🎼 Just Another Manic Monday
Erie | Snow Showers, 33
Harrisburg | Light Rain, 43
Philadelphia | Rain, 45
Pitt | TUE vs. Mississippi State (NCAA MBB)
Penguins (34-22-10) | d. NY Rangers, 3-2 (OT) | TUE vs. Montreal
Flyers (24-31-11) | lost to Pittsburgh, 5-1 | TUE vs. Vegas
76ers (43-22) | d. Washington 112-93 | WED vs. Cleveland
What We’re Hearing
At the NRSC’s winter meeting last month, Montana Sen. Steve Daines strongly encouraged former hedge fund chief executive David McCormick to run again in Pennsylvania against Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. during a presentation about 2024, according to three people familiar with the remarks.
Belated cake and candles to Rep. Benjamin V. Sanchez and Tim Mack of Rep. Madeleine Dean’s (D-Pa.) office (Sat.) as well as Sen. Wayne Fontana and Colleen Carlos of Dean’s office (Sun.)
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1. McCormick Talks About Book, Leadership, America and Another Possible Run For the Senate
Dave McCormick and I share more things in common than we initially thought.
Our paths diverged from our hometowns in central PA – McCormick wrestled and went on to West Point. He went overseas to Iraq and returned home to become CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world.
McCormick then ran for the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, vacated by the retiring Republican Pat Toomey. He lost by about 900 votes to Mehmet Oz, who was defeated in the general election by Democrat John Fetterman. McCormick had begun work on a book prior to his Senate run and added the final chapters after his campaign came to a close. Entitled, “A Superpower In Peril: A Battle Plan To Renew America,” the 272-page book outlines what McCormick sees as a stagnation, more than a decline, in America – a stagnation that could prove to the country’s detriment in the coming years.
We spoke last week about the book, its premise, and what the future may hold for the 57-year-old – including a possible Senate run once again in 2024.
Dave McCormick Is Eyeing Another Senate Run in PA. His New Book Talks, Trump, China, and Trade. “He’s hiring campaign aides. He’s hosting parties for political insiders and forming a political committee to aid fellow Republicans.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Dave McCormick Allies Hope to Avoid a GOP Senate Primary Fight in PA. “Republican Party officials and strategists have told Pennsylvania businessman David McCormick that if he runs for the Senate again, the party will coalesce around him to avoid the bruising primary battles that elevated flawed candidates in the 2022 midterms.” (Washington Post)
2. How a Delco Democrat Accused of Sexual Harassment in 2019 Remained In Office Until Last Week
“The Delaware County lawmaker who resigned from the Pennsylvania House last week amid sexual harassment allegations was warned by top House Democrats more than three years ago that he needed to change his behavior.
When House Democrats first learned in 2019 that a lobbyist had accused state Rep. Mike Zabel of sexually harassing her, then-House Minority Leader Frank Dermody told Zabel he needed to get his alcohol use under control — the lawmaker reportedly had been drinking during the alleged incident — and complete sexual harassment training, according to sources familiar with the matter.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Shapiro Names Michaelann Andrusiak As Director of Office of Homeland Security. “Gov. Josh Shapiro and State Police Commissioner Christopher Paris announced the promotion of Pennsylvania State Police Captain Michaelann Andrusiak to Major, and her appointment as Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.” (PoliticsPA)
New PA Lieutenant Governor Fires 2 Employees Touted As ‘Success Stories.’ “As one of his first official acts, Pa. Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis fired two employees who had been touted as prime examples of successful second chances. Davis, however, is refusing to take responsibility for the firings.” (PennLive)
Legislators: Support There For Marijuana Legalization But Dispute Remains Over Handling of Sales. “Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposal to legalize recreational use of marijuana has a strong chance to pass the state Legislature if a dispute over a private versus state-run system for sales can be resolved, several state lawmakers said.” (CNHI News)
Doug Mastriano, After Big Defeat To End 2022, Climbs Back Onto Political Stage. “Doug Mastriano was back on the political stage in Pennsylvania Saturday, hosting the first political rally under his “Walk As Free People” banner since a landslide defeat to Democrat Josh Shapiro in last year’s governor’s race.” (PennLive)
Maternal Mortality Crisis Among Top Concerns For State Lawmakers, Shapiro Admin. “With a Democratic majority in the House for the first time in more than a decade, and a Democrat occupying the governor’s mansion, lawmakers appear poised to seriously address the ongoing maternal mortality crisis in Pennsylvania.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
A PA Hospital’s Revoked Tax Exemption Is ‘Warning Shot’ To Other Nonprofits, Expert Says. “A Commonwealth Court judge recently revoked a Southeastern Pennsylvania hospital’s property tax exemption and denied appeals regarding three others, decisions that one expert said should serve as a “warning shot” for nonprofit facilities statewide.” (Spotlight PA)
Around The Commonwealth
3. Barletta, Marino Turn On Trump, Call For DeSantis To Run For President
Two of the first Pennsylvanians to back former President Donald Trump in his quest for the White House are now changing course and throwing their support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Former U.S. representatives Lou Barletta and Tom Marino tweeted out their encouragement for DeSantis to formally declare a run for the presidency in 2024.
House Freedom Caucus Seeks Tight Rein On Spending As Condition For Raising Debt Ceiling. ““The plan is to shrink Washington and grow America,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry said.” (Wall Street Journal)
Feinstein, Fetterman Absences Leave Democrats With Fragile Majority. “Senate Democrats have been without Sens. John Fetterman (Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) in recent weeks, creating a 49-49 split in the chamber that has forced members of the conference to only bring up votes that they know have bipartisan support and caused problems at the committee level.” (The Hill)
John Weinstein Was Removed From Key Allegheny County Board After FBI Started Asking Questions. “The FBI’s questions about Mr. Weinstein, now a front-runner in the race for county executive, came after a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh expressed concerns about his work at the sewer authority, sources said.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
‘We’re Afraid to Drink Our Water’: Beaver County Families Want Assurances After Train Derailment. “Nights have been long for Sharon Laderer ever since a fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment spilled thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month. The incident unfolded nine miles from her home in Chippewa.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Do Political Endorsement Fees in Allegheny County Deter Candidate Diversity? “Two Black Democrats hope to become Allegheny County’s next chief executive. Neither sought their party’s endorsement to help them get there.” (Pittsburgh City Paper)
To Reassess Or Not to Reassess? Property Tax Mess Awaits Next Allegheny County Exec. “The thorny issue of property tax assessments has challenged Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at both ends of his 12 years in office, culminating in a 2022 lawsuit that exposed the county for using flawed math to calculate many tax bills.” (Public Source)
The Can’t Miss Interview Series of the Philly Mayor’s Race Took Place on This Pastor’s Facebook. “The Rev. Alyn E. Waller, the longtime senior pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in East Mount Airy, interviewed nearly all of the 10 candidates running for Philadelphia mayor in conversations that have garnered dozens of comments and been widely viewed.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Philadelphia Mayoral Forums You Can Attend in Person or Watch Online. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Brian O’Neill Has Held Philly’s Far Northeast Council Seat For 43 Years. Could Democrats Unseat Him? “The 73-year-old Republican has represented District 10 in the city’s Far Northeast since 1980. He’s served on Philadelphia lawmaking body longer than anyone in modern history.” (Billy Penn)
4. What They’re Saying
A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.
- David McCormick and the Search For a Republican Message. (Barton Swaim)
- Shapiro Paid Homage to Conservative Ideas In Budget Address. (Jennifer Stefano)
- Tax Incentives Won’t Solve Crises In Teaching, Nursing and Policing. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- If There’s Any Wasteful Government Spending, It’s In The PA Legislature. (Mark S. Singel)
- Zabel’s Resignation Highlights Need For Systemic Change In Harrisburg. (Marc Stier)
- Not One More Dime For The Status Quo. (Guy Ciarrocchi)
- Sunshine Week Shines Light On Right to Know. (MediaNews Group)
- Motor License Fund Bill Could Mean Decisions For Municipalities. (Tribune-Review)
- Shapiro To Address PA State Police Workforce Shortage. (Bill O’Boyle)
5. ‘The Storm of the Century’
“While western Pennsylvania residents continue to enjoy an incredibly mild winter, it can be hard to visualize the massive snowstorm that disrupted the region 30 years ago.
Locally known as the Blizzard of ’93 and the “Storm of the Century,” the massive winter storm enveloped most of the region in a blanket of heavy snow that kept many families at home for the long weekend that had started on Saturday, March 13. At the time of the storm, meteorologists reported the snowfall was the worst the region had seen in over 43 years, rivaling the Thanksgiving storm that had occurred in 1950.
In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh would receive a total of 25.2 inches of snow, falling just short of the 27.4 inches seen during the Thanksgiving storm in 1950. Beaver and Lawrence counties averaged more than 21 inches, while snow-savvy Erie reported 27.3 inches. The higher elevations of Somerset (30 inches) and Latrobe (36) saw even more accumulation, while Tobyhanna (43) topped them all. Even Harrisburg and Philadelphia saw more than 20 inches of snow.”
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