Close this search box.

July 25: A Tough Sell

🌞 Hello, Tuesday!  

PA Weather
Beaver Falls | Mostly Sunny, 85
Bellefonte | Showers, Thunderstorms, 83
Broomall | Partly Sunny, 85

PA Sports
⚾ Phillies (53-47) | Baltimore 2-3 | Tue-Wed vs. Baltimore
⚾ Pirates (44-56) | San Diego 8-4 | Tue-Wed vs. San Diego
⚽ USWNT | Vietnam 3-0 | Wed vs. Netherlands
⚽ Union | Club Tijuana 3-1 | Wed vs. Querétaro

What We’re Hearing
democracyFIRST is up with their first TV ad of the year in Pennsylvania (Tumbleweed). The TV ad airs in all PA media markets starting today and includes spending across digital platforms as well. The non-electoral, issue ad from democracyFIRST (c)4 is $100k for two weeks and calls for free and fair elections.

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Marci Mustello and Rep. Danielle Friel Otten.

Not Just Another Email
Get your political news emailed to you at the start of every day. Sign up for your free subscription to the PoliticsPA Playbook.


Top Story

1. ‘Bidenomics’ Has Helped Low-Income Americans. But In Poor Cities Like Philadelphia, It’s Still A Tough Sell

Why banks should beware of 'Bidenomics' | American Banker

“When President Joe Biden pitched his plan last week to build the economy from the “bottom up,” he did so in the poorest big city in America.

Nearly a quarter of Philadelphians are living below the poverty line and almost half meet the definition of “cost-burdened” — spending at least 30% of their income on rent.

Biden has, by some economists’ calculations, ushered in the most significant programs for people living at the bottom of the economic ladder since President Lyndon B. Johnson. But the inflation hangover Americans feel even as the economy improves, coupled with intractable causes of poverty in big cities, will make that difficult.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


New Student Loan Forgiveness Plan To Impact 30,000 Pennsylvanians. “Almost 30,000 Pennsylvanians who have been on student loan income-driven repayment plans for decades could soon see relief under the Biden administration’s new forgiveness plan.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Casey, Fetterman Back Federal Override Of PA Election Laws. “Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman are among the Democrats who are sponsoring the re-introduction of the so-called “Freedom to Vote Act,” a sweeping federal law that would override the Keystone State’s election rules.” (Delaware Valley Journal)

Reader Poll: Move PA’s Presidential Primary To March. Forty percent of respondents to our unscientific poll said that the Keystone State should move its presidential primary from April 23, 2024, to March 5, 2024. Thirty-three percent said the state should move the date to March 19, 2024, while the remaining 27 percent opted to keep the date where it currently stands. Thanks for participating. (PoliticsPA)

City Will Again Seek Reimbursement From Trump Campaign For Rally. “Schember told the Erie Times-News Monday morning that the city plans to pursue reimbursement from the Trump campaign, despite the fact that the former president’s campaign committee did not repay more than $35,000 to the city in relation to a Trump rally which took place at Erie Insurance Arena almost five years ago.” (Erie Times-News)

  • Donald Trump Is Coming To Erie Saturday. Its Mayor Wants Him To Pay His Bill This Time. (PennLive)



2. Ward Talks Budget Impasse, Trust In Government, And PA’s Primary Date

Sen. Kim Ward

One of the most diminutive people in Harrisburg is the person sitting tallest in the saddle with the ability to call the state Senate back in session.

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) appeared on WHTM’s “This Week in Pennsylvania” program and said that a budget settlement could come sooner than later. (PoliticsPA)


Lawyers: School Funding Decision Final: ‘No Excuse To Delay Action Any Further’  “The ruling on the field stands.”The deadline to appeal Commonwealth Court’s decision finding that Pennsylvania’s public school funding system violates the state constitution to the PA Supreme Court has come and gone, leaving the final work in the hands of state lawmakers. (PoliticsPA)

PA Schools Say Victory In Court Is Final And Legislature Needs To Increase Funding. “Lawmakers should take action to address a now-final court ruling that Pennsylvania’s system of funding public schools violates the constitutional rights of students in poorer school districts, lawyers for the districts and groups that sued said Monday.” (AP)

‘A Public Safety Issue’: PA Nurses On Why Safe Staffing Ratios Are Crucial. “Because of the lack of staffing ratios in hospitals, nurses are forced to care for too many patients at once, causing physical care to fall by the wayside. The Patient Safety Act would require hospital units to meet specific staffing ratios based on the level of care they provide, in order to improve patient safety and the level of care they receive. ” (The Keystone)


Around The Commonwealth

3. PA Is Competing For Billions To Build Hydrogen Hubs. Will They Really Be Green?

Pennsylvania as a Hydrogen Hub

“As the federal government prepares to dole out billions of dollars to encourage states to invest in hydrogen production to fight climate change, Pennsylvania lawmakers are priming the state to benefit from the rainfall. But as they make plans to regulate a new and potentially massive industry, serious divisions are emerging.” (Spotlight PA)


‘We’re Just Getting Started’: Jeffries, Deluzio Say Democrats Are Bolstering The Middle Class – And Unions. “It was fitting that Hakeem Jeffries, the most powerful Democrat in Congress and perhaps future speaker of the House, told a family story dating back to the 1960s while standing in a tiny Wilkinsburg diner that looks much like it did when it was first opened 50 years ago.” (Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Norfolk Southern Gives $1 Million To Western PA Communities Affected By East Palestine Train Derailment. “The money comes from a multi-million dollar commitment Gov. Josh Shapiro secured from Norfolk Southern to cover damages from the accident and help impacted residents in Pennsylvania.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Cumberland County GOP Votes To Suspend, Expel Elected Members. “On Saturday, the Cumberland County Republican Committee permanently expelled one elected official and suspended seven more, according to county GOP committeeperson Theresa Myers. Myers said the members were punished for supporting unendorsed incumbent Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger in the May primaries.” (The Sentinel)

Luzerne County Ballot Questions Raise Questions. “Luzerne County Councilman Gregory S. Wolovich Jr. said Monday a renewed push for a home rule study commission “kind of came out of left field.”” (Times Leader)

State Budget Delay Impacts Clinton County. “Eight departments within the county utilize state government funds. This includes: Voter Registration; Assessment; Courts; Domestic Relations; Children and Youth; Coroner; Probation; Department of Emergency Services.” (Lock Haven Express)



4. What They’re Saying


1 College Thing

5. Affirmative Action For The 1%

Housing & Dining | University of Pennsylvania

Children from ultra-wealthy families are more than twice as likely to gain admission to Ivy League schools compared to others with comparable test scores, according to a widely shared new working paper from a group of Harvard economists who study inequality.

Why it matters: The study shows that elite-school policies “amounted to affirmative action for the children of the 1 percent, whose parents earn more than $611,000 a year,” N.Y. Times Upshot wrote from the paper.

What’s happening: The high-income admissions advantage, among students with the same test scores, is driven by three factors, the paper says:

  • Preferences for children of alumni.
  • Weight placed on non-academic ratings, which tend to be higher for students applying from private high schools.
  • Recruitment of athletes.


Thanks for starting your Monday with us.
What did you think of today’s newsletter?
Please invite your colleagues to subscribe to the PoliticsPA Playbook



  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen