News & Brews May 13, 2021

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

DOH vendor that leaked info may have also violated wiretap law

Even as news came yesterday that the state attorney general’s office has launched an investigation into the data breach that leaked the private health information of more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians, WPXI reported that the Department of Health is looking into whether its contact tracing vendor, Insight Global, also recorded conversations with Pennsylvanians without their knowledge, which would be against our wiretap law. Meanwhile, as Gov. Wolf thus far has not heeded calls to fire Insight Global and only has promised not to renew the contract when it expires, he called the breach a “bad, bad thing.” You don’t say.

Wolf admin continues anti-amendment PR campaign

This morning at 10am the Wolf administration is scheduled to continue its campaign against the proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on a governor’s emergency powers. If past is prescient, the administration—specifically this time the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)—will predict catastrophe if anyone other than the governor and the governor alone can wield unilateral power for as long as he wants. You can watch the event here. Or simply pull up PEMA’s press conference on the same topic from May 7, or from May 4, or from April 22. I imagine today’s will be pretty much the same. (And these are just from one agency; there are others.)

Op-Ed: Dem redistricting group doesn’t care much for democracy

A new op-ed in Broad + Liberty by our public affairs director, Gina Diorio, looks at how the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, founded by former President Obama and his former Attorney General Eric Holder, is attempting to oust our state Legislature from congressional redistricting and instead leave map-drawing squarely in the hands of the court.

Wolf, DOH give conflicting vaccine numbers

“Which is it?” That’s what the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wants to know given Gov. Wolf and the Department of Health (DOH) are giving different numbers when it comes to how many Pennsylvanians are getting COVID vaccines daily. Wolf said on Tuesday that more than 79,000 are receiving the vaccine each day. But DOH’s seven-day rolling average isn’t even close, at more than 67,000. Who’s right? Who knows. As we’ve seen from this past year, data is tough.

On May 18, VoteYesPA to save lives and livelihoods

On May 18, voters can approve two proposed constitutional amendments that would restore a legislative check and balance on Gov. Wolf’s (and any future governor’s) emergency powers. Check out for resources including a VoteYesPA sign you can download and print, a sample email businesses can send encouraging others to vote yes on May 18, and more.

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox