Moves For A Potential Senate Run Against Casey

Billionaire executives and out-of-state donors pour millions into pro- McCormick super PAC ahead of Pennsylvania's Senate GOP primary • OpenSecrets

“Shortly after Republicans’ disappointing November election, Dave McCormick hosted several dozen GOP strategists, donors, and insiders for drinks and food at his stately home in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

For some, it was a bittersweet moment: If McCormick had been their U.S. Senate candidate against John Fetterman, they thought, maybe it would have been a victory party instead.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Philly Mayoral Candidates Debated Crime, Policing And Stop-And-Frisk. “Philadelphia mayoral candidates for the first time debated what all of them say is the No. 1 issue facing the city: gun violence and public safety.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Mike Stack “Announces” Run For Philly Mayor. The field for Philadelphia mayor may have just increased by one. Former lieutenant governor Mike Stack made his intentions known to the Philadelphia Democratic Party during a recent meeting of party leadership, according to chair Bob Brady. (PoliticsPA)

The Fight Over The Allegheny Political Party Pits Progressives Against The Establishment. “Candidates who want to run in the May primary don’t begin circulating their nominating petitions until next month. And if I didn’t know better, the last couple days might lead me to suspect UPMC’s name might be on the ballot, at least metaphorically. But what we’re seeing in the early days of the 2023 campaign is a political trend even bigger than UPMC – if such a thing can be imagined.” (WESA)

UPMC Creating Modern ‘Company Towns,’ Dominating Workers And Dictating Prices, Lawmakers Claim. “Medical giant UMPC is bent on monopolizing health care, while also ignoring its non-profit responsibility to benefit rather than exploit communities, a pair of western Pennsylvania lawmakers and an anti-corporate advocate said on Thursday.” (PennLive)

Montgomery County Needs A New Commissioner. Here’s How They’ll Pick One. “Montgomery County has to replace County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who was tapped by Gov. Josh Shapiro to be Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Human Services. The county court administrator’s office is taking applications to fill her role until Jan. 23.” (WHYY)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.


1 Thing

5. If The Shoe Fits …

If sleeping in a 1,400-square-foot work boot is on your 2023 vision board, head west to York County.

The Haines Shoe House, built in 1949 as a marketing tool for a local shoe store, has been spruced up and is available to rent. The home features three bedrooms, 2½ baths, and a hot tub, out back. The shoe’s new owners, Naomi and Waylon Brown, bought the property in the summer for $355,000 and set about fixing it up. It opened for rentals on in November.


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One Response

  1. District Attorney Steve Zappala of Allegheny County has an answer for street violence…lock up people who use ugly but free speech to attack police. Zappala is once again grandstanding in an
    Election year to win back a few cops he pissed off by prosecuting a proven innocent cop a few years ago. It is time for him to go back to the bar and listen to some intelligent conversation.


  • 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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