News & Brews October 13, 2021

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Shapiro announces for governor

As expected, Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro is announcing his run for governor today. This morning, he released his campaign launch video presenting himself as the champion of the little guy and the candidate who will reject divisive politics (a questionable claim at best if you’ve read any of his fundraising emails over the past several months). Meanwhile, someone sent me this gem of an editorial from more than a decade ago when former Attorney General Tom Corbett was running for governor. Back then, the Inquirer wrote, “Attorney General Tom Corbett should quit his day job and focus on running for governor. It’s nearly impossible lately for the public to separate Corbett’s law-enforcement duties from his role as the GOP nominee for governor.” I wonder whether the Inky Ed Board will have the same opinion when it comes to their beloved Josh Shapiro. I’m not holding my breath.

Lawmakers, law firms, and taxpayer money

In its latest investigative piece, Spotlight PA (which is connected to the Inquirer) looks at how lawmakers use taxpayer dollars to give business to politically connected law firms that have donated to the lawmakers’ campaigns. We can’t wait for the investigative story on how the Wolf administration issues mandates to please politically connected government unions that gave millions to his campaign. Oh wait, that one’s not coming??

More redistricting hearings today

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission, responsible for drawing state legislative lines, will hold a hearing this afternoon “to explore legislative redistricting issues affecting racial and other minority populations, including concerns under the Federal Voting Rights Act.” The 2pm hearing will be live-streamed here. Separately, the House State Government Committee will hold a hearing on congressional redistricting this afternoon at 4pm. This is part of a series of regional hearings the committee is holding. Today’s hearing will be live-streamed here.

Testimony alleges Johnny Doc threatened agency head

As the federal trial of Philadelphia labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty is in its second week, testimony alleges he “threatened the former head of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections during a meeting in Councilmember Bobby Henon’s office, saying he could have the commissioner fired.” The testimony comes amid allegations that Johnny Doc paid Henon $70,000 for a “no-show job” at IBEW Local 98 in exchange for official actions by Henon. This trial is significant given Johnny Doc has bankrolled dozens and dozens of political candidates across the state.

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