July 23rd Ups and Downs
A Delaware County Democrat is charged with theft and will resign from the state House, one county’s voting machines are decertified, plus the state broke a new record for gambling revenue. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
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Margo Davidson. The Delaware County Democrat was charged with misdemeanor charges of Theft, Solicitation to Hinder Apprehension, and Election Code Violations on Thursday and announced that she would be resigning from her seat in the state House. Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges against 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.”
Kathy Barnette. The GOP Senate hopeful announced her campaign’s first fundraising haul since entering the race and “outpaced some better known Republican opponents,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Barnette, an author and conservative commentator, raised $595,000 from early April to the end of June. Only one other Republican running for U.S. Senate in the state, Jeff Bartos, raised more than Barnette in the second quarter, however, he was bolstered by a loan he gave to his own campaign.
Fulton County. The Associated Press reports that Acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid “decertified the voting machines” of Fulton County, which “disclosed that it had agreed to requests by local Republican lawmakers and allowed a software firm to inspect the machines as part of an “audit” after the 2020 election.” The AP adds that Degraffenreid’s actions “almost certainly means” that the county “will have to buy or lease new voting machines.”
Kenneth A. Polite Jr. The partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Prior to joining the Philadelphia firm in 2018 and “handling white collar criminal defense work,” Polite served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Catherine Hicks. “A fresh start” for the Philadelphia NAACP. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Hicks, publisher of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, ran unopposed to be the next President of the Philadelphia NAACP. The Inquirer describes Hicks election and others new to the leadership team as a “fresh start” and “ending a turbulent period in the history of one of the oldest civil rights groups in the city.”
Isaiah Thomas. The Philadelphia City Councilman’s “driving quality agenda” is receiving support from a national newspaper’s editorial board. USA Today’s Editorial Board’s editorial titled, “Young Black men shouldn’t have to endure unwarranted traffic stops as a rite of passage” touts Thomas’ push in Philadelphia that would “bar police from stopping any motorist for such trivial violations as broken taillights, expired tags or items hanging from a rearview mirror,” while “police could still stop motorists for violations that put people or property in imminent danger, such as drunken driving or running a red light.”
Robert S. Forish. The Latrobe councilman was arrested on Tuesday by Westmoreland County detectives on Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Forish and Fabian Giovannegelo were “arraigned on charges of theft, theft by deception and misapplication of entrusted property in 2020,” and are “accused of using department funds to pay for a federal lawsuit filed against the fire company, Chief John Brasile, President Charles McDowell Jr., Latrobe Mayor Rosie Wolford and the city.”
Farley Toothman. The former Greene County president judge violated the state constitution, according to the state Court of Judicial Discipline. The Observer-Reporter reports that the state Court of Judicial Discipline ruled on Monday that Toothman violated the state Constitution and “engaged in misconduct so extreme that brought the judicial office into disrepute.”
PA Gaming Control Board. A new record. The Associated Press reports that the state “smashed its record for gambling revenue, state regulators said Monday, reporting nearly $3.9 billion in the last fiscal year as every category of wagering showed growth in one of the nation’s largest casino and gambling states.”
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