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June 8: Code Red

Smoke covers Center City Philadelphia

🌫️ Thursday’s Here. Take it easy if you’re outside for any length of time today

PA Weather
Erie | Mostly Cloudy, areas of smoke, 62
Carlisle | Haze, 73
Media | Haze, 76

PA Sports
Phillies (29-32) | Thu vs. Detroit
Pirates (32-29) | Oakland 5-9 | F-Sun vs. NY Mets

What We’re Hearing
“The culture war is in the classroom, parents are getting involved in protecting our kids, and now they’re fighting back.” – Tiffany Justice

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Rep. Paul Friel.

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Top Story

1. How Billionaire Jeffrey Yass Uses His Wealth To Fund Far-Right Politics

Jeffrey Yass: The Billionaire Behind Pennsylvania's Right-Wing Machine – Eyes on the Ties

“In the days leading up to the May 16 Democratic mayoral primary election in Philadelphia, television ads aired and mailers circulated attacking Helen Gym, the progressive candidate in the race.

However, what drew attention wasn’t the content of the ads, but who paid for them: a new super PAC called the Coalition for Safety and Equitable Growth.

The PAC, one of many funded almost entirely by Philadelphia billionaire Jeffrey Yass, raised nearly a million dollars, including $750,000 directly from Yass, in just a few weeks.

In 2022, Yass — the richest person in Pennsylvania — emerged as one of the biggest political donors in the country to conservative politicians and causes. Along with his wife Janine, he has contributed close to $54 million to candidates and PACs in the 2022 election cycle, according to Inside Philanthropy.” (The American Independent)

Related

GOP’s Booming Support For Guns Is Turning Off Millennial, Gen Z Republicans. “Young Republicans aren’t clinging to guns like the rest of the GOP.” (POLITICO)

Is Gen Z Coming For The GOP? “Gen Z is poised to massively expand its influence in the 2024 election. But its impact may be more complex than typically assumed.” (The Atlantic)

Fact Check: Scott Perry Says ‘No Chance’ U.S. Would Have Defaulted Without Debt Limit Increase. “As the nation anxiously awaited resolution of the debt limit crisis last week, Pennsylvania congressman Scott Perry took to a podium outside the Capitol to say he opposed the compromise bill struck by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden. But he also said the so-called crisis was fabricated and the nation did not risk defaulting.” (WITF)

Moving Beyond The Good Ol’ Boys Club: Recent Trends In Women’s Representation In State Legislatures. “In a special election on May 16, Democrats maintained a narrow majority in the Pennsylvania House of Delegates. That two women vied for the House seat is a sign of change for a state legislature that has been accused in the past by other women lawmakers of having a paternalistic culture and being an “Old Boys Club.”” (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)

Munley Sails Through Her Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing Without Tough Questioning. “Lackawanna County Judge Julia K. Munley sailed through a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday on her nomination to a federal judgeship without the tough questioning another nominee faced.” (Times-Tribune)

 

State

2. Hate Groups’ Political Influence In PA And Beyond Growing, Watchdog Says

Moms for Liberty listed in 'hate and extremism' report | WFLA

“More than 1,200 hate and anti-government extremist groups were active across the United States in 2022, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest report on the nationwide prevalence of extremists who target people of color, LGBTQ people, Jewish communities and other religious minorities.

The report identified at least 70 groups in Pennsylvania, including a number of chapters of Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that increasingly has inserted itself into policy debates at local school boards.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Related

Far-Left Activists Label Moms For Liberty A ‘Hate Group,’ DelVal Moms React. “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left political organization, has drawn scorn for labeling Moms for Liberty and other parental rights organizations as “hate groups,” including them on the same list as neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.” (DV Journal)

  • Moms For Liberty. Who Are They? What Do They Want? (PoliticsPA)

 

PA House OKs $100M For Adult Mental Health Services. “A proposal to allocate $100 million in federal funds to pay for adult mental health programs easily passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Wednesday, a plan built on the recommendations of a state commission charged with issuing suggestions for coordinated care.” (AP)

The PA House Advances Bill To Nix Cellphone Taxes And Ease Some Pittsburgh Property Taxes. “The state House on Wednesday advanced bills to eliminate taxes on cellphone use and to let Pittsburgh set up a tax relief program for longtime homeowners hit by soaring property values.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Dunn, McNeil Confirmed For Cabinet Posts. “Cindy Adams Dunn and Reggie McNeil were confirmed today as Secretaries of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Department of General Services, respectively.” (PoliticsPA)

 

Around The Commonwealth

3. PA Senate Approves New State Agency Name In Hopes Of A ‘Culture Change’

Pa. Senate environmental panel chair bemoans 'lack of leadership' on Marcellus | StateImpact Pennsylvania

“If state Senate Republicans have their way, the state agency responsible for protecting Pennsylvania’s land, air and water may be getting a name change, to the Department of Environmental Services.” (PennLive)

Related

State Organization Backs Lycoming County Commissioners In Dispute With Controller. “The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) has entered on behalf of Lycoming County in its fray with the elected controller.” (PennLive)

Education Savings Programs One Step Closer To Federal Alignment. “Pennsylvania lawmakers say legislation making its way through the House will bring the state’s education savings programs in line with federal law – further helping Pennsylvania families save for their children’s future needs.” (The Center Square)

PA Has A 5.1% Rental Vacancy Rate, Below The U.S. Average. “The rental vacancy rate is an important economic indicator because it signals the balance between supply and demand for rental homes. When the rate is relatively high, it indicates an abundance of available rental properties, which typically places a downward pressure on rent prices.” (Construction Coverage)

 

Editorial

4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.

  • It’s Past Time To Fully Fund State Disability Services. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Some Grandfatherly Advice About College. (Richard Ammon)
  • Happy Pride Month: Bully GOP Lawmakers Are Fixated On Assaulting Our Community. (David DeWitt)
  • Filling Gaps Among Teachers Must Start Now. (Daily Item)
  • Some People’s First Amendment Rights Are More Equal Than Others. (Andy Bloom)
  • Will Minimum Wage Bill Set Up A New Veto Showdown In Allegheny County? (Tribune-Review)

 

1 Thing

5. Buck-et

6271999_web1_vnd-BucketHeadDeer-060823

A young buck in the Fox Chapel area got itself in a jam a few weeks ago when it somehow got its neck stuck in a plastic animal feeder.

It has been spotted by area residents with the container still around its neck. State Rep. Mandy Steele, D-Fox Chapel, has joined efforts to help free the buck from its predicament. Steele, a member of the Pennsylvania Game and Fish Committee, also contacted the state game commission when she was alerted to the deer’s situation.

“They will work to track and tranquilize the deer and safely remove the contraption,” Steele said Wednesday. (Fox Chapel Herald)

 

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