News & Brews November 4, 2021

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GOP gains are ‘alarm bell’ for Dems in 2022

The Inquirer analyzes what the election results in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and NJ might mean for the 2022 elections. Beyond statewide races, the story notes that local election results in southeastern PA, southwestern PA, and Erie County are cause for Democrat concern heading into next year’s midterms. Meanwhile, the AP reports that 2021 gives the PA GOP “more hope for [a] big 2022 election.”

Westmoreland Dems seeking to redefine message

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Democrats in Westmoreland County are looking to redefine their message after Tuesday’s election results, in which “Republicans swept all four county office positions on this year’s ballot and ousted two long-time incumbent Democrats — District Attorney John Peck and Coroner Ken Bacha — from the offices they each have led for more than two decades.” The results “put a bow on what has been a generational shift in political power in a county that just 20 years ago was controlled by Democrats both in terms of holding elected offices and a substantial edge in registered voters.” And for a more extensive roundup of county and mayoral election results across Pennsylvania, check out Politics PA’s Election Results Playbook from yesterday.

Op-Ed: Put parents in charge of their kids’ education

GOP gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi has an op-ed in Broad + Liberty asking how we got to the point where “school board members become self-proclaimed experts on healthcare; sociology; race-relations; etc.—so expert that they do not need to hear comments or questions from parents?” He writes that the “fundamental” solution is to “empower parents” and allow them “to move their child (and their tax dollars) to another school.” Read his piece here.

Editorial: ‘Wolf vaccine days off not his to give’

The Pittsburgh Trib’s Editorial Board writes that whether or not you agree with the COVID vaccine incentive of giving state workers extra time off (or pay for unused extra time off), the plan isn’t something Gov. Wolf has the authority to implement without Legislative approval. “Wolf needs to do his job,” the Ed Board writes, “and part of that job is presenting a plan like this to the Legislature before he announces it as policy.” Hmm, seems we’ve seen this Lone Wolf approach before.

House hearing this morning on gov’t transparency

Amid several House committee hearings taking place this morning, the State Government Subcommittee on Government Integrity and Transparency will hold a hearing on “Commonwealth Transparency 101: Sunshine Act, the Right-to-Know Law, the Ethics Act and Per Diems.” Given how the Wolf administration has balked at transparency over the past 20 months—and how many lawmakers take oodles and oodles of taxpayer dollars in per diems—this hearing is timely, to say the least. The hearing is scheduled for 9am and can be live-streamed here

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