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Ups and Downs

Looney Tunes

It’s Pennsylvania Society weekend, so we wanted to give the movers and shakers from around the Commonwealth a chance to see how they fared during the week past.

Safe travels to all … and may you accomplish all you set out to do in the Big Apple this weekend.

Down arrowScott Perry. The 10th Congressional District Republican had new text messages disclosed that were contained in a court filing that appears to have been erroneously made public on Wednesday. The newly disclosed documents revealed an extraordinary web of communications between Perry, who is now the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, and key figures in Trump’s orbit.

Down arrowCity of Aliquippa. Federal officials are investigating a cyberattack on the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa. Hackers targeted a small substation and disabled a device that is used to automatically control water levels at the authority’s tanks. The hackers left a message identifying themselves as part of Cyber Avengers, a group linked to Iran.

Up arrowPennsylvania. Governor Josh Shapiro announced that Fitch Ratings has upgraded Pennsylvania’s credit rating to ‘AA’ from ‘AA-,’ building on positive credit rating outlooks from Moody’s and S&P’s Global Ratings in September. Fitch also has assigned a ‘AA’ rating to the following Commonwealth of Pennsylvania general obligation (GO) bonds.

Up arrowPA Department of State. The Department of State announced on Wednesday that it is refining its mail ballot materials in time for the 2024 primary election. The redesigned envelopes and instruction sheets have revised language to better inform voters how to properly fill out and return their mail-in ballots, with the goal of decreasing voter confusion that can lead to completed ballots being rejected and assisting county election workers in efficiently processing mail-in ballots.

Down arrowPA Lawmakers. The base salary of Pennsylvania’s 253 state legislators is the third highest in the nation behind New York and California, but when benefits are added, it likely pushes them into second place. Legislators are eligible for lifetime medical benefits and retirement benefits unlike their counterparts in California but still trail New York where lawmakers there have a similar benefits package to Pennsylvania’s.

Down arrowRep. Patrick Harkins. The Erie Democrat has gotten $154,686.97 in taxpayer-funded mileage reimbursements since 2018, including $30,530.64 in 2019. Fellow Democrats Ryan Bizzarro and Bob Merski also represent Erie. In 2021, Merski’s mileage reimbursement was $6,731.16. Bizzaro’s reimbursements were $4,322.64 and Harkins had $23,224.66 in reimbursements.

Up arrowDave Sunday. The York County District Attorney picked up a second endorsement from a U.S. Congressman in his quest for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania Attorney General, as Rep. Dan Meuser (R-09) offered his backing. “Dave is a veteran prosecutor and someone Pennsylvanians can trust to protect all its residents, particularly our most vulnerable.” Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-11) endorsed Sunday a day earlier.

Up arrowKat Copeland. The former Philadelphia-based federal prosecutor was endorsed for Pennsylvania Attorney General by Pennsylvania’s longest-tenured district attorney – Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin – on Monday. “I know her qualifications, and she stands above and beyond, in my opinion, of the other candidates in the field.”

Up arrowHarrisburg. According to a recent U.S. News and World Report ranking, the state of Pennsylvania dominates the list of best places to retire in the U.S. Seven out of the top 10 places were in the Keystone State, including No. 1 – Pennsylvania’s Capital City. Reading, Lancaster, Scranton and Allentown rounded out the top five.

Down arrowNewville, PA. How to close a projected $783,000 projected operating deficit for 2024. That’s the question facing the Cumberland County borough. To complete the balancing of the 2024 budget, Newville’s council will also be asked to choose between a significant increase in the borough’s property tax rate, or making some level of cuts in staff to the small, three-person police department. 

Down arrowCharles M. Dertinger. The Northampton County Director of Administration resigned last Friday, a victim of the Election Day problems that plagued the county. The director of administration oversees the county’s elections division. Election Day on Nov. 7 got off to a rocky start when poll workers discovered a problem with voting machines. Errors with the machines’ printout summaries led officials to stop using the machines temporarily and rely on emergency paper ballots.

Up arrowPennsylvania Society. In 1899, Barr Ferree, owner of a Manhattan publishing company, founded “The Pennsylvania Society of New York” and invited 55 fellow Pennsylvanians also living in Manhattan to join him for dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Barr wrote then that their goal was to establish a society “uniting all Pennsylvanians at home and away from home in bonds of friendship and devotion to their native or adopted state.” Eventually shortening their name to The Pennsylvania Society, they would meet for dinner every year, same time, same place. The tradition continues this weekend for the 125th year.

2 Responses

  1. Why the down arrow for Scott Perry? When does doing one’s job–to make sure that we have honest elections–become a “web of communications”? Which of his messages do you find illegal, immoral, fattening, or otherwise objectionable?


  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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