July 26: Warming Up

Doug Mastriano

Warming Up to Mastriano. Dems See Midterm Hope. Kelly Confirms Staff Involvement in Elector Scheme. Here is the Playbook.

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Top Story

1. Warming Up to Mastriano

The GOP is coming around.

Despite early warning signs that the party would not rally to its gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano is beginning to show signs of coalescing party elders and donors to his cause.

“When you play team sports, you learn what being part of a team means,” said Andy Reilly, the state GOP’s national committeeman and co-host of Wednesday’s fundraiser. “Our team voted for him in the primary and, no matter how you slice it, his philosophies are much better to run the state than a career politician like Josh Shapiro.”

Donors have been slow to come around though, as Mastriano’s war chest was just under $400,000 entering the second quarter, compared to $13 million for his opponent, Josh Shapiro.

“That’s going to make it much tougher for Mastriano to break into that southeastern Pennsylvania kind of money,” said David Urban, a Republican strategist who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. (Associated Press)

Related

  • Shapiro Releases Plan to Boost PA Economy. “Democratic candidate for governor Josh Shapiro announced his strategy to give Pennsylvania’s economy a jolt and making it easier to do business in the Keystone State during a campaign stop in Dunmore on Monday.” (Politics PA)
  • Mastriano Urges Pitt, Penn State, Other State-Related Schools to Freeze Tuition. “The candidate says that in return for a roughly $40 million or 5% funding boost for the four institutions that also include Temple and Lincoln universities, their leaders should freeze tuition in the 2022-23 academic year.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

 

U.S. SENATE

2. Dems See Signs of Hope for Midterms

Despite the usual midterm headwinds for the party in control of the White House, Democrats are seeing reasons for optimism as they look ahead to November.

They see their candidates putting up an unexpectedly fierce fight in many battleground states, despite the headlines of inflation, gas prices and low approval ratings for President Joe Biden.

Republicans are defending 21 Senate seats, while Democrats are trying to retain 14 spots to hold onto control in the chamber. Dems see a very real opportunity in Pennsylvania, as recent polls have shown John Fetterman with a lead over Mehmet Oz for the Keystone State seat. (The Hill)

Related

  • John Fetterman is Getting a Flood of Money As He Faces Mehmet Oz. “Winning was good for John Fetterman’s campaign accounts. The lieutenant governor had long raked in millions of campaign dollars in $10 and $20 increments, but after securing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, Fetterman saw a significant jump in his pace of fund-raising, and in money coming in from outside of Pennsylvania.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Republicans’ Senate Campaign Boss Admits His Candidates Have a Money Problem. “Rick Scott is in charge of winning back the Senate majority for Republicans this November. And he’s worried.Scott, who runs the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is pointing to the vast fundraising deficit that some of the top-tier Republican candidates face with less than four months before the midterm elections.” (CNN)
  • John Fetterman Once Signed Pledge to Ban Fracking, Which Supports Tens of Thousands of PA Jobs. “Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s current lieutenant governor, agreed to co-sponsor the Keep It In The Ground Act — federal legislation banning new oil, gas and coal leasing on federal lands — and support a complete moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania, according to an April 2016 Facebook post from Pennsylvania Voters Against Fracking.” (Fox News)

 

U.S. HOUSE

3. Kelly Confirms Staff Involvement In Elector Scheme

“Congressman Mike Kelly’s office now confirms that members of his staff were involved in an effort to alter the count of electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election. But Kelly continues to insist he was unaware of the effort — even if it included a longtime top aide.”

Late last week, Kelly held a press conference for Erie media to respond to an op-ed piece by the chairman of Erie County’s Democratic committee. Kelly was asked about the false elector scheme during that contentious half-hour appearance, video of which was posted by Erie Times-News reporter Matthew Rink,

“The only way we can finally learn the truth is if he releases every single record,” said challenger Dan Pastore in a statement. “If Mike Kelly won’t take this simple step to be transparent, there is absolutely no reason to believe anything he says.” (90.5 WESA)

Related

  • Race For Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District Heats Up. “On Friday, Rep. Mike Kelly held a news conference in Erie to voice his frustrations with an article in the Erie Reader. “This whole piece is just a distraction,” said Rep. Kelly. “There’s not one bit of truth in it.” Meanwhile, Pastore is calling on Kelly to release all communications between Kelly and his staff and the Trump Administration.” (Erie News Now)

 

Around The Commonwealth

  • Thompson Attends Gay Son’s Wedding After Voting Against Same-Sex Marriage. “Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) was one of 157 Republicans who voted against codifying the right to same-sex marriage last week. Three days later, he attended the wedding of his son, who is gay.” (Axios)
  • Dean: Trump Should Be Criminally Charged For Role In The Capitol Insurrection. “Trump “assembled the mob, lit the fuse, and sent them up Pennsylvania Avenue,” and did nothing to stop them for more than three hours as rioters battled with U.S. Capitol and Washington D.C. police and rampaged through the Capitol sending members of Congress, their staff, and former Vice President Mike Pence fleeing for their lives, U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean said Monday.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
  • From Immigrant to U.S. Congress? Shamaine Daniels’ Challenge to Scott Perry. “Shamaine Daniels arrived in America in a moment of crisis. Now, America itself is at a crossroads and so is Daniels. In November, the Democrat who has served three terms as a Harrisburg city council member will face off against U.S. Representative Scott Perry.” (York Dispatch)

 

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