News & Brews April 22, 2022

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U.S. Dem. Senate candidates trade attacks at debate

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta met on the debate stage last night for the first time, and there was some political grenade-throwing to be had. On inflation, Fetterman wants to tax the “hyper rich,” but when asked what that means, he said, “You know it when you see it.” Ummmm. He went on to claim that a few seconds on a debate stage isn’t enough time to name a number. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well. Lamb and Kenyatta also criticized Fetterman for pulling a gun on an unarmed Black jogger in 2013, an incident that will undoubtedly come back to haunt Fetterman if he’s the Democrat nominee. Read more here, or click here (and scroll down) to watch a replay of the debate.

Gloves come off in GOP Lt. Gov. primary

After Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Rep. Russ Diamond posted a video attacking the record of fellow GOP Lt. Gov. candidate Teddy Daniels, Daniels—who has been endorsed by gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano—threatened to confront Diamond in person when they are “in the same room.” It remains to be seen what, exactly, this means. Here’s the video that caused the kerfuffle.

Poll: PA voters favor constitutional amendment to privatize liquor

According to a recent poll by the Distilled Spirts Council of the United States, 64% of Pennsylvania voters favor amending our state constitution to get government out of the retail liquor business. PennLive reports that more than 6 in 10 of those supporting an amendment are “Republicans, independents, rural, urban, suburban, union and non-union voters.” Meanwhile, 53% of Democrats support privatization. In other words, bipartisan majorities want to get government out of the booze business.

Philly to drop mask mandate

Good grief: If anyone is still taking Philly’s health guidance seriously….why? Now, the city plans to end its indoor mask mandate, just four days after implementing it. The city’s Department of Public Health cited “decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts.” Since when? Doesn’t it (supposedly) take two weeks to figure out a trend? And, if it’s true, then clearly the four-day-old mandate had nothing to do with the decrease. A more appropriate explanation might be the backlash to the mandate—or maybe the fact that lots of people were simply ignoring it. Nice job earning the public trust, Philly.

RGGI rule set to be published

StateImpact reports that Gov. Wolf’s rule forcing Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is set to be published this weekend, after a court order staying the publication “expired after no hearing was scheduled.” Republican lawmakers have contended that Wolf does not have the constitutional authority to unilaterally force Pennsylvania into RGGI, absent approval from the General Assembly.

Op-Ed: ‘Why ban Zuckerbucks?’

Republican Sen. Dave Argall (Berks and Schuylkill counties) explains the Senate’s recent bi-partisan passage of legislation to ban third-party funding of elections. Argall writes, “It’s clear why this issue cuts across partisan lines: dark money being funneled into our elections raises the specter of shadowy actors with big pocketbooks exerting their influence.” Read his piece here.

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