September 2: Busy Weekend

Biden addresses crowd in Wilkes-Barre

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Cake and candles to Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) and Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland)

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Top Story

1. Biden Says ‘Equality and Democracy’ Under Assault in Philly Speech

In front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, President Joe Biden warned that the democracy faces an existential threat from former President Donald Trump and his allies, seeking to reframe the stakes and consequences of this fall’s midterm elections.

“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault. We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise,” Biden said. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the foundations of our very republic.”

In a sharply critical 24-minute speech, Biden called for voters to take a different path, pointing to Trump and his supporters’ long-running efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election, excuse the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, and attack the FBI. He said the rule of law and future elections are on the brink, with danger lurking in this year’s elections. (Philadelphia Inquirer)


Biden Warns That American Values Are Under Assault By Trump-Led Extremism. “President Biden traveled to Independence Hall on Thursday to warn that America’s democratic values are under assault by forces of extremism loyal to former President Donald J. Trump, using a prime-time address to define the midterm elections as a “battle for the soul of this nation.” (New York Times)

  • Republicans Mock ‘Demagogic’ Biden Speech on Threats to Democracy With ‘Blood-Red Lighting Backdrop (Fox News)
  • Biden’s Speech Walks a Fine Line In Its Attack On MAGA Republicans (NPR)
  • Biden’s Stern Warning on Extremism Shows The Rose-Colored Glasses Are Off (The Guardian)
  • Trump Tells Wendy Bell He Will Pardon Insurrectionists If He Reclaims White House (Pittsburgh City Paper)



2. Trump Is Heading to Pennsylvania to Make His Case. So Is Biden

“Former President Donald Trump is singling out Pennsylvania for his first rally of the general election on Saturday, where two of his most besieged candidates in the country are threatening to tarnish his record as a kingmaker.

The fact that he has zeroed in on the swing state for the politically symbolic Labor Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff of the midterms, demonstrates how pivotal Pennsylvania is to his success this year — and, more likely than not, a future presidential campaign.” (POLITICO)


Biden and Trump Can’t Stay Away From Northeastern PA. “With midterms approaching and the commonwealth’s open U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races remaining highly competitive, national Republicans and Democrats view Pennsylvania as one of the country’s most important battlegrounds. They view Northeastern Pennsylvania as especially key.” (WHYY)

  • Top House Republican Blasts Biden In West Pittston Speech (Times Leader)
  • McCarthy Rips Biden For Trump FBI Search and Vilifying Hard Workers (Times-Tribune)


Independent Voters Now Tilting Toward Democrats in Midterm Elections, WSJ Poll Finds. “Democrats are entering the homestretch before November’s election in better shape than earlier this year, boosted by gains among independent voters, improved views of President Biden and higher voting enthusiasm among abortion-rights supporters, a Wall Street Journal poll shows.” (Wall Street Journal)

Fetterman Can Make Full Recovery, But It Might Take Six Months Or More, Neurologist Says. “About one-in-four people who have a stroke of the kind suffered by John Fetterman regain their previous mental abilities, although it can take many months, according to a stroke expert at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.” (PennLive)

  • Fetterman Moves to Deflate Questions About His Health as Republican Campaign Arm Spends Big for Oz (LNP | Lancaster Online)



3. Doug Mastriano Sues Jan. 6th Committee

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, sued the House Jan. 6 committee Thursday to avoid testifying.”

In a 21-page complaint, first reported by Politico, Mastriano’s lawyer, Timothy C. Parlatore, argued that the committee’s “improper makeup” could “improperly influence the midterm elections.” The committee includes two Republican members who were chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), not by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who refused to appoint any Republicans to the committee after Pelosi rejected two of his five initial picks.

Mastriano is asking for a judge to rule that he not be compelled to sit for a deposition and that the panel pay his attorneys’ fees.” (NBC News)


Josh Shapiro Traces Bid For PA Governor To His Childhood Work For Soviet Jews. “In an interview after a roundtable discussion about the importance of unions and living wages, he said he was motivated by his mother to join a grassroots letter-writing campaign that connected Jews around the world with Soviet “refuseniks” of similar ages living under the fear of punishment for practicing Judaism.” (Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle)

Mastriano Touts Endorsement From Rabbi Who Promoted QAnon Conspiracy, ‘Reptilian” Hitler Theory. “On Thursday, Mastriano touted the endorsement of Rabbi Joseph Kolakowsi by sharing the article from the Epoch Times, a conservative publication affiliated with members of the controversial Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong. In it, the ultraorthodox rabbi defended Mastriano.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Gubernatorial Candidate Spotlight: School Choice. “We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Today, Pennsylvania’s nominees for Governor discuss school choice.” (Broad + Liberty)


Around the Commonwealth

Wolf, Fetterman Announce PA Marijuana Pardon Project. “Gov. Tom Wolf, along with lieutenant governor and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate John Fetterman, announced a coordinated effort for a one-time, large-scale pardoning project for people with select minor, non-violent marijuana criminal convictions.” (PoliticsPA)


New Political Group Forms to Campaign Against Anti-LGBTQ Candidates. “Several elected LGBTQ officeholders and veteran Democratic operatives have joined forces to form Agenda PAC, a national organization that will work to preserve LGBTQ rights by campaigning against right-wing candidates.” (NBC News)

A New Era Of Voting in PA. What Does It Mean for Latinos? “Pennsylvania is one of nine U.S. states with closed primaries, meaning that in order to vote for candidates to contest in the general election, voters must register with a political party beforehand. As a result, voting rights advocates say that around one third of Pennsylvania’s electorate, approximately 1.3 million voters, are disenfranchised during the state’s primary elections.” (Al Dia)

These Republicans Did a Deep Dive Into 2020 Election Lawsuits, Including in PA. Here’s Why Most of Them Failed. “Eight well-known Republican attorneys, judges and politicians say they want conservatives in particular to know the 2020 election wasn’t stolen — former President Donald Trump lost.” (WITF)



4 Responses

  1. “Dems lead into November” Nobody actually believes that. This is just like 2010 when the media (who are full of Democrats) tried to cover for the Democrats. It’ll fail now like it’ll fail then. Red Tsunami a’comin’!

  2. I don’t know of any candidate for Gov of Pa that has gotten in his own way more than Sen Mastriano. He is now suing The Jan 6th committee which has nothing to do with his being Gov and also reminds people Sen Mastriano was running around in DC on Jan 6th. How is this a good idea? Then there is the story in this issue of supporting a person who claims to be a cleric saying Hitler was part reptile. Is this wise being associated with this person?

  3. PA GOP Dung Mastriano sues Jan 6 Committee to preclude his testimony under oath. Why not just appear and plead 5th Amendment to hide his crimes?

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