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October 15th Playbook

State Sen. Bob Mensch announced that he won’t run for reelection in 2022. Here is the Playbook. 


‘Bob Mensch retiring from state senate at end of term’: The Reporter reports that “State Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24th, announced on Thursday he plans not to run for reelection after his current term ends in 2023.”

‘A full guide to Pennsylvania’s 2021 Supreme Court election and other appellate judicial races’: Spotlight PA reports that “on Nov. 2, voters statewide will have the opportunity to choose a new justice for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as well as judges for two other powerful appellate courts. And the stakes are significant.” 

‘A basic guide to vetting your local candidates in Pennsylvania’s 2021 school board elections’: Spotlight PA reports that “school board races across Pennsylvania are receiving an unusually high level of attention this fall because of the extreme views of many candidates.”

‘Senate candidate Sean Parnell lost his bid for a sweeping gag order against his estranged wife’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “a judge has denied Sean Parnell’s request for an expansive gag order against his estranged wife and her attorney, though the judge did seal some parts of the ongoing custody fight that has roiled Parnell’s campaign for U.S. Senate.”

‘Josh Shapiro has a short list of potential picks he might endorse as a running mate’: Philly Clout reports that “a Democrat familiar with discussions under way say state Attorney General Josh Shapiro is looking for a running mate with “different life experiences.” Three members of the state House made the list.”

‘GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Bartos touts war chest against Trump-backed opponent Parnell’: Fox News reports that “Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Jeff Bartos’ campaign highlighted its $2.5 million cash on hand against Trump-endorsed opponent Sean Parnell in the closely watched Republican primary for retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat.”

‘How a Pennsylvania state senator helped fuel Trump’s election lies’: CNN reports that “Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano went out of his way to help advance former President Donald Trump‘s election lies.”

‘Capital-Star Q+A: Gov. candidate Jason Monn thinks Harrisburg needs an everyman’: Jason Monn, who is running for the GOP nomination for Governor, talked with the Pennsylvania Capital-Star for a Q&A about his campaign. 

‘Never heard of Pennsylvania Western University? You soon will.’: PennLive reports that “three Pennsylvania state universities slated for consolidation next year are getting a new name. The trio of merging schools – California University, Clarion University and Edinboro University – will be called Pennsylvania Western University.”

‘Pa. Medicaid abortion case heads to state Supreme Court’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “Pennsylvania’s highest court will hear a 2019 case challenging the state Medical Assistance Program’s ban on abortion coverage.”

‘Will my Pa. mail-in ballot be returned if it lacks enough stamps? Here’s what you need to know’: PennLive reports on “what you need to know” about mail-in ballots for November’s election.

‘Pa. state universities request historic investment of $550 million’: PennLive reports that “Pennsylvania’s state university system is seeking a historic investment from the commonwealth to help meet the state’s workforce and economic development goals, while reducing the cost of a degree.”

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

‘Want to know more about planned tolls on I-83/South Bridge? Check out these public meetings’: PennLive reports that “more information about the proposed tolling of I-83/South Bridge in Harrisburg and the potential impacts on the surrounding communities will be presented to the public over the next month.”

‘Communities of color want to be ‘stewards,’ not ‘victims’ of state redistricting plans’: WESA reports that “touting census data that shows a strong uptick in Pennsylvania’s non-white population, representatives from some of Pennsylvania’s communities of color say new political boundaries should give them a chance for stronger representation in Harrisburg.”

‘Pennsylvania AG Shapiro vows to use ‘veto pen’ to protect state if elected governor’: MSNBC reports that “Thursday in Pennsylvania, where Republicans are trying to obtain private personal information on all 7 million state voters for an investigation, Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a motion to have the courts block them. Shapiro joins Joy Reid in his first national interview since announcing his run for Pennsylvania governor on Wednesday.”

‘Some Democrats call for halt to Mariner East following charges, but don’t expect action from legislature’: StateImpactPA reports that “the top Democrat on the state senate’s environmental committee says the legislature likely won’t take any action on pipeline safety.”

‘Attorney General Josh Shapiro Files Motion Seeking To Stop Subpoena For Pennsylvania Voters’ Information’: KDKA reports that “Attorney General Josh Shapiro has filed a motion calling on the Commonwealth Court to strike down a subpoena seeking Pennsylvania voters’ personal information.”

‘Philadelphia deputy mayor testifies in Dougherty, Henon trial’: KYW Newsradio reports that “in the federal corruption trial of labor leader John Dougherty and Councilmember Bobby Henon, prosecutors switched the focus back to Dougherty on Thursday, calling on Rich Lazer, the Philadelphia deputy mayor for labor, to testify.”

‘John Dougherty and Bobby Henon Trial: Day-by-day updates’: The Philadelphia Inquirer provides “daily updates on the federal trial of labor leader John J. Dougherty and Philadelphia City Councilmember Bobby Henon.”

‘Philly City Council approves ‘Driving Equality Bill’ that bans traffic stops for low-level offenses’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia is the first large U.S. city to enact legislation aimed at curtailing the use of pretextual stops for low-level infractions, which disproportionately have targeted Black drivers.”

‘Q&A: Allentown mayoral candidates on crime, gentrification and quality of life in the Queen City’: The Allentown Morning Call reports on “the candidates’ thoughts and plans on some issues on Allentown voters’ minds, according to an informal Morning Call survey: crime, quality of life and nuisance issues, and housing/gentrification. Responses have been edited for clarity and length.”

‘Democratic incumbent will face Trump-supporting GOP candidate in the Northampton County executive race’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “Northampton County voters will see a stark contrast between the two executive candidates when they fill out their ballots in the November election.”

‘Josh Shapiro will visit Allentown on Friday fresh off his gubernatorial announcement’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “two days after formally entering next year’s gubernatorial race, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will make one of his first campaign stops in Allentown Friday.”

‘Here are the community groups getting the first $2 million of Philly grants to combat gun violence’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Philadelphia announced $2.2 million in grants Thursday for antiviolence programs at five community organizations, the first money awarded from a new $22 million program to help address the city’s gun violence crisis.”

‘A Bucks County dad angered by COVID-19 closures gave $500,000 to school board candidates. Critics say it’s fueling ‘toxic’ politics.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “schools around the region opened in person this fall. But across Pennsylvania, hundreds of candidates are now running for school board seats backed by Paul Martino.”

‘PGN celebrates 45 years of activism with historical marker unveiling’: The Philadelphia Gay News reports that “a state historical marker recognizing Philadelphia Gay News was unveiled October 13 at the site of PGN’s first office, 233 S. 13th Street.”

‘Berks County official proposes paying postage for mailed ballots’: The Reading Eagle reports that “a Berks County commissioner has proposed that the county pay all postage for mail-in ballots in future elections. The county found out this week that the latest ballots will be too heavy for a single stamp this time, and will pay the postage.”

‘DCNR Secretary visits Delaware Canal State Park in Bucks to highlight need for new funding’: The Bucks Local News reports that “Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn made two stops at the Delaware Canal State Park in Bucks County on Tuesday to highlight the infrastructure needs of the park and the Delaware & Lehigh Trail, a part of which runs the length of the Delaware Canal.”

‘Bucks County Board of Elections confiscates mock ballot drop box in Bristol Borough’: The Bucks Local News reports that “the Bucks County Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 13 was made aware of, and immediately removed from Bristol Borough Hall, a mock ballot drop box that had been used previously as a “dancing drop box” costume.”

‘Got mail-in ballot questions? The Bucks County Board of Elections has answers’: The Bucks Local News reports that “mail-in and absentee ballots have gone out, ballot drop boxes are going up and Bucks County’s first municipal election with mail-in voting is underway.”

‘Pittsburgh’s affordable housing wins big (again) in the competition for state money’: WESA reports that “three affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh will receive important state funding, the city announced on Thursday.”

‘Scott Township may consider ordinance on political signs’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “commissioners in Scott Township are considering creating an ordinance governing the posting of political signs.”

‘Natural gas prices are soaring. Why is production flat?’: The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that “despite higher natural gas prices and a market hungry for more to deal with coming winter shortages here and abroad, the region’s natural gas drillers — and producers all over the country — have barely stepped up the level of drilling to meet demand.”

‘Former Steelers reporter turned anti-eviction advocate is running for constable; wants to reform the little-known Pennsylvania position’: Pittsburgh City Paper reports that “Constable races rarely attract attention, yet alone multiple candidates, but this year in Pittsburgh’s 6th ward, a very intriguing candidate is running for the job.”

‘Biden signs September 11th Memorial Trail into law’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “a new looped trail was signed into law Wednesday that memorializes the victims of 9/11 and runs through the heart of Blair County. Legislation for the September 11th National Memorial Trail was signed by President Joe Biden Wednesday morning, and several area trail pioneers were in attendance to see their dreams become a reality.”

‘University of Scranton center aims to increase ethics, decrease corruption in NEPA governments’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “the school officially opened its Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service on Thursday, aiming to develop competent government officials and to train local residents on how to hold those officials accountable.”

‘Former C&Y director pleads guilty to child endangerment, obstruction’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that “Former Luzerne County Children & Youth director Joanne Van Saun pleaded guilty to child endangerment and obstruction offenses related to failing to investigate hundreds of reports of child abuse and neglect cases and covering up the cases with false reports.”

‘Harrisburg mayor promotes use of federal funds to rebuild city’s aging swimming pools’: PennLive reports that “Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse fleshed out his proposal Thursday to use a portion of the federal pandemic relief dollars flowing into City Hall for a wholesale reconstruction of the city’s two aging public swimming pools into something that would look and feel more like modern-day water parks.”

‘Cumberland County reminds voters to place correct postage on mail-in, absentee ballots’: PennLive reports that “the Cumberland County Bureau of Elections reminds residents who are voting by mail-in or absentee ballot for the municipal election on Nov. 2 to ensure the correct postage is affixed to their envelope when using the United States Postal Service for delivery.”

‘West Chester mayoral forum set for Monday’: The Daily Local News reports that “all three candidates for mayor of West Chester will meet for a candidate forum organized by the Chester County League of Women Voters,, Monday, October 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Borough Hall, 401 E. Gay Street.”

‘A federal grant will put new technology in the hands of Allentown police for crisis communications and traffic safety’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “the Allentown Police Department will get an infusion of cash from the Department of Justice to address crisis communications and traffic safety.”

‘6 running for commissioner in Whitehall Township, where nearly $78,000 went missing from treasurer’s office’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “money — specifically how nearly $80,000 went missing in 2019, how the township should make up for losses during the coronavirus pandemic, and how to provide the safest firefighting services — is driving six candidates for the Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners.”

‘Berks County needs poll workers for the election’: The Reading Eagle reports that “Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt said the county is in dire need of poll workers at a handful of precincts in Muhlenberg Township, Kutztown, Topton and Reading.”

‘Berks County commissioner says mail-in ballots will reach destination, regardless of postage’: WFMZ reports that “Berks County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt assured county residents making use of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 2 general election that ballots will be returned to the county.”

‘Allentown continues discussions about how to spend ARP funds’: WFMZ reports that “Allentown City Council held its second special meeting Wednesday night to determine how to spend American Rescue Plan funds.”

‘Pa. Health Dept: More than 5,200 new COVID-19 cases; 70% of Pa. adults vaccinated’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 5,253 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth on Thursday, up from Wednesday’s tally of 5,012 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to  more than 1.49 million since the start of the pandemic.”

John Baer: Boring Pa. judicial elections are back – but voters shouldn’t snooze on them 
Kevin Sabet: PA Cannabis Legalization Will Have Dire Consequences
Michael Smerconish: Who wants these jobs? This year has proven that being a school board member is truly thankless.
Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania mail voting surprise: Some ballots require extra postage
Sal Panto: State fireworks law is unenforceable, expensive and irresponsible
Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania needs more volunteer firefighters. Here’s a plan that could help
John L. Micek: How a suburban Pa. school board race became a Trumpian battleground | Thursday Morning Coffee
Larry Platt: What The Fight Over The Columbus Statue Is Really About  
Larry Platt: How Good Development is Reshaping Philly 
Larry Platt: Diversity For The Win
Melissa Weiler Gerber: We’re failing our workers: Pa. needs paid family & medical leave 
Sandi Shaffer: A Mom’s journey through Pa.’s direct support professional crisis
Inquirer Editorial Board: As City Council crafts Philly’s redistricting plan, transparency, public input are crucial 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Will the Southern Beltway be worth it? The bar is high
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: A malaria vaccine at last
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Pittsburgh’s Nobel connection
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: We all must play a role in making Instagram a safer, healthier space for children 
Salena Zito: Small-town America rolls out the welcome mat year-round
Vishal Shah: When my son’s school was locked down, I wondered: Is there anything positive left for our kids? 
Will Bunch: Black Lives Matter marches of 2020 were surprisingly white and educated. Is that why results have been so mediocre?
Tony Norman: Shut up and drivel…
Aarushi Dedhiya: We must end animal torture now 
Trudy Rubin: One year in, the Abraham Accords don’t address Israel’s most existential problem

2 Responses

  1. I will be announcing my run for congress this Tuesday. Hopefully somebody will throw hot yogurt on my back afterwards.

  2. I notice a story about State System funding and an area of funding missed is the need to make community college free. This is crucial to lessening student loan defaults and many researchers acknowledge that if we make community college at no cost we allow many students to start working right away with no student loan debt and able to buy a car or home as they begin their work life. In fact, community college degrees or certificates are often an ideal education for a successful career.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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