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March 30th Playbook

Republicans have nominated a candidate for the special election in the state Senate’s 22nd District. Here is the Playbook. 

SD22: Chris Chermak Selected as GOP Candidate in Special Election: Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak will face state Rep. Marty Flynn for the vacant seat in Northeast PA.

Wolf Nominates Veronica Degraffenreid to Serve as Secretary of State: Veronica Degraffenreid has served as the acting Secretary of State since Sec. Kathy Boockvar’s resignation in February.

Smith Tests Positive for COVID-19: State Rep. Brian Smith (R-Jefferson/Indiana) has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be conducting legislative business and voting remotely from his house while quarantining both this week and next week, WTAJ reports. 

Arkoosh Expected To Join U.S. Senate Race: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh is expected to launch a bid for the U.S. Senate in the “coming weeks.” The story also breaks down other potential 2022 contenders for Senate and the Governor’s race. 

Two GOP Senators Support $10 Minimum Wage: PennLive reports that state Sens. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) are proposing to introduce legislation that “seeks to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour and permanently index it to inflation. They also propose setting the $2.83 an hour tipped wage rate at 40% of the minimum wage.”

Biden To Talk Infrastructure In Pittsburgh Address: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that President Joe Biden is slated to “make the case” for up to “$4 trillion in fresh spending on an infrastructure package and social programs” in a speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. 

Erie County GOP Censures Toomey: The Erie Times-News reports that the Erie County Republican Committee voted to censure Sen. Pat Toomey over his vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.  

Progressive Coalition Endorses Eight Common Pleas Judge Candidates in Allegheny County: City Paper reports that a “criminal-justice advocacy coalition” has endorsed Nicola Henry-Taylor, Lisa Middleman, Mik Pappas, Zeke Rediker, Giuseppe Rosselli, Tiffany Sizemore, Chelsa Wagner, and Wrenna Watson for Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. 

Inky: “Losing faith in government? Look to your local town council”: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that despite disagreeing on “big issues like voting rights, abortion, and climate change,” in local town councils “it’s business as usual. And business is cordial.” 

Cartwright Expresses Concern About Overturning Iowa Congressional Race: CNN reports that Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) is one of the House Democrats that have become “increasingly wary” of overturning the outcome in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Cartwright is quoted in CNN saying that “The burden of proof in this matter lies with Ms. Hart, and her evidence would need to clear a very high bar to warrant action from the House. Otherwise, election decisions made at the state and local level should be respected.”

DeMarco To Introduce Bill To Get More Body Cameras to Police Officers: KDKA reports that Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco will introduce a bill on Tuesday that would get more body cameras to police officers.  

Times-Tribune: “Scranton Ordinance Would Ban Controversial Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Minors”: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that an ordinance has been proposed by Scranton City Council that would “prohibit licensed, certified or registered mental health professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors under the age of 18 within city limits and establish a fine structure for violators.” 

Fitzpatrick Introduces September 11th National Memorial Trail Legislation: The Bucks Local News reports that Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) and Don Beyer (D-VA) have introduced legislation to designate the “September 11th National Memorial Trail.”

Luzerne County Hires New Election Director: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Bob Morgan, who recently served as deputy chief of staff for Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), has been hired as Luzerne County’s new election director. 

Rendell Says Biden Should Take Questions From Fox News Reporters: PhillyVoice reports that former Gov. Ed Rendell said during an interview on Fox News that President Joe Biden should take questions from Fox News in press conferences. 

Krasner Creates LGBTQ Advisory Board: KYW Newsradio reports that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is “creating a new LGBTQ advisory board in the wake of recent attacks against transgender women of color.” 

Pennycuick Appointed to Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission: According to a press release from House Republicans, state Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery) has been appointed by Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) to serve as a member of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission for a four-year term. 

For Our Future PA To Rally Outside of Toomey’s Office: On Tuesday, For Our Future PA is leading a rally outside of Sen. Pat Toomey’s Philadelphia office about their support for the American Rescue Plan. According to a release, the speakers and activists will be joined by state Reps. Brian Sims and Chris Rabb, who will also give remarks. 

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Inside Pennsylvania’s race to expand who’s eligible for the coronavirus vaccine
AP: Pennsylvania schools to get $4.9B in federal pandemic aid 
AP: Pennsylvania pension system investigating calculation error 
AP: Prison guard sues AG Shapiro over scuttled prosecution 
AP: Tolls going up on several spans connecting NJ, Pennsylvania
Patriot News: A $10 minimum wage in Pa.? Two GOP senators are calling for it
Patriot News: Pa. COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations, ICU cases rise again 
Patriot News: 35 Pa. counties have substantial spread of COVID-19; positive test rate rises for second week in a row
Patriot News: Which states have the most confirmed coronavirus cases (3/29/2021): Where does Pa. stand?
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Now Hiring: Redistricting commission seeks applicants for chair to oversee 2021 mapmaking 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With Biden bound for Pittsburgh, W.Pa Dems want to put the focus on the Mon Valley 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: A federal eviction ban has been extended until June. Here’s how to get help with rent payments in Pa. 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The pros and cons of working from home during a pandemic | The Numbers Racket
York Daily Record: $4.9 billion in federal money heading to Pa. schools to get students caught up and back in the classroom
York Daily Record: Pa. could skip over COVID vaccine phases to meet May 1 universal eligibility deadline
USA Today: Why a bill to ban transgender athletes won’t pass
KDKA: GOP-Sponsored Bill Would Raise Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage To $10 An Hour
KDKA: Pa. Still In Phase 1A While Other States Drop Coronavirus Vaccine Eligibility Requirements 
CBS21: Face the State | PA Sen. Lisa Boscola and Rep. Darisha Parker
PLSReporter: MAP: See where nearly $5B in federal stimulus for schools is headed 
PLSReporter: State nears 5M shots as hospitalizations tick upward 
WHYY Newsworks: CDC extends eviction ban through June as 30% of Pa. households fall behind on rent
Fox News: Amish community may have reached coronavirus ‘herd immunity,’ health official says
WESA: Is It Moral To Cross State Lines For A COVID Vaccine? It’s Complicated
KYW Newsradio: Pa. House considers bill to make daylight saving time permanent
Philly Voice: Ed Rendell says President Biden should take questions from Fox News reporters
Politico: Dems vulnerable to redistricting consider ditching House for higher office
CNN: Biden to lay out first piece of sweeping infrastructure and jobs package Wednesday 
CNN: Lawyer for House candidate pushes for panel to ‘count every vote,’ as Democrats grow skeptical of overturning election

WHYY Newsworks: Philly district attorney to launch LGBTQ advisory board 
WHYY Newsworks: Philly Council calls for hearings after sudden switch to online sheriff sales 
WHYY Newsworks: CDC extends eviction ban through June as 30% of Pa. households fall behind on rent
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: North Philly to get vaccination site; Study finds variants spread in city
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia DA creates LGBTQ advisory board to drive justice for Black transgender women
KYW Newsradio: FEMA to open second COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Philadelphia in underserved neighborhood
Inquirer: Advocates demand Philly make its vaccine rollout more inclusive of people with disabilities 
Inquirer: ‘Fecal samples’: The next frontier in fighting West Philly gentrification?
Inquirer: Another FEMA vaccine site coming to Philly | Coronavirus Newsletter
Billy Penn: ‘Fecal samples’ against gentrification? Research activism raises red flags in West Philly 
Billy Penn: One of four historical figures will replace Andrew Jackson as namesake of South Philly school
Philadelphia Citizen: Voting Season Begins Today!  

Bucks Local News: Bucks County Congressman introduces September 11th National Memorial Trail legislation
Bucks County Courier Times: Fitzpatrick calls on PA Department of Health to resume vaccine distribution to Lower Bucks, Grand View hospitals
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks officials tightlipped about Tile Works deal
Daily Local News: Herrin announces $4.9K grant for Chester County Library System 
Daily Local News: Chester County Health Department introduces new COVID-19 vaccine registration system, opens appointments
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County reports nearly 600 new cases of coronavirus, 3 deaths 
Pottstown Mercury: Rep. Webster to host civic engagement online forum Tuesday
Pottstown Mercury: Conshohocken woman organizes ‘Vigil for Victims of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes’
Pottstown Mercury: Coronavirus positivity rate continues to surge in SE Pa. 

WESA: State Lawmakers Call On President Biden To Fund Mon Valley Transportation Projects
Post-Gazette: In major policy speech, Biden to lean on Pittsburgh industry and jobs to sell $4 trillion plan
Post-Gazette: Sick leave veto, police review board on Allegheny County Council’s loaded agenda for Tuesday meeting
Post-Gazette: Pa. to get almost $5B in school aid from federal relief bill 
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania surpasses 25,000 COVID-19 deaths 
KDKA: Allegheny County Councilman Will Introduce Bill To Get More Body Cameras To Police Officers
KDKA: Pittsburgh Continues To Work On Improving Law Enforcement Relationships
KDKA: City Of Pittsburgh Launches New Website To Assist Victims Of Crime
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 592 New Coronavirus Cases, Countywide Death Toll Reaches 1,760
Tribune Review: Rising covid cases in Pennsylvania not as steep as late 2020 surge
City Paper: Criminal-justice advocacy coalition backs “slate of eight” for Common Pleas judge races in Allegheny County
Pittsburgh Business Times: Region’s unemployment woes affecting younger, Black populations more than others, report finds
WTAE: COVID-19 task force member says vaccine eligibility expansion is close

Altoona Mirror: Ellis seeks GOP nod for Altoona council
Altoona Mirror: Deadline Wednesday for candidates to submit announcements
Observer-Reporter: Four Republican candidates for Donegal supervisors removed from ballot
Observer-Reporter: Fayette County expanding scope of ‘major’ grand jury investigations
Observer-Reporter: Virus cases still elevated as state toll tops 25K
Tribune Review: Westmoreland commissioners to host 2nd info session on covid-19 vaccine
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: COVID-19 cases increasing in Pa. as CDC head fears ‘impending doom’
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State set to administer 5 millionth COVID-19 vaccine

Citizens Voice: Scranton ordinance would ban controversial conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors
Citizens Voice: County hires new election director 
Citizens Voice: County parties ready if DA special election happens
Citizens Voice: Political scene 3/29/21
Citizens Voice: ‘The numbers are bad’: COVID-19 numbers take turn for worse in NEPA
Citizens Voice: 81 new COVID-19 cases reported in Luzerne County
The Times Leader: Bob Morgan hired as Luzerne County election director 
The Times Leader: Luzerne County Controller to offer course for elected tax collectors
The Times Leader: 81 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County Monday. 2 more deaths
Times-Tribune: Scranton ordinance would ban controversial conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors
Times-Tribune: County hires new election director
Times-Tribune: Despite vaccinations, virus keeps spreading in new surge

South Central 
York Daily Record: $4.9 billion in federal money heading to Pa. schools to get students caught up and back in the classroom
York Dispatch: York County residents could get rent, utility relief with new financial program
York Dispatch: ‘Technical difficulties’ skew York County COVID-19 data over weekend
Patriot News: Missed filing prompts district judge to end bid for re-election 
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: Three-day report Monday shows 121 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County

Lehigh Valley      
Express Times: Lehigh Valley lawmaker wants to raise Pa. minimum wage to $10
Express Times: Trips over tolled Delaware River bridges will be more expensive after increases approved
Express Times: COVID in Pa.: Nearly 5M vaccine doses distributed, but cases still on rise; State reaches 25K deaths; Northampton Co. hits 30K cases | Pa. COVID vaccine map (03/29/21)
WFMZ: Pa. schools to get $4.9B in federal pandemic aid
WFMZ: NJ, NY expand vaccine eligibility. When will Pa. follow suit?
WFMZ: Berks school districts to share in $160M in COVID relief
Reading Eagle: Reading constable running for district judge seat
Reading Eagle: Reading codes inspector running for district judge 

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Erie County GOP censures Toomey
Erie Times-News: County Election Board wants Andrezeski off ballot 
Centre Daily Times: Former Centre County district attorney one step closer to being reinstated
Centre Daily Times: March 29 update: Centre County adds 214 COVID-19 cases over 3-day period; Pa. has 10,101

Ryan Bizzarro: Voting rights attacks are happening nationwide — and are coming to Pa.
Nathan Benefield: Voters can limit the power of the governor on May 18 
David M. Sanko: PA needs another “shot in the arm” with broadband access expansion
Jon Geeting: How Fast Will Philly’s Budget Recover From COVID? 
Times-Tribune Editorial Board: Commissioners no-shows for relief effort
Inquirer Editorial Board: Eviction filings are at a historic low. Philly has 90 days to keep it that way.
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Substitute teachers do not replace full, professional staffing
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Working from home in slippers? Proceed with caution
Maria Panaritis: The racial achievement gap in suburban Philadelphia schools points to the broken Pa. school funding system. 
Christine Flowers: How in the world did she get a promotion?
Jeannine Gramick: Philly Christian agency’s move to allow LGBTQ adoption should be nation’s blueprint 
John L. Micek: Pa. House bill would require students to pass civics test to graduate | Monday Morning Coffee
Chris Kelly: Coronavirus Diaries: Day 425: Regional spike says COVID isn’t over
Melissa Alam: Workplace misogyny (and racism) can come from other women 
Jason K.C. Tong: Redefining the ‘other’ and what it means to be an Asian-American | Expert Opinion
Iris Comens Rotberg: How we can all help reduce school inequities
Dick Polman: White Republicans opposing D.C. statehood are more ridiculous than ever

4 Responses

  1. Biden is being outed by his Covid Task Force members as liable for many many deaths. But why now? Not that I think that they are liars; it’s just that they did not speak up when it mattered. Cowards and bootlickers. Biden and they are all despicable.

  2. Trump is being outed by his Covid Task Force members as liable for many many deaths. But why now? Not that I think that they are liars; it’s just that they did not speak up when it mattered. Cowards and bootlickers. Trump and they are all despicable.

    1. No. It is junior junior zappala trying to become relevant and carry on the family political interest.. A difficult task for someone with only 3 brain cells and 2 of them are mute.

  • 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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