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July 16th Playbook

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Gov. Tom Wolf says he won’t endorse a candidate before the Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate. Here is the Playbook. 

 

Inky: Wolf to Withhold Endorsement in Senate Dem Primary: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Gov. Tom Wolf said that he won’t be endorsing a candidate in the crowded field for U.S. Senate prior to the primary, even though Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is seeking the party nomination. Wolf is backing Attorney General Josh Shapiro for Governor.

Joyce and Kelly Appointed to GOP Healthy Future Task Force: Reps. John Joyce (R-Blair) and Mike Kelly (R-Butler) were appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the 17-member Republican Healthy Future Task Force.

‘Pennsylvania’s 2022 U.S. Senate race: What we know so far’: Spotlight PA reports on which candidates have declared for Pennsylvania’s 2022 U.S. Senate race and “what we know so far.”

‘Wolf admin sat on 2017 probe of unemployment error but denies ‘cover-up’: Spotlight PA reports that “Pennsylvania’s top labor official said Thursday there was never an attempt within her department to deliberately conceal an error that resulted in thousands of people being overcharged millions of dollars in interest on payments they owed the agency.”

‘York Co. raises objections to Pa. Sen. Mastriano’s election audit request’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “just a day after Tioga County announced it would deny a request for access to election documents and equipment from a Republican state lawmaker,” York County “has raised objections to the request.”

‘The Pa. State System of Higher Ed. has $75M in one-time funds. Here’s the preliminary spending plan’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “one day after approving the consolidation of six universities, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors on Thursday outlined the framework for one-time funds, hoping to address system shortfalls and enhance future access.”

‘Bill McSwain won’t say if Trump pressured him to launch a voter fraud probe’: Philly Clout reports that it is still unanswered if former President Donald Trump “bypassed” U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to “directly call U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain and other swing-state federal prosecutors after the 2020 election “to cajole and wheedle and demand” that they launch voter fraud cases.”

‘Six seek GOP nomination for 113th state House district special election’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “the Lackawanna County Republican Party’s 113th Legislative District committee’s deadline for applicants seeking the party’s nomination to submit their names passed Wednesday with six applying.”

PennLive Highlights Critical Race Theory: PennLive reports on critical race theory in the state in a story titled, “Critical race theory: What it is, what it isn’t, and what it means for education in Pennsylvania.”

‘Amid Pennsylvania minimum wage debate, a push to boost rate of $2.83 an hour for tipped workers’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “those people being paid “tipped minimum wage” are on the mind of Sen. Christine Tartaglione, D-Philadelphia, who has filed bills to make changes. But while there is broad support for raising the tipped minimum wage — often paid to restaurant servers and other food service industry employees — the question is by how much, and should there even be a separate tipped wage in the first place?”

City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics this week. 

‘Why GOP senators are blasting a Pa. environmental board’s vote on climate change’: USA Today reports that “a state board’s decision that moves Pennsylvania closer to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was rebuked by several Republican lawmakers this week.”

‘Philly controller says Kenney administration not keeping careful watch on finances’: WHYY reports that Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart “says her “Report on Internal Controls and Compliance” has several issues that Mayor Jim Kenney and his administration needs to take to heart, including $167 million in accounting errors.”

‘Former state Rep. Saccone pondering run for lieutenant governor’: Former state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) talked to The Observer-Reporter about his potential bid for lieutenant governor. 

‘‘Audit the Vote’ group demands election review in Washington County’: According to the Observer-Reporter, “numerous people packed the Washington County commissioners meeting Thursday demanding officials perform a “forensic audit” on the county’s voting machines as part of an online group’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”

‘County hires law firm to conduct internal review of Children & Youth Services’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Luzerne County has retained the Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders law firm to conduct an internal review of the county Children & Youth Services agency, acting county Manager Romilda Crocamo announced Thursday.”

‘Luzerne County Election Board exploring heftier mail ballot drop boxes’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Luzerne County’s Election Board is open to again providing mail ballot drop boxes in the November general, but it will explore larger ones resembling postal mail boxes that are too heavy and bulky for a person to steal.”

‘Westmoreland commissioners said mistakes led to election bureau director firing’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Westmoreland commissioners on Thursday said the recent firing of the county’s election bureau director was necessary in response to a series of errors that plagued the May primary.”

‘Proposal Could Give Washington County Residents Greater Say In Local Government’: KDKA reports that “people in Washington County may have a greater say in the workings of their local government. It would come in the form of a board made up of regular people. The board would be made up of eleven people, and you must live in Washington County to qualify.”

‘Researchers exploring education in Beaver County look outside community for ideas’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “researchers examining education in Beaver County have talked to hundreds of school officials, students and cross-sector stakeholders over the past several months gathering information about how the academic landscape of the region could improve and potentially foster community growth.”

‘Smucker will attend a local conservative group’s ‘town hall-style’ meeting tonight, yet he still hasn’t hosted his own’: LNP | LancasterOnline reported on Thursday morning that Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) “will attend a “town hall-style” meeting tonight in Elizabethtown hosted by a local conservative group, an event that’s billed as being open to “all patriots” and “anyone that loves freedom.”

Delaware Valley Journal Details the Bucks DA Race: The Delaware Valley Journal highlighted the upcoming Bucks County District Attorney race between Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, a Republican, and Democrat Antonetta Stancu, who served as Chief of Major Crimes in the D.A.’s office. 

‘Lehigh County modernizes stance on electronic signatures’: WFMZ reports that “the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners established a policy regarding the use of electronic signatures during its Wednesday night meeting. The move was done “to modernize its processes and procedures to keep pace with the practices of business and organizations with which Lehigh County works with on a regular basis.”

‘Esports advocates press to allow betting in N.J. and Pa. on video game contests’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “competitive team video gaming is supposed to be the Next Big Thing, and some lawmakers want to make it legal to bet on.”

‘Community leaders urge allocation of COVID relief funds for Pittsburgh region’s Black residents’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “local Black community leaders are calling for a portion of the money granted to the Pittsburgh region via the American Rescue Plan be earmarked for the improvement of Black communities.”

‘Pittsburgh receives another $7 million in federal cash for rental assistance program’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “a rental assistance program to help tenants pay past due rent and landlords to recover unpaid rent because of the coronavirus pandemic was awarded an additional $7 million in federal funding, Pittsburgh officials announced Monday.”

‘Berks County to allocate $6M from American Rescue Plan to Reading Fightin Phils, Convention Center Authority’: WFMZ reports that “the Berks County Commissioners voted Thursday to allocate $6 million to the Reading Fightin Phils and to the Berks County Convention Center Authority to assist both with the negative financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Berks Elections Board says it won’t turn over voting machines for an audit if asked’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Berks County officials haven’t been asked to hand over voting machines to be inspected by a third party. If they are asked, they won’t comply.”

‘Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Fetterman Named One Of 50 Women Changing The World In 2021’: KDKA reports that “the Second Lady of Pennsylvania is getting props from InStyle Magazine, which named her one of 50 women who are making the world a better place in 2021.

‘Columbus statue still stands in Chester’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Columbus seems to be making a comeback. A year after the Crhistopher Columbus statue in Chester was covered by a blue tarp with plans for removal, the golden statue is still there, peeking out from a deteriorating tarp.”

‘Roundtable led by Congressman Fred Keller focuses on veterans issues’: The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that Rep. Fred Keller (R-Snyder) “acknowledged that there is a need for an improved and uniform system for helping veterans,” during a roundtable discussion.

‘North Huntingdon event to promote auditing 2020 vote in Pennsylvania’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), who is a potential candidate for Governor, is “planning to speak at the Audit The Vote event in North Huntingdon on July 18. 

Parnell to Headline Philly GOP BBQ: Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and former congressional candidate who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, will be the guest speaker for the Philadelphia Republican Party’s “Great American Family BBQ” on Saturday. 

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Releases TV Ad in PA: POLITICO reports that “The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers is out with a six-figure, multi-channel ad campaign Tuesday that calls on President Joe Biden to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard to bring down ethanol mandate costs and help U.S. refineries.” The TV ad is airing in three states, including Pennsylvania, plus Washington D.C. 

Baumlin Names Johnson His Campaign Manager: Dr. Kevin Baumlin, the chief of emergency and urgent care services at Pennsylvania Hospital who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, announced that his campaign has hired “Philadelphia-based operative Donnie Johnson to manage his campaign,” according to a press release from the Baumlin campaign. Johnson most recently ran Get Out the Vote (GOTV) for Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for Mayor in New York City. Baumlin also announced in the press release that he has retired from his job as Chair of Emergency Medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital “in order to campaign full time.”

Rothman Endorses Sands for Senate: State Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) has endorsed Carla Sands, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, for U.S. Senate, according to a press release from the Sands campaign. 

Arkoosh Announces ‘Commonwealth Conversations’ Tour: Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate in PA, announced the launch of a “commonwealth conversations” tour. She’s slated to be in Allegheny County on Friday, Erie County on Saturday, and Montgomery County on Sunday. 

Michelle Kenney Endorses Dickinson in PA18: Public Source PA’s Charlie Wolfson reports that “Michelle Kenney, the mother of Antwon Rose, Jr., has endorsed Jerry Dickinson in his primary challenge against Rep. Mike Doyle.”

 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Another county raises objection to lawmaker’s election audit
AP: Penn State trustees vote to raise tuition for 2021-22 year 
AP: Pennsylvania’s overdose deaths rose in 2020, US agency says
Spotlight PA: Pennsylvania’s 2022 U.S. Senate race: What we know so far
Spotlight PA: Wolf admin sat on 2017 probe of unemployment error but denies ‘cover-up’
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: York Co. raises objections to Pa. Sen. Mastriano’s election audit request
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The Pa. State System of Higher Ed. has $75M in one-time funds. Here’s the preliminary spending plan
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Farm Show Complex to welcome guests again starting in September
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. House to vote on next week on expanding PFAS regulation impacting Pa., other states, backers say
Patriot News: Critical race theory: What it is, what it isn’t, and what it means for education in Pennsylvania
Patriot News: Penn State approves policy for rescinding university honors and distinctions
Patriot News: Penn State trustees approve budget, tuition hikes
Patriot News: This Pa. city ranks among the top 5 with the highest increase in homicide rates during COVID
Patriot News: COVID-19 cases tick upward in Pa.: daily update
Inquirer: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says he won’t endorse anyone for Senate — including his lieutenant, John Fetterman
Inquirer: John Fetterman’s cash advantage is getting even bigger in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary
Inquirer: Penn State raises tuition 2.5% for in-state students after three-year freeze
Inquirer: Energy Transfer to pay Pennsylvania $1 million penalty for fiery 2018 pipeline explosion
Inquirer: The Pa. state university system has decided how to spend $75 million in stimulus funds and savings. West Chester will benefit.
Inquirer: Esports advocates press to allow betting in N.J. and Pa. on video game contests
City & State PA: This week’s biggest Winners & Losers 
City & State PA: 2021 Fifty Over 50 Nominations
KDKA: State Commission Considers Alternatives To Gasoline Tax, But Will That Cost Drivers More?
KDKA: RMU Study: Beaver County Shell Cracker Plant Will Generate Nearly $3.7 Billion Statewide Annually 
KDKA: Pennsylvania Second Lady Gisele Fetterman Named One Of 50 Women Changing The World In 2021
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 425 New Coronavirus Cases
USA Today: Why GOP senators are blasting a Pa. environmental board’s vote on climate change
Morning Call: Amid Pennsylvania minimum wage debate, a push to boost rate of $2.83 an hour for tipped workers
Morning Call: Are you eligible for the child tax credit? U.S. taxpayers with kids start getting money today. Here’s how it works
Fox News: Penn State professor singles out ‘average White guy’ in lecture, says race benefits him over Black students
WFMZ: Pa. lawmaker looking to overhaul the state’s public system for reporting suspected child abuse
KYW Newsradio: Spokesperson says Cosby should be paid for his time behind bars  

 

Philadelphia 
Philly Clout: Bill McSwain won’t say if Trump pressured him to launch a voter fraud probe
Inquirer: Philly schools to install air purifiers in every classroom and plan to require masks for in-person learning this fall 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly controller says Kenney administration not keeping careful watch on finances
WHYY Newsworks: ‘We had to hire more folks’: Mayor Kenney says Philly catching up on trash pickups 
KYW Newsradio: ‘Not as fast as we would like,’ but Philly economy in steady recovery from pandemic

 

SEPA
Delco Daily Times: Columbus statue still stands in Chester 
Delco Daily Times: Delco to review Medical Examiner practices, ready to invest $10M in upgrades
Daily Local News: Chester County Ag Council appoints new board members 
WHYY Newsworks: Bucks County declares emergency to help residents affected by ‘100-year’ flood
Inquirer: The Pa. state university system has decided how to spend $75 million in stimulus funds and savings. West Chester will benefit.
Delaware Valley Journal: Bucks County DA Election: It’s Weintraub Versus Stancu 
Delaware Valley Journal: The Delaware Valley Reacts to Protests in Cuba
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County flood victims continue cleanup as officials issue disaster declaration 

 

Pittsburgh 
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh receives another $7 million in federal cash for rental assistance program
Tribune Review: AG Shapiro meets with Pittsburgh nonprofit about PWSA donation to combat lead dangers
Tribune Review: Churchill Planning Commission recommends plan for Amazon center
WESA: Child Tax Credit Expansion Could Reduce Childhood Poverty, But Some Worry Families Aren’t Signed Up
WESA: Churchill Officials Recommend Approval For E-Commerce Warehouse Despite Community Pushback
WESA: Pittsburgh International Airport Completes Gas- And Solar-Powered Microgrid
Post-Gazette: Community leaders urge allocation of COVID relief funds for Pittsburgh region’s Black residents
Post-Gazette: Despite protests, Churchill planning commission approves redevelopment of former Westinghouse site
City Paper: Pa. Environmental Quality Board votes to join initiative to limit state’s CO2 emissions
City Paper: Pittsburgh to get its first drive-through medical marijuana dispensary 
Beaver County Times: Allegheny County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 54% of people fully vaccinated
WTAE: As PA school districts tally how many students will repeat grades under Act 66, they’re watching budget impact
KDKA: Allegheny County Teams With Pennsylvania Resources Council For Traveling Glass Recycling Bin Program

 

SWPA 
Observer-Reporter: Former state Rep. Saccone pondering run for lieutenant governor
Observer-Reporter: ‘Audit the Vote’ group demands election review in Washington County
Observer-Reporter: Commissioners consider creating board to study county government’s structure
KDKA: RMU Study: Beaver County Shell Cracker Plant Will Generate Nearly $3.7 Billion Statewide Annually 
KDKA: Proposal Could Give Washington County Residents Greater Say In Local Government
KDKA: Beaver County Launches Study To Strengthen Education And Encourage People To Move To Area
Tribune Review: Westmoreland controller blasts commissioner for failure to meet campaign pledge
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioners said mistakes led to election bureau director firing
Post-Gazette: Researchers exploring education in Beaver County look outside community for ideas
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset commissioners ‘hopeful’ about bipartisan highway bill
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Audit: Johnstown in better financial shape
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State COVID-19 surge continues, small dip in region’s cases
Altoona Mirror: HASD will lift mask mandate
Altoona Mirror: Solicitor could file to take McCrory’s
Beaver County Times: Beaver County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 40% of people fully vaccinated

 

NEPA
Times-Tribune: Six seek GOP nomination for 113th state House district special election
Times-Tribune: County hires law firm to conduct internal review of Children & Youth Services
Times-Tribune: Dunmore councilwoman raises concerns over waste-burning facility zoning
Times-Tribune: Scranton School District budget plan calls for no property tax increase for 2022 
Times-Tribune: NEPA adds 26 coronavirus cases, no new deaths
The Times Leader: Luzerne County hires outside law firm to review Children and Youth
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Election Board exploring heftier mail ballot drop boxes
The Times Leader: Stormwater and levee fee reductions possible with Luzerne County funding windfall
The Times Leader: 5 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Thursday; 425 statewide
Citizens Voice: First child tax credit payments go out today
Citizens Voice: County mulls uses of pandemic relief funds; stormwater fee reduction one option
Citizens Voice: County hires law firm to conduct internal review of Children & Youth Services
Citizens Voice: Election board declines to vote on length of DA term
Citizens Voice: Hazleton Mayor sounds off on Luzerne County Council transit funding reduction
Citizens Voice: More than 300 added to county’s fully vaccinated list

 

South Central 
LNP | LancasterOnline: Smucker will attend a local conservative group’s ‘town hall-style’ meeting tonight, yet he still hasn’t hosted his own
LNP | LancasterOnline: ‘At least we have a start’: Hempfield school board defends choice to hire conservative law firm to craft athletics policy
LNP | LancasterOnline: Former public defender starts bail fund for pretrial detainees at Lancaster County Prison
Patriot News: Pa. Farm Show Complex to resume big events as pandemic supplies are moving out
Carlisle Sentinel: Disinterment at Indian School cemetery concludes; one casket contained two sets of remains
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 9 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death reported Thursday in Cumberland County

 

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Susan Wild gets second Republican challenger in 7th Congressional District
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Lehigh Valley helping to drive state’s increasing case rate; 7-day average up 41%
Express Times: 26-year military veteran aims for GOP nod to unseat Wild
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners commit $6 million total for Fightin Phils and Santander venues
Reading Eagle: Berks Elections Board says it won’t turn over voting machines for an audit if asked
Reading Eagle: Berks commissioners endorse settlement in Purdue Pharma opioid lawsuit
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners vote to limit public comments to county topics
Reading Eagle: Candlelight vigil to honor the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis to be held Saturday in Reading
WFMZ: Lehigh County controller announces bid against Pat Browne for state Senate
WFMZ: Lehigh County modernizes stance on electronic signatures
WFMZ: Berks County to allocate $6M from American Rescue Plan to Reading Fightin Phils, Convention Center Authority 
WFMZ: City of Bethlehem receives $2.9M grant for Bethlehem Food Co-Op
WFMZ: COVID hospitalizations remain relatively low in the Lehigh Valley

 

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Roundtable led by Congressman Fred Keller focuses on veterans issues
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Old Lycoming Township votes to replace solicitor
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Tioga County won’t offer up voting machines to election audit
Erie Times-News: Erie County Council to discuss a plan for spending $26 million in federal COVID recovery money
Erie Times-News: Erie County reports first COVID-19 deaths in a month, but daily case count stays low
Centre Daily Times: UPDATE: Penn State raises tuition across the board in move university president labels ‘necessary’
Centre Daily Times: Approaching a ‘crisis situation,’ commissioners OK emergency pay increase for 24-hour facility staff

 

Opinion  
Chris Rabb: Medical cannabis is medicine, and we must protect patients, like me, who need it to manage their medical conditions
John Baer: GOP leaders must put an end to the fight over auditing Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election 
Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania Republicans promise transparency during redistricting. Why that won’t help a bit
Corky Goldstein: Make no mistake, the PA Supreme Court did not find Bill Cosby innocent 
Calvin Doc Clements: District 48 Duped Again
Stephanie King: Philadelphia’s new school start schedule would wreak havoc on students and beyond
John L. Micek: One nation under who? Inside the trust gap that’s splitting the nation | Friday Morning Coffee
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Pennsylvania lawmakers shouldn’t squander taxpayer money on an unnecessary ‘audit’ of November’s legitimate election 
Inquirer Editorial Board: Fracking’s use of EPA-approved toxic chemicals shows again that regulators prioritize industry over health 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Competition for a change 
Christine Flowers: Biden’s ‘Jim Crow’ Insults Fly in Face of Facts
Bruce Katz and Jessica A. Lee: A Groundbreaking Jobs Plan … In St. Louis
Anton Shannon: Why I support a $4 billion federal fund to help minority farmers
Rachel Sumekh and Haley Schusterman: An unimaginable choice for college students: food or textbooks 
Will Bunch: There’s nothing more progressive than stopping city kids from getting shot 
Priya Mammen: Hospitals and medical institutions see inequity every day. Why aren’t they spending more to help?
Oren Spiegler: Barr comes too late to the honesty game
Elaine Maimon, PhD: It’s Time To Re-Enroll Adults, Including John Kruk, In Higher Education 
Anne-Marie Sichinga: As COVID-19′s third wave hits Zambia, I fear for my mother and others who can’t get vaccines
Jim West: This is a battle for good versus evil in America
Emily A. Largent and Holly Fernandez Lynch: Enough is enough: Phillies need a vaccine mandate

July 16th, 2021 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments

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