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July 23rd Playbook

State Rep. Margo Davidson was charged with theft and will resign from office. Here is the Playbook. 

 

Davidson Charged With Theft, Will Resign from State House: Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges against state Rep. Margo Davidson for “stealing from the Commonwealth by filing fraudulent overnight per diem requests and various expenses through the State House Comptroller’s Office as well as hindering a state prosecution.”

Biden Nominates Cohen To Serve As Ambassador to Canada: The Comcast Executive and former Chief of Staff under then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell has played an influential role in politics in the Keystone State for decades.

Reader Poll: Who Should Republicans Nominate for U.S. Senate in 2022?: The Republican Party race to succeed Sen. Pat Toomey is well underway, although the field is still forming.

‘Pa. House Democratic leader ‘saddened’ by charges that led to lawmaker’s resignation’: PennLive reports that “in the wake of the filing of charges of misuse of campaign funds and obstruction among others, House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton said she was saddened by the charges filed on Thursday against one of her caucus members, Rep. Margo Davidson.”

‘Pa. has a history of lawmakers who are also lawbreakers’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania is 21 years into the 21st Century and it already has collected 21 lawmakers who found themselves charged or convicted of being on the wrong side of the law. Here is a lookback at who made this list.”

‘Governor says his position on voter ID hasn’t changed’: The Associated Press reports that “with talks on wider election-related legislation at a standstill, Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday that his position on expanding Pennsylvania’s voter identification requirements has not changed, and that he is against anything that would “suppress the vote.”

‘DOJ won’t investigate how Pennsylvania handled nursing homes’: The Associated Press reports that “the Justice Department told Gov. Tom Wolf’s office on Thursday that it has decided not to open an investigation into whether Pennsylvania violated federal law by ordering nursing homes to accept residents who had been treated for COVID-19 in a hospital.”

‘Health officials request $124 million in pandemic-related emergency contracts as GOP calls for oversight’: Spotlight PA reports that “Wolf administration officials doubled down this week on pursuing more than $100 million in new pandemic-related emergency contracts as they faced questions from state lawmakers about the health department’s spending.”

‘Former Pa. Senator Mike Folmer is out of prison, but must keep registering as a sex offender’: PennLive reports that former state Sen. Mike Folmer “is again a free man a year after being sent to prison in a child pornography case. He remains a registered sex offender who must report his whereabouts to the state police for the next 15 years. And the 65-year-old Republican still must serve 8 years on probation.”

‘Redistricting advocates tell Pa. House leaders that transparency an absolute necessity in mapping process’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “one by one, a who’s who of Pennsylvania’s most well-known redistricting advocates told Harrisburg leaders what they’d been waiting years to say in a public hearing: that they’ll be watching — and will do everything in their power — to ensure that once Congressional maps are drawn in the next few months, there won’t be any partisan parlor games, backroom deals or funky boundaries.”

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

‘Fit to lead: PA politicos share best practices for prepping for summer’: City & State PA talked to a “handful of state politicians – seeking their secrets, best practices and tips and tricks for getting their summer slimdown started … And here’s what they came up with.”

‘Senate candidate state Rep. Kenyatta lays out agenda at Arlington coffee shop’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta visited a coffee shop in Pittsburgh’s Arlington neighborhood Thursday to discuss his agenda on issues of voting rights and what he thinks set him apart from other Democratic U.S. Senate candidates.”

Bartos Talks to Delaware Valley Journal’s Podcast: Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer who was the GOP Lt. Governor nominee in 2018 and is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, talked to the Delaware Valley Journal podcast “about growing up in Berks County, his top campaign priorities and his take on the Ben and Jerry’s boycott targeting Israel.”

Fetterman To Deliver Keynote Address at Texas Democrats’ Virtual Voting Rights Convention: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate, will be delivering the keynote address today at the Texas Democrats’ virtual voting rights conference. 

Arkoosh to Visit Scranton: Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate, will be visiting the Scranton Primary Health Care Center with Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti on Friday afternoon. Arkoosh’s visit is a part of her campaign’s “Commonwealth Conversations” tour. 

David Thornburgh to Step Aside as Committee of Seventy CEO to Assume New Role as Senior Advisor: According to a press release from The Committee of Seventy, David Thornburgh, Seventy’s CEO since December 2014, will step aside as CEO in January 2022 and “will assume a new role with Seventy as Senior Advisor to help guide C70’s flagship reform efforts like fair redistricting and opening Pennsylvania’s primary elections to independent voters.”

Reilly Joins Saxton & Stump: Andy Reilly, who currently serves as the National Committeeman for the Pennsylvania GOP and as the Southeast Caucus Chair for the PAGOP, has joined Saxton & Stump.  

‘Federal data shows states still lag in getting aid to struggling renters. How is Pa. doing?’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports on where Pennsylvania is ranked nationally in the “rental aid paid out in June.”

‘Rural Pennsylvanians would get $500M broadband boost under Rep. Pam Snyder’s new bill’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that state Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) “announced Wednesday she plans to introduce a bill to devote $500 million of Pennsylvania’s $7 billion federal infusion in American Rescue Plan allocation toward improving broadband access.”

‘PennLive to seek fuller pictures of firms providing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania’: PennLive reports that “it won’t be immediate, but the end appears to be closer than the start in PennLive’s four-year quest to learn more about some of the firms providing medicinal forms of marijuana to Pennsylvanians.”

‘State Leaders Recommend Pennsylvanians Invest Child Tax Credit Money’: KDKA reports that “the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is encouraging recipients who are financially able to consider investing some or all of that funding into the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program.”

‘Big tobacco wants PA police to crack down on counterfeit cigarettes’: The Pocono Record reports that “an executive at one of the world’s largest tobacco companies has said law enforcement in the Commonwealth should be focusing on counterfeit cigarettes.”

Philly Clout Details Krasner and Vega’s Ongoing Feud: Philly Clout reports on Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and previous Democratic primary challenger Carlos Vega’s ongoing feud in a story titled, “Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega are still fighting even though the race for Philly DA is over.”

‘Teachers’ Union President, Board Members Question City School District’s Proposed COVID Relief Spending’: WESA reports that “Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis said Thursday she is disturbed that the city school district proposed spending more than $8 million on online educational tools without what she called significant teacher input.”

‘‘It’s an emergency’: Philly leaders, activists give Kenney a deadline to do more about gun violence’: WHYY reports that “a coalition of activists, state lawmakers, and Philadelphia City Councilmembers are putting Mayor Jim Kenney on notice: They say he has until July 30 to address eight action items they’ve proposed to deal with the city’s historic surge in gun violence.”

‘Philly DA Krasner sues Pa. AG Shapiro’s office over opioid settlement’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “DA Larry Krasner’s office is now suing the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a day after Shapiro announced an opioid settlement deal that Shapiro said would provide the state with up to $1 billion over 18 years. The suit is asking Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to declare that the AG’s office doesn’t have the authority to give up Krasner’s claims in the settlement.”

‘As Philly weighs minor car stops ban, community group wants Black residents to know their rights’: WHYY reports that “as Philadelphia City Council considers barring officers from stopping drivers for minor traffic violations, a community organization is trying to help Black Philadelphians avoid getting stopped at all or having a potentially violent interaction with police if they are.”

‘School board meetings turn tense with debates over critical race theory and masking’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the discord is raising the stakes for school boards already facing pressure over decisions on pandemic schooling. And some predict it may only get worse.”

‘Gov. Wolf visits York County confectioner to announce funding for expansion, new jobs’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday visited Wolfgang Confectioners, one of the oldest family-owned chocolate companies in the United States, to announce the company’s plans to expand operations at its state-of-the-art 137,000 square-foot location in Loganville, York County.”

‘Are Pa’s tougher animal cruelty laws working? Not really, Lehigh Valley shelter director says’: Lehigh Valley Live reports on the thoughts of the Center for Animal Health and Welfare executive director Kelly Bauer’s about Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws. 

‘Commissioners delay vote on government study ballot referendum’: The Observer-Reporter reports that the “Washington County commissioners are delaying their special meeting planned for Friday to consider approval of a ballot referendum that could create an 11-member panel to study the county’s form of government.”

‘Diversity in farming, entrepreneurship education pushed by Pa. ag secretary in Philly’: KYW Newsradio reports that “the Pennsylvania agricultural secretary toured farms in Philadelphia Thursday, to help focus attention on the importance of growing food in cities where there are fewer resources for agriculture than in other areas of the state.”

‘Lycoming commissioners see judge’s decision to dismiss lawsuit against controller as a victory’: PennLive reports that “​​the legal dispute between the Lycoming County commissioners and the elected controller over the transfer of certain functions is over without the merits being addressed.”

‘Bucks County Commissioners name new Parks and Recreation director’: The Bucks Local News reports that “the Bucks County Commissioners this month appointed Angela Nagle, a college athletics and recreation administrator for more than 15 years, to be director of the county Parks and Recreation Department.”

PA8: Marsicano Endorses Daniels: Mike Marsicano, the former Democratic Mayor of Hazleton and GOP candidate for the 8th Congressional District in 2020, has endorsed Teddy Daniels campaign for the 8th District in 2022, according to a tweet from Daniels.  

PA8: Rogers Endorses Daniels: According to a press release, Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who is a supporter of the Arizona election audit, has endorsed Teddy Daniels, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. 

 

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Pa. state lawmaker from Delaware County charged with theft after years-long investigation 
Spotlight PA: Health officials request $124 million in pandemic-related emergency contracts as GOP calls for oversight 
AP: State House Democrat charged with theft, is resigning seat
AP: Governor says his position on voter ID hasn’t changed
AP: DOJ won’t investigate how Pennsylvania handled nursing homes
AP: Philadelphia files suit over national opioid settlement
Post-Gazette: Redistricting advocates tell Pa. House leaders that transparency an absolute necessity in mapping process
Patriot News: Pa. Rep. Margo Davidson charged with misuse of campaign funds, says she’ll resign
Patriot News: Former Pa. Senator Mike Folmer is out of prison, but must keep registering as a sex offender
Patriot News: Pa. House Democratic leader ‘saddened’ by charges that led to lawmaker’s resignation
Patriot News: Pa. has a history of lawmakers who are also lawbreakers
Patriot News: PennLive to seek fuller pictures of firms providing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania
Patriot News: Pa. COVID-19 situation continues to darken: daily update
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Experts, advocates call for ‘transparency,’ ‘clarity’ in reapportionment process 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. House lawmaker facing misdemeanor theft charges, to resign immediately 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Federal data shows states still lag in getting aid to struggling renters. How is Pa. doing? 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: After telling constituents to ‘get over it,’ GOP senator proposes changing Pa. fireworks law 
Inquirer: School board meetings turn tense with debates over critical race theory and masking 
Inquirer: Why the federal infrastructure bill will get more people working
Inquirer: A Wharton professor is running for Senate in Pennsylvania as the climate change candidate
City & State PA: Congressional redistricting done differently: mapping a new course 
City & State PA: This week’s biggest Winners & Losers 
City & State PA: Fit to lead: PA politicos share best practices for prepping for summer
KDKA: Legislature Begins To Tackle Congressional Redistricting, While Many Warn Against Political Gerrymandering
KDKA: State Leaders Recommend Pennsylvanians Invest Child Tax Credit Money 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 561 New Cases, 6 Additional Deaths
USA Today: Pa. lawmaker resigns after being charged with stealing public funds, asking witness to lie 
USA Today: Pa. could get $1 billion from landmark opioid settlement. Here’s how it’ll be used
WHYY Newsworks: Delco Rep. Margo Davidson resigns after being charged with stealing from state
StateImpactPA: Group says tighter radiation controls of drilling waste needed
Morning Call: Pennsylvania website shows conflicting data for drug abuse treatment center violations: ‘The truth isn’t here’
Pocono Record: Big tobacco wants PA police to crack down on counterfeit cigarettes
KYW Newsradio: Experts confront gerrymandering at first public hearing on Pa. redistricting
The Hill: DOJ declines to investigate Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 nursing home regulations 
The Hill: Philadelphia pushes back against national opioid settlement: ‘This is a sellout’
Delaware Valley Journal: PODCAST: Bartos Talks Senate Race, Update on Ben & Jerry’s Boycott

 

Philadelphia 
Philly Clout: Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega are still fighting even though the race for Philly DA is over
Inquirer: More Philly elected officials are criticizing Mayor Jim Kenney for not declaring a gun-violence state of emergency
Inquirer: A Wharton professor is running for Senate in Pennsylvania as the climate change candidate 
Inquirer: Philly DA Krasner sues Pa. AG Shapiro’s office over opioid settlement 
Inquirer: Philly’s new mask recommendations | Morning Newsletter
Billy Penn: Would a gun violence emergency help Philadelphia? Advocates just want action, whatever you call it 
WHYY Newsworks: ‘It’s an emergency’: Philly leaders, activists give Kenney a deadline to do more about gun violence 
WHYY Newsworks: Krasner sues Pa. AG over settlement agreement with opioid distributors
WHYY Newsworks: As Philly weighs minor car stops ban, community group wants Black residents to know their rights 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly urges indoor masking amid rise in COVID cases, child hospitalizations 
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia recommends all wear masks indoors, even if vaccinated from COVID-19
KYW Newsradio: Diversity in farming, entrepreneurship education pushed by Pa. ag secretary in Philly 
Philly Voice: Digital platform PropelPHL aims to connect job-seekers to employers, social services
Philadelphia Magazine: Here’s How Much Philly Arts Venues Received of $6.8 Billion in COVID-Relief Grants

 

SEPA
Daily Local News: State Rep. Davidson quits after being charged with theft
Daily Local News: Bokovitz appointed Chester County Director of Human Services
Delco Daily Times: Delco’s vaccination rate nears 70 percent 
Delco Daily Times: Delaware County Council looking into waste disposal options
KYW Newsradio: Rep. Margo Davidson of Delco faces charges for filing fraudulent expenses
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania state Rep. Margo Davidson resigns amid theft charges
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks pushes $1.2 million in emergency funding for flood victims
Montgomery Media: Lansdale mayor, Montgomery County commissioners denounce cemetery marker thefts
Bucks Local News: Bucks County commits $1.2NM to housing aid for flood-displaced residents 
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Commissioners name new Parks and Recreation director

 

Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette: Senate candidate state Rep. Kenyatta lays out agenda at Arlington coffee shop 
Post-Gazette: Pa.’s record gambling binge a boon for Pittsburgh-area casinos — and casinogoers
WESA: Teachers’ Union President, Board Members Question City School District’s Proposed COVID Relief Spending 
WESA: Pennsylvania Mayors Call For Local Parks Investment As Park Traffic Stays High
WESA: GOP State Senator Calls For November General Election Audit, Despite No Evidence Of Fraud 
WESA: Bicyclists To Visit Pittsburgh As Part Of Coast-To-Coast Climate Ride
KDKA: City Receiving Complaints Of Scooters Left On Sidewalks 2 Weeks Into New Program 
Beaver County Times: Allegheny County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 54% of people fully vaccinated
WTAE: Replacement named for Democratic mayoral nominee in Plum 
WTAE: COVID-19: Pennsylvania reports 561 new cases, 62% of adults fully vaccinated
Tribune Review: Springdale Council president resigns, citing move to Buffalo Township
Pittsburgh Business Times: Trade group’s report highlights economic impact of state’s oil and gas industry

 

SWPA 
Observer-Reporter: Election review committee expected to vote on ‘quality control’ audit
Observer-Reporter: Commissioners delay vote on government study ballot referendum
Tribune Review: Rural Pennsylvanians would get $500M broadband boost under Rep. Pam Snyder’s new bill
Tribune Review: Only 11% of emergency rent money distributed in Westmoreland County
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria County to update hazard mitigation plan
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State’s top court tosses out sex abuse lawsuit against diocese, citing statute of limitations
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: COVID-19 Surge continues, new-case average more than doubles in three weeks
Altoona Mirror: Lawsuit against diocese dismissed
Beaver County Times: Beaver County COVID-19 vaccine tracker: 41% of people fully vaccinated

 

NEPA
Times-Tribune: Campaign notes
Times-Tribune: New NEPA COVID-19 deaths remain at zero
Citizens Voice: Almost 300 added to county’s fully vaccinated list
The Times Leader: 18 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Thursday; 561 statewide

 

South Central  
Patriot News: Gov. Wolf visits York County confectioner to announce funding for expansion, new jobs 
Carlisle Sentinel: Mechanicsburg area leads the way in vaccination rates in Cumberland County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Rental assistance workshop this weekend at Clipper Stadium as eviction moratorium comes to an end
LNP | LancasterOnline: Over a quarter of Lancaster County households face poverty when eviction moratorium lifts

 

Lehigh Valley    
Express Times: Are Pa’s tougher animal cruelty laws working? Not really, Lehigh Valley shelter director says  
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners will resume in-person meetings
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 10 COVID cases as elevated levels in Pa. continue
WFMZ: Berks County Commissioners to resume in-person meetings 
WFMZ: Allentown School District beginning school year with in-person learning, universal masking to remain in place 
WFMZ: Reading Police Department set to celebrate 2021 National Night Out, says Mayor Morán
Morning Call: Allentown cracks down on problematic Amazon trucking terminal near Buck Boyle Park 

 

North by Northwest
Patriot News: Lycoming commissioners see judge’s decision to dismiss lawsuit against controller as a victory
Erie Times-News: PA Supreme Court ruling sets back victims, spares Erie diocese from slew of lawsuits
Erie Times-News: Erie City Council doesn’t vote on Griswold Park agreement. Here’s why
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City of Williamsport, Lycoming County to swap land downtown

 

Opinion  
Gary Hart and Ari Mittleman: The Big Lie goes on, fueled by Republicans like PA Sen. Doug Mastriano 
John Baer: The latest trend in governing, in Pa. and elsewhere, is looking for ways not to govern 
Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania’s universities merged. Good. Now let’s combine public school districts
Michael A. MacDowell: Some real reasons to worry about inflation
Rebecca L. Watts: Why eliminating barriers to education in Pa. is essential to workforce development and economic prosperity
Will Bunch: Is the Stacey Abrams method the only hope for saving democracy in Pa.? 
John L. Micek: Billionaires slipped the surly bonds of Earth, but couldn’t escape its problems | Friday Coffee
George Heitmann: Guns don’t down power lines. Woodchuck hunters do
Jenny DeHuff: Returning to a workout routine feels like heavy lifting
Inquirer Editorial Board: With new Philly mask guidelines, Mayor Kenney needs to lead us through the next chapter of the pandemic 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Understaffing at long-term care facilities, such as the former Conestoga View, can have troubling consequences
Tribune-Review Editorial: Don’t let more ’emergency contracts’ be a Harrisburg habit post-covid
Bill Hangley, Jr.: Sorry, Philly, it’s time to stop fighting for bike lanes 
Lloyd E. Sheaffer: The fight over critical race theory is a solution in search of a problem
Phil Gianficaro: Trump’s ego impedes acceptance of COVID vaccines
Jessica Blatt Press: More Art, Fewer Accidents? 
Trudy Rubin: Ben & Jerry’s boycott is not antisemitic, nor a rejection of Israel 
Helen Ubiñas: New children’s book about ‘Play Captains’ stars a real life Philly ‘Yaya’ 
Eugenio M. Albano: Dog droppings on Riverfront Park are an affront to civility 
Roger J. Olson: Contact your elected state representatives and urge them to oppose SB 119

July 23rd, 2021 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments