July 28: Trolling

Oz Billboard

Good Thursday morning. It’s Congressional Baseball Gameday. Who ya got?

The Summer of Trolling. New Poll Shows Fetterman, Shapiro With Commanding Leads. Fitzpatrick vs. Ehasz in PA-01. New Challenger in PA-15. Here is the Playbook.

PA Weather
Erie | Cloudy with showers, 79
Harrisburg | Mostly Cloudy, chance of T-showers, 89
Scranton | Partly Sunny, chance of showers, 89

PA Sports
Phillies (51-47, 10.0 GB) | d. Atlanta, 7-2; THU vs. Philadelphia, 7:05
Pirates (40-58, 14.5 GB) | THU vs. Philadelphia, 7:05

Thanks for reading PoliticsPA. Share our newsletter with your friends and colleagues. And visit us online at PoliticsPA.com.


1. The Summer of Trolling

It is a time-honored adage that in politics, you want to define your opponent before s/he does the same to you.

In the 2022 race to become Pennsylvania’s next senator, it has risen to a whole new level.

Social media trolling.

The John Fetterman campaign has taken to trolling the campaign of Mehmet Oz and has turned it into a weapon.


  • Fetterman Trolls Oz With Another New Jersey Celebrity. “Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman enlisted the help of another New Jersey celebrity to take a jab at Republican challenger Mehmet Oz’s ties to the state: musician Steven Van Zandt.” (The Hill)
  • John Fetterman’s Trolling Could Win Him a Seat in the U.S. Senate. “There’s a lot of trolling in politics these days, and it often includes inflammatory statements focused on race or immigration status. In a marvelous subversion of those smear tactics, Fetterman’s team argues that Oz is an immigrant who doesn’t connect with the history and culture of Pennsylvanians and doesn’t understand the values of the people he seeks to represent. Not because Oz’s parents were born in Turkey. That’s not a problem. The problem is Oz is from New Jersey.” (MSNBC)


2. Fetterman, Shapiro Hold Commanding Leads

Democratic candidates John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro hold commanding leads in their races for the U.S. Senate and the governor’s mansion in a poll released by Blueprint Polling.

Fetterman leads Republican challenger Mehmet Oz by nine points (48.9% to 39.6%). It is the largest poll margin that the lieutenant governor has held over the celebrity doctor and boosts his average lead to 7.1 percent.

Shapiro has a double-digit advantage over GOP opponent Doug Mastriano and has topped the 50 percent mark – 50.7% to 39.4%. The margin nearly triples his advantage from the Suffolk University poll in mid-June and gives him an average lead of 5.3 percent. (Politics PA)


  • As The GOP Opens Backs Mastriano, Jewish Dems Tell Them “There’s No Coming Back From This” “In a press conference Wednesday, the second Democrats and Jewish groups have held since learning of Mastriano’s financial ties to Gab, state House Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) had this message for his GOP colleagues in Harrisburg, and for other Republicans considering supporting Mastriano: “There is no coming back from this.”” (WHYY)
  • The Views of Extreme Republicans Whom Dems Are Helping in Primaries. “Among the many GOP primaries in which Democrats have meddled to help nominate a more extreme and supposedly more beatable candidate, the Pennsylvania governor’s race is probably the riskiest. But when it comes to sheer problematic symbolism, it’s tough to top the latest example.” (Washington Post)
  • Josh Shapiro Tells Pittsburgh His ‘Business-Friendly’ Administration Would Slash Corporate Tax. “In a visit with leaders of Pittsburgh’s robotics industry on Wednesday, Josh Shapiro said he will usher in a “customer service-oriented, business-friendly government” and work to cut the corporate net income tax to among the lowest in the nation if he’s elected in November.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Is Republican Nominee for Governor Doug Mastriano Shifting His Tone on Abortion? “State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor who this spring called abortion his “No. 1 issue,” seemingly tempered his tone in a pair of interviews this week, saying governors can’t dictate abortion policy.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • What is Gab and Why Are Mastriano’s Foes Blasting Him For It? “Democratic candidate for governor Josh Shapiro’s campaign narrative that his Republican foe Doug Mastriano is too extreme for Pennsylvania has added a new count in the past week: Guilt by association.” (PennLive)

U.S. House

3. PA-01: Fitzpatrick Faces Challenge From Ehasz in Philly Suburbs

It is a district that Pennsylvania Democrats have been salivating over.

It’s the 1st Congressional District seat and it is held by moderate Republican Brian Fitzpatrick who labels himself an “independent voice” in the moderate district that covers all of Bucks County and part of Montgomery County.

Fitzpatrick is being challenged by Democrat Ashley Ehasz, a former Army pilot and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


Swing Voters, Struggling With Their Options, Scramble Traditional Political Coalitions. “Democrats are on the defensive with vital political constituencies rattled by inflation. But amid concerns over abortion rights and democracy, Republicans still have problems in the highly educated suburbs.” (New York Times)

PA’s Fitzpatrick Votes With Dems On Bill Guaranteeing Contraceptive Access. “The U.S. House voted mostly along party lines Thursday to send the Senate legislation that would guarantee people the right to use contraception without government interference. Eight Republicans, including Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voted to approve the bill. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Around The Commonwealth

  • Butler County Auditing Some 2020 Mail-In Ballots to Gather Information for Future Elections. “Officials in Butler County began an audit of ballots from the 2020 general and state elections on Wednesday — a move leaders said is a bipartisan effort to collect data on what it would take to conduct similar reviews for future elections.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • 67 Counties, 17 Providers: PA Lawmakers Track a Path Forward on Abortion. “On July 26, 2022, the PA House Democratic Policy Committee held a policy hearing to discuss how abortion access will shape the overall debate on reproductive health rights in the commonwealth and heard from different speakers.” (Al Dia)
  • Molesevich to Challenge Thompson in 15th Congressional District. “Lewisburg resident Mike Molesevich, who previously announced a write-in candidacy to run for Congress in the redrawn 15th District, has been certified by the Department of State as the Democratic candidate to challenge Glenn Thompson in the fall.” (Sunbury Daily Item)
  • Pennsylvania Universities Reject GOP Call to Freeze Tuition. “Four Pennsylvania universities said Wednesday they will follow through with tuition increases despite calls from House Republicans to roll back the price hikes. The lawmakers, including Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, the GOP nominee for governor, argue Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln and Temple are receiving federal funds and do not need to increase tuition.” (Associated Press)
  • Pennsylvania Vets Waiting More Than a Year For Federal Records Required For Benefits. “During testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee on Tuesday, Allen Lockard said getting a veteran’s most essential document – a DD214 – from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis is taking at least a year.” (The Center Square)


5 Responses

  1. I would like to know what is going to be done about all the young people dying from fentanyl poisoning. Are youth are being destroyed by these illicit drugs from Mexico and from China and there’s not a whisper of anything being done about it anywhere in the news or in the Pennsylvania government I like to know why

  2. Trolling is a misnomer for simply telling the truth. Oz is a NJ resident. Dung is a maniacal rightwing white supremacist.

  3. Can anyone point to a single tough vote Fitzpatrick has ever taken when he broke ranks with the GOP? Has he ever been one of the Republicans to vote with Dems to make sure a bill got a majority of votes, or is every time he voted with Dems his vote isn’t meaningful to the outcome but then he can call himself an independent voice?

    1. You are correct. A closer look at Fitzpatrick’s “Dem-leaning” votes showed many had no chance passing in the Senate.


  • Reader Poll: Who Should the GOP Nominate for Governor?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen