News & Brews March 9, 2022

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Supreme Court hears oral argument in mail-in voting case

Yesterday, our state Supreme Court justices heard several hours of oral argument in the case challenging our 2019 no-excuse mail-in voting law. Spotlight PA reports that questioning focused “on the two sections of the state constitution at the heart of the dispute over its legality: one that dictates eligibility requirements for voting, and another that spells out the circumstances for voters to cast an absentee ballot.” Read more here.

Poll: McCormick, Barletta lead, but many undecided

A new Fox News poll of PA GOP primary voters shows former hedge fund CEO David McCormick leads celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz 24%-15% in the primary race for U.S. Senate but 31% of voters remain undecided. On the gubernatorial GOP primary front Lou Barletta slightly edges Sen. Doug Mastriano 19%-18%, but 25% are undecided, Meanwhile, the Inquirer looks at the battle between McCormick and Oz, noting that spending on ads has already topped $20 million

Op-Ed: Wolf’s ‘green’ agenda is fueling Putin’s war machine

Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, has an op-ed in the Delaware Valley Journalhighlighting that while Gov. Wolf and his allies are “fast asleep under the spell of radical environmentalism and so-called ‘green’ energy,” their slumber is helping finance Putin’s attacks on Ukraine. “While Pennsylvania has the potential to power the nation and free the world from dependence on Russian energy,” Matt writes, “Wolf’s policies are forcing Americans, and Europeans, to buy overpriced Russian energy which funds the bombs dropping on innocent Ukrainians.” Read his piece here.

House GOP lawmakers call on Wolf to allow drilling on state land

Yesterday, House Republican lawmakers “call[ed] on Gov. Wolf to end the moratorium on natural gas drilling on state lands as part of a multi-pronged agenda for leading Pennsylvania and the United States toward energy independence,” PennLive reports. House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (Centre and Mifflin counties) said, “Every cent the United States and our allies spend on Russian oil and gas goes to finance their war efforts and the goals of Vladimir Putin and his oligarch allies.” The Wolf administration retorted that lawmakers’ efforts are a “giveaway” to the natural gas industry. Meanwhile, Wolf’s policies continue to give bomb-buying-funds to Putin, so there’s that.

Lawmaker questions Wolf admin on unionization scheme

At yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Human Services, Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (York County) questioned Acting Secretary Meg Snead about the Wolf administration’s effort to force Managed Care Organizations to unionize. Phillips-Hill noted this scheme would potentially limit access to health care for Medicaid recipients. Watch the exchange here.

Wolf asks Congress to suspend federal gas tax, but what about PA?

Yesterday, Gov. Wolf joined several other governors in asking Congress to suspend the federal gas tax until the end of the year, as gas prices continue to skyrocket. But as GOP Rep. Seth Grove (York County) pointed out, “Um, Pa has a gas tax. Is the governor going to ask the [General Assembly] to suspend? Nice leadership.” Indeed, Pennsylvania has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, at 58.7 cents per gallon.

Nat’l Dems focus on PA elections

WHYY reports that today, the Democrat party “plans to formally launch its coordinated campaign for Pennsylvania’s wide-open races for governor and U.S. Senate, as well as congressional and other down-ballot races…. It will entail the commonwealth’s Democratic Party working closely with national Democrats on messaging, fundraising, and voter outreach.” The effort comes as PA is in the unusual situation of having open races for U.S. Senate and governor in the same year. Many agree these races will make history for the amount of money spent (although the Dems didn’t say how much they’re spending on their coordinated campaign). Read more here.

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