July 12 Playbook: Cheers

Beer Mug

Good Tuesday morning. DYK that Pennsylvania ranks fifth among best beer states in the country? Cheers to that.

PA Weather

Erie | Chance of showers, T-storms, becoming Mostly Sunny, 74
State College | Chance of showers and T-storms, 85
Scranton | Chance of showers and T-storms, 88

PA Sports

Phillies (46-41, 8.0 GB) | lost to St. Louis, 6-1; TUE vs. Toronto, 7:07
Pirates (37-50, 11.0 GB) | d. Miami, 5-1; TUE vs. Milwaukee, 6:40
Union (8-2-9) | WED vs. Inter Miami, 8:00

Socially Speaking

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1. “Republicans4Shapiro” Forms


Craig Snyder, former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, is leading a group of centrist Republicans that have formed a political action committee that opposes GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.

Republicans4Shapiro was established last Wednesday and is chaired by former U.S. Rep. Jim Greenwood, who organized a similar effort to oppose then-President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term in 2020.

Its website states “The Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, is an extremist, far outside the mainstream of the PA Republican Party which has given the Commonwealth and the Country outstanding leaders like Governors Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge.”


  • PA GOP Players Form Pro-Shapiro PAC to Buck ‘Unacceptable” Mastriano. Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano will have to fend off attacks from many Democratic groups on the way to November and he can now add a GOP-backed political action committee to the list. (PennLive)
  • An Anti-Trump Group Is Back For The Midterms. The group, the Republican Accountability PAC, plans to spend at least $10 million to beat candidates who embrace Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. (New York Times)



2. “Democrats Have To Get Out of Their Own Way”

For the last four years, Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor Tom Wolf’s veto has been the only thing preventing radical abortion bans from becoming law in the commonwealth. He is term-limited, and unable to run for reelection, setting up one of the most contentious governor’s races of this midterm cycle. The state’s primary took place just weeks before Roe was overturned, and now the rights of millions of Pennsylvanians will come down to the November election.

“Democrats have to get out of their own way,” a Pennsylvania abortion advocate and longtime Democratic consultant told Abigail Tracy of Vanity Fair. “Republicans don’t play nice—they create their own rules. They don’t wait to be asked to come to the party.”

Currently in Pennsylvania, abortions are legal up until 24 weeks of pregnancy in all instances aside from abortions based on the sex of the fetus. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, there are 22 abortion providers in the commonwealth. In 2020, the most recent year that data from the state health department is available, more than 32,000 abortions were provided, and 93.3% were performed on residents of Pennsylvania.

Recent polls indicate Shapiro is favored over Mastriano, but the race is expected to be tight—and costly. Already, roughly $20.5 million and $1.7 million have poured into the war chests of Shapiro and Mastriano, respectively, according to Transparency USA.


  • DNC Ads Warn Voters That GOP Wants Nationwide Abortion Ban. “The Democratic National Committee is launching a digital ad campaign to energize its voters after last month’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, warning that Republicans’ ultimate goal is to outlaw abortion nationwide. The committee is sponsoring an at least $10,000 ad buy beginning Tuesday on the websites of more than 20 lifestyle publications, including Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Essence, GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire. (Associated Press)
  • PA Abortion Providers, Patients At Risk for Criminal Charges, Women’s Health Caucus Says. “The Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Women’s Health Caucus (WHC) is calling on Governor Tom Wolf to sign an executive order protecting health care providers who are offering abortions to out-of-state patients. This comes as the caucus claims Pennsylvania is now one of five top places where people will travel to for abortion care and said other states have already criminalized or are moving to criminalize abortion.” (abc27)



3. Lehigh, Luzerne Tabbed as Two Counties to Watch for Control of Congress

It is well known in political circles that the number of truly contested election regions in the U.S. has dwindled. POLITICO has an interactive look at its 20 most important counties that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats rule the House and Senate in 2023.

It should come as no surprise that Pennsylvania – one of the true battleground states in the Union – has two counties on the list.

Lehigh County has a reputation for splitting its ticket. Suburban Allentown has a working-class reputation but has also become the home of white-collar Philadelphia migrants. The most recent census data showed Lehigh County had the third-largest population increase in Pennsylvania, while other counties decreased in population. This includes a booming Latino population that has seen a 50 percent increase since 2010.

Luzerne County is a typical Rust Belt community, with a predominantly white, working-class population and higher unemployment rates and lower incomes than much of the country. Luzerne has typically voted Democrat but flipped in 2016 for Donald Trump and supported the former president again in 2020.


  • PA Senate Hopeful John Fetterman Mocks Opponent Dr. Oz With ‘Welcome Home’ Banner Flying Over Jersey Shore. “Pennsylvania Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate John Fetterman is trolling his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. Along the beach line of Southern Jersey, Fetterman flew a satirically messaged banner for his opponent. It read, “HEY DR. OZ, WELCOME HOME TO NJ! ❤️ JOHN”” (People)
  • Fox News Power Rankings: GOP Expected to Take Control of House. “Republicans are forecast to take control of the House this November with at least seven seats to spare, leaving Democrats in need of a dramatic turnaround to hold on to power. This edition of the Fox News Power Rankings also unveils the U.S. House model for the first time and sees gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, carving out a slight edge in Pennsylvania.” (Fox News)



Around The Commonwealth

  • John Fetterman’s Fund-Raising Broke a Record as He WonThe Nomination for U.S. Senate. “John Fetterman’s cash machine is still rolling – and gaining speed. The lieutenant governor raised $8.3 million for his U.S. Senate campaign between the Democratic primary and the end of June, according to campaign figures shared first with The Inquirer. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • PA’s Josh Shapiro, 19 Other State Attorneys General Defend New Rule to Regulate ‘Ghost Guns.’ “Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined 19 other state attorneys general in supporting a Biden administration effort to tighten regulations on so-called “ghost guns.” In an amicus brief filed last week, the officials asked a federal judge in Texas to reject a challenge to the new restrictions set to take effect in August.” (WESA)
  • Penn DOT Still Could Have a Private Developer Replace, Maintain 9 Bridges If It Can Find a Way to Pay For Them. “Pennsylvania could continue to work with a partnership headed by an Australian firm to replace nine major bridges across the state and maintain them for for 30 years. It just has to find another way to pay for the work now that adding tolls of $1 or $2 per vehicle is off the table. (Pittsburgh-Post Gazette)
  • Pittsburghers Still ‘Bleed Heinz Ketchup’ History Center Chief Says, As Stadium Name Changes. “The famous ketchup hasn’t been made here in decades. The tomatoes are grown in California. Many of the company’s corporate functions are handled in a second headquarters in Chicago. Still, ask anyone from around here, and they’ll tell you Heinz is a Pittsburgh thing.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Gov. Wolf Vetoes Bid to Block All-Electric Building Codes. “Citing the need to fight climate change, Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday vetoed Republican-penned legislation to stop municipalities from adopting building codes that prohibit natural gas hookups.” (Associated Press)
  • Hanging Gardens Exec Announces Layoffs at Johnstown Medical Pot Facility; Says Multi-State Monopolies Squeezing Small Growers. “A Johnstown medical marijuana grower said it is being squeezed out of the market by larger, multi-state corporations the state sought to avoid when the product was legalized in 2016 – and it’s now impacting jobs.” (Tribune-Democrat)
  • These Are The Best States for Beer Lovers. How Did PA Do? The Keystone State “boasts a whopping 3,244,840 barrels of craft beer produced each year. One barrel equals 3,968 fluid ounces, and if our math’s correct, that’s enough for 1,072,960,426 rounds (if we’re counting 12-ounce pours),” according to VinePair. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)



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