June 18th Playbook
The Chester County Democratic Committee elected a new chair, while PoliticsPA asks who should Democrats nominate for U.S. Senate in 2022. Here is the Playbook.
Reader Poll: Who Should Democrats Nominate for U.S. Senate in 2022?: Sen. Pat Toomey’s decision to not seek a third term opened the floodgates of Democratic U.S. Senate hopefuls. The field is still forming, but chatter about the pivotal seat is well underway among politicos.
Harris To Visit Pittsburgh on Monday: According to a press release, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will be traveling to Pittsburgh on June 21.
Charlotte Valyo Elected Chester County Dem Chair: The newly elected chair said that the values that they stand for are “science, truth, social responsibility, and acting for the common good.”
‘Family of former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge remains ‘hopeful for a full recovery’: PennLive reported on Thursday that “Pennsylvania’s former Gov. Tom Ridge remains hospitalized as he begins to recover from a stroke he suffered early Wednesday. At 4 p.m., he was reported to remain in critical but stable condition in Washington, D.C., area hospital.”
Spotlight PA Details PSERS ‘Saga’: Spotlight PA reports about “Pennsylvania’s largest pension fund is at the center of an equally large scandal, complete with an FBI investigation, a lawsuit, boardroom rebellions, and tons of money.”
‘Democrats are waiting for Conor Lamb as Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race takes shape’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “decisions by U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan not to run clarified the Democratic primary landscape in the Senate race — and put even more eyes on U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.”
‘Wolf says GOP’s election bill is ‘driven by fringe conspiracy theories’ as lawmakers crash event’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports “The battle to shape public opinion over Pennsylvania Republicans’ proposed election overhaul intensified Thursday, as Gov. Tom Wolf called it an attack on voting rights and GOP lawmakers crashed an event in the Philadelphia suburbs to demand he negotiate.”
‘Republicans juggle deficit, pandemic and schools in budget’: The Associated Press reports “Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are working to assemble a budget plan that would use billions in federal pandemic relief and surplus state tax dollars to help prop up existing programs, boost aid to public schools and inject cash into sectors hard-hit by the pandemic.”
‘Pa. election audit a ‘very real possibility,’ top Pa. Senate Republican says after meeting activists’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that Senate State Government Committee Chairman Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) said that “a forensic audit was a “very real possibility” Thursday after meeting with activists Wednesday.”
‘A lawmaker claimed Pa. has seen a ‘large uptick’ in alcohol-related incidents; state police data says otherwise’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports “Senate Law and Justice Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Regan, R-York, is right — there’s no way to formally regulate how much alcohol a bartender pours into a to-go cocktail. But one reason he gave for supporting legislation that would let liquor license holders sell canned cocktails to-go, doesn’t add up.”
‘Pa. lawmakers continue to debate over ‘meaningful’ charter reform’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports “The prime sponsor of an “educational choice” bill called the legislation the “beginning of a conversation.” But even with recent changes, critics say it’s a far cry from meaningful reform.”
‘With a new billboard, a group presses PA Senate GOP to give abuse victims ‘a chance at justice’: USA Today reports that “a child advocacy group has taken out a billboard in Harrisburg to increase the pressure on Senate Republicans to pass a bill to give child sexual abuse survivors an expanded window to pursue litigation against their abusers.”
‘Pennsylvania’s Conspiracy Kiss-Up Contest’: The Bulwark reports that “to win Donald Trump’s endorsement, candidates for the state’s two major 2022 races embrace his big election lie.”
City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics this week.
‘U.S. Rep. Scott Perry on his no vote on Congressional medal for Capitol Police: ‘politically motivated narrative’: PennLive reports Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) says “modified legislation to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on police officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack is a “politically motivated narrative.”
‘Supreme Court sides with Catholic agency barred by Philly for denying same-sex foster couples’: Philly Voice reports the U.S. Supreme Court “unanimously ruled against the city of Philadelphia’s decision to stop working with a Catholic social services group that had refused to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.
‘Ed Gainey: New economy must include Pittsburgh communities that feel left behind’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports “In one of his first public talks since beating incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto in the Democratic primary last month, state Rep. Ed Gainey told members of the Pittsburgh Technology Council he wants to ensure neighborhoods in the city that feel left behind are included in the new economy.”
Post-Gazette Highlights Pittsburgh Dem Primary Money Spent: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Defeated Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto outspent Gainey more than 3 times in primary race, filings show.”
‘City Council reaches a budget deal with more violence prevention funding and smaller tax cuts’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “after weeks of protracted budget negotiations, Philadelphia City Council advanced a budget deal late Thursday night that includes $68 million for anti-violence initiatives and a smaller version of Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed wage tax cuts.”
Woods Talks to KDKA About Campaign for Pittsburgh Mayor: Marlin Woods, who is running for Mayor of Pittsburgh as an Independent, talked to KDKA and made the case that “the city needs a moderate voice.”
‘Pittsburgh Activists Pushing For Creation Of Civilian Police Control Council’: KDKA reports that “a group of organizations and residents are pushing for the creation of a civilian police control council in Pittsburgh,” which would “be the first of its kind in the nation.”
‘The Philly ethics board fines PAC formed by retired cops that spent big against Krasner’: WHYY reports Protect Our Police PAC, “a political action committee founded by former law enforcement officers, which heavily backed Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’ opponent in the May primary, has been filed for violating the city’s campaign finance guidelines.”
‘Scranton Tax Collector Bill Fox accuses Cognetti of trying to influence labor negotiations with audit request’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti “blasted the Scranton Tax Office in a May letter to the state auditor general to gain advantage in union contract negotiations, Scranton Tax Collector Bill Fox alleged in his own letter to the state’s top financial watchdog.” Cognetti “rejects” the charge.
‘Scranton’s creditworthiness improves’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “in a financial step forward for Scranton, a bond ratings company Thursday upgraded the city’s creditworthiness on debt.”
‘Houlahan demands release of funds to shuttered venues’: The Pottstown Mercury reports that Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) and several other reps. “Led more than 200 of their House colleagues in a bipartisan letter to Administrator Isabel Guzman of the Small Business Administration urging immediate action to stabilize and improve the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which provides emergency assistance grants to venues that were unable to operated during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
‘Berks County commissioners throw support behind effort to keep Fightin Phils in Reading’: The Reading Eagle reports the “Berks County Commissioners say they know how important the Fightin Phils are to the community and they are willing to do whatever they can to keep them in Reading.”
‘2021 PA Latino Convention coming to Reading’: The Reading Eagle reports that the PA Latino Convention will take place in Reading on September 29-30.
‘Allentown advocates, faith leaders, teachers plan to march in protest ahead of Pa. budget vote’: WFMZ reports that “POWER Interfaith will lead the ‘Still Separate And Unequal: 100% Fair Funding Now Day of Action’ this coming Monday, June 21, according to a press release statement.”
‘Activist Shareef Hameed looks to oust York City Mayor Helfrich in November’: The York Dispatch reports “Shareef Hameed, a political newcomer and local activist, will officially take on Mayor Michael Helfrich in November as an independent.”
‘Forty Fort mayor cited after dispute over WVW executive session’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “in an escalation of Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski’s ongoing dispute with the Wyoming Valley West School Board, Tuzinski has been cited for disorderly conduct after an alleged dispute with board members at State Street Elementary School.”
‘Roman, Davis lob accusations at Washington County commissioners’: According to the Observer-Reporter, “Register of Wills James Roman and Clerk of Courts Brenda Davis, two of the Republican row officers elected in November 2019, lobbed various accusations against the county commissioners and two other government officials during Thursday’s voting meeting, prompting board Chairwoman Diana Irey Vaughan to suggest there could be an “actionable” response to their comments.”
‘Pa.’s first lady and acting physician general hold COVID-19 panel for youth’: WHYY reports that “Pennsylvania’s First Lady Frances Wolf and Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson moderated a virtual panel discussion Thursday afternoon in an effort to educate young people about vaccine safety.”
McSwain Releases 1st Web Video: Bill McSwain’s Freedom PA PAC released its first web video on Thursday. The video promotes McSwain’s time as the U.S. Attorney for PA’s Eastern District, while taking shots at Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. McSwain is a potential candidate for Governor.
Gerow Releases 1st Campaign Video: Charlie Gerow, a communications executive, released his campaign’s first video since announcing his intentions to seek the GOP nomination for Governor. He highlights his upbringing, work for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, while also criticizing the “liberal media.”
Mastriano and Klacik to Fundraise for Barnette: State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), a potential candidate for Governor, and Kimberly Klacik, a former GOP Congressional candidate in Maryland’s 7th District, will be joining Kathy Barnette, a conservative commentator and former congressional candidate who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, for a reception supporting Barnette’s campaign on Friday evening.
Arkoosh To Hold Virtual Roundtable on Challenges Faced By Child Care Providers, Families: Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, who is seeking the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate, will be holding a Zoom roundtable on Friday morning with two Pennsylvania child care professionals to “discuss the challenges facing child care providers and the families that rely on their care,” according to a release from her campaign.
Richey To Campaign in Gettysburg: According to a press release, Jason Richey, a partner at Pittsburgh’s K&L Gates law firm who is seeking the Republican Party nomination for Governor in 2022, will be meeting with “local business and political leaders” in Gettysburg on Friday.
Kelly Names Butler Chief of Staff: According to a press release, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) has named Timothy Butler, who served as Kelly’s Erie-based district director, as his next chief of staff. Matthew Stroia, who served as Kelly chief of staff for nearly a decade, will be taking a new role in the private sector.
Harrisburg & DC
Spotlight PA: Money, power, scandal: The PSERS saga, explained
AP: GOP election bill sponsor takes case to Wolf news conference
AP: Republicans juggle deficit, pandemic and schools in budget
Inquirer: Democrats are waiting for Conor Lamb as Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race takes shape
Inquirer: Wolf says GOP’s election bill is ‘driven by fringe conspiracy theories’ as lawmakers crash event
Inquirer: Watch Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and other Pennsylvania lawmakers debate proposed election legislation
Inquirer: Watch Gov. Wolf denounce right-wing politicians: ‘They are trying to disenfranchise voters’
Inquirer: Watch Gov. Wolf remark on the major election overhaul bill Republicans are trying to pass
Patriot News: Family of former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge remains ‘hopeful for a full recovery’
Patriot News: Poll results shows Pennsylvania residents largely in favor of tougher vote security measures
Patriot News: Will state, federal offices be closed Friday now that Juneteenth is a national holiday?
Patriot News: Pa. reports 277 additional COVID-19 cases, 15 new deaths: COVID-19 daily updates
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: New F&M poll: Wolf’s approval plummets; Pa. residents back major voting changes
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. election audit a ‘very real possibility,’ top Pa. Senate Republican says after meeting activists
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: A lawmaker claimed Pa. has seen a ‘large uptick’ in alcohol-related incidents; state police data says otherwise
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. lawmakers continue to debate over ‘meaningful’ charter reform
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. preserves 30 farms, more than 2,300 acres, to the tune of $5.1M
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: U.S. House Ag. leader seeks permanent scholarship funding for historically Black land-grant colleges
Erie Times-News: Latest on former Gov. Tom Ridge: Family hopes for ‘full recovery’ as he faces ‘long road’
The Bulwark: Pennsylvania’s Conspiracy Kiss-Up Contest
City & State PA: This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
City & State PA: New poll shows broad support for voter ID in Pa.
City & State PA: Who wants to run for governor as a Republican in 2022?
WESA: Latest F&M Poll Shows Wolf Job Rating Drop, Broad Support For Controversial Voting Law Changes
USA Today: With a new billboard, a group presses PA Senate GOP to give abuse victims ‘a chance at justice’
USA Today: To-go cocktail bill approved by Pa. Senate could be doomed to veto over GOP amendment
LNP | LancasterOnline: PA voters support ‘major changes’ to state election law in latest F&M poll
LNP | LancasterOnline: Concern for COVID-19 plunges in Pennsylvania, new poll finds
Reading Eagle: Majority of Pennsylvanians support major changes to election law, F&M poll shows
WHYY Newsworks: ‘More harm than good’: Most Pa. prisoners are vaxxed, but isolating COVID rules remain
CNN: ’10 years is enough’: Advocates and bipartisan lawmakers push for sentencing reform for drug-related offenders
CNN: We now have a good sense of how big the ‘Always Trump’ caucus is in Congress
StateImpactPA: Hearing on ME2 reroute plan shows public rifts persist over pipeline project
StateImpactPA: What researchers are learning about air pollution and the pandemic shutdown
Philly Clout: Pennsylvania Republicans want voters to be able to recall elected officials — but only in Philly
Inquirer: City Council reaches a budget deal with more violence prevention funding and smaller tax cuts
Inquirer: City Council votes for affordable housing funding and protections for homeowners during construction
Inquirer: The Supreme Court has decided on a case involving Philadelphia and religious rights. Here’s what you need to know.
WHYY Newsworks: Council pushes to make funding the Housing Trust Fund mandatory, despite Kenney opposition
WHYY Newsworks: The Philly ethics board fines PAC formed by retired cops that spent big against Krasner
WHYY Newsworks: Philly City Council strikes ‘historic’ anti-violence funding deal as budget talks drag on
WHYY Newsworks: Pa.’s first lady and acting physician general hold COVID-19 panel for youth
Philadelphia Gay News: U.S. Supreme Court rules against city in foster parents case
KYW Newsradio: City marks $150M for violence prevention, makes modest cuts to wage tax
KYW Newsradio: Supreme Court: Philadelphia must contract with Catholic agency barring same-sex couples from fostering
Philly Voice: Supreme Court sides with Catholic agency barred by Philly for denying same-sex foster couples
Delco Daily Times: Wolf, Dems rail against GOP election ‘reform’ bill
Delco Daily Times: Delco controller raises red flag on hiring consultants
KYW Newsradio: Wolf says GOP election reform legislation with voter verification is a non-starter
Pottstown Mercury: Houlahan demands release of funds to shuttered venues
Pottstown Mercury: Chester County awarded nearly $1 million for criminal justice services
Pottstown Mercury: Sen. Comitta calls on Chester County community to support food drive
Bucks Local News: Farry legislation to enhance smoke alarm safety, designate bridge in memory of Vietnam veteran and to improve wireless service moves forward
WTAE: Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Pittsburgh next week
Post-Gazette: Ed Gainey: New economy must include Pittsburgh communities that feel left behind
Post-Gazette: Defeated Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto outspent Gainey more than 3 times in primary race, filings show
Post-Gazette: ‘How they would rejoice’: Pittsburgh community, politicians react to Juneteenth becoming a national holiday
Post-Gazette: Vice President Harris, labor secretary to visit Pittsburgh on Monday
KDKA: Saying The City Needs A Moderate Voice, Marlin Woods Runs For Mayor As An Independent
KDKA: Pittsburgh Activists Pushing For Creation Of Civilian Police Control Council
KDKA: Activists Call For Moving Money From Police And Into Communities
KDKA: Vice President Kamala Harris To Visit Pittsburgh Monday
Pittsburgh Business Times: Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Pittsburgh next week
Tribune Review: Vice President Kamala Harris to visit Pittsburgh next week
Tribune Review: In Allegheny County, 420 ‘breakthrough’ covid cases out of more than 600K fully vaccinated residents
City Paper: New study reveals economic benefits of naturalizing Pa.’s undocumented immigrants
The Incline: How to commemorate Juneteenth 2021 in Pittsburgh
Observer-Reporter: Roman, Davis lob accusations at Washington County commissioners
Observer-Reporter: New COVID-19 cases remain low in three-county area
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioners restructure election bureau; director’s job in limbo
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: WATCH VIDEO | ‘Proud moment’: Community hails decision to make Juneteenth a national holiday
Times-Tribune: Scranton Tax Collector Bill Fox accuses Cognetti of trying to influence labor negotiations with audit request
Times-Tribune: Scranton’s creditworthiness improves
Times-Tribune: Larksville police cite Forty Fort mayor for school board meeting confrontation
Times-Tribune: New NEPA COVID-19 cases drop to level of almost a year ago
The Times Leader: Luzerne County drops 17,420 voters
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Council set to vote on outside legal counsel next week
The Times Leader: Forty Fort mayor cited after dispute over WVW executive session
The Times Leader: Committee OKs grant program to help human service agencies recover
The Times Leader: Kaufer, Baker help dedicate Robert F. Kile Sr. Memorial Highway
The Times Leader: 5 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Thursday; 1 death
Citizens Voice: Council committee recommends law firm for DA election case; decision is up to full council
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre council votes to reduce cost of garbage bags and meter parking rate
Citizens Voice: Earth Conservancy receives $21,000 in federal funding
Patriot News: U.S. Rep. Scott Perry on his no vote on Congressional medal for Capitol Police: ‘politically motivated narrative’
York Dispatch: Activist Shareef Hameed looks to oust York City Mayor Helfrich in November
York Dispatch: York County’s COVID-19 case rate lowest since June 2020
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 46 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported for Cumberland County Thursday
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County courts to end masking, social distancing June 28
Reading Eagle: Berks County commissioners throw support behind effort to keep Fightin Phils in Reading
Reading Eagle: 2021 PA Latino Convention coming to Reading
Reading Eagle: 10 new COVID cases for Berks County are the fewest daily since July
WFMZ: Berks County Commissioners want Fightin Phils to remain in Reading
WFMZ: Allentown advocates, faith leaders, teachers plan to march in protest ahead of Pa. budget vote
WFMZ: Easton mayor asks residents to take online survey to help distribute over $20M in resources
WFMZ: Northampton County Council seeks to find, eliminate, ghost committee
WFMZ: Allentown council hears request for Da Vinci funding
WFMZ: Allentown council puts frying ban repeal on ice
Morning Call: Rule changes to cocktail sales causing confusion for Lehigh Valley restaurants and bars
Express Times: Juneteenth is a national holiday. We must choose what that means, Lehigh Valley organizers say.
North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County plots spending initiatives for gas impact fee funds
Centre Daily Times: Juneteenth is a new national holiday. How to celebrate it this weekend in Centre County
John Baer: As Pa. rewrites voting laws, neither party should get everything it wants
Joanna McClinton: Reducing gun violence requires a COVID-19 pandemic response
Stephen Kinsey: Broadband For All
Tim Lambert: There Is an Open War on Facts and Truth. That’s Why We Need Accountability Reporting in Political Stories
Mark Pinsley: How Lehigh Township undermines democracy with egregious voter suppression tactics
William D. Hartung: Congress should cut military aid to the Philippines
John L. Micek: ‘It’s all politics, it’s all garbage’: Voting against medals for cops, 21 Republicans hit a new low in insurrection denial
Ellen C. Brown: Court-appointed special advocates save lives
Karen Smith: Here’s a radical idea for Pennsylvania legislators
Barbara Wendeborn Brandom, MD: Pennsylvania must strengthen the rules for methane gas emissions now
Tony Norman: Independence Day, June 19, 1865
Sarah Morris and Malik Neal: With a second term in sight, Larry Krasner has a lot of work left to do
Jeff Hanley: Expanding access to ‘Ready to Drink’ cocktails will harm public health
Mark O’Keefe: A Cambria County lawmaker has a plan to make Pa.’s liquor license system more competitive. Will it work?
John L. Micek: Just in time for your post-lockdown summer, Pa. lawmaker wants to rein in fireworks | Friday Morning Coffee
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Lawmakers waste time, money trying to erode abortion rights
Inquirer: 7 ideas to improve Pa. with unprecedented funding in the state budget
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Federal law enforcement agencies will require body cams for officers and others should, too
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pennsylvania’s Game Commission should call the shots on Sunday hunting
Paul Muschick: Upper Macungie Sheetz controversy: Who dropped the ball? Everyone.
Phil Gianficaro: Pro-Neshaminy nickname folks have no skin in game
Della Clark: City and state officials must do more to prioritize small and minority-owned businesses
Linn Washington Jr: Equity in marijuana legalization must prioritize inclusion, expungement, and diverting revenues from police
Chad Dion Lassiter: White people should celebrate Juneteenth, too
Jenice Armstrong: Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. And that’s a good thing.
Trudy Rubin: Biden-Putin summit: No lovefest, no illusions, but Russia put to the test
Bethany Watson-Ostrowski: Congratulations, parents! You survived the worst school year ever!