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January 26th Playbook

Political Rookies on the Rise. Maps, maps, and more maps. No more distress for Scranton. Here is the Playbook.


Congressional Redistricting. What’s Next?: Time has run out for Pennsylvania lawmakers to submit proposed maps for Congressional district boundaries and, unlike the NFL playoffs, going into overtime will not settle the score today.

Study of Election Trends Bodes Well for Political Rookies Like McCormick and Oz: Recent success of political rookies bodes well for McCormick and Oz.

House Bill Would Let Voters Decide On Privatizing Pa. Liquor System: Republicans want to end government monopoly on the sale of liquor in Pennsylvania. And this time they want the help of voters to do it.

‘Lawmakers OK veto-bound bill aimed at killing local gun laws’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s state Senate on Tuesday approved veto-destined legislation to help gun owners and gun-rights organizations collect damages in court from cities that passed firearms restrictions that were found to violate state law.” 

‘No Trump endorsement? Senate hopeful enlists other GOP stars’: The Associated Press reports that “with former President Donald Trump holding off on making a new endorsement in Pennsylvania’s closely watched Republican primary for U.S. Senate, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick is turning to other influencers in the party in hopes of generating conservative enthusiasm.”

‘Lawmakers call for extending attorney general’s jurisdiction to address Philadelphia gun violence’: PennLive reports that “with Philadelphia on pace to break last year’s record murder rate, two state lawmakers are pushing legislation to permanently grant the state attorney general’s office concurrent jurisdiction with Philadelphia’s district attorney to prosecute gun crimes that happen in that city.”

‘John Fetterman skipped a forum with Black clergy and some Democrats say he’s ducking scrutiny’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “recent no-shows have sparked questions about whether Fetterman can handle the scrutiny of being the Democratic front-runner in one of the country’s most crucial Senate races.”

‘Dr. Oz stumbles out of the gate in Senate race’: POLITICO reports that “Mehmet Oz’s introduction to GOP grassroots politics is a code-red crisis. In his first three unofficial tests as a candidate in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary, the celebrity physician known as Dr. Oz has been handily rejected by party activists.”

‘Austin Davis scores endorsement from SEIU PA State Council’: City & State PA reports that “a statewide labor organization of more than 80,000 members is backing Democratic state Rep. Austin Davis in his bid for lieutenant governor, adding to the groundswell of support Davis has already received from Democratic politicians across the state.”

‘‘The country looks to Pennsylvania’: Ted Cruz rallies in the Lehigh Valley to kick off candidate’s bid to replace Sen. Pat Toomey’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the Lehigh Valley, where Toomey lives, was the site of McCormick’s first public campaign appearance in the bid to replace the senator, who isn’t running for reelection. Cruz was the star — joining the candidate on stage to thunderous applause.”

‘Nurses push for law setting minimum nurse-to-patient ratios’: PennLive reports that “nurses came to state Capitol on Tuesday to call for action on a bill that would establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in Pennsylvania hospitals.”

‘Patient limits for nurses has majority support, but won’t advance in Harrisburg. Why?’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a majority of state House lawmakers support passing a law regulating how many patients a single nurse can take care of in hospitals. But don’t expect it to come up for a vote any time soon.”

‘Republican-penned amendment declaring no constitutional right to abortion advances to full Senate’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “a Republican-authored amendment declaring that there is no constitutional right to abortion or public funding for the procedure cleared a key state Senate committee on Tuesday, as the GOP moved to head off a potential state Supreme Court ruling that could expand access.”

‘After 30 years, Scranton successfully sheds state Act 47 designation as financially distressed’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “it’s official. Thirty years and 15 days after the state designated Scranton as financially distressed under state Act 47, the city on Tuesday successfully exited the oversight program.”

‘Senate candidate Dr. Oz to host Greensburg event’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, is hosting a meet-and-greet Wednesday in Greensburg.”

‘President Biden plans visit to Pittsburgh’: WTAE reports that “Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey are working to prepare for the visit. The two had a meeting Tuesday morning to talk about what projects could get makeovers.”

‘Wolf accelerates minimum wage increase for state employees’: The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “on Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf made the move to push up the deadline for raising the minimum wage for state employees.”

‘Pittsburgh City Council considers measure to explore annexing, merging with other municipalities’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “although Pittsburgh City Council appears poised to shoot down a request to annex neighboring Wilkinsburg, it is considering a proposal to take a more thorough look at whether annexations or mergers would be beneficial to the city.” 

‘Election deadlines set for voters in Ed Gainey’s former state House district’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “voters in Wilkinsburg and the eastern edge of Pittsburgh who want to have a say in who replaces Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey in his former state House seat, will have until March 21 to register to vote.”

‘Rep. Houlahan heads to Ukraine as tensions there continue to percolate’: The Daily Local News reports that “as tensions in Eastern Europe continue to boil over a possible Russian military incursion and U.S. embassy personnel in Ukraine begin to depart the capital city there, Chester County’s only congressional representative is making her way to that nation.”

‘Congressman Supports Bipartisan Effort To Ban Members From Trading Individual Stocks’: Levittown Now reports that “Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers supporting legislation to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks.” 

‘Philly mayor undergoes medical procedure’: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is undergoing surgery for a heart condition, but city officials believe a transfer of power isn’t necessary.”

‘DA seeks better opioid case settlement for Philly’: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that “Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner and his office are waiting for a better settlement offer to be negotiated in their lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.” 

‘Trio of lawmakers calls for anti-discrimination statute after borough revokes LGBTQ+ ordinance’: PennLive reports that “the heads of Pennsylvania’s legislative LGBTQ+ Caucuses are calling on the General Assembly to enact a non-discriminatory statute one day after a borough became the first in the commonwealth to revoke such a measure at the local level.”

‘Pa. approves batch of reforms to stop ‘plague’ of horse racing injuries and deaths’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania on Tuesday approved nearly a dozen measures aimed at thoroughbred racehorse “safety and welfare issues that are currently plaguing Pennsylvania and the nation.””

‘These 25 Pa. communities have grown the most since 2010’: PennLive “compared census data from 2010 to 2020 to find the 25 fastest-growing communities.”

‘Rep. Wild, LANTA discuss infrastructure law’: WFMZ reports that “Congresswoman Susan Wild was touting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Tuesday.”

‘Erie County Councilman announces candidacy for State Representative’: WJET reports that “Erie County Councilman Andre Horton has announced his candidacy for Pennsylvania State Representative.”

‘Candidate for lieutenant governor makes campaign stop in Erie region’: WJET reports that “Republican Clarice Schillinger made a campaign stop to touch base with Northwest Pennsylvania.”

‘Man Accused Of Threatening Rep. Pam Snyder’s Office Headed For Trial’: KDKA reports that “a man is headed for trial on charges that he threatened the office of State Rep. Pam Snyder. Anthony Burnworth is accused of making two phone calls to Snyder’s office.”

‘New legislation introduced to protect Pa. grain farmers’: WFMZ reports that “two Pennsylvania lawmakers are announcing new legislation that will protect grain farmers throughout the state.”

‘Sparks erupt between Kirkland and Receiver over Covanta contract’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “tensions raised between Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland and city Receiver Michael T. Doweary Tuesday after a presentation in which the Receiver’s Office maintained the city has lost almost $10 million in the 2017 Covanta contract.”

‘Allegheny County Council president says committee selections mark challenge to county executive’: WESA reports that “Allegheny County Council President Pat Catena has installed his Democratic allies to lead all 10 of the body’s legislative committees — a move that he said is meant to send a message to Democratic County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.”

‘Pennsylvania gets $85.4 million in federal funds for Appalachian highway system’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pennsylvania will receive $85.4 million in federal funds over the next five years to help complete major projects in Centre and Snyder counties and continue design on an extension of Route 219 in Somerset County to the Maryland border.”

‘Council rejects proposed budget transfer to boost Scranton solicitor’s salary’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “City council rejected Tuesday the proposed transfer of $3,265 within the law department to boost city solicitor Jessica Eskra’s 2022 salary to $80,000.”

‘County adds clinical support for first responders as stresses build up’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Cumberland County announced Tuesday that it has implemented a new mental health support system for first responders — believed to be the first of its kind in the state — as the stresses of the opioid crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other matters take their toll on emergency services personnel.”

‘New Reading councilmember wants to reopen 2022 budget’: WFMZ reports that “newly-seated Councilwoman Brianna Tyson surprised Reading City Council Monday when she expressed a desire to reopen the 2022 budget, which was approved in December.”

‘Erie county executive ends telework policy for 1,000 county workers’: WJET reports that  “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis is ending the telework policy for about 1,000 county workers.”

Keith Rothfus: Pro-life movement stronger than ever
John L. Micek: Report Card: Pa. gets a ‘C’ for efforts to fight, eliminate hepatitis | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Michael A. MacDowell: Why even military hero Eisenhower struggled as a college president
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Repairing Western Pa.’s other regional superhighway: The rivers
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Antisemitism: A sickness we can’t allow to spread
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: If Lancaster Parking Authority wants more people to use the city’s parking garages, it should enhance their safety 
Dr. Rebecca Miller and Dr. Amy Collins: Women’s Health Protection Act would ensure abortion equality
Will Bunch Newsletter: Hey Biden, Shapiro: Stop pandering on cops
Michael Coard: From critical race theory to voting rights, America’s just as racist as ever 
Taylor Moss: How my generation ended up overeducated, underemployed and buried in debt
Gene Therapy: Public rhetoric reaching its full boil
Tony Norman: A mysterious death in Venango County
Trudy Rubin: Biden team needs to help the starving and the hunted in Afghanistan — now

One Response

  1. Dr Oz is Lt Gov Fetterman’s best chance of winning. Oz is a political practice squad talent with his only strength being a celebrity. If Fetterman continues his tendency for political turnovers he could give Oz a win.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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