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January 4th Playbook

Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart announced her candidacy for Governor. Here is the Playbook. 


‘Western Pennsylvania Republican Melissa Hart joins governor’s race’: WESA reports that “​​​former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart launched her bid for governor Monday evening. So far, the former congresswoman from Western Pennsylvania is the only woman running in the large GOP field of candidates.”

‘Hedge fund CEO resigns ahead of anticipated US Senate run’: The Associated Press reports that “David McCormick has resigned as CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Connecticut-based Bridgewater Associates said Monday, as McCormick moves closer to declaring his candidacy for U.S. Senate in his native Pennsylvania.”

‘Josh Shapiro wants Austin Davis, a 32-year-old Western Pa. lawmaker, to be his lieutenant governor’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Attorney General Josh Shapiro has a preferred running mate in his bid to be Pennsylvania’s governor. Shapiro on Tuesday plans to endorse state Rep. Austin Davis, a Western Pennsylvania Democrat who will simultaneously launch his campaign for lieutenant governor.”

‘Pennsylvania loses population in first half of 2021, says census estimates’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “after marginally gaining population between 2010 and 2020, census estimates indicate that Pennsylvania’s population figures have slightly reversed themselves starting in the new decade.”

‘Planning to attend the Farm Show? Ag Secretary urges you to consider COVID-19 risk’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Agriculture is urging visitors to use discretion when deciding whether to attend the Pennsylvania Farm Show amid rising COVID-19 infections.”

‘20 Pennsylvanians to watch in 2022’: PennLive reports that “there’s a good chance” that all 20 Pennsylvanians on the list “will make some kind of impact in your world in the year to come.”

‘Beer, turnpike tolls, groceries and more: 10 things that will be more expensive in 2022’: PennLive lists “some goods and services you should anticipate paying more for in the new year.”

‘Bartos campaign takes aim at ‘carpetbaggers’ in new policy memo’: City & State PA reports that “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Bartos is promising to prioritize policies that benefit Pennsylvanians if elected to the Senate later this year and is taking some shots at his opponents in the GOP primary in the process.”

‘Two-time candidate Dana Hamp Gulick to challenge Rep. Sturla in proposed Lancaster city, Manheim Township House district’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “state Rep. Mike Sturla hasn’t faced a Democratic primary challenger since he first won his Lancaster city-based seat in 1991. But in the course of two months, he’s managed to draw two Democratic challengers in two separate House districts.”

‘Skippack Supervisor Fountain announces bid for 24th Dist. state Senate seat’: Montgomery Media reports that “Skippack Township Supervisor Nick Fountain is throwing his hat into the ring in the race for the  24th state Senatorial District seat being vacated by Republican Bob Mensch, who is not seeking re-election.” 

‘Montgomery County Commissioner Arkoosh tests positive for COVID-19’: Montgomery Media reports that “fully-vaccinated Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Val Arkoosh tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, according to a statement from the county.” 

‘Bill to extend legal window for child sex abuse survivors unlikely to see a Pa. Senate vote’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports “despite pleas from advocates and a recent request from the governor, a bill that would open a two-year window for child sex abuse survivors to pursue civil lawsuits against their abusers is unlikely to see a floor vote as the Pennsylvania Senate returns to session this month.”

‘Revenue Dept.: Pa. collected $3.8B in tax revenue in December’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the state ended 2021 on a high note, collecting $3.8 billion in tax revenue in December, which was $464.3 million, or 13.7 percent, ahead of projections, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced Monday.”

‘Pennsylvania is the latest destination for ‘Biden Air’ illegal immigrant flights: Lahren, Jones’: Fox News reports that “after previous reports of “ghost flights” of illegal immigrants who were flown to metro New York and parts of Florida, recent images captured by a former Pennsylvania congressman appear to show the same tactic being employed in the Poconos.”

‘Pennsylvania’s Elections In 2022 Most Significant In 3 Generations’: KDKA reports that “the last time Pennsylvania nominated a new governor and U.S. senator without an incumbent running for either office was 1958. That’s what’s happening this year.”

‘Philly DA Larry Krasner says his second term will focus on gun violence prevention, not just punishment’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “kicking off his second term Monday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said he believed truly addressing the city’s gun violence crisis would require his office not just to focus on prosecuting suspected offenders, but also to lead community-focused efforts that might help prevent shootings in the first place.”

‘The Confluence: An interview with Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh’s new mayor’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey talks about his goals as leader of the city, running a campaign against an incumbent, and how he’ll work with former colleagues in the state legislature.”

‘Ed Gainey inaugurated as 61st mayor — and first Black mayor — of Pittsburgh’: WESA reports that “amid gospel hymns, drumming performances and prayers, Ed Gainey was sworn in as Pittsburgh’s 61st mayor, and its first Black mayor, on Monday afternoon.”

‘Catena re-elected Allegheny County Council president despite challenge from Fitzgerald allies’: WESA reports that “Democrat Pat Catena was re-elected president of Allegheny County Council Monday, possibly foreshadowing continued turbulence in Democratic Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s relationship with council.”

‘Potential Wilkinsburg annexation leaves unanswered questions for both school districts’: WESA reports that “the Wilkinsburg School Board wants to speak with the Pittsburgh Public Schools board about how the annexation of the borough would affect both entities.”

‘Transcript of Mayor Ed Gainey’s inauguration speech’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides the transcript to Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey’s inauguration speech. 

‘Lindsay Powell to join InnovatePGH as workforce strategies director following role in Peduto’s administration’: The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “Lindsay Powell, who previously served as the assistant chief of staff and policy director to former Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, will join InnovatePGH as a workforce strategies director later this month.”

‘Increased salaries set for new Westmoreland DA office heads’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli won her first case Monday. Ziccarelli’s victory came not in the courtroom but in the boardroom as the county’s salary board unanimously backed her plan to increase the pay for a newly appointed first assistant and chief detective.”

‘One-on-one with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto as he prepares to leave office’: Former Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto talked with WTAE “about strides he says the city has made in social justice, economic equality and addressing climate change.”

‘Freedom, Beaver County, has first female mayor’: WTAE reports that “Freedom, Beaver County, has its first female mayor. Nadine Padezanin was sworn in Monday as the first woman to serve as mayor of the borough.”

‘Cognetti sworn in for full four-year term as Scranton mayor’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “embarking on her first full four-year term, Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti identified infrastructure improvements, progress on stormwater management and fiscal responsibility in a post-Act 47 era as being among her priorities in 2022 and beyond.”

‘McBride named chair and Belusko vice chair of Wilkes-Barre City Council’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “at its public reorganization meeting Monday night at City Hall, council elevated Beth Gilbert McBride to the chair post and approved Mike Belusko as the vice chair for 2022.”

‘Kendra Radle is new Luzerne County Council chair’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County Councilwoman Kendra Radle was named the new council chair Monday, overcoming a push by some to put new Councilman Brian Thornton in the leadership role.”

‘Wanda Williams takes office as Harrisburg’s mayor’: PennLive reports that “Wanda R.D. Williams became the 39th mayor of the City of Harrisburg Monday morning in public ceremonies at the Whitaker Center.”

 ‘With new mayor poised to lead Harrisburg, here are 5 things that changed under Eric Papenfuse’: PennLive reports that “as Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse’s second term comes to an end Monday Jan. 3, the city looks much different from when he originally took office.”

‘Shamokin City Council welcomes controversial member’: PennLive reports that “a man who won a seat on Shamokin City Council was sworn-in Monday and became an active member all while a Northumberland County district attorney tries to bar him because of a criminal record.”

‘Lancaster Mayor Sorace sworn in for second term, emphasizes transparency’: ABC27 reports that Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace was sworn-in for a second term. 

‘Matt Tuerk, the grandson of a Cuban immigrant, sworn in as Allentown mayor. He says his administration wants to hear ‘all of the voices.’’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Matt Tuerk was sworn in as Allentown’s new mayor during a Monday, Jan. 3, 2021, ceremony at City Hall.” 

‘J. William Reynolds, sworn in as Bethlehem’s 14th mayor, looks back with gratitude and forward with excitement’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “J. William Reynolds was sworn in as Mayor of Bethlehem.”

‘‘You are not going to be a constable in Lehigh County’: Judge disqualifies Allentown constable-elect who was convicted of impersonating a police officer’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “after hearing a recitation of convictions in three states for theft, fraud and impersonating a police officer, among other crimes, a Lehigh County judge on Monday declared a Michigan man who won a write-in campaign for constable in Allentown ineligible to serve.”

‘Pa. appeals court rules flawed Lehigh County mail ballots should not be counted in case that will decide close judge race’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a divided Pennsylvania appeals court said Monday that vote-by-mail ballots returned without dates in Lehigh County should not be counted, reversing a county judge’s decision in a case that could affect the outcome of a close race for a seat on Lehigh County Court.”

‘These Lehigh Valley road projects are moving along thanks to infrastructure bill. Others, including Route 22 widening, will have to wait.’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “with the Lehigh Valley needing more than $4 billion to fund improvements to its roads and bridges over the next 25 years (according to transportation officials), every bit of money helps. A big boost is expected from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $1 trillion bill President Joe Biden signed into law in November.”

‘Youngest Reading councilman eager to get to work’: The Reading Eagle reports that “first-term city Councilman Wesley Butler foresees a continued renaissance for downtown Reading, and is eager to help make it happen. Butler, 20, the youngest person to serve on council in the city’s history, was sworn into office Monday night during a ceremony at Albright College’s McMillan Campus Center.”

‘Northampton County Council chooses Lori Vargo Heffner as president, Kerry Myers as vice president’: WFMZ reports that “Northampton County Council wrapped up an annual reorganization meeting Monday in five minutes, choosing Lori Vargo Heffner again as president.”

‘Erie City Council swears in three new members while Mayor Joe Schember begins second term’: WJET reports that “it was a historic swearing in at Erie City Hall on January 3rd.”

‘Erie County Executive Brenton Davis takes office’: WJET reports that “Erie County Executive Brenton Davis and other elected leaders have been sworn into office.”

‘Several members sworn in to Erie County Council’: WJET reports that “several members of the Erie County Council have been sworn in on January 3rd.”

‘Residency requirement removed, full-time city manager expected by Jan. 31’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “a new full-time city manager could be in City Hall by the end of the month, following action Monday by Johnstown City Council.”

‘Richard Womack sworn in to most diverse Delaware County Council in history’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Richard Womack Jr., Delaware County’s newest county councilman, was sworn in Monday morning at an induction ceremony held in the Honorable John V. Diggins Ceremonial Courtroom at the Delaware County Courthouse.”

‘DeBaptiste takes over as new West Chester mayor’: The Daily Local News reports that “Lillian DeBaptiste was officially sworn in to serve as the borough’s first Black female mayor, Monday morning at Borough Hall.” 

‘Five Row Officers Take Oath At Inauguration’: Levittown Now reports that “Bucks County swore in five row officers and a new Common Pleas Court judge Monday.”

‘What does a more ‘progressive’ State College look like? Incoming mayor talks priorities, police and more’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “Ezra Nanes will be sworn in as State College’s mayor Monday, officially starting a four-year term and signaling the start of what could be a political shift toward more “progressive” policies.”

‘Philly teachers union calls for week of virtual learning to bolster COVID measures’: WHYY reports that “the head of the city’s teachers union is calling for the School District of Philadelphia to go remote temporarily so that it has time to ensure COVID-19 mitigation strategies are in place before students and staff return from the holiday break.”

‘COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations spike over holidays in Pa.’: PennLive reports that “about one in four COVID-19 tests came back positive in Pennsylvania last week, a big jump from a week earlier and one of the highest rates of the pandemic.”

Bob Casey: Home care bill priority for 2022
Scott Conklin: Pennsylvania’s new congressional maps should not be drawn to favor one political party 
Maria Collett and Amanda Cappelletti: It’s time to help women get back to work 
Doug Mastriano: ‘Ghost’ flights near Lehigh Valley show Pa. isn’t immune to border crisis issues
Mehmet Oz: President Biden’s COVID Fumble
Matt Tuerk: City must focus on basics in new year 
Salvatore J. Panto: City rises to meet pandemic’s challenges
Tony Norman: Ed Gainey offers a promising beginning to a new era in Pittsburgh
John L. Micek: Report: Unaffordable cash bail is ‘a statewide crisis’ in Pa. | Monday Morning Coffee
Jean Handley: The newly proposed Congressional map diminishes the voices of its residents
Paul Muschick: I’d rather my tax dollars pay for schools than prisons and welfare
Inquirer Editorial Board: A new year requires a better plan to tackle gun violence crisis  
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A new era for Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Blocking news coverage would undermine freedom 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pittsburgh, real and imagined: Farewell to Mayor Peduto
Dom Giordano: Rays of Light in 2021, Hopeful for a Better Year in 2022
Andrew Chew: Infrastructure jobs a source of family-sustaining wages
Larry Platt: Reasons To Be Hopeful 
Rhea Powell: Philly doctor and mom: School District’s post-holiday omicron plan isn’t good enough | Expert Opinion
Carl Marrara: The biggest Pa. business story of 2021 you haven’t heard about

2 Responses

  1. she’s excellent, but hasn’t prioritized election reform; chatted with her @ PLC and she remains potent

  • 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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