News & Brews February 24, 2022
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Supreme Court picks Dem-backed congressional map
Yesterday, the state Supreme Court announced it had picked the so-called “Carter” congressional redistricting map, which is the map proposed by the plaintiffs in the case that originally asked the Supreme Court to take over the redistricting process. The lawsuit, and by extension the Carter map, was backed by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the group created in 2016 by former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder to control the redistricting process to benefit Democrats. That said, in the end the new map would slightly favor Republicans in a 50-50 year (when Rs and Ds are polling evenly). In the current environment where Democrats are performing abysmally, Republicans would be favored a bit more. The court’s ruling was 4-3, with Democrat Justice Deborah Todd joining Republican Justices Sallie Updyke Mundy and Kevin Brobson in dissenting.
Corman wants investigation of Mastriano’s fundraising
In the aftermath of Republican gubernatorial candidate and Sen. Doug Mastriano suddenly revealing he’d raised nearly three times as much last year as he originally reported, fellow candidate and Sen. Jake Corman is asking a prosecutor to investigate Mastriano’s campaign finances. In a letter to the Franklin County district attorney, Corman’s lawyer wrote, “[I]t appears that Senator Mastriano … may have committed flagrant and willful violations” of the law by “submitting an obviously deficient and incomplete campaign finance report that failed to disclose hundreds of pages of transactions.” The Inquirer has more.
What do PA voters think of President Biden?
A new poll from Civiqs (which has been ranked by FiveThirtyEight as having a slight left-leaning bias) breaks down President Biden’s approval rating among Pennsylvania registered voters. And the news isn’t good for Biden: 56% of voters disapprove of how he’s handling his job as president, while 36% approve. Notably, among independent voters, Biden’s disapproval stands at 63%, with just 27% approving. See the poll results here.
PA Dep’t of Ed says it will (finally) release test scores next week
PennLive reports, “After months of waiting, the Pennsylvania Department of Education plans to release the 2021 state assessment results next week.” Lawmakers had previously called on the department to release the results, which in November the department said would be released “in the coming weeks.” The story notes that Secretary of Education Noe Ortega “cautioned lawmakers that a lower than usual student participation rate in the test taking ‘largely due to COVID-19 related concerns’ makes it challenging to discern whether the final results are ‘valid, reliable, and representative of true student performance.'”My translation: The test results will likely show concerning learning losses during Covid, and the Wolf administration is hoping to preemptively downplay the impact of school closures. See the story here.
Our endorsement for Lt. Gov.
Some news from us! Commonwealth Partners announced yesterday that we’ve endorsed businesswoman and state Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso for lieutenant governor. Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, said, “Whether it’s defending good-paying trades jobs in the energy industry or helping kids get access to the best education, Carrie is fighting for the workers and families of Pennsylvania.” Read our full endorsement announcement here