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October 31: Money and the PA Supreme Court

Bugs Bunny counting money

🎃 Happy Halloween. It’s your final day to sign up for a mail ballot.

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What We’re Hearing
“Schools have long been venues in which people have fought over issues that are not centrally related to schools.” – Dan Hopkins.

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Top Story

1. PA Supreme Court Race Between Carluccio And McCaffery Has Turned Into A Multi-Million Dollar Showdown

PA Supreme Court candidates Dan McCaffery, Carolyn Carluccio

“Outside groups and individual donors have over the last month spent more than $7 million to elect a new justice to Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court.

Campaign finance reports released last week show Republican Carolyn Carluccio and Democrat Dan McCaffery have spent millions on ad buys to fill Pennsylvanians’ mailboxes and airwaves ahead of the Nov. 7 election, in hopes of altering the balance of the state’s highest court. The two are competing to fill an open seat left on the seven-justice bench after the 2022 death of former Chief Justice Max Baer.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)


New Democratic Group, One Libertarian Billionaire Flooding PA Supreme Court Race With Cash. “Political spending has kicked into high gear in the final stretch of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court race. After an election cycle in which political contributions were consistently dominated by a single libertarian billionaire, a Democratic-aligned group has also begun pouring millions into the race.” (Spotlight PA)

Another Potential Conflict Of Interest Between Senator Casey And His Lobbyist Relatives. “It’s the kind of intersection that could be viewed as even the appearance of a conflict of interest, an appearance which most elected officials studiously strive to avoid.” (Broad + Liberty)



2. Election 2023: County Commissioner Races

County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania CCAP - Official Website

With one week remaining before the 2023 municipal general election, an important down-ballot race to watch in most Pennsylvania counties is for county commissioner.

Elected every four years, the county commissioners are responsible for policy-making, fiscal management and the administration of county affairs.

Here are 33 county commissioner previews/Q and A’s culled from local newspapers. More to come as they become available. (PoliticsPA)


Election 2023: District Attorney Races. “With one week remaining before the 2023 municipal general election, another important down-ballot race to watch in some Pennsylvania counties is for District Attorney.” (PoliticsPA)

November to Remember: Pennsylvania DA Race Turns Into Nasty Battle For Democratic Control. “The Democratic drama brewing in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County will come to a head on Nov. 7 when voters decide between a progressive district attorney candidate the party officially backs and a six-term incumbent, also a Democrat, who lost his primary race but won a spot on the ballot as the write-in nominee for the Republican Party.” (Washington Examiner)

Local School Board Elections Latest Battlegrounds For Polarized National Politics. “These aren’t the school board contests of yesterday, focused on millage rates and teacher salaries. In 2023, slates of candidates are fighting for who gets to set district policies on so-called “parental rights” issues, like book bans, gender identity policies, bathrooms and transgender athletes.” (

Nearly 70K PA School, Government Retirees Have Had No COLA Increase In 21 Years. “Some of them now in their 80s and 90s live on pensions of less than $20,000 a year. With prices of food, medicine and housing having risen in the double-digits since then, they are pleading with state lawmakers for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).” (PennLive)

A Proposed Amendment To Pennsylvania’s Constitution Would Change How The State Considers Pardons. “A former public defender, Joanna McClinton is the prime sponsor of HB1410. The bill would do away with the requirement that the state Board of Pardons has to vote unanimously to recommend a person for a commutation of their sentence or a pardon from the governor.” (Penn Capital-Star)


Around The Commonwealth

3. The Ultimate Guide To The 2023 General Election In Philadelphia

Philly's City Hall: Jaw-Dropping Views, Hidden History — Visit Philadelphia

“On November 7, Philadelphia votes for our future. Election Day in the sixth largest city in the U.S. means Philadelphians choose our 100th mayor, the first new mayor in 8 years. We also elect (and re-elect) our entire City Council. We choose new and returning members of the PA Supreme Court (the body responsible for laws about reproductive rights, gun control, districting), municipal judges with impact on your and your neighbors’ lives, a number of high-level city roles, and an important ballot question about disability accessibility are all on the ballot.

So, be sure you’re registered, and make a plan to vote — by mail, in person — just do it..” (Philadelphia Citizen)


The Candidates Make Their Final Pitches To Voters In The Race For Allegheny County Executive. “Both candidates for Allegheny County executive are making their closing arguments to voters in new advertisements before the Nov. 7 general election.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Democrat Candidates For Lancaster County Commissioner Outraise Incumbent Republicans. “If there was any lingering doubt about how serious Democrats are taking the race for Lancaster County board of commissioners, new campaign finance reports covering much of the general election season should put an end to it.” (LNP)

Race To Watch: All Three Seats On Bucks County’s Board Of Commissioners Are Up For Grabs. “Candidates identify mental health, climate, and public safety as some of the key issues they hope to address if elected to office.” (WHYY)

Delco’s DA Defends His Seat As He And His Opponent Discuss A ‘Spillover’ Of Crime From Philly. “In conversations about crime in Delaware County, the shadow of Philadelphia looms large. The city’s immediate neighbor to the west has seen an uptick in recent months in both violent and quality-of-life crimes, especially in towns along the border.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



4. What They’re Saying


1 Thing

5. The Top 50 Voting Towns In PA

Explore Schuylkill County | Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau

“One of the most important choices potential voters in Pennsylvania will make on Nov. 7 won’t be who they vote for but whether they choose to cast a ballot at all.

While less than half of Pennsylvania voters have participated in at least one of the last four municipal elections, few turn out consistently.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 50 municipalities for municipal participation rates in 17 counties across Pennsylvania.” (Bucks County Courier Times)


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