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March 24th Playbook

Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain launched a PAC, while the PA Democratic Party announced a campaign to register 125K voters by May 2022. Here is the Playbook. 

McSwain Launches PAC, Signals Interest in Governor’s Race: First reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain launched Freedom PA PAC on Monday. The website criticizes Gov. Tom Wolf on various issues and promotes “conservative ideas to renew Pennsylvania.”

PA Dems Launch Campaign to Register 125K Voters by May 2022: The organizers will “primarily focus on engaging marginalized communities that are left out of the political process — including Black, rural, Hispanic, and AAPI communities,” according to a release from the PA Democratic Party.

Garrity Supports Torsella’s Nomination to Serve on PSERS Board: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that Treasurer Stacy Garrity told the state Senate that she is supporting former Treasurer Joe Torsella’s nomination by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on the Public School Employees Retirement System board.  

SD22: Lackawanna County Commissioner Says He Has Support of State GOP For Special Election: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak says he has the support of state Republicans for the party nomination for the special election in the state Senate’s 22nd District. Chermak and Scranton attorney Dominic Mastri are vying for the party nomination on Thursday night, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.

PennLive Highlights McClinton’s Background, Goals, and Leadership Style: PennLive wrote a story on House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) that highlights her background, legislative goals for the 2021-2022 session, and leadership style. PennLive also wrote a story about the “10 things to know” about McClinton. 

House Transportation Committee Approves Bill To Ban Handheld Devices While Driving in PA: PennLive reports that legislation to ban handheld devices while driving in the state, backed by state Rep. Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe), was unanimously approved by the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday. 

House Transportation Committee Approves Bill That Imposes Harsher Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenders: PennLive reports that legislation, dubbed as Deana’s Law, which is sponsored by state Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware), was approved by the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday. The legislation “imposes stiffer penalties on those convicted of at least two prior driving under the influence offenses,” according to PennLive. 

HD60: Armstrong County Commissioner Joins Race: The Tribune Review reports that Armstrong County Commissioners Chairman Don Myers is the second GOP candidate to announce his intentions to seek the party nomination into the special election race to succeed recently retired state Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong). 

Regan Undergoes Surgery Following Motorcycle Crash: The York Daily Record reports that state Sen. Mike Regan (R-York) underwent surgery Monday, after a motorcycle crash the previous day, according to his chief-of-staff and police. His chief of staff, Bruce McLanahan, told the York Daily Record that Regan was taken to Hershey Medical Center for injuries to his legs and that Regan remained at the hospital on Tuesday. 

Wolf Signs DA Vacancy Legislation: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed legislation that addresses the rules of succession when a vacancy occurs in the office of a county district attorney. In Luzerne County, First Assistant DA Sam Sanguedolce will take over when DA Stefanie Salavantis’ resignation takes into effect at 5 p.m. on Thursday. 

Wild Expresses Concern About Challenging Outcome in Iowa Congressional Race: Politico reports that Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) is one of the moderate Democrats that is “sounding the alarm” on challenging the outcome in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Wild is also quoted in Politico saying that “unless there is rampant error and substantial evidence thereof, I do not believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections.” 

GOP Westmoreland Commissioner Says County Voters Want No-Excuse Mail-in Ballots Eliminated: According to the Tribune Review, GOP Westmoreland Commissioner Doug Chew told a Pennsylvania Senate committee that his constituents want to end no-excuse mail-in voting, while Democratic Westmoreland Commissioner Gina Cerilli Thrasher disputed Chew’s claim.

F&M Poll: ‘Overwhelming Support’ For Public Health Department in Lancaster County: A Franklin & Marshall College poll found that there is “overwhelming support” to create a public health department in Lancaster County, LNP | LancasterOnline reports. 

Pittsburgh City Council Bans Ownership of alligators, crocodiles and red-eared slider turtles: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pittsburgh City Council passed a ban ownership of “popular but potentially problematic” small red-eared turtles, alligators, and crocodiles in a 9-0 vote.

Philly DA Candidates Debate: WHYY reports that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Democratich challenger Carlos Vega, and Republican candidate Charles Peruto Jr. participated in a debate on Monday night. 

Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidate To Debate Friday: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, state Rep. Ed Gainey, retired police officer Tony Moreno and activist Will Parker will debate for the first time in-person this Friday at Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12. The event isn’t open to the public, but will be live-streamed at noon.  

Gainey To Hold Press Conference with Detroit Mayoral Candidate: According to a press release from state Rep. Ed Gainey’s mayoral campaign, he will be holding a joint press conference on Wednesday afternoon with Detroit Mayoral candidate Anthony Adams to discuss crime, poverty, police reform, and justice for everyone in our communities. 

Wendy Bell Given Full-Time Status at WJAS: The Tribune Review reports that Wendy Bell, a conservative talk show host, has been promoted to full-time status at WJAS 1320AM and 99.1 FM in Pittsburgh. “The Wendy Bell Show” will air from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. Monday through Friday.  

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: As thousands of unemployment claims expire, Pa. residents refile, wait on federal benefits 
Spotlight PA: Have you helped process Pa. unemployment claims this past year? Spotlight PA wants to hear from you.
AP: Lawmakers restart amendment process on child sex abuse suits
AP: Lawmakers look to limit redistricting chair’s political ties
AP: In French woods, rivals take aim at senator’s WWI research
AP: Philly cancels thousands of uninvited vaccine appointments
Patriot News: Pa. Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller is resigning
Patriot News: After shootings in Colorado and Georgia, gun rights proponents and gun control advocates clash in Pa.
Patriot News: 10 things to know about House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton: Zumba enthusiast, Eagles fan, former youth minister
Patriot News: From lawyer to breaking glass ceilings: Pa. House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton is ‘going places’
Patriot News: Pa. House bill would give repeat DUI offenders harsher penalties
Patriot News: Bill advances to ban handheld devices while driving in Pa.
Patriot News: Highmark reports financial gains, even as COVID-19 hurt its hospitals
Inquirer: Pennsylvania had more poll workers than it could handle last year. Where’d they go?
Inquirer: Pa. lawmakers urge sweeping reform after Delco youth facility closure
Inquirer: Businesses can now get money for some health costs, but there are downsides
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Garrity backs Torsella to boost oversight on teachers’ pension fund amid internal investigation 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Burnt out and beleaguered, county elections officials ask lawmakers for help ahead of this year’s election season
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Wolf taps top aide Meg Snead to to lead Human Services Department following Sec.Teresa Miller’s resignation
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Collapsing union pension plans win long-sought help from rescue package; How Pa. benefits
USA Today: Solar initiative will produce 50% of Pa. government’s electricity. Where the farms will go
USA Today: Pennsylvania leaders want to pass these gun-control laws. What happens next
Morning Call: Latest Pennsylvania government attempt to provide legal relief to child sex abuse victims fails
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: 100,000 education staffers vaccinated as 300,000 more doses for group 1A arrive  
PLSReporter: DHS Secretary Teresa Miller to step down April 30, replaced by Meg Snead
PLSReporter: Senate restarts multi-year process to pass ‘window’ for sex abuse victims
Post-Gazette: Gun control advocates, including mother from Butler, stress their priorities
Post-Gazette: Wolf’s human services secretary leaving; replacement chosen 
StateImpactPA: DEP finds PFAS in one-third of public water systems; none exceeded EPA limit
KDKA: Is A Mileage-Based User Fee A Likely Replacement For The State’s Gasoline Tax?
KDKA: Pa. Leaders And Lawmakers Call For New Gun Safety Legislation After Colorado Grocery Store Shooting
KDKA: Wolf Administration Creates Portal For Organizations To Request Naloxone Nasal Spray
KDKA: Pa. First Lady Frances Wolf Honors Food Bank Networks For Work Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
KYW Newsradio: Advocate says lawmakers must ‘get serious’ about closing gender-, race-based wage gaps
KYW Newsradio: Social distancing was nearly impossible in Pa. prisons at peak of pandemic
KYW Newsradio: Pa. plugs into 15-year solar contract to power state facilities 
The Hill: 18 attorneys general call on Garland to close ghost gun loophole

WHYY Newsworks: Philly DA candidates debate over how to handle gun violence epidemic, cash bail
WHYY Newsworks: A ‘new lease on life’ for restaurants: Philly-area restaurateurs praise relief efforts
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: Philly won’t follow state and relax restaurant restrictions as cases rise
Philadelphia Magazine: Vaccinations Are Increasing, But Philly’s COVID-19 Cases Have Stopped Declining. What Gives? 
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia will relax COVID-19 restrictions on April 30 — if case rates decline
KYW Newsradio: City leaders, residents take stand against Asian hate at Philly town hall
KYW Newsradio: Neighbors demand better communication, resources from SEPTA following closure of Kensington station
KYW Newsradio: A year after Philadelphians were ordered to stay home, the city shows signs of recovery
Inquirer: Kensington protests closing of SEPTA’s Somerset El station, a lifeline for a battered neighborhood
Inquirer: Philadelphia parents of kids with disabilities aren’t eligible for the vaccine. But they would be if they lived elsewhere in Pa.
Inquirer: Philly won’t ease restrictions like rest of Pa. as cases and hospitalizations rise; Regal Cinemas to reopen theaters
Inquirer: Mobile vaccine clinics ramp up efforts to reach Philly’s most vulnerable communities: ‘Let’s bring vaccine to them’
Philadelphia Citizen: Citizen Mystery Shopper (Part 16) 
Philly Voice: Philly will not ease COVID-19 capacity limits on restaurants, bars, other venues until at least April 30
Philadelphia Business Journal: Philadelphia won’t relax Covid-19 capacity restrictions until at least April 30 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Task force recommends making Philadelphia a ’24-hour city’ to aid pandemic recovery

Daily Local News: Former Chester County sheriff ‘Bunny’ Welsh enters plea in theft case 
Daily Local News: Police policy to ensure George Floyd-type incident will never occur in Caln 
Daily Local News: Coronavirus positivity rate increases in region
Bucks Local News: Vaccination pace accelerates in Bucks County with first full week at Neshaminy Mall site
Inquirer: Pa. lawmakers urge sweeping reform after Delco youth facility closure 
Inquirer: Former Chester County sheriff enters no-contest plea in theft from K-9 unit
KYW Newsradio: Ex Chesco sheriff, deputy plead no contest to theft charges
WHYY Newsworks: Public defenders, whistleblowers break silence on abuse allegations at Delco Juvenile Detention Center
Delco Daily Times: Officials call for swift action on Lima detention facility
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County reaches $310K settlement in suit brought by former public defenders 
Montgomery Media: Daily Update: Montgomery County reports 102 coronavirus cases, one death

Post-Gazette: Westinghouse Academy will host first in-person debate between Pittsburgh mayoral candidates 
Post-Gazette: Ownership of alligators, crocodiles and red-eared slider turtles banned in Pittsburgh 
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Council cancels meeting due to COVID-19 ‘outbreak’  
Post-Gazette: Oakland apartment project gains approval after developer, Family House reach deal 
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Allegheny County and state seeing rise in new cases
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Council postpones meeting amid reported covid-19 outbreak 
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh council passes ban on gators, crocodiles and certain turtles  
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh residents ask officials to support campaign to cut national defense spending  
Tribune Review: In Pittsburgh, a push to prioritize restaurant, hospitality workers for covid vaccines 
Tribune Review: Wendy Bell promoted to full-time status at WJAS 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania see covid hospitalizations go up again 
KDKA: Pittsburgh City Council Pushes To Prioritize Restaurant Workers For Vaccines
KDKA: Pittsburgh Public Schools Students To Moderate First In-Person Mayoral Debate
KDKA: Pittsburgh City Council Bans Ownership Of Alligators, Crocodiles And Red-Eared Slider Turtles
KDKA: Allegheny County Council Meeting Rescheduled Due To COVID-19 Outbreak
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 364 New Cases, No Additional Deaths
Pittsburgh Business Times: County Council vote on paid sick leave bill delayed due to Covid outbreak
Pittsburgh Business Times: Sessions contemplate how region can transition to a clean-energy future
City Paper: Charges against 16 Black Lives Matter protesters arrested by Pittsburgh Police renewed a month before new report reveals police bias
City Paper: Pittsburgh to deliver thousands more blue recycling bins to homes by end of summer

Altoona Mirror: Judge: Councilman can amend his election petition
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Johnstown could lose metropolitan label; reclassification would deal a blow to funding for local programs
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Somerset County planning mass vaccine sites, efforts to take vaccines to homebound
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State approaching 1 million cases, more than 1.5 million fully vaccinated
Tribune Review: Armstrong County commissioner throws hat in the ring for former state Rep. Pyle’s seat
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioner says county voters want end to no-excuse mail-in ballots, another disputes that
Beaver County Times: COVID-19 cases surge 16.6% in Pennsylvania
Observer-Reporter: City of Washington plans cleanup day

Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County commissioner on tap for Republican nomination for vacant Blake Senate seat 
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 cases back on the rise, but deaths decline
The Times Leader: Gov. Wolf signs DA vacancy legislation; ends Luzerne County uncertainty
The Times Leader: Fate of Luzerne County DA vacancy in governor’s hands
The Times Leader: 50 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Tuesday
Citizens Voice: House approves DA succession bill; not clear if Wolf will sign it before Salavantis resignation takes effect
Citizens Voice: 50 new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Tuesday 

South Central 
Patriot News: Harrisburg mayors have to live in the city: Does Otto Banks pass that test?
Patriot News: I-83 South Bridge virtual public meeting/comment period will end March 29: PennDOT
York Daily Record: Sen. Mike Regan suffers injuries, undergoes surgery after motorcycle crash
LNP | LancasterOnline: Franklin & Marshall poll finds ‘overwhelming support’ for public health department in Lancaster County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Vaccine hesitancy, quality care costs: 5 takeaways from LNP | LancasterOnline roundtable with nursing home officials
LNP | LancasterOnline: Justin Eby to take over as Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority executive director
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 47 new cases of COVID-19 and one death for Cumberland County Tuesday
York Dispatch: York City sewer system privatization: Regional users excluded from three-year rate hike pause
York Dispatch: One new COVID-19 death reported in York County on Tuesday 

Lehigh Valley      
WFMZ: Local lawmakers react to gun control legislation
WFMZ: Easton City Council to hear from residents who want city to amend ordinance to allow for backyard chickens
WFMZ: City council finally activates Reading Youth Commission
Morning Call: COVID-19 caused Lehigh Valley housing prices to skyrocket. Planners worry what this will mean for low- and middle-income families. 
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: 100,000 education staffers vaccinated as 300,000 more doses for group 1A arrive
Express Times: COVID in Pa.: Almost 3.6M people have COVID shots, including 100K teachers; COVID cases climbing | COVID-19 vaccine map (03/23/21)
Reading Eagle: Bill giving municipal police use of radar speeds through Pa. House committee
Reading Eagle: Reading names coordinator for Downtown Improvement District replacement
Reading Eagle: Families of COVID victims will soon be able to apply for federal reimbursement for funeral expenses 
Reading Eagle: Berks County gets 148 more COVID cases in Pa. health department report

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: County to launch $17M rental assistance program
Erie Times-News: PA needs $941M to fill Medicaid funding budget hole
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City officials attempting to ‘calm’ traffic down for pedestrians, bicyclists
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Legislation addresses child victims of assault
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 35 new COVID-19 cases
Patriot News: Two Lycoming County residents plead not guilty to U.S. Capitol riot charges
Centre Daily Times: March 23 update: Mount Nittany ‘concerned’ by rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

John Joyce: I’m a Trump Republican. Here’s why I went to Joe Biden’s White House
Scott Perry: Biden bailout bill brings long-term taxpayer pain
Adam Garber: Ghost guns are just as deadly as regular firearms and must be regulated
Stephanie Catarino Wissman: Fracking Ban Threatens American Jobs and Derails Our Environmental Progress
Elizabeth Stelle: Support emergency powers amendment to restore transparency in state government

  1. Scott Matthews and Prithvi S. Acharya: Nothing is certain, except for the death of fuel taxes

Paul Muschick: Attention, speeders: Why there may be more radar guns on Pennsylvania roads 
Times-Tribune Editorial Board: Perry, others, trap themselves
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Here’s our simple message to the NCAA — do better 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Harsher penalties for guns at airports 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A cautionary tale
Catie Jacobson: I’m a member of the ‘Mass Shooting Generation.’ Pa. lawmakers need to pass tougher background checks on gun purchases
John L. Micek: She’s a hunter from rural Pa. who supports gun reform. Will lawmakers finally listen? | Wednesday Morning Coffee 
Owen Franklin and De’Wayne Drummond: Philly parks are already underfunded. What will more cuts do? 
Will Gross: As a small biz owner, paying $15/hour is my moral obligation
Helen Ubiñas: In the United States, we choose guns over people, every time 
Tony Norman: U.S. Capitol insurrection: Love & treason edition
Bruce Ledewitz: Learning to love one-party rule: A Beginner’s Guide
Joyce M. Davis: A grateful city thanks Aaron Johnson for choosing the army over the cemetery | Social Views
Sein Lee: Let’s finalize the RGGI rule now
Will Bunch Newsletter: A Colorado massacre, a GOP leader’s panic, and end times for our immoral filibuster 
Robert Hill: Pittsburgh’s first Black woman attorney
Grace Shallow: Let Them Speak
Rev. Judy Young: Nursing home residents need to be allowed an “Essential Support Person” during times of crisis
Nikkee Asashon: An ICU nurse reflects on a year in COVID-19 trenches 
Trudy Rubin: The gloves came off in Alaska for U.S.-China relations. What comes next?

One Response

  1. Eric Bradway Former Constable of Lower Merion is running for Governor of Pennsylvania

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

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