Good Thursday morning. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will hit Pennsylvania next March. Things are definitely looking up.
Altoona | Mostly Sunny, 82
Reading | Mostly Sunny, 88
Langhorne | Sunny, 89
Phillies (46-43, 9.0 GB) | lost to Toronto, 8-2; FRI-SUN vs. Miami
Pirates (38-51, 11.0 GB) | lost to Miami, 5-4; THU vs. Miami, 12:10
Union (9-2-9) | d. Inter Miami, 2-1; SAT vs. New England, 7:30
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1. Never Trumpers Unite Against Mastriano
The Republican Accountability PAC is putting $2 million behind a campaign in Pennsylvania to convince voters – especially those who may have broken with Donald Trump in 2020 – that they should do the same with Doug Mastriano, the GOP state senator who is up against Democrat Josh Shapiro in the fall election.
This PAC frames itself as a frontline fighter against “anti-democracy candidates” across the country, and insists that “Trump loyalists in today’s GOP must be held accountable,” according to the main text on its website.
“We are going to be playing heavily in this state,” Gunner Ramer, political director for the PAC, said. He called Mastriano a “clear threat to our democracy” who denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
The PAC has played a role in several GOP primary victories, including Brad Raffensperger’s win over the Trump-backed candidate, Jody Hice, in the Georgia secretary of state race, according to The New York Times.
- Never-Trump Group Reveals Midterm Plans, Days After Never-Biden Group Announces 2024 Plans. “The Republican Accountability PAC, a never-Trump group, plans to spend around $10 million in the upcoming midterms against Trump-endorsed candidates and those who believe the 2020 election was stolen, while a group of anti-Biden Democrats are gearing up to fight against the president’s potential re-election effort.” (Fox News)
- GOP Candidate for PA Gov. Mastriano Paid $5,000 to the Website Used by the Tree of Life Shooter. “Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano’s campaign for governor in Pennsylvania paid $5,000 for “consulting services” to Gab, a social media platform that provides a home for conspiracy theories and antisemitic content. Gab is the website used by Robert Bowers, who is charged with killing 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill in 2018. Bowers routinely posted antisemitic content on Gab before the shooting, according to archives of the posts.” (WESA)
- Shapiro, Pledging to Preserve Binding Arbitration, Wins Philly Fire Fighters’ Endorsement. “Attorney General Josh Shapiro just won the endorsement of Philadelphia’s firefighters’ union. It’s not his first organized labor endorsement and likely won’t be the last, but this one is slightly unusual: two of the firefighters’ most recent endorsements went to Republicans, former President Donald Trump and far-right U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette.” (WHYY)
2. Fetterman, Oz Speak Out on Inflation Report
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June report and the numbers are not good.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.3 percent during the 30-day period, raising the overall inflation rate to 9.1 percent. That 12-month figure is the highest in 41 years, dating to November 1981.
The increase was broad-based as indices for gasoline, shelter and food being the largest contributors with energy up 7.5 percent, gasoline up 11.2 percent and food rising by a percentage point during the month.
The candidates for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat – Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz – both issued statements lamenting the news and criticizing each other.
- Latest Bad News on Inflation Makes PA Leaders Glad They Set Money Aside, Concerned About Future. “Wednesday’s report that U.S. inflation is running at the highest rate in 41 years made top Pennsylvania officials feel relieved about the new state budget — which puts billions of dollars into the Rainy Day Fund — but also worried about where things are headed.” (The Morning Call)
- Rural Pennsylvanians Could Be More Vulnerable to Inflation. “Everyone is feeling the impacts of inflation, but the wallets of rural residents in Pennsylvania could receive the brunt of it. Dr. Yeve Nersisyan, an Economics Professor at Franklin & Marshal College, explained that rural residents are more likely to depend on driving as their primary mode of transportation, increasing their spending on fuel.” (WPMT 43)
THE BIG LIE
3. Kelly Launches Internal Investigation After Ron Johnson’s Claims About False Elector Paperwork
After denying claims from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson that his office had a hand in the effort to get Vice President Mike Pence false elector paperwork, Mike Kelly (R-Butler) has launched an internal probe into his staff’s potential involvement.
“Our current chief-of-staff has begun conducting an internal investigation, which Rep. Kelly is aware of and takes seriously,” press secretary Matt Knoedler confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wednesday afternoon.
Kelly’s potential role in the effort to hand Pence false elector paperwork from Wisconsin and Michigan in the minutes before Congress was set to confirm Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021, has become a point of contention in recent weeks.
- Johnson’s Effort to Pass False Electors to Pence on Jan. 6 Not Priority of Select Committee. “The select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol isn’t putting a priority on Sen. Ron Johnson’s effort to hand Vice President Mike Pence false electors from Wisconsin and Michigan on Jan. 6, 2021, and has no plans to speak with the Wisconsin senator further on the matter.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Around The Commonwealth
- PIAA Says Proposed Policy to Allow High School Athletes to Profit from the Name, Image and Likeness is ‘Systematic Progression’. “On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s governing body on sports took the first official step, approving on a first reading an NIL policy that will allow student-athletes to profit from endorsements or promotions.” (PennLive)
- Committee to Investigate DA Larry Krasner’s Office Has Been Selected, And Work Will Now Begin. “House Speaker Bryan Cutler this week appointed the five state legislators tasked with leading the committee to investigate Krasner’s office – initiating the first step in state Republicans’ efforts to impeach the progressive prosecutor for what they have called his dereliction of duty in addressing Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Tom Wolf, PA Lauded During Workforce Summit. “Pennsylvania was recognized Wednesday by the White House for appropriating American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds toward workforce development, wrapping up a sometimes tense budget season in Harrisburg that resulted in a deal to spend a large chunk of the Keystone State’s remaining ARP cash.” (PennLive)
- Hetherington ‘Seriously Injured” But Will Recover. “Schuylkill County commissioners Chairman Barron Hetherington was seriously injured in a fall from a stack of hay in a barn on Tuesday, but “will be able to recover.” (Standard-Speaker)
- Major State Law Firm Forced to Turn Over Documents in PA ‘Skill Games’ War. “A major Pennsylvania law firm must turn over internal documents from the war over so-called “skill games” here. That’s the result of a federal judge’s ruling last week that game creator Pace-O-Matic deserves full access to the materials to further its case that the firm was double-dealing in its work to lock the machines out of the state’s gambling market.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- PA Lawmakers’ Late-Night Moves on Abortion Amendment Sure Look Familiar. (John Baer, PennLive)
- Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling: Crippling, But Not Yet Decapitating (Ian Lewenstein, Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
- In PA Senate Race, New Jersey’s Dr. Oz Is In The Running; But First, He Has to Run Away From Donald Trump (Paul Mulshine, Newark Star-Ledger)
- If Republicans Didn’t Throw Trump Under the Bus, Why Would Dems Dump Biden? (Leonard Pitts, Jr., Centre Daily Times)