News & Brews October 4, 2021

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Deadline passes in Senate GOP’s subpoena of voter information

Friday marked the deadline in the Senate GOP’s subpoena of the Wolf administration, seeking information on millions of Pennsylvania voters. The AP reports that both the Wolf administration and Senate Republicans “remained silent on the matter” as the deadline came and went. Per the news story, it’s unclear whether the courts can force the Wolf administration to comply with the subpoena.

Emails reveal dispute caused delay in getting vaccines to elderly

While other states began distributing COVID vaccines to seniors in long-term care facilities on December 21 of last year, Pennsylvania waited an entire week before doing so. In an exclusive story, Broad + Liberty reveals, “A series of emails between state and federal officials show that the decision to wait till Dec. 28 was a matter of controversy, and both blamed the other for the shots not having been distributed at least a week earlier….”

Johnny Doc trial starts this week

Since his federal indictment nearly three years ago on charges of bribery and embezzlement, IBEW 98 labor leader John Dougherty has continued to bankroll political campaigns. Indeed, Democrat candidates for our statewide appellate courts this year have accepted $140,000 from Johnny Doc’s union. This week, as Dougherty’s long-awaited federal trial begins, the Inquirer recaps his rise to power and considers what might happen if Dougherty emerges from the trial unscathed. In a separate piece, the Inky breaks down “what you need to know” about the trial.

Latest PSERS drama involves leaks to media

Some board members of the state’s largest pension fund are reportedly trying to keep other board members out of legal briefings on the federal investigation of the fund and considering asking them to sign non-disclosure agreements. This comes after some board members leaked information to the media surrounding the federal probe. Put more succinctly, the PSERS drama continues.

Police report: Gerow was sideswiped by motorist

Not much has been in the news about the fatal crash involving Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Gerow. Now, the AP writes that a police report indicates Gerow “was sideswiped by a motorcyclist in a July nighttime crash that left the motorcyclist dead and the candidate traveling another 5 miles with the motorcycle lodged on his car.” Gerow has not been charged in the crash. According to a state police spokesperson, the investigation “remains active and ongoing,” and “[u]pon completion, the district attorney will be consulted in order to make a prosecutorial decision.”

Good grief: Lawmaker to introduce forced sterilization bill 

Here’s one to show how some lawmakers deal with their political opponents. Angry at his pro-life colleagues in the Legislature, Rep. Chris Rabb (Philadelphia) plans to introduce legislation requiring men to “undergo vasectomies within 6 weeks from having their third child or 40th birthday, whichever comes first.” Reading Rabb’s cosponsorship memo, you can tell this is clearly a half-serious reaction to pro-life efforts the Legislature. But seriously, I hope it comes up for a vote to see how many legislators would actually support it. (My uneducated guess is that Rabb would vote against his own bill on this one.) 

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