January 22nd Playbook

The RSLC announces that they are placing Pennsylvania in their top tier states for 2020, while state Reps. Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) and Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill) announce that they will retire at the end of their current terms. Here is the Playbook. 

RSLC Places PA State House, Senate Effort in 2020 Top Tier Campaign: The Republican State Leadership Committee has Pennsylvania as one of their top tier states for their “Right Lines 2020” initiative.

HD38: Kortz Announces Retirement: The Democrat, who was first elected in 2006, represents a district that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 over Hillary Clinton by over 4 points.

Reiss Ends Congressional Bid in PA1: Bucks County Prothonotary Judi Reiss, who was the first Democrat to formally announce a bid for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), announced on Monday morning that she was ending her bid.

PA16: End Citizens United Endorses Kristy Gnibus: End Citizens United, a Political Action Committee that is “funded by grassroots donors” that is “dedicated to countering the disastrous effects of Citizens United and reforming our campaign finance system,” announced their endorsement of Kristy Gnibus for the Democratic nomination for the 16th Congressional District. 

JoAnn Hentz Resigns As Lancaster County Democratic Party Chair: According to LNP | LancasterOnline, Lancaster County Democratic Committee Chair JoAnn Hentz resigned from her position on Jan. 15. Hentz did not tell LNP | LancsterOnline why she resigned in detail, but said that the local party had “quite a growth spurt” in the last two years with her at the helm. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, president of Lancaster City Council, is serving as the acting county party chair, while a new chair will be elected at the county Democrats’ endorsement convention on Jan. 29. 

Legislative Election Update: 

HD-38: State Rep. Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) announced that he will retire at the end of his current term. Kortz, who was first elected to the state House in 2006, ran unopposed in 2018 and defeated Republican challenger Rod Salka by 31 points in 2016. But according to DailyKos, President Donald Trump won this district by 4.3 points over Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

HD-125: State Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill) announced that he will retire at the end of his current term. Tobash, who was first elected to the state House in 2010, ran unopposed in his three most recent reelection bids. Despite chatter about Tobash being interested in making a run for Auditor General, he told the Pennsylvania Capital-Star that he will not make a bid for the statewide office.  

HD-87: Nicole Miller, a 43 year-old mother of three who is placing improving the mental health system as a campaign priority, announced her intentions to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the seat held by state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland). Rothman bested Democrat Sean Quinlan by 13 points in his most recent reelection bid in 2018. 

HD-157: State Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester/Montgomery) announced her intentions to seek a second term in the state House, according to the Daily Local News. Shusterman won the seat in 2018 after defeating incumbent state Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester) by 13 points

HD-99: Rick Hodge, a self-described progressive, announced his intentions to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the seat held by state Rep. David Zimmerman (R-Lancaster), according to LNP | LancasterOnline. Zimmerman won his most recent reelection bid for the seat in 2018 over Democrat Elizabeth Malarkey by 42 points

Harrisburg & DC   
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: In the battle of the Philly ‘burbs, Republicans tap a familiar name in March special House election
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘We’re failing to meet many of our goals,’ DEP official says as environmental oversight board passes hefty fee hike
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Kortz announces retirement, 13th House lawmaker leaving in 2020
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Schuylkill County’s Tobash announces retirement from state House
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: How seniors’ sweet tax breaks have become a target for cash-conscious lawmakers | Analysis
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: On its first day, Trump impeachment trial gets personal in the Senate
WITF: State university system to offer incentive to get more faculty to retire this year
WITF: Lawmakers, educators, prosecutors and more will study Pa.’s juvenile justice issues
AP: Judge ends halt to police seizures of cash-paying games
WHYY Newsworks: ‘Bazooka to a knife fight’? The plan to close Pa. cyber charter schools 
PLSReporter: The list of legislative retirements is growing. Here’s who won’t be running for re-election to the General Assembly in 2020. 
PLSReporter: Advocates announce lawsuit challenging closure of Polk, White Haven state centers
PLSReporter: Amid Polk, White Haven debate Democrats consider policies to boost disabled Pennsylvanians 
PLSReporter: Little agreement from stakeholders in cyber charter hearing, though bill sponsor insists he sees potential for progress
PLSReporter: Lawmakers champion PASSHE regulatory reform amid ongoing system redesign 
Post-Gazette: As Trump impeachment trial opens, senators brace for fight over witnesses
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania board votes to raise shale well permit fees 150% 
Post-Gazette: After hours of debate, Senate Republicans reject demands for subpoenas, witnesses at outset of Trump impeachment trial 
Inquirer: Journalists in Pa., four other states can now get free legal advice
York Daily Record: Could 2020 be year of legal weed in Pa.? 
Fox News: Pro-Trump group targets Doug Jones’ impeachment vote with ad buy
Beaver County Times: PA Cyber’s CEO testifies against bill that would eliminate all cyber charters, require students to attend district-run virtual programs
Beaver County Times: State environmentalists urge end to federal tolling orders
Patriot News: Lawmakers propose bills to boost central control, push redesign of Pa.’s state-owned universities
Patriot News: Pa. State Police score small win in enforcement against so-called ‘skill games’
Morning Call: Reporter’s Notebook: Scenes from opening day of the U.S. Senate impeachment trial 
National Journal: Republicans Split Endorsements
National Journal: Booker’s ground game won’t end with his presidential campaign
Billy Penn: Why U.S. senators will be eating Philly’s Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews during the impeachment trial
The Hill: Tucker Carlson: Bernie Sanders capable of taking ‘many thousands’ of Trump voters
Real Clear Politics: PA House Races Serve as 2020 Harbinger

Inquirer: Indicted Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon just got some powerful committees to chair
Inquirer: How Philly plans to combat the nation’s worst big-city opioid crisis in 2020 
Inquirer: Chicago developer Hilco wins auction for bankrupt Philadelphia refinery
Inquirer: Out of prison after 41 years, MOVE member Delbert Africa rails against ‘unjust’ criminal justice system
Inquirer: A ‘perfect storm’ of injustice: Philly man freed after 28 years as DA condemns ‘decades’ of misconduct
Inquirer: MSNBC host Chris Matthews slowing things down for new podcast
AL DÍA News: What comes next for Philadelphia’s domestic workers?
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia City Council to reintroduce bill Mayor Kenney pocket vetoed
KYW Newsradio: Teaching Philly how to recycle now more crucial as contamination rates add to city costs
Philly Voice: Philadelphia teachers’ union files lawsuit against School District over asbestos issue
WHYY Newsworks: Chicago-based Hilco Redevelopment Partners expected to be new PES refinery owner 
WHYY Newsworks: SEPTA taking Girard Ave. trolley off the rails; 78% of fleet can’t pass inspection

Bucks Courier Times: Democrat Judi Reiss ends bid for Congress in Bucks’ 1st District
Bucks Courier Times: There will be new voting machines in Bucks. Here’s where to check them out before election day
Bucks Courier Times: PA joins 15 states in SNAP injunction
Inquirer: Delco stinks. County and state officials are trying to figure out why.
Inquirer: West Chester wants to win back charter students with its own cyber program, and it’s not alone
Pottstown Mercury: State’s top-performing cyber charter school moves headquarters to West Chester
Bucks Local News: Congressional candidate Judi Reiss withdraws from Democratic Primary
Daily Local News: State Rep. Shusterman announces re-election bid

Pittsburgh Current: Some Dems Questioning “Pro-Trump” Social Media Posts By State Rep Candidate
Post-Gazette: State Rep. Bill Kortz to retire from 38th District seat
Post-Gazette: Two council members want to divide parks tax money equally among the Pittsburgh’s nine districts
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania board votes to raise shale well permit fees 150% 
Post-Gazette: With impeachment proceedings at hand, Point Park University holds an event to examine the media
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh’s office cleaners: Labor with dignity 
WESA: Pittsburgh City Council Weighs Parks Tax Proposal
WESA: Split Ticket: The Media Habits Of Western Pennsylvanians That Shape Their Votes
KDKA: Legal Battle Brewing Between Government And Gun Supporters After Court Says DUI Conviction Can Prevent Someone From Buying Gun
KDKA: Community Members Calling For Firing Of West Mifflin Police Officers After Altercation With 15-Year-Old Girl On School Bus
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Council to revisit civilian police review board proposal
Tribune Review: Pat Toomey’s ‘candy desk’ sates sweet-toothed senators
City Paper: Posts from Democratic state House candidate Heather Kass reveal Trump support and opposition to Obamacare
City Paper: Soon you’ll be able to pay Port Authority bus fare on your phone
City Paper: A Pittsburgh church raised $5,000 for a gun buyback program and ran out of money within an hour

Tribune Review: Westmoreland Dems announce Army vet as candidate for state house special election
Beaver County Times: PA Cyber’s CEO testifies against bill that would eliminate all cyber charters, require students to attend district-run virtual programs
Beaver County Times: State environmentalists urge end to federal tolling orders
Beaver County Times: Beaver County warming centers open during cold snap
Altoona Mirror: Hunting change costs stores dearly
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State Rep. Jim Rigby will host concealed carry seminar

Citizens Voice: GOP House leader endorses Granville
Citizens Voice: Officials taking sides over Francis Walter Dam study
Citizens Voice: County council to interview ABC applicants tonight
Citizens Voice: County, WVSA make legal threats over stormwater fee
Citizens Voice: DCED Executive Deputy Secretary tours Cardbox Packaging
Patriot News: Pa. State Rep. Mike Tobash opts against re-election bid 
Times-Tribune: County’s new proposed 2020 budget up for vote Wednesday 
Times-Tribune: Scranton council: No blank check on legal fees in tax-lawsuit appeal 
The Times Leader: Federal suit coming over proposed White Haven Center closure
The Times Leader: 35 interviewed for seats on Luzerne County boards
The Times Leader: Homeless programs in Luzerne County receive nearly $4M in HUD grants 
The Times Leader: Ideas presented to make WB more bike friendly

South Central 
York Dispatch: In York City, DePasquale sets eyes on Nov. election with primary still three months away
York Dispatch: York County officials support cyber bill, but wary of hidden costs
York Dispatch: Penn Waste sale a surprise to some York County municipalities
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster Democratic party chair resigns ahead of endorsement convention, 2020 election; here’s why
LNP | LancasterOnline: Self-described progressive Rick Hodge announces he’s running in 99th House District 
Carlisle Sentinel: Bill Tracker: Allowing victims of data breaches to sue companies that didn’t secure information
Patriot News: Hoping to fix ‘broken’ mental health system, woman announces bid for Pa. House seat
Patriot News: Health care facility manager seeks Pa. House seat representing Cumberland County

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: Former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer loses bid to have his 8-year federal prison sentence cut in half
Reading Eagle: New Reading Parking Authority learns about $30.7 million refinance package
Morning Call: In Puerto Rico, at Rep. Wild summit, ‘no one knows if the next one is the big one’ 

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Keller says ‘no’ to union bill
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City to directly collect business taxes
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Woodward supers approve 1 mill fire tax
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Commissioners put off subdivision land development fee increase conversation
Erie Times-News: Erie School Board to revisit union-friendly bid rule 

Inquirer Staff: New York Times endorsement raises question: Should newspapers still endorse candidates? | Pro/Con
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Money grab: Law enforcement seizes money without cause
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Youthful discoveries: High school interns help NASA find new planets 
LNP Editorial Board: Bolstering state law on drivers using hand-held devices is a good step
Greg Vitali: Gov. Wolf’s next budget should address environmental protection 
Michael Berry: Pa.’s new press freedom lawyer will shine more sunlight on government 
John L. Micek: Pa. has some work to do on racial equity, new report finds | Tuesday Morning Coffee
TL Hill and Donald Phillips: Philly’s gun violence solutions require state and city funding 
Tony Norman: Born under a bad sign: the politics of anti-Trump resistance
Fletcher McClellan: Without an overhaul, has time passed the Equal Rights Amendment by? 
Gene Therapy: Dr. King would have been huge on Twitter
Tom Kelley: Trump will win impeachment war, but it will be a loss for American principles
Will Bunch: Call Richmond’s MLK Day gun rally what it was: An outbreak of terrorism on American soil 
Gregory Dale: Why not a hip-hop museum for Philly? 
Morgan Marietta: The Supreme Court DACA decision isn’t just about Dreamers. It’s about whether Trump has to tell the truth

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