News & Brews November 29, 2021

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Redistricting showdown preview

The AP reported that on Wednesday, Gov. Wolf “released the priorities for drawing Pennsylvania’s new congressional districts given to him by the panel he picked, signaling that he is ready to start discussions with Republicans who control the Legislature.” The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), backed by former President Barack Obama and his former Attorney General Eric Holder, had aimed to flip Pennsylvania’s Legislature blue by now in order to control the redistricting process. Having failed in that aim, the NDRC turned to litigation in hopes that the state Supreme Court would hijack the role of the Legislature and impose a congressional district map favoring Democrats (as the court did in 2018). NDRC filed a lawsuit to this end earlier this year, but the Commonwealth Court dismissed it in October for lack of standing.

Behemoth liberal group spent nearly $900 million last year

If you’ve never heard of Arabella Advisors, you’re not alone. But FoxNews reports that the behemoth consulting firm that funnels money through four non-profits to oodles of progressive causes raised nearly $1.6 billion last year from anonymous donors and gave $896 million in grants to liberal groups. (The next time the Left cries about so-called ‘dark money’, just remember this.) Why does this matter for PA? Well, for one thing, the progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star media outlet began as a ‘project’ of a group called the States Newsroom, which was a ‘project’ of the Hopewell Fund, which is one of Arabella’s four managed non-profits.

Here’s who’s running for U.S. Senate (so far)

Although Sean Parnell suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate last week, the candidate field on both the Republican and Democrat side remains pretty big. Here’s who’s running so far, along with who might enter the fray, as reported by City & State PA.

PA’s vaccine rate drops due to ‘data correction’

A “data correction” has dropped the percent of COVID-vaccinated adults in PA from 73.7% to 68.9%, the AP reports. The state Department of Health said in a statement, “On Nov. 23, the CDC began to rectify their data to match Pennsylvania COVID-19 vaccine data and we anticipate the CDC to go through a similar process with other states across the country.” The Wolf administration had also been announcing the higher numbers in recent weeks.

Op-Ed: American capitalism means dignity for every individual

My colleague Abhi Samuel had a great Thanksgiving op-ed in Broad + Liberty, contrasting the conveniences capitalism has produced—like microwaves, washing machines, and cars—with the reality of where he grew up in socialist India. Read and share here!

Shapiro wants Supreme Court to keep Wolf’s school mask mandate

Apparently taking a mini-break from his gubernatorial campaign (if that’s possible), Attorney General Josh Shapiro asked the state Supreme Court to keep in place the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate, pending the outcome of the ongoing court case. The mandate is set to expire on Dec. 4 after the Commonwealth Court struck it down. The Wolf administration appealed the ruling, and the Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument in the case on Dec. 8.

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