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July 5: Back To The Grind

Grinding coffee

😀  Hello Wednesday! Here’s hoping you enjoyed your holiday.

PA Weather
Johnstown | Becoming Mostly Sunny, 83
Mechanicsburg | Mostly Sunny, 90
Hazleton | Sunny, 86

PA Sports
Phillies (45-39) | Tampa Bay 3-1 | W-Th vs. Tampa Bay
Pirates (40-45) | LA Dodgers 9-7 | W-Th vs. LA Dodgers

What We’re Hearing
“People are so shocked that that can come from Pittsburgh.” – Rep. Summer Lee

What’s Happening Today
The PA House will convene at noon.

Wake Up to All the Political News You Need in the Morning
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Top Story

1. Bob Casey Hears You Comparing Him To Oatmeal. He Is Betting Boring Wins

Sen. Bob Casey

Bob Casey is well aware that people compare him to oatmeal. He even remembers the reporter and publication that first made the comparison.

“So, that was a low point,” he said with a smirk, name-checking Tom Ferrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

But Casey, seeking reelection next year for his fourth term in the Senate, is comfortable joking about the comparison – at a time when brash, unique personalities are standard in politics – because of another truth of his political career: He has proven very, very difficult to unseat.” (The Messenger)


Casey Lands His Best Fundraising Quarter In His Senate Reelection Campaign. “Democratic Sen. Bob Casey raised more than $4 million in the last three months — his best fundraising quarter ever — as he awaits a Republican challenger to his reelection bid in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, his campaign said Wednesday.” (AP)

David McCormick’s PAC Got $1M From GOP Mega Donor Jeffrey Yass As He Eyes 2024 Senate Run In PA. “The latest financial disclosure by the group Pennsylvania Rising shows dozens of small contributions from across the state and the country. But the bulk of the political action committee’s haul came from a single million-dollar donation by billionaire Jeffrey Yass, the richest person in Pennsylvania and a longtime GOP mega donor.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

What’s A Patriot In The U.S.? The Answer Varies Widely. “Today, the word and its variants have morphed beyond the original meaning. It has become infused in political rhetoric and school curriculums, with varying definitions, while being appropriated by white nationalist groups. Trying to define what a patriot is depends on whom is being asked.” (AP)


2. democracyFIRST Targets Election Denialists

Poll Watchers

“One does not often find big money thrown around in political races in some of the reddest counties of Pennsylvania.

Why was a superPAC from Washington, D.C. targeting county commissioner primaries in redder-than-red Franklin and Fulton Counties along the state’s southern border?

And who is democracyFIRST?” (PoliticsPA)


A Q and A With Former Congressman Charlie Dent. “The Pennsylvania Republican Party is at yet another inflection point – so who better to talk to about it than U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, who represented the 15th district in the Lehigh Valley from 2005 to 2018?” (City & State)

PA House Freedom Caucus Compares Themselves And The School Choice Movement To … Nazis? “The heated debate over whether Pennsylvania should invest tax dollars to send students from the state’s lowest-performing schools to private schools in next year’s budget has taken a bizarre turn.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

PA Collects $44.9B In Revenue In FY23. “Pennsylvania ended the 2022-23 fiscal year with $44.9 billion in General Fund collections, Revenue Secretary Pat Browne reported today. That total is $1.3 billion, or 3.1 percent, above estimate.” (PoliticsPA)

A Stroll Through The Annals Of PA Political Corruption. Veteran GOP political consultant Christopher Nicholas is joined by Brad Bumsted and John Baer in a five-episode podcast on Pennsylvania political corruption. (PA Town Hall)

Proliferation Of New Caucuses In Harrisburg Complicates Budget Battles, Need For Compromise. “A local lawmaker recently touted the work of her caucus when it blocked taxpayer funding for Penn State’s hospital over its gender health clinic.” (York Dispatch)

No Movement, Yet, On Next State Budget; School Vouchers Hangs Up Process. “The deadlock on Pennsylvania’s now-tardy state budget set in at the outset of an extended Independence Day weekend. If progress is to be made in the near-term, signs of such aren’t expected until legislative business livens up midweek.” (CNHI News)

Any Progress Made Toward Settling PA’s State Budget Dispute? It’s Hard To Tell. “Sources familiar with the talks said conversations have been happening behind the scenes although no one reported seeing any resolution at hand to the differences mostly – but not exclusively – over launching a targeted school voucher program for failing schools.” (PennLive)

Around The Commonwealth

3. How The Steel City Became A Vanguard For The Progressive Movement

Downtown Pittsburgh - Great Allegheny Passage

“Pittsburgh is renowned as a city of bridges, industry and championship sports teams — and now, in a much newer development, as a powerhouse of progressive politics.

Progressive candidates are in the middle of an eye-opening winning streak over more moderate Allegheny County Democrats who for decades had a firm grasp on power around Pittsburgh.” (NBC News)


The Secret To The Democrats’ Future Lies In Western PA. “Pittsburgh and its environs are actually worth paying attention to if you want to understand a viable path for Democrats to build the sort of coalitions they need not just to maintain what they currently have, but to build toward a model that can persuade more than the traditional liberal base.” (The New Republic)

Hallam Says Fitzgerald’s Lawsuit Fighting A Minimum Wage Hike Is Just His ‘Bruised Ego’  “Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is “grasping at straws” with his lawsuit challenging legislation to increase the minimum wage for government employees, County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam said Monday.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

5 Ways Philadelphia Can Address Its Short-Staffing Problem. “For more than a year, Philadelphia city government has struggled to fill thousands of open positions, resulting in a persistent staffing problem that has not abated.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Salvos Continue In 2-Year Fight Between Commissioners, Controller In Lycoming County. “The issue of whether the County Code gives the commissioners or controller the responsibility for general ledger, payroll and accounts payable functions has statewide implications.” (PennLive)

Rocky Governance Persists In Tiny PA Borough That Hired Tamir Rice’s Killer. “Nearly a year after Tioga hired the police officer who killed Tamir Rice, questionable governance persists in the tiny northern Pennsylvania borough.” (Spotlight PA)


4. What They’re Saying

  • PA NewsMedia Association Warns Of Government Backsliding On State’s Sunshine Act. (William M. Cotter)
  • Late Budgets Are The Norm In PA, But 2023 Is A Little Different. (Tribune-Review)
  • I Attended The Moms For Liberty Summit. What I Heard Was An Erosion Of One Of Democracy’s Most Important Principles. (Shirley Hershey Showalter)
  • The Press Should Be Honest About Moms For Liberty. (Stu Bykofsky)
  • We Need Reaffirmative Action. The Playing Field’s Still Not Level. (Martin Schram)
  • Chief Justice John Roberts Hangs Out The Do Not Disturb Sign. (Gene Collier)
  • The Supreme Court Declares Independence. (Gerard Baker)
  • Education Issues Dominate Summer 2023. (Lowman Henry)
  • Put Brake On Revolving Door (Times-Tribune)
  • Enough With The Fireworks, Please. The Fourth Of July Was Wonderful, But It’s Over For The Year. (LNP)
  • Gas Projections Reiterate Need For Infrastructure. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette)
1 Thing

5. The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities And Towns

Discover Haverford - Businesses, Community

“The longest album about Pennsylvania was created by a guy who isn’t even from here.

Pennsylvania Songs: PA Exciting clocks in at a whopping 93 songs and was released in 2014. But the album has found a new set of accidental listeners on TikTok as people rediscover the Guy Who Sings About Cities and Towns — aka Matt Farley.

“I write songs about things people aren’t writing about,” Farley said. “I get down to the cities that no one would ever write an anthem about, like the 72nd most populated town in Pennsylvania.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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One Response

  1. I like oatmeal. MAGA should leave Casey alone. Better than being rancid MAGA Mush.


  • 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

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