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March 28: Joining Forces

👋 Hello, Tuesday. Today is the 44th anniversary of the accident at Three Mile Island.

PA Weather
Ridgway | Cloudy, 45
Lebanon | Mostly Cloudy, 51
Tannersville | Mostly Cloudy, 50

PA Sports
Flyers (28-32-12) | Detroit 3-0 | TUE vs. Montreal
Penguins (36-27-10) | Washington 4-3 | TUE vs. Detroit
76ers (49-26) | Denver 111-116 | WED vs. Dallas

What We’re Hearing
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will be the keynote speaker at the Franklin County GOP Lincoln Dinner on Thursday. Congressman John Joyce and state Sen. Doug Mastriano will also speak.

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Top Story

1. PA Joins 22-State Coalition Aiming To Protect Reproductive Rights of Women

Austin Davis

“Pennsylvania’s Austin Davis is joining 21 other Democratic lieutenant governors to form a coalition built around protecting abortion access in their states that will likely involve crafting model executive orders and legislation.

Other states joining the group include Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. The 22 states have populations totaling 165 million people.

“Every Pennsylvanian should have the right to bodily autonomy and the freedom to make their own personal decision about whether or not to have a child,” said Davis.”


PA Lt. Gov. Davis Joins Multi-State Abortion Alliance. “Known as The Reproductive Freedom Coalition, the group of 22 Democratic lieutenant governors is focused on protecting abortion access in their states, including through crafting model executive orders and legislation, and is led by Connecticut Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Inside Dems $60M Plan To Win In The States. “The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee plans on targeting races in 17 state legislative chambers over the next two years, according to the committee’s battleground chamber memo that was shared first with Score.” (POLITICO)



2. Shapiro Administration Official Questioned About Election Integrity, Professional Licensing Issues

Al Schmidt

“Speeding up the processing time for getting a professional license in Pennsylvania is clearly on the minds of state senators.

Several said at Monday’s Department of State budget hearing that is among the chief complaints they receive in their offices.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee grilled Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt and his staff about the department’s plans for addressing that issue with the latest version of the Pennsylvania Licensing System and Gov. Josh Shapiro’s money-back guarantee on getting a license by a date certain.” (PennLive)


Bipartisan Former Members of Congress Call For Boost In Funding To Secure Elections. “A bipartisan group of former U.S. lawmakers on the National Council on Election Integrity has called on Congress to spend $400 million on election integrity to insulate the system from foreign interference. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Pennsylvania Primary Election 2023. “Spotlight PA is focusing its nonpartisan reporting resources on the May 16 primary election this year, in addition to the Nov. 7 general election.” (Spotlight PA)

Gun Laws Find Ways Into PA State Police Budget Talks. “The Pennsylvania State Police commissioner turned down legislators’ questions seeking his position on certain gun reform measures, saying lawmakers make the law and police serve to enforce it.” (CNHI News)

PA’s Minimum Wage Debate Revisited. “The pandemic’s impact on income growth aside, lawmakers say workers need not wait for another “once-in-a-century” emergency to earn a livable wage.” (The Center Square)

How To Expedite Civil Cases Is A Plan President Judges Must Present To State. “The pace at which civil cases move through the court system throughout Pennsylvania is not to the state’s satisfaction.” (The Derrick)

PA’s Permitting Delays, Carbon Taxes Still Vexing Lawmakers. “As officials from the Department of Environmental Protection justified their budget to lawmakers, contentions over a carbon tax and permit approval delays once again became central.” (The Center Square)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Wild, Fitzpatrick Press For Full Funding For Mental Health Services

Mental Health Awareness Month Myths | Psychology Today

“A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers — including three from Pennsylvania — are calling on congressional budget-writers to prioritize funding for mental health resources in the 2024 federal budget.

U.S. Reps. Susan Wild, D-7th District, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District, joined by U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., wrote to House appropriators last week to ask for the “highest possible funding” for the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)


Delco Dems Select Boyd As Candidate For HD-163. “Delaware County Democrats tabbed Heather Boyd to be their standard bearer in the May 16 election to replace Mike Zabel, who resigned from the seat on March 16 under allegations of sexual harassment.” (PoliticsPA)

New Life For Schuylkill Commissioner Impeachment Investigation? “In June 2020, Schuylkill County Commissioner George F. Halcovage Jr. was determined to have violated county policies on sexual harassment, conduct and discipline by the county solicitor and human resources office.” (PoliticsPA)

Witness List Released For Hearing On Luzerne County Election Paper Shortage. “Jim Bognet said he has plenty to say during Tuesday’s Congressional committee hearing about Luzerne County’s November 2022 election paper shortage.” (Sunday Dispatch)

Bucks County vs. Big Tech. “Studies show TikTok and other social media apps cause mental harm to teens and pose a danger to the rest of us. Can action by a group of local officials curb their influence?” (Philadelphia Citizen)

From Fine Dining to Rental Cars, John Weinstein Spends Big Campaign Cash – Even With No Opponent. “As reelection campaigns go, Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein’s last two were as easy as they get. No Democrat challenged him in the 2015 or 2019 primaries, and Republicans didn’t even bother fielding candidates in either general election. But despite running unopposed, Mr. Weinstein’s campaign spent $1.2 million from 2014 through 2022 — tens of thousands of it in ways that raised questions for good-government advocates.” (Post-Gazette)

With Kenney In Hot Water, Candidates Swear To Do Better. “The candidates for mayor have spent the last several weeks trying to separate themselves from the pack. But they agreed on something this week: The city flubbed its response to the chemical spill threatening Philly’s water supply, and several contenders took the opportunity to tee off on the sitting mayor.” (Inquirer)

Philadelphia Mayoral Candidate Guide: Cherelle Parker. “Born and raised in West Oak Lane, not far from her current Mount Airy home, Cherelle Parker, 50, checks a lot of boxes.” (Philadelphia Magazine)



4. What They’re Saying

A glance around the Keystone State at editorials and opinions.

  • Can We Drink The Water? Can We Find The Mayor? (Inquirer)
  • Expediting The Charles Anderson Bridge Project: An Infrastructure Win For The Gainey Administration. (Post-Gazette)
  • The False Narrative Against Transgender Athletes. (Leonard Orbovich)
  • Being A Woman Is Complicated. (Rogette Harris)
  • Carlson, Ellis And Aesop’s Fable. (Bill Ketter)
  • Embarrassing KOP Rail Fiasco Should Be Wake Up Call For SEPTA’s Board. (Daniel Trubman)
  • The Value of Truth In The Media and Politicians. (John Schmoyer)


1 Thing

5. Oreo Magic

MIT scientists explore "Oreology": What's the best way to split an Oreo? - CBS News

A team at MIT has twisted apart over 1,000 Oreos in the name of science, attempting to solve that age-old problem: Is there any way to get the cream on both sides of the wafers?

Turns out the answer is: Not really. Oreo’s filling stuck to just one wafer about 80% of the time, using both a machine and hand techniques to twist.

“There was no combination of anything that we could do … that changed anything in our results,” Crystal Owens, a Ph.D. candidate in MIT’s mechanical engineering department, told The Wall Street Journal.



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3 Responses

  1. Cherelle Parker may be getting a lot of ink.

    Maria Quinones-Sanchez, however; is getting the respect and eyeballs, and attention of folks who want the trains to run on time efficiently and effectively.

    The chatter is that Quinones-Sanchez is gaining momentum after each forum and chat fest as folks leave each one feeling that she truly knows her stuff and has clearly thought seriously about running the City of Philadelphia.

    They’re getting more comfortable with her by the day.

  2. It’s disgraceful taking a losing Congressional candidate and having him at a hearing for election integrity. We all lose when people doubt a system that is working. This DC hearing is a farce.

  3. Will the Franklin County GOP also be holding a cross burning at their Lincoln Dinner?


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

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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