July 29 Playbook: Mega Millions

Dollar bills

TGIF. I’ve got my Mega Millions ticket, so if you don’t see a Playbook on Monday, well, it will be pretty obvious.

Wolf Sues General Assembly Over Amendments. Double-Digit Polling Leads for Democrats. Hearing on Mail-In Ballots.

PA Weather
Pittsburgh | Mostly Cloudy, 81
Lancaster | Partly Sunny, Showers arriving, 84
Philadelphia | Partly Sunny, 86

PA Sports
Phillies (52-47, 9.5 GB) | d. Pittsburgh, 8-7; FRI-SUN vs. PIT
Pirates (40-59, 15.0 GB) | lost to Philadelphia, 8-7; FRI-SUN vs. PHI
Union (11-2-9, 1st) | SAT vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30

Cake and Candles. Rep. Patty Kim. Early wishes to Rep. Jerry Knowles (Sat.), Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (Sat.), Sen. Judy Schwank (Sun.) and Rep. Curtis Sonney (Sun.). Belated to Rep. Perry Warren (Thurs).

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1. Gov. Wolf Sues State Legislature For Attempt to Ban Abortion

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf filed a lawsuit against the Republican-led General Assembly for its attempt to ban abortion in the Commonwealth.

“The Republican-led General Assembly continues to take extraordinary steps to dismantle access to abortion and implement a radical agenda,” Wolf said in a statement. “Frustrated that their legislation may face my veto pen again, they instead loaded multiple unrelated constitutional amendments into ​a joint resolution and rammed the bill through during the budget process,” Gov. Wolf said. “As long as I remain governor, I will take every step to ensure that abortion remains legal, safe and accessible in Pennsylvania.”

In the court filing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Wolf asserted that the Pennsylvania Constitution explicitly recognizes a personal right to privacy, with such a right including the right to terminate a pregnancy.


  • Wolf Sues to Stop GOP-Backed Amendments on Abortion, Voting. “Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor sued the state Legislature on Thursday over a package of proposed constitutional amendments that Republican lawmakers are pursuing, including one that would say the state constitution does not guarantee any rights relating to abortion or public funding of abortions.” (Associated Press)
  • Pennsylvania Gov Sues GOP State Legislature Over Abortion Amendments. “Wolf writes in the court filing that the commonwealth’s constitution expressly recognizes an individual’s right to privacy, which Wolf says includes the right to terminate a pregnancy. Therefore, Wolf states that the General Assembly’s amendments are a violation of Pennsylvania’s constitution.” (The Hill)



2. Fox News: Double-Digit Leads for Democrats

It is a pair of double-digit leads for the Democratic candidates in the latest Fox News poll for the Pennsylvania Senate and Governor’s seats.

John Fetterman has an 11-point margin over Republican challenger Mehmet Oz in the quest to replace Pat Toomey in the U.S. Senate. It is the former mayor of Braddock’s largest lead in the five polls released since mid-June. Fetterman’s average in the quintet is 48.0 percent, compared to 40.2 for Oz.

Josh Shapiro posted a 10-point advantage over GOP opponent Doug Mastriano in the chase to succeed Tom Wolf in Harrisburg. The attorney general posted his second double-figure lead in the two polls, as Blueprint Polling showed an 11-point margin just two days ago. In the five-poll average, Shapiro is at 48.4 percent while Mastriano comes in at 42.2.


  • Oz Is Accusing Fetterman of Being Soft on Crime. Some of His Claims Are Inaccurate. “It’s all part of an ongoing through-line in Oz’s campaign to direct rising fear over elevated crime toward his opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, and stress that Oz would be tougher on crime.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Doug Mastriano Claims Josh Shapiro Is ‘Deliberately Inciting’ Crimes Against Him. “Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor, claimed Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro condones political violence. Mastriano went silent when asked for proof.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Oz’s Great Escape. “Republican Party insiders are increasingly frustrated with what they perceive as a certain laissez-faire attitude from the poorly-polling G.O.P. Senate candidate, who has spent nearly as much time on vacation as on the campaign trail.” (Puck)
  • Lt. Gov. Fetterman’s Handling of Health Crisis Subject of Senate Panel Inquiry. “Lingering questions surrounding when Gov. Tom Wolf was notified about his lieutenant governor suffering a stroke and requiring a medical procedure in May has triggered a Senate panel’s review of the law that governs those situations.” (PennLive)
  • Senator Troll? “Senate candidate John Fetterman’s heckling of Mehmet Oz may entertain the already converted, but it might work against actually persuading independent voters.” (The Philadelphia Citizen)



3. Judge to Rule on Hundreds of Ballots in Limbo Since Primary

“A Pennsylvania judge was urged by state lawyers Thursday to order three counties to add some 800 mail-in ballots to their May primary election results, but the local election officials insisted their decisions are firmly rooted in unambiguous state law.

A six-hour hearing in Harrisburg was the latest in a string of recent court proceedings about the rules for absentee and mail-in ballots, a running battle that pits Democrats who embraced mail-in voting under a 2019 law against Republicans who see inconsistent practices and widespread confusion about what is legal.” (Associated Press)


Lancaster County Commissioner Testifies at Hearing Over May Primary Mail Ballots. “Lancaster County Commissioner Ray D’Agostino testified in Commonwealth Court Thursday that unsettled legal cases in state and federal courts left him with no other choice but to exclude from its certified results some votes cast by mail in the May primary election, specifically mail-in ballots that lacked written dates next to signatures on their outside envelopes.” (Lancaster Online | LNP)

Wolf Administration, GOP Lawmaker Fight War of Words Over Undated Mail Ballots in PA Elections: ‘Disinformation’ vs. ‘Chaos’ “The Democratic Wolf administration and a committee-leading Republican lawmaker swapped accusations of “disinformation” and creating “chaos” in a war of words over undated mail ballots that muddies the path toward the November election, now only 103 days away.” (The Morning Call)


Around The Commonwealth

PA Climate Advocates ‘Excited’ After Manchin’s Sudden Turn Gets Budget Bill Compromise. “Climate advocates in Pennsylvania say they feel like they were released from “the jaws of defeat,” after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would back the historic clean energy incentives that earlier this month had effectively killed in the Democrats’ massive embattled budget deal.” (Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette)

John Fetterman’s Evolution on Climate Change,Fracking and the Environment. “The ad opens in Braddock, Pennsylvania with the kind of eerie industrial imagery that has long been synonymous with the decline of America’s Rust Belt: empty storefronts, abandoned buildings, For Sale signs, cracked asphalt. Other than the slow, dramatic piano music laid over the footage, the only sound is the muted whir of an occasional passing car. There are no pedestrians in sight; everything appears to be shut down, faded and awash in shades of gray.” (Inside Climate News)

Jon Stewart Targets Pat Toomey in Rant After Senate Fails to Pass Bill to Aid Veterans. “I’m used to the lies, I’m used to the hypocrisy, I’m used to the cowardice, I’m used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty,” Stewart told reporters outside the Senate during a Thursday news conference called by the bill’s advocates.” (PennLive)

Former State DA Kathleen Kane to Face Trial for Drunken Driving. “Former state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane twice denied she had been drinking after being arrested in March on suspicion of drunken driving, but video at a Scranton restaurant appeared to show her downing at least two beers and a shot. That evidence, coupled with testimony of a police officer and the driver of the car Kane struck shortly after leaving Cooper’s Seafood House, convinced Magisterial District Judge Joanne Corbett to forward charges of DUI and careless driving to Lackawanna County Court following a preliminary hearing Thursday.” (Times-Tribune)



2 Responses

  1. Let me say this—when you are hitting a nerve with humor people go all out pompous! The Inquirer saying Indy’s won’t vote for Fetterman over humor is laughable! “Dear….I was going to vote for Fetterman but the jokes killed it. Nope I voted for a Trumper because I don’t like the jokes. Forget Roe v Wade! I’m a no joker all the way. Long live the humor challenged.

  2. Dung Mastriano and Jersey Oz are trying to smear their Dem opponents with lies, but have nothing to say when asked for proof or details. GOP has always had nothing to back up the lies they spout.

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