News & Brews January 6 2022

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GOP gov candidates face off in first debate

More than a dozen GOP gubernatorial hopefuls took to the stage last night in their first debate, which touched on issues ranging from energy and the government’s COVID response to education, the economy, and why Pennsylvanians are fleeing the state. While most of the GOP candidates participated, former U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta and state Sen. Doug Mastriano (who is expected to officially announced his candidacy this weekend) did not. Barletta’s campaign said he will not participate in forums (save one sponsored by the Republican Party) until candidates have actually qualified to be on the primary ballot. As for who won the debate? Well, that’s easy. After all, I received a (mass) email late last night from one of the candidates, declaring himself the winner….

Learn more about two of the gubernatorial candidates

In my ongoing quest to share interviews with gubernatorial candidates, I’ve got two for you this morning, both from the Delaware Valley Journal (DVJ). First, the DVJ interviewed retired cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Nche Zama, who was born in Cameroon, Africa, and immigrated to the U.S. with only $20 to his name. Read his story here. Separately, the DVJ podcast caught up with Delaware County businessman Dave White to hear why he’s running for governor and what he thinks about PA’s energy sector—and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Listen here.

Americans moving to low-tax states (Spoiler: PA is not a destination)

Following up on yesterday’s story on U-Haul exits from PA, the Tax Foundation took data from several sources (including U-Haul and the U.S. Census Bureau) to demonstrate that Americans on the move in 2021 chose low-tax states over high-tax states. Unfortunately, PA was among the top 10 states for outmigration. Check out the rankings here.

On allowing self-driving cars to be tested sans a person inside?

Yesterday, Senator Wayne Langerholc (Bedford, Cambria, and Clearfield counties) and Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian announced proposed legislation that would let self-driving cars be tested without a person inside to takeover in the event of an emergency. Langerholc noted that the bill would “send a message … that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be a leader in this emerging technology.”

Op-Ed: Will parents tip the elections in 2022?

I missed this one a few days ago, but Beth Ann Rosica, the head of Back to School PA PAC, had an op-ed in the Delaware Valley Journal noting “parents are dissatisfied with their local schools and school boards and concerned about their children’s future.” She writes, “Parents have never felt as demoralized and hopeless as they have over the last 22 months. Watching their children struggle academically, emotionally, and behaviorally and feeling helpless to support them has changed the game for many parents.” Rosica concludes, “Respect of parental rights may be the single biggest issue for the 2022 elections.” Read her piece here.

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