January 30th Playbook

The Cook Political Report places the Pennsylvania state House and Senate as Leans Republican in 2020. Here is the Playbook. 

Cook: PA State House, Senate Leans Republican: The ratings say that the Democrats have a shot at taking over at least one chamber, although the GOP starts the cycle with an edge.

Congressman Ro Khanna To Headline PA Dems Winter Dinner: The Pennsylvania Democratic Party credits Rep. Khanna (D-CA), who was born and raised in Pennsylvania, for being a leading progressive voice in the U.S. House.

Garrity Launches Bid for Treasurer: Stacy Garrity, who was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Republican Party for the statewide office, said in a press release that she would prioritize fiscal responsibility, transparency, and putting taxpayers first if elected Treasurer.

HD8: Phil Heasley Selected as Dem Candidate for Special Election: Heasley has pinpointed creating jobs in the district, access to affordable healthcare, and expanding broadband service as campaign priorities.

Lancaster County Democratic Committee Endorses Hartman for Auditor General: According to a release from Christina Hartman’s campaign, the Lancaster County Democratic Committee endorsed her in the upcoming Democratic primary for Auditor General with 71% of the vote. Hartman, a non-profit leader and former Lancaster County congressional candidate, has been endorsed by 45 elected officials, including former Governor Ed Rendell, and state Reps. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery) and Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster).

PA7: Giffords Gun Reform Group Endorses Wild: A gun reform advocacy group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), “Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence” released their endorsements for eight freshman congresswoman as a part of their organization’s first round of endorsements in 2020, which includes Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh), according to The Hill

Legislative Election Update: 

HD-39: Tom Kirsch, a Bethel Park businessman, announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the seat held by state Rep. Mike Puskaric (R-Allegheny), according to the Observer-Reporter. Puskaric, who did not face a primary challenger in 2018, bested Democrat Robert Rhoderick Jr. for the open seat by 11.6 points

HD-82: State Rep. John Hershey (R-Mifflin) announced his intentions to seek reelection in the state House. Hershey received 70% of the vote on his way to winning the seat in 2018. 

Harrisburg & DC   
Morning Call: Here’s what Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey and Bob Casey asked during the Trump impeachment trial
Morning Call: Pat Toomey says he’s ‘very, very skeptical’ any witness will change his impeachment vote
AP: Pennsylvania has early primary envy, plots to move up in ’24
AP: Victim rights amendment, on hold since vote, heads to court
AP: Governor floats plan to attack lead, asbestos in schools
AP: UPS to expand operations in Pennsylvania, hire 1,700 workers
Spotlight PA: Gov. Wolf calls for $1 billion to tackle lead and asbestos in schools across Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Ex-prosecutor Dave Arnold sworn-in to represent Lebanon County’s 48th Senate District
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Toomey says he’s ‘very skeptical’ Trump impeachment witnesses would change his mind, report
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: This plan for universal paid family leave in Pa. has bipartisan support. Will it ever become law?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Senate bill aims to give extra help to vets who get into trouble with the law
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Congress is talking about paid family leave. Will they do anything?
Patriot News: With earlier primary, Pa. voters could pack a more powerful punch in deciding presidential nominees
Patriot News: Who will win the Iowa Caucus | Battleground Pa. podcast
Patriot News: Pa. Senate passes bill requiring insurers to cover breast cancer screenings for women in high-risk categories
KDKA: Michael Bloomberg Spends Record Amount In Pennsylvania In Bid To Win State’s Democratic Primary
WITF: Wolf dusts off $4.5 billion infrastructure plan
WITF: As Pa. senate mulls paid leave, labor groups applaud, free market interests balk
WITF: New study shows economic toll of spotted lanternfly if allowed to spread across Pa.
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Senate OKs plan to move up PA primary; House unconvinced
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Shapiro decries delay in helping adult survivors of sex abuse, while touting his record in office 
PLSReporter: Dave Arnold sworn-in as the newest member of the Pa. Senate
PLSReporter: After pushing from Philly legislators, Wolf rolls out $1 billion plan to combat lead, asbestos
PLSReporter: Air quality report draws range of reactions from elected officials, environmental activists
PLSReporter: Senate Democrats renew call for corporate tax reform
Beaver County Times: Casey: ‘Anyone’ can fall victim to Social Security phone scam
Beaver County Times: PA receives failing grades from American Lung Association’s annual report
Inquirer: Pat Toomey is ‘very, very skeptical’ he’ll support calling witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial
Inquirer: Pa., N.J. get failing grades on tobacco control in new American Lung Association report
Post-Gazette: Toomey: ‘Not at all convinced’ senators need to hear from witnesses in Trump trial
Post-Gazette: Gas price concerns rise as Pennsylvania considers a regional climate pact for cars
National Journal: Wolf to Spend on Behalf of State Legislative Candidates 
The Hill: Giffords gun reform group backs eight ‘strong women’ in House reelection bids
The Hill: Centrist poll: ‘Medicare for All’ underwater in key battleground states
The Hill: 14 states sue EPA over chemical safety regulations rollback
The Hill: Pennsylvania moves to push primary up five weeks starting in 2024
StateImpactPA: Pitt alumni join students to pressure administration to divest from fossil fuels

WHYY Newsworks: Philly Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson indicted by feds on corruption charges
WHYY Newsworks: ‘From here, for here’: Indicted Councilman Kenyatta Johnson proclaims innocence to crowd of supporters
WHYY Newsworks: Krasner to stop charging for possession of opioid treatment drug popular on the street
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia, state join suit against EPA over chemical-safety rules at industrial sites
Inquirer: Feds charge Philly City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson with using his office to enrich himself and his wife
Inquirer: Key counts in the indictment against Kenyatta Johnson and his wife
Inquirer: The Case Against Kenyatta Johnson
Inquirer: Philly DA Larry Krasner will no longer prosecute people for possession of an addiction treatment drug
Inquirer: Pa. among states suing EPA, saying it wants to gut safeguards on accidents like Philly refinery fire
Inquirer: 6 weeks after rowhouse explosion, South Philly residents still feel that they aren’t getting answers
Inquirer: Philly’s new director of LGBT Affairs is likely the first openly trans person to lead a city office
PLSReporter: Philadelphia Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson indicted
KYW Newsradio: Federal prosecutors indict Philly Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, wife
KYW Newsradio: Philly, AG Shapiro trying to stop EPA from rolling back chemical safety regulations
KYW Newsradio: Transgender woman of color to lead Office of LGBT Affairs for first time
Philly Voice: Philly council member Kenyatta Johnson accepted $66,000 in bribes, federal indictment claims
Philly Voice: Mummers leadership, Philadelphia City Councilmembers meet over blackface controversy

Bucks Courier Times: Bucks joins Montco, schools in suits against vaping manufacturers, stores that sell to minors
Bucks Courier Times: Tourism thriving in Bucks County, fueling local economy
Bucks Courier Times: Democrat David Oxley appointed Newtown Township supervisor
Daily Local News: Restructuring causes major changes in Kennett Township
KYW Newsradio: Bucks County sues Juul for using deception to hook kids on nicotine
Montgomery Media: Bucks County DA files lawsuit against vaping industry
Bucks Local News: ‘YOUR FALSE, DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED:’ Bucks County District Attorney files lawsuit against e-cigarette giant Juul (VIDEOS)
Pottstown Mercury: Montco DA Kevin Steele awarded Victim Service Pathfinder Award
Delco Daily Times: FOP cuts ties with Colwyn, residents question police presence

Tribune Review: Delmont councilman announces bid for 14th Congressional seat 
Post-Gazette: Council bill on parks tax money delayed by legal opinion
Post-Gazette: Groups encourage Port Authority to adjust fares for low-income riders 
KDKA: Michael Bloomberg Spends Record Amount In Pennsylvania In Bid To Win State’s Democratic Primary
KDKA: At Community Discussions, Port Authority Ready To Listen To Issues That Concern Riders 
City Paper: Calls for Pitt to divest from fossil fuel companies renewed, with alumni joining the advocacy
WESA: City Controller Urges Tighter Controls On Spending For Baseball Umpires

Observer-Reporter: Republican Tom Kirsch declares his candidacy for 39th State House District Seat
Observer-Reporter: Public hearing on Saturday opening-day hunting to convene in Mon Valley
Altoona Mirror: Ward to chair aging, youth committee
Altoona Mirror: County seeks funds to offset voting system
Altoona Mirror: City may refuse $250K grant
Beaver County Times: Beaver Falls voters to answer home-rule question

Citizens Voice: Eachus hopes to challenge Toohil
Citizens Voice: Brown asks W-B council to amend fee schedules for his proposed 2020 budget
Citizens Voice: Critics blast stormwater, vehicle fees; county council action expected next month
Citizens Voice: Illegal video gambling machines seized 
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County tax hike moves forward
Times-Tribune: Scranton temporarily closes three schools; governor offers plan to help with asbestos and lead statewide
Times-Tribune: Documents show Scranton School District leaders knew about lead, asbestos
The Times Leader: Brown’s balanced budget draws limited response from WB residents
The Times Leader: Pittston man will be Rep. Cartwright’s guest at State of the Union
The Times Leader: Wolf proposes minimum wage increase for sixth time
The Times Leader: Luzerne County board appointments delayed

South Central 
Patriot News: Pa. Sen. Dave Arnold takes oath of office, sets as his goal to ‘do all the right things for the right reasons’
Patriot News: Pa. Supreme Court to hear appeals of order granting PennLive access to medical marijuana records
LNP | LancasterOnline: Affordable housing, financial challenges: 4 takeaways from Mayor Sorace’s State of the City address
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster GOP endorsements: Zimmerman, rest of incumbents get party’s support for 2020 election
LNP | LancasterOnline: Taxpayer-funded charter schools: What are they and why should you care?
Carlisle Sentinel: Work starts on creating anti-hate response network in Carlisle
York Daily Record: Council decision may force Mayor to look for new fire chief

Lehigh Valley      
Reading Eagle: Berks County Prison inmate population down sharply from last year
Reading Eagle: Acting Reading police chief touts falling crime rates in 2019
Reading Eagle: State loan to help eliminate raw sewage discharge at Sinking Spring facility
Morning Call: Morning Call Editor-in-Chief Terry Rang retiring amid larger newsroom reorganization 
Express Times: The Lehigh Valley saw almost 100 days of poor air quality in 2018

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Slaughter meets other mayors of several cities
Erie Times-News: Dahlkemper sees good things ahead for Erie County 

Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Keep Polk Center open: Look at options for residents, families and employees
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Improve bus safety: Seat and shoulder belts should be mandatory
Inquirer Editorial Board: Kenyatta Johnson’s indictment is serious bad news for City Council
Inquirer Editorial Board: ‘Mosquitoes’ might repel young people, but open parks could repel violence.
Rep. Fred Keller: If Congress cares about jobs, the economy, workers’ rights, it should say no to the PRO Act: 
John L. Micek: Report: Majorities of Pa. voters support minimum wage hike | Wednesday Morning Coffee
Jenice Armstrong: Wife of indicted Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong’ 
Karen Wolk Feinstein: Let’s prioritize Medical assistance for vulnerable seniors
Helen Ubiñas: I’m declaring 2020 the Year of the Gunshot Victim. Let’s start by getting this survivor compensated. 
Julia DyReyes: Some universities should get a failing grade when it comes to the opioid crisis 
Chris Kelly: Trust in school district poisoned
Keith Naughton, Ph.D.: Could Biden steamroll the Democratic field?
Tom C.W. Lin: After another Puerto Rico earthquake, the U.S. keeps ignoring 3 million Americans 
Dan Simpson: The Ukraine affair has played into Putin’s hands
Bruce Ledewitz: A few thoughts on MLK’s neglected politics 
Jessica Press: Free Our Youth 
Alan C. Miller: It’s National News Literacy Week, but students need media education all year 
David Barron: Whether it’s flu or coronavirus, businesses need an HR strategy for sick employees 
Trudy Rubin: Trump’s Mideast plan aimed at U.S. and Israeli elections, not peace

  • Reader Poll: Have You Requested a Mail-In Ballot?

    • Yes. I enjoy mail-in voting. (50%)
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