June 8: Election Options.

At The Gas Pump

Open primaries and runoff elections in PA? Average gas price hits $5 in Keystone State. Senate passes bill to prohibit transgender athletes out of girls’ sports. Here is the Playbook.


PA Weather
Clarion | Mostly Sunny, 74
Lock Haven | Sunny, 80
Stroudsburg | Mostly Sunny, 80


PA Sports
Phillies (26-29) | d. Milwaukee, 3-2; WED-THU vs. Milwaukee
Pirates (24-29) | lost to Detroit, 5-3; WED vs. Detroit


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Elections: Open Primaries and Runoffs: Given the lessons of the May primary, should PA consider open primaries and runoff primary elections?

Browne Concedes to Coleman in 16th Senate District: After nearly three decades in Harrisburg, state senator Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh) conceded his Republican primary race in the 16th District to newcomer Jarrett Coleman.

Election ‘Integrity’ Puts Election Judges in Crosshairs: The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a controversial bill on Monday that changes rules governing poll watchers under the guise of ‘election integrity.’


PA Senate Race: ‘The Pennsylvania Senate primary was bonkers. Here’s how it unfolded.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a celebrity candidate. A custody trial. Two Trump endorsements. A stroke. A recount. Pa.’s Senate primary was a roller-coaster from start to finish.”

  • WHYY: Trust fund kid, carpetbagger, radical: Campaigns draw battle lines in Pa. Senate race
  • Inquirer: When will John Fetterman be back on the campaign trail? His return could still be weeks away.  
  • Politico: Fetterman releases new ad called ‘Labels’
  • Politico: Fetterman campaign ad: ‘Braddock to Washington, D.C.’
  • PennLive: Gisele Fetterman says husband might not return to campaign trail until July
  • Post-Gazette: John Fetterman ads make pitch to Pa. electorate-at-large as Democratic Senate nominee continues stroke recovery
  • ABC27: Time now for Dems to worry about Fetterman? No, most say; ‘late June, going into July’ if he still can’t campaign
  • The Hill: Gisele Fetterman says husband may not return to campaign trail for another month
  • The Hill: Fetterman unveils general election ad running on Fox News


‘The first big Senate race of 2024 takes shape’: Politico reports that “GOP leaders, donors and strategists are urging David McCormick, the former hedge fund CEO who lost by fewer than 1,000 votes to Mehmet Oz in this year’s Republican Senate contest, to run again in two years against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.”

‘Republicans face decision on constitutional changes package’: The Associated Press reports that “Republican state lawmakers may soon decide which among the scores of potential amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution will have any shot of making it to a voter referendum — a tactic that can get politically divisive policies around Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s much-used veto pen.”

‘Pennsylvania Senate passes bill to keep transgender athletes out of girls’ sports; Lisa Boscola only Democrat in favor’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a deeply divided Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday passed a bill designed to prevent athletes who were male at birth from participating in women’s and girls’ school sports, with mostly Republican proponents citing fairness and safety and Democratic opponents calling the action an attack on vulnerable transgender children.”

‘Jarrett Coleman speaks out after Pat Browne concedes in Pa. 16th Senate District race’: WFMZ reports that “Coleman is now the Republican nominee in a district that hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1994, and he believes it’s his values that will lead him to office over his Democratic rival Mark Pinsley.”

‘Public water utilities say Senate bill will force up rates’: The Associated Press reports that “legislation criticized by opponents as a vehicle for-profit water companies to take over municipal water authorities in Pennsylvania by imposing expensive regulations on them passed the Republican-controlled state Senate on Tuesday.”

‘Pa. average gas price officially hits $5 a gallon’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania has officially joined the ranks of states where the average gas price is $5 a gallon.”

‘Legislators, survivors push bill package to aid crime victims, reduce recidivism’: PennLive reports that “a package of bills to improve protections for crime victims and help rehabilitate offenders has advocates and some lawmakers hopeful that some of the gaps in Pennsylvania’s justice system may be addressed by the current legislature.”

‘Coalition urges Pa. lawmakers to adopt a state earned income tax credit to help working poor’: PennLive reports that “a diverse coalition of advocacy groups have come together to promote an anti-poverty initiative that has the potential to benefit as many as 874,000 low- to moderate-income Pennsylvania households.”

‘Pa. lawmaker to enter treatment ‘to address any possible alcohol issues’ following weekend crash’: PennLive reports that “Pa. state Rep. Matt Dowling released a statement Tuesday saying he would be entering treatment after being involved in a crash over the weekend that state police are investigating as a possible case of DUI.”

‘Pa. House panel approves funding scheme to pay for cleaning up abandoned wells’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “voting largely along party lines Tuesday, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out bills establishing a scheme to spend up to $400 million in federal money to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells.”

‘Pro-unionization language dropped from Pennsylvania multi-billion dollar Medicaid contracts’: The Center Square reports that “after a months-long controversy over unionization language in Medicaid contracts that sparked a lawsuit, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has removed the provision in question, citing concerns about “misinformation” and “confusion.””

‘Pennsylvania Republicans are no closer to re-inspecting Fulton County’s 2020 voting machines’: WITF reports that “the probe has been snared by court challenges, procedural headaches, and funding issues.”

‘Proposed Constitutional amendment aims to give states more power over campaign spending’: City & State PA reports that “state Rep. Meghan Schroeder is leading a push to limit the influence of dark money.”

‘Government contracts transparency measure clears Pa. House’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation to give the state Treasurer the power to withhold payment on contracts that haven’t been posted on a Treasury website for public viewing.”

‘Pennsylvania math test scores are abysmal. A new approach developed by an Easton man could boost them’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “over half of Pennsylvania’s 8th-grade students scored in the worst of all four categories on the standardized test in math during 2021. A new program created by an Easton man seeks to boost the scores.”

‘Confiscate illegally operated ATVs and dirt bikes? Pa. bill would allow cities — including Allentown — to seize them as contraband’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a bill advancing in the state Senate would let police in many municipalities, including Allentown, confiscate illegally operated ATV’s and dirt bikes to help stop swarms of those vehicles from scaring motorists and ignoring traffic laws.”

‘Successful write-in candidates to challenge for 6 Pittsburgh-area state House seats in November’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “mounting successful write-in bids were Republican Matt Kruth in the 20th District, Democrat Alison Duncan in the 28th, Democrat Richard Self in the 39th, Democrat Sharon Guidi in the 40th, Republican Patricia Tylka in the 42nd and Democrat Debra Turici in the 44th, according to official county tallies.”

‘Pa. promotes free needles to drug users to prevent disease, nudge recovery’: PennLive reports that “syringe services programs also connect people to disease testing and prevention while offering the chance to enter drug addiction treatment.”

‘League of Women Voters of Pa. honors female lawmakers’: ABC27 reports that “in its more than two centuries, the Pennsylvania legislature has never had so many women in office and in leadership roles. Tuesday night the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania held a celebration at the state capitol recognizing those lawmakers.”

‘Cognetti appointed to U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Board’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti will serve on the advisory board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, according to a news release Monday.”

‘A look at Lehigh Valley lawmakers and their positions on gun legislation’: Armchair Lehigh Valley “looked at votes and legislation sponsorships by Lehigh Valley lawmakers.”


Regional Spotlight: Southwest
Observer-Reporter: Fayette County state rep seeking treatment for ‘possible alcohol issues’ after Saturday crash 
WESA: Pittsburgh Council delays vote to ‘strengthen’ bill regulating pedestrian stops by police
WESA: Allegheny County Council asks for more power to regulate local gun laws
WESA: Court says DA was wrong to dismiss citizen complaints against Pittsburgh assault weapons ban
WESA: As Pittsburgh prepares to launch a new city needle exchange, officials call for state support
WESA: Pittsburgh abortion providers brace for West Virginia patients ahead of Supreme Court ruling
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh councilman wants to provide temporary jobs for recently jailed people at no cost to the city 
Tribune Review: Westmoreland Democrats to select new party leaders
WESA: Departing Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert to take job with FBI
WESA: Whispers in the stacks: Libraries in distressed areas to get new funds for ‘transformative’ changes
WESA: A new rule requires Mon Valley polluters to ease up on dirty air pollution days. Will it work?
WTAE: Did City Council ‘oppress’ citizens by passing Pittsburgh gun laws? Court says D.A. must review citizen complaint
Post-Gazette: Tree of Life leaders voice support for Steven Dettelbach, Biden’s nominee to lead ATF 
Post-Gazette: Advocacy group criticizes Port Authority for studying its route network while it doesn’t have enough drivers 
Post-Gazette: Mayor Gainey and health officials call for Pa. to legalize needle exchanges 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh companies to get $1.6M in Department of Energy grants to improve nuclear, help solve climate challenges 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh-area U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle, Mike Kelly, Conor Lamb request $108 million for community projects in 2023 
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh neighborhoods plagued by crumbling homes, troubled landlords
Post-Gazette: After North Side Airbnb shooting, teens struggle with trauma over gun violence
WTAE: Ahead of Biden speech on guns, what are our area’s representatives in DC saying on the issue? 
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh area added jobs in April, but still below pre-pandemic levels 
Tribune Review: Mayor Ed Gainey’s emphasis on diversity brings new voices to Pittsburgh government 
Tribune Review: Freeport Mayor James Swartz Jr. resigns: ‘It’s time to get out’ 
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh City Council considers request to designate Tito House a historic property
Pittsburgh Business Times: Reports paint difficult future for state’s skilled nursing facilities
Observer-Reporter: Longtime state Rep. Daley remembered for life of service
Observer-Reporter: No charges filed in Nov. 24 courthouse incident between Davis, deputies 
Observer-Reporter: Greene commissioners OK more COVID funds for businesses 
KDKA: Port Authority to receive $780,000 from American Rescue Plan 
KDKA: Pittsburgh activists react to President Joe Biden’s push for gun legislation 
KDKA: Local crime victims head to Harrisburg to demand safety reforms
City Paper: Residents and professionals urge PA state legislators to take action against fracking
City Paper: Pittsburgh responds to onslaught of gun violence
City Paper: Orthopaedic surgery good for your body but bad for planet, Pitt study finds
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Carrolltown officials: No to legal marijuana
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Thompson announces $500K in federal funding for St. Francis health sciences project
Altoona Mirror: City begins preparations for comprehensive plan


Salena Zito: Mas­tri­ano is a di­sas­ter for Pa. Re­pub­li­cans — but the party de­serves it
Paul Muschick: The one lesson from John Fetterman’s stroke voters of all parties should embrace
​​Maria Collett, Melissa Shusterman, and Jennifer O’Mara: We’ve seen firsthand that to defend reproductive rights and protect our freedoms, we need a Democratic governor
Devlin Robinson: PennDOT’s destructive, unnecessary plan to toll Bridgeville’s I-79 bridge
Michael A. MacDowell: The economy is headed toward “stagnation” 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pennsylvania should adopt federal broadband definition
John L. Micek: Pa. House panel takes up electric vehicle charging infrastructure | Tuesday Morning Coffee 
Brandon McGinley: Lee vs. Irwin tells a tale of two Democratic Parties
Ruth Ann Dailey: Pittsburgh pans plastics
Tony Norman: Lincoln vs. the party of Lincoln
Greg Walker: Schools need to think about adding moral training to the three R’s
Gene Collier: Bad ideas usher in The Trump Hearings
Beth Kissileff: Building a society of mutual care and kindness to combat hate and violence

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