👏 Here We Go Friday, Here We Go. It’s National Coffee Day. Please celebrate responsibly.
🌤️ Pittsburgh | Partly Sunny, 74
☔ Harrisburg | Chance of Rain, 66
🌧️ Philadelphia | Showers likely, 63
⚾ Phillies (88-70) | Pittsburgh 2-3 | Fri vs. NY Mets
⚾ Pirates (75-83) | Philadelphia 3-2 | Fri. vs. Miami
🏈 Temple (2-3) | Tulsa 26-48 | Sat. vs. UTSA
🏈 Penn State (4-0) | Sat vs. Northwestern
🏈 Pitt (1-3) | Sat vs. Virginia Tech
⚽ Union (14-8-8) | Sat vs. Columbus
🏈 Eagles (3-0) | Sun vs. Washington
🏈 Steelers (2-1) | Sun vs. Houston
The Best Political News In The State
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1. Report: Vereb Resigned Under Cloud of Sexual Harassment Allegations
“Just a day after the surprise resignation of Mike Vereb from his position within the Shapiro Administration as Secretary of Legislative Affairs, a news outlet is reporting the supposed reasons.
Broad + Liberty is reporting that Vereb resigned in the wake of allegations by a female former deputy secretary that he subjected her to unwanted sexual conversations during the winter of 2023.” (PoliticsPA)
Before Senior Aide To Pennsylvania Governor Resigned, Coworker Accused Adviser Of Sexual Harassment. “Mike Vereb, who served as Gov. Josh Shapiro’s secretary of legislative affairs until his resignation on Wednesday, was accused in the woman’s complaint to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission of subjecting her to lewd, misogynistic and unwanted sexual advances during her brief stint working in the governor’s administration.” (AP)
- Top Aide To Gov. Josh Shapiro Faced Sexual Harassment Complaint Months Before His Abrupt Resignation, Documents Show. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- The Sudden Resignation Of A Top Aide To Gov. Josh Shapiro Came After Allegations Of Sexual Harassment. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Gov. Shapiro’s Top Aide’s Resignation Comes Amid Sexual Harassment Claims. (PennLive)
- Top Shapiro Staffer Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment Before Resigning. (Spotlight PA)
- Shapiro Cabinet Member Vereb Resigns Under Cloud Following Sexual Harassment Allegations. (Broad + Liberty)
Most Republicans Won’t Pay A Political Price For A Government Shutdown, Polls And History Show. “When we last checked in on long-running dispute over federal deficits, Congress had just raised the federal debt ceiling, a move that fended off hardline Republicans who demanded deep spending cuts, and averted a debt default that could have caused a global depression. At the time, there was much rejoicing.” (WESA Politics)
AFP Action Backs Mackenzie, Mercuri In House GOP Races. “Reps. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) and Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) picked up valuable endorsements in their quest to defeat U.S. Reps. Susan Wild (D-07) and Chris Deluzio (D-17), respectively, in 2024.” (PoliticsPA)
2. Pennsylvanians Feeling Better About Biden, Shapiro, Direction of State
“It’s the end of September and the end of the third quarter, so it’s time for the Commonwealth Foundation’s Q3 Common Ground in the Commonwealth poll.
Pennsylvanians are feeling better about the Commonwealth than they are about the direction of the country. 72 percent of respondents say America has fundamentally gotten off on the wrong track, while just slightly half (51%) say the same about the state.
President Joe Biden received approval from 42 percent of those queried – up three points from Q2 – while having a minus-9 favorability rating (45-54). again showed strong numbers from those surveyed. Sixty-one percent said they approve of the job Gov. Josh Shapiro is doing with nearly a quarter indicating strong approval. The 50-year-old governor also has a +32 favorability rating” (PoliticsPA)
Josh Shapiro Is Going To New Hampshire, With 2028 (Far) On The Horizon. Here’s What To Watch. “Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor has been seen as a potential future presidential candidate since even before he won the state’s highest office last year” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Poll: Voters Like Shapiro, Even If They Aren’t Sure Why. (The Center Square)
- Keystone Staters Want Parties to Work Together on Budget, Poll Finds. (DV Journal)
Progressive PACs Heavily Outspend Free-Market, Limited-Government Advocates In Pennsylvania. “Looking ahead to the 2024 presidential race, proponents of free-market policies and constitutionally limited government in Pennsylvania should know how they stack up financially against the opposing side. The short answer is not very well, given recent history.” (Broad + Liberty)
In A World Of Partisan Fighting On Election Security, This Board Tackles Pennsylvania Issues Without Division. “The bipartisan board of lawmakers, election officials, and researchers recommends ways to make elections more fair, secure, and accessible. The board was created in 2020 to review and suggest changes to election laws, assess new election technology, and work with other agencies on election-related matters.” (WITF)
PA Budget Chips Away At $1.4B Backlog For Parks, Forests. “Pennsylvania lawmakers set aside $112 million to sustain and improve state parks and forests in this year’s budget, one of the commonwealth’s most significant investments in outdoor infrastructure in decades.” (Spotlight PA State College)
State Receives 1,200 Applicants To Police Academy. “On Thursday, state police officials announced they had received 1,217 applications since the requirements were changed. In the previous cycle — open for six months — state leaders said they received 1,745 applicants.” (Daily Item)
Around The Commonwealth
3. Innamorato, Rockey Debate Shuman Center and Property Reassessments as County Exec Race Enters Homestretch
“Both candidates for Allegheny County executive sounded open Thursday to having a private company run a juvenile detention center — at least for a short period of time. And Democratic nominee Sara Innamorato appeared to soften her support for conducting a county-wide property tax reassessment.
Those were some of the most revealing moments as Ms. Innamorato and Republican nominee Joe Rockey met for their first debate of the general election.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Watch The Debate (KDKA)
Quiñones Sánchez Returns To Philadelphia City Council — As A Staffer. “Former Philadelphia City Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez dropped out of the Democratic primary for mayor in April and said in late May she would take the summer off before considering her next job. The summer is over now and Quiñones Sánchez is back at work … at City Hall … as a City Council staffer.” (Philadelphia Inquirer Clout)
Philadelphia Bans Supervised Injection Sites In Most Of The City After City Council Rejects Mayor Jim Kenney’s Veto. “The law takes effect immediately and changes the city’s zoning code to designate supervised drug consumption sites as a prohibited use in nine of the city’s 10 geographic Council districts.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Pleasant Ridge? The Erie Airport? EMS? Where Erie County Council Candidates Stand on Issues. “The Erie Times-News/GoErie.com invited the nine candidates vying to represent citizens in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th Districts to briefly state their views on several key issues facing county government.” (Erie Times-News)
York County Fought Over Staffing Data For Three Years: Here, Finally, Is What It Shows. “In July 2020, after a reporter heard rumblings about office turnover, The York Dispatch filed a public information request for employment data. A simple request — that prothonotary Allison Blew indicated she personally had no qualms about fulfilling — turned into two lawsuits and an appeal that played out across years.” (York Dispatch)
Don’t Toss That Envelope! Mail-In Ballots Are On The Way For 2023 PA Election. “If you vote by mail in Pennsylvania, don’t be on auto-pilot as you collect your mail in these next few weeks.” (PennLive)
4. What They’re Saying
- Philly Looting, Riots Are Wrong. But So Is Ignoring What Is Driving The Behavior. (Jenice Armstrong)
- Children Aren’t Culture War Foot Soldiers. (David Mills)
- Rural Pennsylvanians Need A Living Wage. (Debbie Heigel)
- Community Journalism Still Trusted. (PA NewsMedia Association)
5. National Coffee Day
Amid today’s java freebies for National Coffee Day, some fun joe facts from Axios’ Carly Mallenbaum:
- Coffee doesn’t exactly wake you up: It blocks the hormone that makes you sleepy.
- A morning cup of coffee can activate parts of the brain involved with short-term memory and focus, according to a new study.
- Decaffeination removes 97% of the caffeine in coffee beans, as required by the FDA. So there’s 2–15 mg of caffeine in a decaf cup, depending on the brand. (There’s around 95 mg in a caffeinated cup.)
- Dark and light roasts have similar caffeine content.
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