September 15: Talk, Talk


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Top Story

1. Finally, Oz and Fetterman (Sort Of) Commit to October 25 Debate

After weeks of “Will He” or “Won’t He,” Pennsylvania voters may finally get the chance to hear from their candidates for the U.S. Senate on a debate stage.

Democrat John Fetterman confirmed that he will participate in a debate against Republican opponent Mehmet Oz on Tuesday, October 25 – two weeks prior to the November 8 election.

The debate would be televised via Nexstar stations throughout the Commonwealth and will be held at the studios of WHTM-TV 27 in Harrisburg. Dennis Owens of abc27 and Lisa Sylvester of WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh would serve as moderators. (PoliticsPA)


Fetterman, Oz Agree to Oct. 25 Debate, But Feud Over Terms. “Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that he has agreed to an Oct. 25 televised debate against his Republican rival, Dr. Mehmet Oz, although the men feuded about its terms in what has become a flashpoint in the high-stakes campaign.” (AP)

Fetterman Says Stroke Problems Have Not Slowed Down A ‘Normal Campaign.’ “Four months after suffering a stroke he described as a “near-death experience,” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania acknowledges lingering problems with his speech and hearing that sometimes cause verbal miscues.” (New York Times)

In Scranton, Voters Speak Out on Economy and Hotly Contested Senate Race. “With multiple visits by President Biden and by former President Donald Trump, Pennsylvania is once again becoming the battleground in American politics.” (CBS News)

Focusing On Crime, Republicans Think They’ve Finally Put John Fetterman On The Defensive. “The GOP believes the issue has finally put Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on the defensive, and helped narrow what was once a wide lead for the Democratic nominee.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



2. Inquirer: Voters Need to Know Mastriano’s Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election

In a scathing editorial, the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board took on Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, saying “Pennsylvania does not need election-denying conspiracy theorists deciding the outcome of elections with the stroke of a pen.”

The editorial staff wrote that voters in the Keystone State need to be made aware of the actions that Mastriano, the state senator from Franklin County, took to assist former President Donald Trump in derailing the will of the people and overturning the results of the 2020 election.” (PoliticsPA)


Mastriano’s ‘Great Adventure.’ “I opened up my Bible and I read about me.” That line from the classic Steven Curtis Chapman song “The Great Adventure” takes on new meaning as an anthem for Mastriano’s campaign. Perhaps the poster child for Christian Nationalism in the 2022 midterms, Mastriano might just think this song is about him.“ (Word & Way)

Efforts to Ban, Restrict LGBTQ Curriculum in PA Schools Could Hinge On Who Becomes Next Governor. “As a closeted gay child growing up in Lancaster in the 1990s, J Eric Fisher didn’t feel safe. He said the existence of LGBTQIA+ people wasn’t discussed in the schools he attended.” (Spotlight PA)

Bucks County Republicans Oust Jan. 6 Rioter From Doylestown Committee Seat. “The Bucks County Republican Committee voted to remove Doylestown resident Dawn Bancroft as an elected committee member. The move comes nearly two months after Bancroft was sentenced to a 60-day jail sentence for entering the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.” (Bucks County Courier Times)



3. Pair of Polls Show Fetterman, Shapiro in Front

Still good news for Pennsylvania Democrats … if you believe the polls.

John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro still hold the lead in their respective races for Senate and Governor, according to a CBS/YouGov poll of 1,194 registered voters in the Keystone State.

Fetterman has better favorability and trust numbers than Oz and holds a 10-point lead according to the latest poll from Monmouth University. (PoliticsPA)


New Polls Show Edge For Fetterman and Oz’s Support Looks Unenthusiastic. “Democrat John Fetterman is holding an edge over Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, two new polls found — and both show Oz’s personal image remains deeply negative.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

PA Teacher’s Union Predicts ‘Devastating Cuts’ From Mastriano’s Education Plan. “A PSEA analysis — which Mastriano says is incorrect and based on a misinterpretation — estimates the candidate’s plan would slash annual public school funding by more than $12 billion and cause the estimated loss of about 119,000 jobs across the commonwealth.” (York Daily Record)


Around the Commonwealth

Fixing One Problem With PA’s Elections Could Restore Public Confidence, Democrats Say. “Among those bills is one that would fix a legislative oversight leading to delays in counting mail-in ballots that has been exploited by election deniers to cast doubt about the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections. ” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

  • Election Day Is Fast Approaching And PA Counties Are Prepared, Official Says (PennLive)
  • Defending the 2020 Election Has Cost PA Millions. Here’s How The State Is Preparing For This Election (WHYY)
  • Lehigh County Spurns Lawsuit’s Demand For Monitors at Drop Boxes (Armchair Lehigh Valley)


PA-10, PA-11 Candidate Forums Scheduled. “Lancaster County voters will get a chance to see U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker and his Democratic challenger discuss issues in a televised forum scheduled for broadcast on Oct. 17. ABC27 is hosting a similar forum with U.S. Rep. Scott Perry and his Democratic challenger, Shamaine Daniels. It will be broadcast at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28.” (LNP | Lancaster Online)

Dowling Proposes Bill to Allow Self-Exclusion From Alcohol Purchases. “The Republican lawmaker’s proposal would create a system of self-exclusion similar to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s self-exclusion list for problem gamblers.” (Observer-Reporter)

Second Gentleman To Join Education Secretary in Allentown Visit. “The second gentleman of the United States will join the U.S. Secretary of Education in a visit Thursday to Allentown to discuss how students in community schools are supported by “educators, school administrators and community partners,” according to a news release.” (LehighValleyLive)



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