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October 20th Playbook

President Joe Biden will visit Scranton today, while Jim Bognet announced that he will run for Congress in 2022. Here is the Playbook.


‘Biden to visit Scranton Wednesday, speak at trolley museum’: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that President Joe Biden will come to Scranton on Wednesday “in an attempt to rally support around the administration’s signature legislation, according to a press release from the White House.”

‘Bognet announces bid for Congress; seeks rematch with Cartwright’: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that “Republican Hazle Twp. resident Jim Bognet is seeking a rematch against Democratic U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright in next year’s election, vowing to topple the fifth-term congressman by linking him to unpopular liberal policies.”

‘What you need to know ahead of the 2021 Pa. general election’: WHYY reports that “Pennsylvania’s general election is fast approaching, as are election-related deadlines. Here’s what you need to know ahead of Election Day on Nov. 2.”

‘Why $1 billion in rent relief isn’t keeping some Pa. tenants safe from eviction’: Spotlight PA reports that “while a long-feared wave of evictions hasn’t come to pass, a lack of coordination between programs and courts leaves some renters in a pinch.”

‘Rachel Levine, openly transgender health official, sworn in as four-star admiral in Public Health Service’: The Washington Post reports that “the former Pennsylvania health secretary is the sixth four-star admiral in the history of the health corps.”

‘Republican National Committee chairwoman: ‘Freedom will win’ in Pa. judicial elections next month’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, campaigning in Bucks County Tuesday, framed the Nov. 2 elections in Pennsylvania as a prelude to a possible GOP takeover of Congress in next year’s midterm races.”

‘Comcast executive David L. Cohen one step closer to becoming ambassador to Canada’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “Comcast executive and Democratic power broker David L. Cohen is one step closer to being ambassador to Canada. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of Cohen’s nomination Tuesday, sending it to a full Senate vote, with little fanfare.”

‘Building a ticket that matches Pennsylvania’s diversity could pose challenge for Democrats in 2022’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “while most Democrats interviewed by the Capital-Star are happy with Shapiro as their best chance to keep a voice in state government, many have also said they are disappointed that the Democrats competing for statewide office in 2022, both governor and U.S. Senator, don’t reflect the diverse reality of who Pennsylvanians are.”

‘GOP leaders question legality of RGGI regulation, ask AG to intervene’: City & State PA reports that “Republican leaders in both the state House and Senate sent a letter to Attorney General Josh Shapiro Tuesday calling on him to review the statutory authority and constitutionality of the RGGI regulation.”

‘Pennsylvania Senate moves to overhaul probation system’: The Associated Press reports that “Pennsylvania’s state Senate is again launching a bipartisan bill to overhaul how probation is handled, with a unanimous Judiciary Committee vote Tuesday.”

‘WATCH VIDEO | Somerset DA to face trial for sexual assault; rape charge dropped, two additional sex charges added’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “Somerset County District Attorney Jeffrey Thomas had one sexual assault felony charge against him withdrawn Tuesday and two more added.”

‘Senate Judiciary committee advances bill to increase penalties for people who evade arrest’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-2 on Tuesday to approve a bill that would create a new offense for individuals who flee from police to evade arrest on foot.”

‘Newer vehicles would be exempt from emissions tests in Pa. under bill, but measure could stall’: PennLive reports that “legislation that would exempt newer gas-powered vehicles from having an annual emission inspection has passed the state Senate.”

‘Ahead of Hershey show: Bill Maher talks Pa.’s U.S. Senate race, insurrection, and teaching civics’: “Comedian Bill Maher, host of the long-running HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” spoke with The Capital-Star’s Frank Pizzoli. Maher performs Nov. 19 at the Hershey Theater in Dauphin County.”

‘Senate panel approves bill to strengthen state’s gun preemption law’: City & State PA reports that “a Senate panel voted along party lines Tuesday to approve legislation that would strengthen the state’s existing law that bans local municipalities from adopting their own gun regulations.”

‘‘Peace and Justice in PA’ shines spotlight on fight against racism, discrimination’: PennLive reports that “in tribute to those who fight racism and discrimination, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission is teaming up with PennLive and The Patriot-News for a special event, “Peace and Justice in Pa.”

‘Conor Lamb may be “Democrats’ last best hope to keep control of Congress”’: The Smerconish Podcast reports that “Congressman Conor Lamb (D-PA) sits down with Michael after a Vanity Fair article says he may be the “last best hope” to help Democrats keep control of Congress – he is running for the open PA Senate seat in 2022. Original air date 19 October 2021.”

‘Attorney General Josh Shapiro makes campaign appearance in Erie’: WJET reports that “Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in Erie to speak in front of supporters for his candidacy for Pennsylvania Governor.”

‘Shapiro, Democrat running for governor, makes campaign stop in New Castle’: New Castle News reports that “Josh Shapiro’s first order of business after winning reelection last November as Pennsylvania’s attorney general was to ward off multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Shapiro echoed his stance on protecting the integrity of elections and voter accessibility during a campaign stop Tuesday afternoon in New Castle.”

‘Pa. Congressman joins picket line at Erie Strayer’: WJET reports that “an Erie native stopped by the picket line outside Erie Strayer Tuesday morning after speaking at the annual fall dinner Monday night. Matthew Cartwright was born at Hamot Hospital, but now represents Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. He joined iron workers who have been on strike since October 4th.”

‘5 takeaways from the latest Allentown mayoral debate between Matt Tuerk and Tim Ramos’: The Allentown Morning Call provides the “five key takeaways from the debate.”

‘Report: Pennsylvania casino revenues top $415M in September’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “Pennsylvania casinos generated more than $415.6 million in September, a 46% increase compared to revenues generated during the same period last year, state regulators said.”

‘Dougherty, Henon defense rebuts bribery case from wiretap calls’: KYW Newsradio reports that “defense attorneys for Philadelphia City Councilmember Bobby Henon and labor leader John Dougherty got a chance Tuesday to rebut wiretap recordings played at Monday’s session in federal court.”

‘New leadership, same old politics at the Philadelphia Parking Authority’: Philly Clout reports that “leaders of the GOP-controlled Philadelphia Parking Authority have delayed taking action on a move to block new hires from holding down political posts.”

‘Harrisburg mayor shifts focus of proposed basic income plan to low-income seniors’: PennLive reports that “in a major change in focus, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse has decided to focus his proposed Guaranteed Basic Income program on low-income senior citizens.”

‘Councilman David Oh fishing for support on minimum force bill’: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that “Councilman at-large David Oh has a plan and a commitment to helping improve community relations with the Philadelphia Police Department: The use of minimum force training for all law enforcement.”

‘SEPTA strike could disrupt in-person learning, Philly school district warns’: Philly Voice reports that “School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite issued a public plea Tuesday for SEPTA and its transit union to agree on a new contract, warning that a work stoppage “would have a devastating impact” on the district’s ability to continue in-person instruction.”

‘GOP Delco council candidates decry possible take over of local health inspections’: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that “Republican candidates for Delaware County Council are questioning a proposal to have the new county health department take over health inspections and licensing responsibilities of restaurants and bars from local municipalities.”

‘Cappelletti Dumps Ashe From Staff After Report of Sexting Allegations’: The Delaware Valley Journal reports that “State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti has suspended staffer Shae Ashe in the wake of allegations he was posting inappropriate messages to a 17-year-old high school student. Ashe also serves as Norristown Area School Board president, but the school district has declined to comment on the allegations.”

‘Pittsburgh’s mayoral nominees discuss local man’s death, after his arrest for theft’: WTAE reports that the candidates in Pittsburgh’s mayoral race “discuss local man’s death, after his arrest for theft.” 

‘County council hopefuls in north, west suburbs share policy goals, split on progressives’ advocacy’: WESA reports that “Airport-area suburbs and communities in the Ohio River Valley will pick a new member of Allegheny County Council in the Nov. 2 election. Although both candidates agree that council should prioritize infrastructure needs, they differ on whether it should address more controversial topics.”

‘As Pennsylvania hate crimes increase, Homeland Security Secretary touts help at summit’: WESA reports that “speakers at the Eradicated Hate summit, being held this week in Pittsburgh, condemned the recent rise in hate crimes and offered solutions to stop hateful and violent acts before they take place. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 82 hate crimes committed in Pennsylvania in 2020 — double the number from 2019. Roughly 75% of the attacks were motivated by hatred for a particular race, ethnicity, or ancestry.”

‘Pitt faculty vote to unionize in landslide election’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “faculty at the University of Pittsburgh will be forming a union, capping a five-year organizing campaign with an overwhelming vote in favor of joining the United Steelworkers.”

‘Appointments to boards, commissions sail through Pittsburgh Council despite waning Peduto term’: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “Pittsburgh City Council sailed through more than a dozen reappointments for members of the city’s boards and commissions, including the reappointment of commissioners for the city’s housing authority, a body that has come under scrutiny following a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigation into several low-income public housing complexes that have failed recent federal inspections.”

‘COVID-19 relief funds spending focal point of Johnstown candidates forum’: The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that “how the city of Johnstown spends the more than $30 million it will receive in American Rescue Plan funds and whether the city manager should be required to live within the city are two of the most important issues facing voters and candidates in this year’s municipal election.”

‘City council lands on 2022 budget’: The Altoona Mirror reports that “City Manager Omar Strohm Monday proposed a $35 million budget for next year that would require no tax increase — even though it calls for spending $2.2 million more than this year’s budget.”

‘Lancaster County mail ballots require only one stamp, county election official assures’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “Lancaster County’s mail ballots require only one stamp to return, the county’s top election official said Monday.”

‘Wind Creek Bethlehem comedy preview: Bill Maher gets real with Dave Chappelle, free speech, Trump, honesty, and Hillary Clinton’: The Allentown Morning Call “spoke with Maher about his upcoming Lehigh Valley performance and more.”

‘’Bucky’ may be back: Szulborski is only Northampton controller applicant’: WFMZ reports that “Northampton County Council’s search for a new controller yielded one applicant. Council is due to interview Richard “Bucky” Szulborski on Wednesday for the job vacated by the death of Antoine “Tony” Bassil on Sept. 24.”

‘Erie County Democrats hold annual party dinner at Sheraton Hotel’: WJET reports that “the Erie County Democrats held their annual Party Fall Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Erie.”

‘200 Afghan refugees to come to Erie’: WJET reports that “Erie is starting to see more Afghan refugee families this week. The community is expecting about 200 refugees by the end of 2021.”

‘Penn State extends COVID-19 vaccine requirement to faculty, staff at 6 commonwealth campuses’: The Centre Daily Times reports that “Penn State announced Tuesday that it has extended its COVID vaccine mandate to all employees at six commonwealth campuses – including Altoona, Behrend, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette and Harrisburg.”

‘Pa. Health Dept.: Nearly 3,900 new COVID-19 cases; More than 3K hospitalized’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 3,899 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to more than 1.51 million cases since the start of the pandemic.”

Stacy Garrity: It’s time for lawmakers to enact a retirement savings plan for Pa. workers 
Carla Sands: The Mandates Are Just Starting 
Jeanne McNeill: It’s time we work together to end domestic violence
Paul Muschick: Pennsylvania was wise not to dangle millions as bait to get people vaccinated. Here’s why
John L. Micek: Biden’s PFAS plan targets Pa., other states plagued by ‘forever chemicals’ | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Anne Mosle and Marjorie Sims: We’re entering a new era that will provide stronger support for struggling families in Pennsylvania 
Mo Rushdy: The Answer To Our Housing Crisis
Rick Sauer and Maria Gonzalez: Vote “Yes” To More Housing Trust Funds 
Christine Flowers: Riding the Market Frankford El, From Magical To Monstrous
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: As Park City Center shooting shows, gun violence has become a part of American life. Are we supposed to just accept this?
Chris Freind: Philly’s driving equality law will crash and burn 
Katharine Dalke and Adrian Shanker: The unseen cost of healthcare transparency bill: Partner notifications would be public
Ken Shropshire: Can Critical Race Theory Save Pro Sports? 
Muqtedar Khan: Despite promises of ‘relentless diplomacy,’ Biden’s foreign policy agenda feels like an extension of the Trump era 
Ala Stanford: Don’t use Colin Powell’s death to bolster anti-vaccine sentiments 
Will Bunch: Joe Manchin’s ‘blind trust’ is an utter farce 
Michael Coard: Fifty-five years later, the Black Panthers’ revolutionary goals are still strong

3 Responses

  1. Bognet has a great track record of losing campaigns as both a consultant and a candidate. The fact that this guy knows so little about the game in NEPA that he doesn’t get he’s just a pawn to cause a divisive Republican primary to ultimately keep Cartwright in Congress.

  2. Bognet the political wanderer. Looking for political redemption in his right wing soap opera.

  • 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%)
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