March 7th Playbook

Can Jeff Bartos win the nomination? The politics of energy independence. More on the PA Senate race. On the call with Zelenskyy. Candidacies announced. PSSA scores released. Here is the Playbook.

PA Weather
Erie | Rain/Snow likely, 41
Pittsburgh | Thunderstorms, 62
Harrisburg | Slight chance of showers, 75
Philadelphia | Partly Sunny, breezy, 75

PA Sports
76ers | lost to Miami, 99-82; tonight vs. Chicago
Flyers | defeated Chicago, 4-3
Penguins | idle
Union | defeated Montral, 2-1

News

Free Beacon Poll: McCormick, Barletta in Front: In a survey of 600 likely Republican voters done by a private polling firm, David McCormick has the lead over four other candidates for the GOP nod for the open U.S. Senate seat in the Keystone State.

The Politics of Energy Independence: As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies and the threat of an expanding conflict in the region looms, questions are being raised in Pennsylvania about energy independence and the role of the Keystone State.

Ups and Downs: We had polls to review and digest. We had candidate announcements and candidate endorsements. The Supreme Court took vote-by-mail off life support. There’s a new name for three PSAC schools. Harrisburg, we have a propaganda problem. And more … here are our Ups and our Downs.

Podcast: Jeff Bartos Won Five of Six Straw Polls. Can He Win the Nomination?: In the latest episode of the PoliticsPA Podcast, Republican Jeff Bartos — winner of several early straw polls in the 2022 race for U.S. Senate — talks about his background and campaign.

PA Senate Race: ‘Democrats running for Senate in Pa. mostly agree on the issues. Here’s where they don’t.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Democrats running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania spend a lot of time talking about why they’re the candidate who can win the state in a general election. They also tout such policy priorities as voting rights and helping working families. But there’s significantly less discussion of policy differences.”

    • Inquirer: The Philly lawyer who fought to protect the Columbus statue and keep Mumia behind bars is running for Senate
    • ABC27: This Week In Pennsylvania: Dave McCormick & the latest Pa. news
    • WJET: Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman stops in Erie
    • WJET: U.S. Senate candidate makes stop in Edinboro
    • Cartwright Endorses Lamb: Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) has endorsed Congressman Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) for U.S. Senate. 

‘Face the State | Candidates for PA’s next Governor, Bill McSwain and Dr. Nche Zama’: CBS21 talked with Bill McSwain and Dr. Nche Zama about their candidacies for Governor. 

‘Republicans running for Pa. governor talk a lot about Philly crime. But who are they talking to?’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “as they jostle for position in a crowded GOP primary, the leading candidates — all of them white, none of them from plurality-Black Philadelphia — seem to agree on one thing: Krasner and his fellow Democrats have failed on crime. And they increasingly paint Krasner as an extension of state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the only established Democrat running for governor.”

‘Here’s how Pennsylvania is responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine’: City & State PA provides “a roundup of the major actions Pennsylvania officials have taken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine thus far.”

‘Pa. House GOP leaders want to send soon-to-expire PPE in state stockpile to Ukraine’: PennLive reports that “House Republican leaders are urging Gov. Tom Wolf to consider sending some of the soon-to-expire personal protective equipment sitting in the state’s stockpile to aid with the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine during its ongoing conflict with Russia.”

‘Pa. lawmakers, advocacy groups want to see pandemic-related learning gaps closed’: PennLive reports that “state and school officials issued a call for action Friday, pointing to declines in state standardized test scores as evidence that Pennsylvania’s students suffered learning losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Pa. releases school assessment results, which hint at effects of pandemic on students’: PennLive reports that “the long-awaited results of the 2021 state basic education test scores are now available and reflect a decline in performance, as many suspected would be the case due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Will some Pennsylvania residents get pandemic relief payments up to $2,000? Here’s where Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal stands’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to spend $1.7 billion in American Rescue Plan Act money the state has on hand has received a mixed reaction from Republicans.” 

‘Federal appeals court upholds convictions of former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and bribery co-defendant Scott Allinson’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “a federal appeals court on Friday rejected arguments there was insufficient evidence to support the public corruption convictions of former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and his co-defendant Scott Allinson.”

‘Boyle, Toomey among area lawmakers on call with Ukraine’s Zelenskyy’: KYW Newsradio reports that “area lawmakers were among hundreds discussing war on Zoom with Ukrainian president.”

‘Rep. Meuser joins Congressional briefing with Ukrainian President’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “roughly 300 members of Congress sat in on a video call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he pleaded with the United States to provide his country with more warplanes to protect the skies from Russian fighters. U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania’s Ninth Congressional District was one of the many men and women who listened as Zelenskyy detailed his nation’s efforts to fend off the Russian attack.”

‘People living near Mariner East pipeline say they see work continuing — even though company says construction is finished’: StateImpactPA reports that “people who live near a section of the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline in Delaware County say they’re seeing work continue, even though builder Energy Transfer says construction is finished.

‘Barbershop Confrontations, Profane Signs and Despair: Pro-Biden and Alone in Rural America’: POLITICO reports that “rural Democrats suffer in silence, abandoned by a party that they fear has stopped fighting to win the places where they live.”

‘Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware’s Russian imports among highest in the nation in 2021’: The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware all traded with both Russia and Ukraine in high volumes during 2021.”

‘Gas prices hit record highs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey’: The Associated Press reports that “gas prices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania hit all-time highs over the weekend amid tight worldwide oil supplies and increased demand as the industry feels the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, analysts said.”

‘Leaders of Philly’s minority chambers of commerce say the city needs to be more business-friendly’: City & State PA “spoke with representatives of the Inclusive Growth Coalition to discuss their priorities for recovery and how the city can ensure no one gets left behind in the process.”

Legislative Election Updates

‘Former Brentwood councilwoman challenging state Rep. Jessica Benham for Democratic nomination’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “former Brentwood Councilwoman Stephanie Fox is challenging first-term state Rep. Jessica Benham for the Democratic nomination in the 36th State House District.”

‘Newtown businessman announces candidacy for 31st District state representative’: The Bucks Local News reports that “local businessman, community volunteer and lifelong Bucks County resident Bernie Sauer has announced that he is running for the Republican endorsement for the 31st District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.”

‘Erie neurosurgeon announces run for state representative’: WJET reports that “James Salmon announced that he is running for state representative in the 3rd District. The newly-formed district includes Fairview and Millcreek Township.”

‘LaRocca announces 116th district candidacy’: The Citizens Voice reports that “Michael “Mike” LaRocca has entered the race to represent the 116th Legislative District, which was recently redrawn to include parts of Luzerne and Schuylkill counties.”

Regional Spotlight: Southeast and Lehigh Valley
Daily Local News: In contested races, Chester County candidates fail to win endorsement
Morning Call: Allentown mayor says he won’t support pro-union law that would tighten requirements for contractors unless it’s amended
WHYY: Facing inaction from the state, Philly politicians are trying new ways to avoid election drama
KYW Newsradio: How SEPTA will use nearly $100M in new American Rescue Plan funding
Delco Daily Times: Delaware County Council passes resolution supporting Ukraine
Daily Local News: Chester County divesting Russian holdings in pension fund to support Ukraine
Daily Local News: Ryan, Shapiro announce drug treatment program expansion in Chester County
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County gets $45 million to aid with opioid prevention, treatment
Bucks Local News: Bucks County sues PFAS manufacturers for environmental contamination
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania lawmakers investigating potential marijuana legalization
Philly Voice: Philadelphia to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers with COVID-19 as city mandates are lifted
Philly Voice: Philadelphia takes initial step towards creating nation’s first municipal bank
WHYY: Philly’s rent relief program gets new funding. It won’t last long
Morning Call: Ukraine invasion could lead to ‘a crippling cyberattack on the US,’ possibly World War III, Lehigh Valley political leaders warn
Reading Eagle: Berks commissioners set hearing for passenger railroad authority
WFMZ: Allentown’s Responsible Contractor Ordinance sent back to city council for revisions; critics say it could increase taxes
WFMZ: Tax cuts will not hurt Northampton County’s savings, McClure says
Express Times: Bethlehem needs a permanent homeless shelter. The city’s studying how it could happen.
Inquirer: Delaware County Health Department gets a launch date
Inquirer: Philly residents in areas affected by overdoses want a say in talks over a supervised injection site
Inquirer: City Council voted to require Philly employers to offer paid leave for COVID-19 absences through 2023
Inquirer: Philly quietly added surprise fees and ‘burdensome’ rules for restaurant streeteries
Inquirer: Lukoil boycott takes off in Philly amid calls to ban all Russian oil imports
Morning Call: PSSA test results are in. See how Lehigh Valley schools scored
Opinion  
Josh Kail: Pennsylvania natural gas should have Putin terrified
Mark S. Singel: We are Ukrainians
Cynthia A. Baldwin: Judging the justices: the Senate’s duty
John L. Micek: The one really big, terrible number for Dems in the new F&M poll | Friday Morning Coffee
Paul Muschick: Spreading hate: White supremacist groups send propaganda throughout Lehigh Valley
Rick Rovegno: Americans need a united front against Putin
Larry Platt: Philly’s War on Restaurants 
Dom Giordano: Philly Progressives Want Drug Injection Sites in Any Neighborhood But Their Own
Salena Zito: Ukraine crisis brings out the best in Americans
Courtney Lawhorn and Kris Henderson: Three ways to build a better Black future in Pennsylvania
Joyce M. Davis: Putin will not stop at destroying Ukraine
Becky Bennett: Can Putin’s attack on Ukraine and democracy reawaken rural values? | Across the Divide
Chris Kelly: Domenick, prison board due for reassessments
PennLive Editorial: Pennsylvanians have a moral obligation not to help Putin get richer while he’s killing people in Ukraine 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Leg­is­la­tors should ap­prove Pennsylvania cor­po­rate tax cut 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Four-year degrees aren’t for everyone
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Keeping our heads in the fog of war
Inquirer Editorial Board: It’s time to finally overhaul Washington Avenue
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza brings tense times in Lancaster County 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Lancaster County girls wrestling teams are taking down bias
Nancy Leichter: Let’s end mandatory life sentences for young adults
Briannah Stoves: End youth incarceration now
Reggie McNeil: School District: Data on lead in water are misleading 
Leida Rosario: How early childhood education changes lives
Ruth Ann Dailey: To CRT or not to CRT
Abraham Gutman: Infuriated, not shocked: Philadelphians from the Middle East are noticing that now you care about war in Ukraine
John Nagl: The stakes couldn’t be higher in Ukraine. Here’s why and what to do next 
Tim Hartman: About that state university renaming | Editorial Cartoon
Will Bunch: Can Merrick Garland find his inner Zelensky and stop America’s slide into Putinism? 
David M. Shribman: Reexamining the value of studying history
Filiz Garip: How do you pack for an escape? A refugee’s story
Aarushi Dedhiya: Peer pressure among teens can lead to both good and bad decisions | Youth View
Johnny Goodtimes and Raheem Manning: Center City Sips is back! Yay or nay? | Pro/Con

6 Responses

  1. Fracking is not a new idea. It has been around for a long time but was never used much as it is more costly way to get out of the ground. As gas prices rose fracking became more appealing. The message is that gas prices fluctuate based on estimates by those in the marketplace. As was said in this comment section releasing fuel in reserves can calm the price fluctuation.

  2. There is no “Energy Independence”, it is all BS talking points for the GOP to use the Ukrainian crisis to ramp up their political nonsense. To be Energy Independent requires that the citizens of the United States or the US government owns and controls the supply of energy. Fact is, oil is a tradable commodity controlled, not even owned and controlled by domestic corporations, but by multinational corporations with the price controlled by foreign cartels.

    Be aware too that for as much as the Republicans in Harrisburg want to pander to you individually that more drilling of the Pennsylvania natural gas reserves will somehow magically and immediately halt the rise in gas prices at the pump, the reality is that there are large numbers of gas wells sitting capped RIGHT NOW, that the multinational corporations who own them, don’t want to open and release the product to market. They have plenty of necessary supply for today’s market needs and their profits are wayyyy up because an international crisis has driven up market prices. Their commodity is worth much more today because crazy Vladimir Putin is attacking Ukraine and they aren’t going to start drilling more in PA today, tomorrow, next week or next month because they have plenty of supply already drilled and capped for the future.

    Somebody needs to ask the politicians to explain this.

    1. I don’t think most politicians are honest enough or smart enough to explain it as well as you did. Then there is the problem of comprehension and belief by GOP Trumpers.

      1. I think most politicians are honest enough and smart enough to explain it much better than you did. Then there is the problem of comprehension and belief by Dem losers.

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