May 28th Playbook

An internal poll from state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s campaign shows him with a narrow-lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary over former Congressman Lou Barletta, while nearly 50% remain undecided. Here is the Playbook. 

Mastriano Poll: Mastriano 19%, Barletta 16%, Undecided 49%: The Pennsylvania State Senator narrowly leads the GOP field for Governor, with half of voters undecided.

Inky Reports on PA Primary Process: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “The Pennsylvania primary showed that running elections is complicated — and so is changing election law.”

Toomey Offers Nearly $1 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Sen. Pat Toomey, and three other top Senate Republicans, unveiled “an infrastructure offer of $928 billion over eight years, bringing their top-line figure closer to President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan.”

Philly Clout Details ESPN Story About Specter, Trump and Spygate: Philly Clout highlights the ESPN report about how “Trump in 2008 reportedly told Specter’s father, then-U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, “there’d be a lot of money in Palm Beach” if he dropped his push to examine the NFL’s controversial handling of the Patriots’ 2007 “Spygate” scandal.”

City & State PA’s Biggest Winners & Losers This Week: City & State PA highlights the three winners and losers in Pennsylvania politics this week.  

Dems Push Back Against Anti-Abortion Legislation: City & State PA reports that Democrats in the state are pushing back on “anti-abortion legislation” after “The state took the first step towards restricting abortion this week with the passing of three pro-life bills out of the House Health Committee.”  

DePasquale ‘Strongly Considering’ Challenging Perry Again: The York Dispatch reports that Eugene DePasquale, the former two-term state Auditor General who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 10th Congressional District in 2020, is considering challenging Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) again in 2022. PoliticsPA reported last week about DePasquale floating a bid for the 10th Congressional District in 2022. 

Rhynhart ‘Rips’ Kenney’s Plans for Federal Recovery Dollars: WHYY reports that “Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has critiqued Mayor Jim Kenney’s plans to spend billions of federal relief funds in a new report calling for more transparency and an alternative set of budget priorities.”

Morning Call Breaks Down Tuerk’s Victory in Allentown Dem Mayoral Primary: The Allentown Morning Call details Matt Tuerk’s victory in the “competitive Allentown Democratic mayoral primary.”  

Bucks County Courier Times: ‘Arkoosh tweet takes on Pennsylvania GOP pro-life bill on fetal remains’: The Bucks County Courier Times reports that “Montgomery County Commissioner Chairwoman Val Arkoosh, who is running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, sparked online controversy this week over what critics say is misleading information,” about House Bill 118. 

Inky: ‘Philly moved toward new police oversight as a report said the current system is in ‘dire need’ of overhaul’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia will soon have a new police oversight body after City Council approved legislation Thursday to create a system that would replace an existing commission long criticized for lacking the power or funding to provide effective oversight.”

Schember ‘Locks Up’ Erie Mayor’s Race with GOP Write-in Votes: The Erie Times-News reports that “Republican write-in votes have all but sealed a reelection victory in November for Democratic Erie Mayor Joe Schember.” 

Casey Talks Infrastructure Proposal with CNN: Sen. Bob Casey talked to CNN’s Jim Sciutto about the GOP’s infrastructure counteroffer, which he called a “non-starter.”

Kenyatta Announces U.S. Senate Campaign Co-Chairs: According to a press release, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) announced his U.S. Senate campaign chairs which include state Reps. Jessica Benham (D-Allegheny) and Nancy Guenst (D-Montgomery), President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Jerry Jordan, former Chief Defender of the Defenders Association Keir Bradford Grey, and activist and organizer Adrian Shanker.

Barnette To Talk to Hannity on Friday Night: Kathy Barnette, a veteran and conservative commentator who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in PA, will be on Sean Hannity’s show tonight on Fox News, according to a fundraising email from her campaign. Barnette was the GOP nominee for PA’s 4th Congressional District in 2020, but lost to Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) by 19 points. 

Fitzpatrick and Lamb to Introduce Bipartisan Bills Addressing COVID-19: Jacqui Heinrich, congressional correspondent for Fox News, reports that Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) will be introducing a pair of “significant bipartisan bills” on Friday morning in the House addressing COVID. The first bill, “Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act” is being introduced by Fitzpatrick and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). The second bill, the “Never Again International Outbreak Prevention Act,” is being introduced by Fitzpatrick and Lamb, which “allows stripping sovereign immunity from countries misleading int’l community on health concern leading to pandemic. US citizens can bring suits against foreign nations,” according to Heinrich. 

FP4A Endorses Wild for Reelection: Foreign Policy for America, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan advocacy organization working to strengthen support for principled American engagement in the world,” announced it’s endorsement for Rep. Susan Wild’s (D-Lehigh) reelection bid. Wild joins five other endorsed Democratic candidates, including Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), who are being backed by the group. 

Clean Water Action Endorses Gainey for Pittsburgh Mayor: According to a press release from state Rep. Ed Gainey’s campaign for Mayor of Pittsburgh, he has been endorsed by Clean Water Action, “a leading Environmental Advocacy organization in Pennsylvania.” Clean Water Action backed Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto during the Democratic Party primary. 

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pennsylvania to lift mask mandate June 28, at latest
Inquirer: The Pennsylvania primary showed that running elections is complicated — and so is changing election law
Inquirer: Pennsylvania mask mandate will lift by June 28
Patriot News: Tempers flare as child sex abuse reform bill stalls in Pa. Senate; victims demand a vote 
Patriot News: Pa. to end mask order June 28 or when 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first
Patriot News: Pennsylvania Lottery beats casinos in online gambling turf fight
Patriot News: Sheetz will start to accept digital currency payments this summer
Patriot News: Pennsylvania state parks are packed for the Memorial Day weekend
Patriot News: Pa. reports 40 new deaths: COVID-19 update
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Garrity joins GOP state treasurers warning banks that dump fossil fuels
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: On track to achieve vaccine benchmark, Pa. plans to lift mask mandate by June 28
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Duolingo founder, a Pittsburgher and immigrant, puts his app to work fighting illiteracy in Central America 
Post-Gazette: Toomey, GOP senators offer White House nearly $1 trillion deal on infrastructure
WITF: Pennsylvania Mask-Wearing Order To Be Lifted By End Of June
City & State PA: This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
City & State PA: Democrats push back against anti-abortion legislation
PLSReporter: Garrity joins state treasurers warning Biden admin, banks against divesting from fossil fuels
PLSReporter: Abortion rights supporters turn concerns to gubernatorial race
USA Today: Abortion fight in Pa.: Wolf says ‘politics do not belong in a doctor’s office’
USA Today: Pa. business owners join Wolf in push to raise ’embarrassingly low’ minimum wage to $15
WHYY Newsworks: Pennsylvania to lift face mask mandate by the end of June
WHYY Newsworks: Increase incentives, and go door to door, to reach undervaccinated communities, Pa. lawmakers say
CNHI: Officials lobby to loosen public notice requirements
KYW Newsradio: 10 down; 40 to go: Pennsylvania hits Biden’s COVID-19 goal of 70% of adults vaccinated
York Daily Record: Pennsylvania will eliminate its COVID-19 mask requirements by June 28, health officials say 
Morning Call: Pennsylvania mask mandate will be lifted June 28 or when 70% of adults fully vaccinated, whichever comes first
Huffington Post: Foster Friess, Prominent GOP Donor, Dies At 81
Pittsburgh Business Times: Why Pa.’s waiting until Monday to lift Covid restrictions  

Philly Clout: The story about Donald Trump, Arlen Specter, and the Patriots that set the internet ablaze
Inquirer: Philly moved toward new police oversight as a report said the current system is in ‘dire need’ of overhaul
Inquirer: Vaccinations have hit a key threshold across Pa., but still lag in Philly and some rural counties 
Inquirer: Philly court rules that some sheriff’s sales can resume
WHYY Newsworks: Philly controller report rips Mayor Kenney’s plans for federal recovery dollars
WHYY Newsworks: ‘Monumental leap’: Philly Council passes bill establishing new police oversight board
WHYY Newsworks: Philly data breach that impacted health employee emails also hit other departments
Philadelphia Citizen: Watch: The Future Of Restaurants  
KYW Newsradio: New police oversight commission approved by City Council
KYW Newsradio: Philly council bill offers $50 gift or utility credit for COVID-19 vaccinations
Philadelphia Magazine: Poor Philadelphia Neighborhoods Have Worse Access to Public Parks
Philadelphia Tribune: Top police brass concerned about escalating levels of violence this summer
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania to lift COVID-19 mask mandate ahead of Fourth of July
Philly Voice: Amid rising gun violence, Philly police increase patrols for Memorial Day weekend
Philadelphia Business Journal: Former Philadelphia parks and rec official sentenced for mail fraud, embezzlement

Bucks County Courier Times: Arkoosh tweet takes on Pennsylvania GOP pro-life bill on fetal remains
Doylestown Patch: Bucks Senators’ ‘Upskirt’ Legislation Passes PA Senate
Daily Local News: Water main break near pipeline leaves hundreds without water
Daily Local News: Restore Chester County survey reveals community confidence level in returning to summer and fall events and activities
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County records 29 new coronavirus cases, no new deaths in daily report
Bucks Local News: 70 percent of Pennsylvanian’s 18 and older have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine; end of mask mandate nears
Pottstown Mercury: Montgomery County students hold town hall with legislators

Tribune Review: Allegheny County lifts mask requirements for its fully vaccinated employees
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh Public Schools form committee to advise board about $100M federal covid cash
Tribune Review: As covid vaccinations continue, Pennsylvania and Allegheny, Westmoreland counties see fewer cases
KDKA: Cranberry Beer Store Under Fire On Social Media For Dr. Rachel Levine Sign Some Call Transphobic
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports Under 50 New Cases
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh to receive $17,500 in state funding to tackle city-owned, blighted Homewood properties
Post-Gazette: The Latest | COVID-19: Mask mandates ending soon; Is it safe for the family to go to the pool?
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania to lift mask mandate by June 28
Pittsburgh Business Times: County lifts mask requirements in its offices for fully vaccinated
City Paper: Pittsburgh set to open some public pools, if they can find enough lifeguards

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria commissioners approve near $1.3 million in bids for airport improvements
Observer-Reporter: State System sets public hearings on university mergers
Observer-Reporter: Pennsylvania to lift COVID-19 mask mandate next month

Citizens Voice: Local Dems push for Biden’s proposed American Families Plan
Citizens Voice: Wilkes-Barre mayor wants funding for Mill Creek levee study
Citizens Voice: County council approves tax break for Northpoint commercial project
Citizens Voice: State to lift mask mandate by June 28
Times-Tribune: Sheetz to begin accepting cryptocurrency 
Times-Tribune: State masking requirements may disappear before end of June
The Times Leader: Senate committee advances bill to prevent dependent care sexual assault
The Times Leader: Gov. Wolf, legislators, business owners call for minimum wage increase
The Times Leader: 21 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Thursday; 1 death

South Central 
York Dispatch: DePasquale ‘strongly considering’ a second challenge to Rep. Perry
York Dispatch: With no end in sight for Mount Rose project, lawmakers say their hands are tied
York Dispatch: Thursday update: One new COVID-19 death reported in York County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Here’s when the mask mandate will be fully lifted in PA
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in Cumberland County

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: How Matt Tuerk won the competitive Allentown Democratic mayoral primary
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: 941 additional cases as CDC reports 70% of state’s adults at least partially vaccinated
Reading Eagle: Reading police say 171 guns were taken off the streets during the first 100 days of Operation Cease Fire
Reading Eagle: Mask mandate in Pa. will be lifted by June 28
Reading Eagle: Berks County adds 27 COVID cases as 3 more deaths are reported
WFMZ: Rep. Freeman announces over $429,000 award for projects in Hellertown, West Easton
WFMZ: Operation Ceasefire launched 100 days ago, shows signs of success
Express Times: Local health networks waste COVID vaccine doses at lower rates than Pa. as a whole 
Express Times: Pennsylvania will lift mask order by June 28 at the latest

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Double win: Schember, Dem incumbent, locks up mayor’s race with GOP nod via write-ins
Erie Times-News: Erie City Hall, closed during pandemic, to reopen Tuesday with new security measures 
Erie Times-News: Erie health officials: COVID-19 is ‘still very much here’ despite fewer restrictions
Centre Daily Times: Patton Township is the latest Centre County municipality to rescind COVID-19 regulations
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Will increased consolidation lead to more regionalization?
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Mayor issues statement on shootings
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: County lifts mask mandate for government facilities

Paul Muschick: It’s time for Pennsylvania legislators to stop accepting gifts such as conferences in the Bahamas
Paul Muschick: If I owned a restaurant, here’s why I’d open at 100% today instead of Monday when Gov. Wolf lifts restrictions
John Baer: Memorial Day is a time to remember; we should do that in the broadest sense 
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Sen. Toomey, please vote for a Jan. 6 commission. Our democracy depends on the truth.
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Bringing help to those who need it most
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Incremental step toward necessary student debt relief
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Ten more dead, this time in San Jose; Action needed now on gun control
Inquirer Staff: Opinion submission guidelines: Op-eds, commentary and letters to the editor | Philadelphia Inquirer
Lynn Weidner: How we all benefit if home care workers are paid fairly
Phil Gianficaro: Holocaust educator from Bucks says Rep. Greene is all wrong
Tony Norman: Is this the kind of country we want to be?
Will Bunch: Could we prevent the next Jan. 6 by allowing 16-year-olds to vote? 
Mary Adamson: Exhausted, traumatized nurses are still fighting, even as COVID-19 cases decline | Expert Opinion
Tara Nurin: Philly beer scene’s #MeToo reckoning has been a long time coming
Trudy Rubin: ‘Don’t give up on us.’ Afghan girls and women in grave danger when U.S. troops leave

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