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November 30: Perry’s Secret Text Messages

Rep. Scott Perry

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What We’re Hearing
Rep. Scott Perry was directed to furnish disputed records that include “communications with Reps. Mike Jones, Dawn Keefer, Seth Grove, and staff in that legislative body, and Pennsylvania State Senate Members Cris Dush, Kristin Phillips-Hill, and Doug Mastriano.”

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Cake and candles for Rep. Jonathan Fritz and Sen. Tracy Pennycuick.

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Top Story

1. Unsealed Ruling Details Perry’s Tireless Work For Trump’s 2020 Cause

“There may have been another Congressman who worked harder than U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to try to help former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to cling to power despite his 2020 electoral defeat by Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

But we’d like to see the proof.

Because a freshly-unsealed opinion from a U.S. District Court judge on Perry’s efforts to block federal investigators from searching the contents of his cellphone in their investigation of Trump’s post-election activities paints a picture of a lawmaker working on all fronts to help the former president’s cause.” (PennLive)


Court Filing Reveals Rep. Scott Perry’s Vast Web Of Contacts In Bid To Reverse 2020 Election. “A federal appeals court on Wednesday released previously secret text messages from Perry — only to remove them from the public docket later in the day.” (POLITICO)

Smucker Urges Congress To Create Bipartisan Commission To Tackle National Debt. “U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker on Wednesday testified before a House committee in support of forming a bipartisan commission to recommend policies that would help remedy the national debt, which reached $33.8 trillion this week.” (LNP)

Casey and Fetterman Back Proposed Nursing Home Staffing Rules As PA Industry Objects. “The federal government has proposed new staffing rules for nursing homes — including requiring registered nurses to be on site 24 hours a day —  a proposal that has drawn the support of Pennsylvania’s two U.S. senators but opposition from the state’s nursing home industry.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Urge Justice Dept. To Investigate Water Utility Hack. “A group of House and Senate lawmakers from Pennsylvania are asking the U.S. Justice Department to open an investigation into a recent hack of a water utility in their home state, conducted by an Iran-linked cyber gang.” (POLITICO)



2. Changes Coming to Pennsylvania Mail Ballot Envelopes

Revised 2024 PA Mail Ballot Envelope

Sam Cooke once sang, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Of course, the late crooner had no idea that 60 years later, his tune could be applied to mail election ballot envelopes in the Keystone State.

The Pennsylvania Department of State announced on Wednesday that it is refining its mail ballot materials in time for the 2024 primary election.” (PoliticsPA)


Citizens Alliance Aims To Increase Republicans’ Mail-In Voting Results in PA. “Citizens Alliance launched an initiative dubbed “Pennsylvania Chase” on Wednesday to increase Republicans’ 2024 mail-in voting results in Pennsylvania.” (PoliticsPA)

Stranded Legislation: PA Lawmakers In Both Chambers Lament Lack Of Consensus. “Bipartisan bills passed between the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate have languished without action this session.” (Penn Capital-Star)

With Generous Benefits, PA Lawmakers Could Be Second Best Compensated In Nation. “The base salary of Pennsylvania’s 253 state legislators is the third highest in the nation behind New York and California, but when benefits are added, it likely pushes them into second place.” (PennLive)

Pennsylvania Women: ‘We Need Better Access To Birth Control’ “With employer-provided insurance no longer required to cover birth control, many in Pennsylvania are suffering and struggling to pay for necessary medical care. ” (The Keystone)

What’s It Like For PA Republicans of Color in the Trump Era? “What is it like for Republicans of color in the era of Donald Trump? They certainly aren’t hiding in the political shadows.” (DV Journal)


Around The Commonwealth

3. PA Legislature Paid $280K To Settle Harassment, Other Claims While Requiring Secrecy In Many Cases

“The Pennsylvania legislature has quietly paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past five years to settle sexual harassment and other claims against lawmakers and staffers, Spotlight PA has learned through open records requests. 

Many of the settlements include controversial secrecy clauses and other provisions that prevent public disclosure of the agreement.” (Spotlight PA)


Innamorato Announces Transition Team. “Allegheny County Executive-Elect Sara Innamorato announced that nearly 200 esteemed and diverse leaders from Allegheny County will join her transition, helping to shape “All In Allegheny.” (PoliticsPA)

HD-140: Prokopiak Announces Bid For Galloway Seat. “Levittown attorney and Pennsbury School Board member Jim Prokopiak has announced his candidacy for the 140th Legislative District seat to be vacated by Rep. John Galloway in the next few weeks.” (PoliticsPA)

Big Pharma Is ‘Reeling’ Over The Inflation Reduction Act. Now A Philly-Area Drugmaker Is Fighting Back. “Merck has filed a lawsuit alleging the Inflation Reduction Act’s pharmaceutical price negotiation program for Medicare amounts to extortion and violates the U.S. Constitution.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

‘A Year Of Success’: State And City Leaders Celebrate Land Bank’s Progress After A Decade Of False Starts. “A lineup of elected officials gathered Wednesday on the North Side to celebrate the success of Pittsburgh’s long-struggling land bank and tout a new law that aims to revitalize vacant and abandoned homes across Pennsylvania.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

DA Executes Search Warrant On Washington County Coroner. “Four state police troopers and another four county detectives executed a search warrant at the Washington County coroner’s office Tuesday morning to retrieve investigative files used in last month’s inquest into a police shooting that left a motorist dead.” (Washington Observer-Reporter)



4. What They’re Saying

  • Local Politics Becoming ‘Savage,’ Campaigns Must Focus On Values, Policy Instead. (Jim Wertz)
  • Want Accountability From The PA Legislature? Good Luck. (John Baer)
  • Community Colleges Latest Pawns In Harrisburg Educational Chess Game. (Tribune-Review)
  • Mail-In Voting Is Killing Us. (Guy Ciarrocchi)
  • The 12 Quirkiest Holiday Traditions In The Philly Region. (Stephanie Farr)
  • Time To Move On Fracking Safety Measures. (Molly Parzen)
  • Is 2024 The Year For A Third-Party Candidate To Break Through With Dissatisfied Voters? (David Winston)
  • Right About Unions. (George Hofmann)
  • PA Must Adopt Clear, Sustainable Plan To Address Unconstitutional School Funding. (Aaron Chapin)


1 Thing

5. Ping Pong Politics

And the winner is.....

“It was numbered ping pong balls at high noon Wednesday in a public meeting in the basement of the Crawford County Courthouse.

The Crawford County Board of Elections used them to settle more than two dozen tied votes from write-ins in municipal races from the Nov. 7 election. Resolution of the tied votes was done publicly in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Election Code in the courthouse’s assembly room.” (Meadville Tribune)


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One Response

  1. It would be nice if you told us WHAT changes will be made to PA mail-in election ballots. Hopefully, eliminating the requirement to date them is among them.


  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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