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September 25: Smucker’s Ex-Con Donor

✡️ Hello Monday Morning. It’s Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Wishing you an easy fast.

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What We’re Hearing
Rep. Scott Perry told Punchbowl News that he and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick were “great friends,” saying the Mark Houck drama was the “media ginning things up.”

Happy Birthday
Cake and candles for Sen. James Brewster.

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Top Story

1. Smucker & The Ex-Con: Relationship Includes Travel, Nearly $250,000 In Campaign Cash And Donations

“​​April 2022 was a typically busy month for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

He toured Four Seasons Produce in Ephrata. He appeared with U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz at a Lancaster County construction business. He learned how to hand-roll pretzels for National Pretzel Day.

Smucker’s staff documented each of those events on social media.

One event Smucker didn’t mention, though, was his meeting with Adam Kidan, a former business partner of disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff who has served time in federal prison for fraud and conspiracy and has now emerged as a major political donor and supporter of Lancaster County’s congressman.” (LNP)


How a Little-Known Group Helped Resurgent Democrats Wield Power. “An increasingly prominent player in this liberal push is a little-known group called the States Project, which was founded in 2017 and made a financial splash in state legislative elections last year, pouring $60 million into races in five competitive states: Arizona, Michigan, Maine, Nevada and Pennsylvania.” (New York Times)

McCormick’s Chances In PA Could Hinge On Trump: Political Analysts. “Businessman David McCormick is again running for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania but taking on Sen. Bob Casey will be a much different challenge in 2024, especially if former President Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket.” (PennLive)

Rep. Summer Lee Calls GOP ‘Incapable Of Leading And Incompetent And Unserious.’ “Lee spoke out on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.” (CNN)

Republican Rob Mercuri Gets Key Endorsement From Koch-Funded Super PAC. “Americans for Prosperity Action said in a news release this week it was endorsing Mercuri and several other “key races for the U.S. House of Representatives,” including state Rep. Ryan MacKenzie who is running for the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Susan Wild. ” (PA Capital-Star)

DelVal Dems Back Ban on Gas-Powered Cars. “When the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchasing Act (H.R. 145) came up for a vote in Congress last week, all three Democrats in the local delegation — Reps. Madeleine Dean, Chrissy Houlahan, and Mary Gay Scanlon — voted against it.” (DV Journal)



2. ‘What Does Next Look Like?’ Inside The Unfolding Recovery Of The Fetterman Family

John Fetterman - Official Campaign Website

“How are you?” people ask Gisele, if they aren’t asking about John. They tell her how strong she is. They tell her how sorry they are. They say they can’t thank her enough. Some send messages mocking her husband’s speech, or to say he should resign.

But in a time when more Americans are being diagnosed with depression than ever before, there are people looking around for families like their own, and here are the Fettermans, in view and within reach.” (Washington Post)


PA Freedom Caucus Plans Legal Action Over Automatic Voter Registration. “Caucus Chair Dawn Keefer, Republican state representative from York County, said Gov. Josh Shapiro’s unilateral action this week subverts the legislative process.” (Daily Item)

Trump Blasts PA Automatic Voter Registration: ‘Disaster for the Election of Republicans’  “Former President Donald Trump early Monday lashed out over Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s move to introduce automatic voter registration in the state, calling it a “disaster for the Election of Republicans.” (The Messenger)

PA Pressroom: What A Proposed Change In The PA Primary Date Means For Voters. “As the clock ticks toward 2024, talk of moving Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary date is growing louder.” (Erie Times-News)

Democrat’s Effort To Stop Book Bans Unlikely To Pass Through GOP-Controlled PA Senate. “State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Montgomery County, introduced a bill last week to prevent public schools and state-funded libraries from banning books.” (LNP)

The Post Tried Eating At NYC’s Finest Restaurants Dressed Like Fetterman — See How It Went. “Sen. John Fetterman may be allowed to dress like a slob in the halls of power — but it’s still a capital offense in New York City’s finest restaurants.” (New York Post)


Around The Commonwealth

3. The Cost Of Fulton County’s Losing Legal Battle Over Dominion Keeps Climbing

Dominion Voting Systems ICP machine

“After a three-day proceeding punctuated by opiate use, a pregnancy emergency and a smattering of antisemitic dog whistles, Fulton County lost another one.

Local officials and their lawyers — including one attorney recently indicted on federal charges in Michigan — wanted to hire a Florida-based company to guard voting machines that commissioners had illegally inspected for fraud after the 2020 election. A supervising judge instead opted for a different outfit selected by the Pennsylvania Department of State, and may stick the county taxpayers with the state’s legal fees to boot.

The state’s collective bill for the county’s 14,533 residents is already nearly half a million dollars and counting.” (Chambersburg Public Opinion)


PA Should Change Its Emissions Testing To Meet Air Quality Goals, Auto Shops Say. A Faulty Device Is Making That Tougher. “Pennsylvania garages say they are left with a tough choice: scramble to find increasingly-rare replacement parts, or send potential polluters back on the road without an inspection.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Former Councilmember And Mayoral Candidate Derek Green Is Now Helping Cherelle Parker. After November, Will He Run For DA? “Derek Green dropped out of the mayor’s race back in April, but he’s still keeping busy on the campaign trail.” (Billy Penn)

PAC With Ties To Trump Foe Spent $15K On Somerset County Primary. “That has since led a Somerset County opponent to allege during a Sept. 12 Somerset County Election Board meeting that ”dark money” was being used to influence the race.” (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat)

Norco Ballot Questions Would Limit Terms For Executive, Council And Controller. “Should elected officials serving Northampton County be limited in how long they can serve in office?” (Armchair Lehigh Valley)



4. What They’re Saying


1 Thing

5. Writers Guild Reaches Tentative Agreement With Studios, Streamers

Writers Strike 2023: Hollywood screenwriters don't want AI taking their jobs either

“Fantastic news for anyone who was missing The Drew Barrymore Show: The union representing Hollywood writers agreed to a tentative deal with major studios, likely ending a strike that has frozen TV and film production for nearly five months.

For the deal to become official, the ~11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) need to ratify it. But that seems like a foregone conclusion after WGA leadership claimed it won major concessions from studios. The union’s negotiating committee called the deal “exceptional” and said it provided “meaningful gains and protections for writers.”


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4 Responses

  1. The Delaware Valley Journal is a right-wing propaganda sheet, funded by shady rightwing billionaires. You should be ashamed to link to their smears. No one backed a “ban on gas-powered cars” – and you know it.

  2. Suck it up, Fulton County. You did it to yourselves. Now pay the piper. Try asking “billionaire” Trump for legal fees. LOL


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