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March 21st Playbook

Welcome to the new week! The list of GOP governor candidates is reduced by one. Dem Senate candidates spar at Carnegie Mellon. Little has changed for PA election officials. Ad watch. More candidate announcements. Here is the Playbook.

PA Weather
Latrobe | Sunny, 64
Lancaster | Sunny, 64
Lake Ariel | Sunny, 54

PA Sports
76ers | lost to Toronto, 93-88; tonight vs. Miami
Flyers | d. NY Islanders, 2-1; TUE vs. Detroit
Penguins | SAT d. Arizona, 4-1; TUE vs. Columbus
Villanova MBB | d. Ohio State, 71-61; THU vs. Michigan
Villanova WBB | d. BYU, 61-57; tonight vs. Michigan
Penn State | NCAA Wrestling Champions 


Richey Ends Campaign for Governor; Endorses McSwain: Pittsburgh attorney Jason Richey announced that he is withdrawing from the race for the Republican nomination for Governor and is endorsing Bill McSwain.

Ad Watch: Senate Edition: The money allocated for TV/digital media ad buys for the open Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat is now past $35 million. Here are the latest ads released and approved by the campaigns since our last edition on March 2. Super PAC ads are not included.

Ups and Downs – March 18: What a week. It began with a press availability in Harrisburg and ended with a statement to renounce Turkish citizenship if elected to the U.S. Senate. It saw 91 candidates make official their intention to run for senator, governor, lieutenant governor or congress. It saw endorsements flying left and right. It saw the PA Supreme Court uphold the constitutionality of the LRC maps and set in motion the election calendar for potential state legislative nominees. And we lost an hour to Daylight Saving Time. 

PA Senate Race: ‘Democrats spar over climate crisis, Supreme Court at Senate debate in Pittsburgh’: WESA reports that “four of the Democratic candidates hoping to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate sparred over climate change policy and the structure of the nation’s Supreme Court at Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday afternoon — the first major debate of the Democratic primary.”

  • Fox News: Dr. Oz denies writing gun control advocacy columns, business partner claims authorship
  • NBC News: Dr. Oz has a fan at Mar-a-Lago: Melania Trump
  • Tribune-Review: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick greets potential voters in Murrysville

PA Governor Race: ‘Survey: Most gubernatorial candidates support gift ban legislation for PA pol’: City & State PA reports that “advocates for a law banning Pennsylvania public officials from accepting gifts recently surveyed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates on the policy – and the results display support across party lines for such legislation.”

  • Inquirer: A Democratic dark money group is spending over $1 million to boost Josh Shapiro as he runs for Pa. governor
  • PennLive: Frontrunning Pa. governor candidate still focused on unproven election fraud claims
  • The Times Leader: Shapiro’s thoughts on 2020 election, marijuana, police funding
  • WESA: With gas prices over $4, Shapiro promises a gas rebate if elected Pennsylvania’s governor
  • WJET: Attorney General Josh Shapiro makes campaign stop in Erie
  • City & State PA: Chester County’s Christine Digiulio enters governor’s race as the Green Party candidate

‘Gov. Wolf’s likely last-ditch attempt to tweak Pa.’s ‘broken’ charter school law arrives Monday’: PennLive reports that “on Monday, the state’s five-member Independent Regulatory Review Commission will meet to decide whether to OK or reject a final set of regulations the Wolf Administration has offered to update the 25-year-old law governing these independent public schools.”

‘Federal judge, among others, says she never signed petition for 12th District House candidate Steve Irwin’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “a federal judge is among the more than 1,000 people whose names and signatures appear on a petition in support of 12th Congressional District candidate Steve Irwin. But this judge, and a number of other people whose names appear on the petition, say they did not sign Mr. Irwin’s petitions — potentially calling Mr. Irwin’s candidacy into question.”

‘Pennsylvania House of Representatives lags on expenses transparency’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “if Pennsylvania House leaders had followed their Senate counterparts’ lead in posting all their expenses directly online starting last summer, taxpayers might have seen a few purchases that raised their eyebrows.”

‘Little has changed for Pennsylvania election officials, voters heading into 2022’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “even after a year of heated hearings, strong rhetoric, and lawsuits, Pennsylvania’s election laws head into the 2022 campaign cycle fundamentally unchanged from where they were after the 2020 presidential election.”

‘Senators Baker, Santarsiero resume work on Kayden’s Law’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “state Sen. Lisa Baker Wednesday said Pennsylvania could soon receive $25 million in federal funding to keep children safe through the passage of Senate Bill 78, also known as Kayden’s Law.”

‘Fringe theory cited in Pa. redistricting case could give legislatures unchecked election power’: Spotlight PA reports that “the U.S. Supreme Court this month left open the possibility that it could endorse a fringe conservative legal theory that would give state legislatures unchecked powers over election rules before the 2024 presidential election.”

‘Judge admonishes Pa. State Police for response to request seeking email, phone records’: Spotlight PA reports that “a judge last week scolded the Pennsylvania State Police for the agency’s poor response to a reporter seeking trooper emails, text messages, and voicemails — some of which may no longer exist.”

Legislative Election Updates

‘Iraq War veteran, James May, seeks GOP nomination in 118th District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “former U.S. Army officer and chaplain (CPT) James May Saturday announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the newly drawn 118th Legislative District.”

‘Stash seeking Republican nomination in 117th Legislative District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Michael Stash of Lehman Township Friday announced he is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 117th Legislative District.”

‘Zugarek seeks Democratic nomination in 117th Legislative District’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “John Zugarek of White Haven Sunday announced that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 117th Legislative District.”

‘Upper Allen resident to run for the 87th House seat’: The Carlisle Sentinel reports that “Eric Clancy has been a resident of Upper Allen for 35 years and said he would bring four decades of experience in business to the office of state representative.”

Regional Spotlight: Southeast and Lehigh Valley
Inquirer: Kenyatta Johnson’s bribery trial starts today — the second for a city councilmember in a year
Inquirer: Kenyatta Johnson and Dawn Chavous bribery trial: What you need to know
Inquirer: Bill would bar Philly from keeping Social Security payments meant for foster children 
Inquirer: Philly FOP is selling T-shirts defending fired officers. The police department doesn’t want its badge on them.
Philadelphia Magazine: License-to-Carry Applications Have Skyrocketed In Philly — Even More Than You’d Think
WHYY: Philly finances OK for now, but the city’s budget is not ready for a rainy day
WHYY: Enforcement of Philadelphia’s plastic bag ban set to begin April 1 
WHYY: Philly restaurants express frustration with ‘streetery’ regulations 
WHYY: Philly DA says man accused of election interference has violated bail again
Billy Penn: How much does it cost to attend college in Philadelphia? From Penn to Temple, there’s a big range 
Billy Penn: Philly’s plan to treat gun violence as a public health crisis is getting an update with ideas from the community
KYW Newsradio: Illegal dumping among quality-of-life issues Council addresses in new bills
KYW Newsradio: Philly-area members of Congress push back on recommended closure of V.A. medical centers
KYW Newsradio: City launches online registry to help homeowners curb unsolicited offers
Express Times: Lehigh Valley among regions with highest concentration of Ukrainians in U.S. | Database
Morning Call: Cocktails-to-go, mail-in voting, snow days and remote work: Here are some changes COVID-19 brought to the Lehigh Valley, and whether they are here to stay 
Morning Call: Federal judge throws out Lehigh County voters’ lawsuit over uncounted mail-in ballots
Morning Call: Allentown City Council waits to vote on controversial pro-union contractor law
Reading Eagle: Berks election officials increase pay for poll worker training
Reading Eagle: Rally in Reading backs education fair funding effort in Pennsylvania
Reading Eagle: Berks congressional delegation secures millions for local projects in budget bill
Reading Eagle: Berks commissioners take next step to investigate future of Reading Regional Airport Authority
Reading Eagle: $5 million in American Recovery Plan funds could go to Reading nonprofits
Reading Eagle: Candidates on May ballot receive endorsements for office
Reading Eagle: Muhlenberg Township commissioner charged with election violation [updated]
WFMZ: Northampton County’s election director resigns
WFMZ: City of Allentown plans to honor transgender community by raising trans flag outside City Hall
WFMZ: Allentown mayor, police chief seeking to beef up police department
WFMZ: Mayor Panto says Easton is ‘thriving’ during State of the City address
WFMZ: Bethlehem City Council votes to revitalize public spaces, replace lead service lines
WFMZ: Rep. Houlahan announces $1.8 million grant to Sinking Spring for infrastructure improvements
WFMZ: Montgomery County Commissioners meeting gets heated after residents raise issues about election security
Levittown Now: Kayden’s Law Included In Federal Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act
Montgomery Media: Election criticism dominates Montgomery County Commissioners meeting public comment

Mark S. Singel: True leadership is more than telling a good story
Tom Hogan: City of Philadelphia Hobbles Police with Dangerous New Ordinance
Kathy Cook: Pennsylvania legislators are misguided in doubling down on oil and gas production
Flora Cardoni: It’s critical that we expand clean electricity and electrify our cars, trucks, buses and other modes of transportation — now 
Gene Natali: Pennsylvania’s high school graduates need to understand personal finance
Doug Morris: Much worse is coming with climate change if we don’t act now
Chris Kelly: Pulp Friction: Domenick’s key kerfuffle a self-inflicted wound
Salena Zito: ‘Shalennial’ natural gas CEO busts expectations
PennLive Editorial Board: The new voting district maps aren’t perfect, but they’re fairer than what we had before  
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: (Book) cancel culture comes to Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The least of these: Making disability visible
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Compassion on the home front 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: New Three Rivers Arts Festival venue is new, exciting era
John L. Micek: Proposal would ban Philly from keeping Social Security cash for foster kids | Friday Morning Coffee
Ruth Ann Dailey: Putin, Zelenskyy and truth
David Shribman: Ukraine’s crisis is a tipping point for the world’s democracies
Oscar C. Marroquin: How COVID-19 changed the way our health system ‘learns’ and saved lives
John Cole: The good news about charter school funding
Paul Muschick: A 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy didn’t have to die. His shooting was preventable

Tweet of the Day

3 Responses

  1. Now if the rest of the libtard fanatics would do the same and quit; PA could be a better place.

  2. The Independent Theory of Legislatures is an attempt of the modestly intellectual but with great power to dominate the doctrine of fundamental fairness so engraved in our laws. So we would have candidates who boast their greatest achievement in legislature is to not have kids wear masks during the pandemic to supersede the thinking of our judiciary. Does the public win or is it a victory for mediocrity?

  3. Now if the rest of the GOP fanatics would do the same and quit; PA could be a better place.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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