Good Morning. I hear snow is coming. Time to get the bread, milk and eggs.
Erie | Cloudy, Chance of snow, 33
Ephrata | Partly sunny, 42
Emmaus | Decreasing clouds, 40
Penguins (23-15-8) | TUE vs. Florida
Flyers (20-21-7) | TUE vs. Los Angeles
76ers (30-16) | WED vs. Brooklyn
What We’re Hearing
“The whole goal here is to prevent corruption, or even the appearance of corruption. (Nobody) is giving this money just for fun.” – Aaron McKean
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1. Will The Real GOP Please Stand Up?
“Zach Scherer, a 20-year-old car salesman and Republican activist in Pennsylvania’s Butler County, decided to run for a seat on the county commission this year — a move that ordinarily would mean seeking the endorsement of local Republican Party leaders.
In Butler County, this raised an unusual question: Which Republican Party?
Last spring, the officially recognized Butler County Republican Committee was divided by a right-wing grass-roots insurgency, then divided again by a power struggle among the insurgents. There have been a lawsuit, an intervention by the state Republican Party and a dispute over a booth at the local farm show.” (New York Times)
After Past Farm Bill Stumbles, GOP This Year Faces Challenge Of Inexperience. “In the four years since Congress enacted the current farm bill, more than 40 percent of the seats in the House have turned over. Nearly 200 of the 435 members may know little about the multiyear, far-ranging and sometimes contentious legislation, posing a challenge to House Agriculture Chairman Glenn Thompson as he writes a 2023 farm bill.” (Roll Call)
2. Refusal To Release Inaugural Donors Exposes Gap In PA Law
“The refusal thus far of Gov. Josh Shapiro to disclose who paid for his glitzy inaugural bash has exposed the gap in state law that lets governors in Pennsylvania escape the kind of transparency that is sometimes required elsewhere.
Presidential inaugural committees are required by federal law to disclose donors who give over $200 to inaugural celebrations. States like Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey have such laws, as do cities including New York and Philadelphia, where city officials also cap the amount that an individual donor can give to an inauguration.” (AP)
Shapiro’s Environmental Agenda Raises Hopes – But Also Questions. “Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro campaigned on an environmental platform propped up by green jobs, innovation on the road to decarbonization, promises to plug the state’s hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells and a determination to hold polluters accountable for malfeasance.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
- PA Bill Defrays Charging Station Cost For Electric Car Owners. (The Center Square)
Public Should Have Lots To Say As Rozzi’s Listening Tour Begins. “Pennsylvania’s state House is on indefinite hiatus. Harrisburg is broken, so says House Speaker Mark Rozzi. He’s turning to the public and advocates for good government for suggestions on how to end the State Capitol stalemate.” (New Castle News)
- Rozzi Eyes Pittsburgh For First Stop Of Statewide Listening Tour. (City & State)
Reader Poll: When Will The PA House Agree On The Rules? 92 percent of respondents said they thought the House would decide on rules after the February 7 special elections in Allegheny County. Just four percent said the end of January, while two percent each said the end of this week or the beginning of February. Thanks for participating.
Abuse Survivors’ Amendment Author Urges House GOP To Advance Measure As Standalone Bill. “The Republican author of a constitutional amendment to provide legal relief for survivors of childhood sexual abuse called on House GOP leaders on Monday to allow voters to consider the measure by itself in the May primary election.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
Students Flock To PA Capitol To Promote School Choice. “Hundreds of students gathered at the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday to celebrate the kickoff of National School Choice Week.” (PennLive)
Waiting Game. “Backlogs and bottlenecks have dragged out wait times for a $350 million Pennsylvania mortgage relief program.” (Spotlight PA)
Around The Commonwealth
3. Special Election Preview: State Senate 27th District
“The first of many elections in Pennsylvania in 2023 is just a week away as Republican Lynda Schlegel Culver and Democrat Patricia Lawton square off in the 27th State Senate District.” (PoliticsPA)
Philadelphia Teachers’ Union Endorses Gym For Mayor. “The union that represents Philadelphia public-school teachers on Monday endorsed former Councilmember Helen Gym for mayor, throwing the weight of one of the city’s most politically potent labor unions behind a longtime education advocate.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Endorses Helen Gym For Mayor. (PoliticsPA)
Former Mayor John Street Endorses Rebecca Rhynhart. “Former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart brought out a big gun for her campaign for mayor — former two-term mayor John F. Street.” (Philadelphia Tribune)
Smith Announces Run For Philly City Commissioner. Working Families Party To Challenge GOP. “For perhaps the first time, a serious challenger has arisen against the Republican Party for one of the at-large seats reserved for a minority party for Philadelphia City Commissioner.” (PoliticsPA)
The Emerging At-Large Primary Field For Philadelphia City Council. “With three Democratic At-Large members having resigned to run for Mayor, the At-Large City Council candidate field in 2023 was expected to be pretty crowded. So far, though, it doesn’t appear the race will be quite as crowded as it was in the 2019 cycle when there were just two open seats. ” (The Philadelphia Citizen)
Allegheny County Manager Willy McKain To Leave For Private Sector Job. “McKain, who is also a certified public accountant, has served as county manager since he was nominated in July 2012. The county manager handles budget planning, policy creation, and other responsibilities that help implement the county executive’s goals.” (WESA)
Election Board To Meet Wednesday; Will Likely Reverse Course On Ballot Curing. “Luzerne County Board of Elections member Daniel Schramm says he has changed his mind again on a controversial issue facing the board, one week before the Jan. 31 special election for the 27th District state Senate seat.” (Standard-Speaker)
4. What They’re Saying
A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.
- How Josh Shapiro Expanded His Base, And How He Plans To Lead PA. (Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Val Arkoosh’s Undeserved Promotion To Secretary Of Health Services. (Joe Gale, Broad + Liberty)
- A Smart, Accountable Gift Ban Makes Common Sense. (Tribune-Review)
- As PA House Hibernates, Good-Government Bills Languish. (Paul Muschick, Morning Call)
- Shapiro Tries Bipartisan Diversity. (Observer-Reporter)
5. Girl Scout Cookie Time
Girl Scout cookie season has officially started.
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania are partnering this year with a new cookie baker, ABC Bakers, and offering several new cookies for sale.
Among the selection are refreshing Lemonades, French toast-inspired Toast-Yay!, and gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip. Scouts are also selling a new Raspberry Rally, available online only and shipped directly to customers’ doors. (PennLive)
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