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May 26th Playbook

Congresswoman Susan Wild announces that she won’t run for Senate, while Dr. Nche Zama launched his campaign for Governor. Here is the Playbook.

Wild Rules Out Senate Bid: Congresswoman Susan Wild said in an interview with Roll Call that she loves “having a district” that she can know every corner of and is “solid staying” where she is.

Dr. Nche Zama Launches 2022 Bid for Governor: Dr. Nche Zama, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, highlights education, healthcare, and the economy on his campaign website.

Mastriano Appears Closer to Capitol Riot That He Previously Said: WHYY reports that “Internet sleuths have unearthed video from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that appears to show Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano was much closer to clashes with police than earlier statements about his whereabouts that day indicated.”

Parnell Says He Supports Audit of PA Election Results: WESA reports that Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and former GOP congressional candidate who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, says “he supports” an audit of Pennsylvania elections results “after saying he didn’t want to litigate the 2020 election.”  

AP: ‘Bills to restrict abortion, expand gun rights start in House’: The Associated Press reports that “Republicans who control Pennsylvania’s Legislature began Tuesday to advance hot-button bills to restrict abortion rights and expand gun rights, although the bills faced opposition by Democratic lawmakers and certain veto by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.”

AP: State to air report on how it blundered child sex-abuse vote’: The Associated Press reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration planned Wednesday to discuss the results of an internal investigation into a bureaucratic blunder that scuttled a statewide voter referendum on whether to give victims of childhood sexual abuse a fresh opportunity to sue their abusers and complicit institutions.”

Beaver County Times: ‘Shapiro, lawmakers tout new batch of fracking oversight bills’: The Beaver County Times reports that Attorney General Josh Shapiro and other Pennsylvania Senate Democrats on Tuesday “pitched new legislation to tighten fracking industry oversight and accountability standards.”

Toomey and Brown Argue About Role of Federal Reserve: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “offered sharply different visions Tuesday of the state of the American economy as COVID-19 recedes and the role of the Federal Reserve in influencing big banks to consider climate change, racial justice and other societal issues.” 

State House Overwhelmingly Backs Bill to Legalize Cocktails To-Go: KDKA reports that the state House voted 187-14 in favor of permanently legalizing cocktails to-go in Pennsylvania. 

Garrity Among GOP State Treasurers ‘Threatening to Pull Assets’ From Banks if They ‘Decarbonize Their Lending and Investment Portfolios’: Axios reports that Treasurer Stacy Garrity is one of 15 Republican state Treasurers to sign on to a joint letter to U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, threatening to “pull assets from large financial institutions if they agree to decarbonize their lending and investment portfolios.”

Moreno Has Enough Write-in Votes to Be GOP Nominee for Pittsburgh Mayor: WTAE reports that retired police detective Tony Moreno, who launched an unsuccessful campaign for Pittsburgh Mayor in last week’s Democratic Party primary, has enough write-in votes to challenge Democratic nominee state Rep. Ed Gainey in November’s election as the GOP candidate. It is “unclear at this point” if Moreno will accept the GOP nomination and fill out paperwork. 

State Flags Lowered to Half-Staff to Honor Stephen Zappala Sr.: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that the “Pennsylvania flag be flown at half-staff at all state-owned facilities, buildings and ground in honor of Stephen A. Zappala Sr., a former Allegheny County Common Pleas judge and chief justice of the state Supreme Court.”

Barletta To Campaign in 4 Counties on Wednesday: Former Congressman Lou Barletta, who is running for the GOP nomination for PA Governor, will be campaigning in Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties today.

Meuser To Address 2021 PLC: According to a press release, Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne), who is considering a run for Governor in 2022, will speak at the 2021 Pennsylvania Leadership Conference that’s scheduled to take place on June 11-12 at the Radisson Penn Harris Convention Center in Camp Hill. Other potential statewide candidates that are slated to speak at the gathering include Jeff Bartos, Bill McSwain, and state Sen. Doug Mastriano. 

Reading Eagle: ‘Berks County takes steps toward studying merits of creating health department’: The Reading Eagle reports that Berks County has “taken a small step toward investigating the merits of creating a county health department,” on Tuesday when “the commissioners authorized Kelly Laubach, director of contracts and procurement, to prepare a formal request for proposal seeking a professional organization to conduct a study of the delivery of public health services in Berks.”

Lachat Named Reading City Solicitor: The Reading Eagle reports that Frederick T. Lachat III was confirmed by Reading City Council to serve as the city’s solicitor. Lachat has been acting city solicitor since Reading Mayor Eddie Moran fired former City Solicitor Elizabeth Kraft on Feb. 23.  

Mercatoris Named First Director of Allegheny County’s Department of Children Initiatives: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Rebecca “Becky” Mercatoris has been named to serve as the first director of Allegheny County’s new Department of Children Initiatives. 

Bilal Hires El-Shabazz To Be Undersheriff: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal has hired attorney Tariq El-Shabazz to be her undersheriff.

Houlahan Hosts Virtual Student Town Hall with Two Astronauts: The Reading Eagle reports that Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) hosted an online event in which a group of students from Chester and Berks counties were able to ask questions to two astronauts on the International Space Station. 

Mihalek Appointed to Chair Select Committee on the Publication of Constitutional Amendments: According to a release from House Republicans, state Rep. Natalie Mihalek (R-Washington) has been appointed to serve as the chair of the Select Committee on the Publication of Constitutional Amendments. The committee will “complete a study of how constitutional amendments in the Commonwealth are advertised,” according to the release. 

Harrisburg & DC   
Spotlight PA: Newly empowered, Pa. GOP lawmakers move to end parts of Wolf’s coronavirus disaster order 
Spotlight PA: A stark racial divide on vaccinations leaves many at risk as Pa. reopens
AP: Bills to restrict abortion, expand gun rights start in House
AP: State to air report on how it blundered child sex-abuse vote
Inquirer: Pa. GOP lawmaker Doug Mastriano says he left the Capitol area before the riot. New videos say otherwise.
USA Today: Sex abuse survivors ‘stormed out’ of meeting with Majority Leader Kim Ward over stalled bill
USA Today: Abortion fight ramps up in Pa. as Republicans advance pro-life bills. What laws would change
USA Today: A week after the Pa. primary, GOP moves to remove parts of Wolf’s emergency orders
USA Today: A year after George Floyd’s death, Pennsylvanians are still fighting for change
Patriot News: Pa. Sen. Doug Mastriano lashes out at ‘keyboard warriors’ questioning his actions during Capitol riot
Patriot News: At Pennsylvania Capitol, lawmakers and student activists mark anniversary of George Floyd’s death
Patriot News: Pa. Bar Association presents awards for outstanding leadership, service and longstanding membership
Patriot News: Pa. flags ordered to fly at half-staff after death of former Supreme Court chief justice
Patriot News: Only 5 Pa. counties have high spread of COVID-19, as positive test rate drops for 5th week
Patriot News: Pa. reports 42 new COVID-19 deaths: daily update
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ‘We have an obligation’: House Republicans advance bills to restrict reproductive health, expand gun rights 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Empowered by referendum, Harrisburg GOP moves to terminate some — but not all — of Wolf’s pandemic powers 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Substance abuse, alcohol consumption rises during pandemic, state officials say
WHYY Newsworks: New video appears to show State Sen. Mastriano closer to Capitol riot than he said
Axios: Scoop: States warn banks — Drop coal, and we drop you 
City & State PA: GOP lays groundwork to terminate Wolf’s pandemic emergency declaration
PLSReporter: Abortion-restricting bills pass out of House Health Committee
Pittsburgh Business Times: Wolf administration commits $12 million in funding to help communities address blight
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pennsylvania to restart work search requirement for unemployment benefits in July
Post-Gazette: Toomey, Brown spar over Federal Reserve spurring banks to address racial inequalities, climate change
StateImpactPA: Senate Democrats push for greater accountability from natural gas industry
StateImpactPA: State House passes relaxed standards for conventional drillers; Wolf opposes the bill
Delaware Valley Journal: PA Republicans Propose End to “Devastating” Parts of Wolf’s Disaster Declaration
KYW Newsradio: New resolution would end parts of Governor Wolf COVID-19 emergency declaration
KYW Newsradio: Bills that would ban abortion if heartbeat, Down syndrome detected advance in Pa. Legislature
CNHI: House plan would extend part of emergency order
KDKA: State Senate Advances Bill That Would Ban COVID-19 Vaccine Passports In Pennsylvania 
KDKA: Lawmakers In Harrisburg Believe There is No Labor Shortage, Just Workers Who Want To Be Paid More
KDKA: Pennsylvania Congressman Lloyd Smucker Fined $5,000 For Breaking Security Rules At U.S. Capitol 
KDKA: Pennsylvania House Votes 187-14 To Permanently Legalize Cocktails To Go
Politico: Rick Santorum and CNN’s ‘Trumping Heads’ Problem
Huffington Post: Videos Contradict State Lawmaker’s Claim He Left Capitol While It Was ‘Still Peaceful’  

Philly Clout: John Oliver has some thoughts about Chuck Peruto’s Philly DA campaign video
Inquirer: Philadelphia sheriff taps former defense lawyer to be undersheriff
Inquirer: Philly takes over Convention Center mass vaccine site as FEMA withdraws and Delaware offers incentives
Billy Penn: Philly health chief who resigned over MOVE remains to get $2,500 monthly pension 
Billy Penn: Philly debate: Was the 500-foot sandwich actually one giant cheesesteak? 
WHYY Newsworks: Organized labor pushes for racial justice on anniversary of George Floyd’s murder 
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia marks 1 year since George Floyd’s murder
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. coronavirus update: In final COVID briefing, Philly officials track progress, urge vigilance 
KYW Newsradio: New rules for Philly Airbnb operators passed by City Council committee
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia on track for mid-June lifting of COVID-19 restrictions
Philly Voice: One year later: Philadelphia commemorates George Floyd’s legacy

Reading Eagle: Houlahan hosts virtual student town hall with astronauts aboard International Space Station
Bucks County Courier Times: George Floyd anniversary: Bucks County remembers, calls for police reform 
Daily Local News: Commissioners add to Chester County open space 
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County task force to combat child exploitation, human trafficking and find missing children 
Montgomery Media: New coronavirus cases continue to fall in Montgomery County
Bucks Local News: Vaccinations succeeding as Bucks County begins shift to community outreach
Delaware Valley Journal: Dem Outsider Wins Chester Council Primary, Vows to Blog On 
Delaware Valley Journal: Darby Councilman’s Handling of Election Materials Questioned

WTAE: Retired police detective Tony Moreno has enough write-in votes to challenge Ed Gainey in race for Pittsburgh mayor in November
WESA: After Saying He Didn’t Want To Litigate 2020 Election, Parnell Says He Supports Audit Of Pennsylvania Results 
WESA: A Year After George Floyd’s Death, How Has Pittsburgh Policing Changed?
WESA: Fitzgerald Names Director For New Allegheny County Children’s Department 
WESA: Medical Workers Kneel In Memory Of George Floyd, One Year After His Death 
WESA: Survey: More Than 20% Of Southwestern Pennsylvanians Say They Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County picks first head of Department of Children Initiatives
Post-Gazette: State flags lowered for Stephen Zappala Sr., former chief justice of Pa. Supreme Court
Post-Gazette: From Westinghouse Park to UPMC Presby, Pittsburghers remember George Floyd’s death
Post-Gazette: The Latest | COVID-19: Transmission rates drop in Pa.; Allegheny reports just 62 cases 
KDKA: ‘We Need To See Accountability:’ One Year After George Floyd’s Death, Activists Continue To Push For Police Reform 
KDKA: Democratic State Officials Say There Is No Labor Shortage But Wages Need To Be Raised 
KDKA: Pittsburghers Remember George Floyd One Year Later With Memorial Service 
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 62 New Coronavirus Cases
Pittsburgh Business Times: Senate Democrats unveil bills to regulate natural gas drilling further
Tribune Review: Pittsburghers rally to remember George Floyd, others, 1 year after slaying
Tribune Review: Pa. sees 3rd day with new covid cases under 1,000 which last happened in September
City Paper: Pittsburghers honor George Floyd with vigil on the anniversary of his death 
City Paper: After increasing wage to $15 an hour, Klavon’s says all positions are filled, morale is up, and prices haven’t been raised 

Beaver County Times: Shapiro, lawmakers tout new batch of fracking oversight bills
Observer-Reporter: COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Pennsylvania, region
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Vaccine access expands, Infection rate lowest since Oct. 10
Altoona Mirror: Council weighs options for rescue funds

Times-Tribune: Dominion Voting Systems VP faces angry GOP voters, takes blame for Luzerne County ballot saga
Times-Tribune: Write-in votes set up race for Scranton tax collector in November
Times-Tribune: Scranton City Council holds first in-person meeting since March 2020
Times-Tribune: State funding making dozens of community projects possible
Times-Tribune: Feasibility study finds $304.8 million in repairs needed across Scranton School District
The Times Leader: Cause of Luzerne County ballot mislabeling identified
The Times Leader: 16 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Tuesday; 1 death
Citizens Voice: Less than 20 new COVID-19 cases reported in county

South Central  
Patriot News: At Pennsylvania Capitol, lawmakers and student activists mark anniversary of George Floyd’s death
Patriot News: Harrisburg schools names Pa. First Lady’s chief of staff to vacant board of directors position
York Daily Record: Lloyd Smucker fined for ‘disregarding’ House security screening, bypassing metal detectors 
York Dispatch: Study to measure York City’s Group Violence Initiative might be delayed
York Dispatch: Tuesday update: One new COVID-19 death reported in York County
Carlisle Sentinel: Carlisle Borough, Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority break ground on project for first-time homebuyers
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 16 new cases of COVID-19 for Cumberland County Tuesday
LNP | LancasterOnline: A look at Plerus, the election mail vendor Lancaster County wants to replace after ballot errors
LNP | LancasterOnline: Penn Square demonstrators honor George Floyd a year after his death

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Court orders Allentown to pay nearly $100,000 to police officer who claimed he was transferred in retaliation for support of Pawlowski opponent
Morning Call: A suspended driver’s license is a major barrier to finding a job. Lehigh County public defenders want to change that
Morning Call: The Morning Call, rest of Tribune Publishing’s newspapers now owned by hedge fund Alden; CEO Jimenez is out
Morning Call: Public weighs in during first meeting on Bethlehem pedestrian bridge
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Third day under 1,000 cases, as Northampton joins Lehigh with ’moderate’ transmission rate
Reading Eagle: Houlahan hosts virtual student town hall with astronauts aboard International Space Station
Reading Eagle: Berks County takes steps toward studying merits of creating health department
Reading Eagle: Reading confirms a new city solicitor; City Council debates its need for a lawyer
Reading Eagle: Decision to pay Berks poll workers with debit cards instead of checks causes problems
Reading Eagle: Pa. drops petitions against restaurants that violated COVID rules, including some in Berks
Reading Eagle: About 190,000 Berks County residents so far are part of the COVID vaccination process
WFMZ: Local lawmakers weigh in on vaccine passport bill
WFMZ: Berks considers opening county health department
WFMZ: Fred Lachat appointed as new Reading city solicitor
WFMZ: Local lawmakers, activists reflect on progress made in year since George Floyd’s death
WFMZ: Nursing home employees across Pa. take to the streets, call for better protections for residents
WFMZ: Senator Schwank announces major new funding
Express Times: Easton nursing home workers join statewide picket for better pay, staffing

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Video replay: George Floyd anniversary vigil held at Perry Square in Erie
Erie Times-News: Erie County’s COVID-19 cases decline, but hospitalizations remain steady
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City councilwoman: Public safety building ‘a dream and a goal’

Donna Bullock and Rick Krajewski: We’ve lived the pain of separation from incarcerated loved ones. Pa. can do better for families.
Jeff Haste: American jobs and energy at stake under new infrastructure plan 
Paul Muschick: We’re on honor system with masks, but not everyone is honorable
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Parents: Heed pediatricians, not politicians or social media, on immunization. And lawmakers: Do no harm.
Bruce Ledewitz: Those constitutional amendments were aimed at the Pa. Supreme Court as much as they were at Wolf 
Will Bunch Newsletter: Will a Philly billionaire elect NYC’s next mayor?
Jon Geeting: Is Almost Getting Amazon HQ2 The Next Best Thing? 
John L. Micek: Poll: Majorities of Pa. voters support Biden’s ‘Build Back’ agenda | Wednesday Morning Coffee 
Kelsey Beerer and Luke McDaniels: What businesses need to know about Philadelphia’s ban on pre-employment marijuana testing
Solomon Jones: George Floyd’s family carries the pain of all the Black families who came before them 
Robert I. Field: Why some businesses need vaccine passports and others don’t: Let the market decide
Ira Harkavy and Rita A. Hodges: Change universities to change capitalism
Ryan Stelly: Why it’s so hard to stop disinformation such as QAnon conspiracies
Roxanne Patel Sheplavy: Keep The Momentum Of Change Going 
Sharon Clinton: One Year From An Execution 
Seth Berger: The End of Race? 
Trudy Rubin: Punish Belarus leader for Ryanair hijacking before air piracy becomes dictators’ new tool

3 Responses

  1. Mastriano LIES as to his whereabouts on 1/6/2021. Caught on
    Capitol grounds in photos.

    1. Good point. The political far right is a LOSER in Pa for Gov. There is no way these zealots win. They lost with Scott Wagner and they will lose with another Trumper. The R’s that could win are downed out by the zealots in the right wing. Until Trump recedes from power the R’s will struggle at Gov.

  • 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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