News & Brews May 12, 2022

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Corman reportedly will drop out of gov’s race

PennLive reports that Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman is expected to announce today that he’s dropping out of the governor’s race and endorsing fellow Republican Lou Barletta. The news comes as Republican leaders have been working behind the scenes to encourage candidates who are trailing in the polls to coalesce around an alternative to frontrunner Doug Mastriano—and effort that, as of yesterday, had not gained support from enough of the candidates to be potentially successful.

WSJ Editorial: Republicans will regret nominating Mastriano

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board enters the conversation on our Republican primary for governor, registering concern that Republicans will likely throw away a chance at winning the governorship if they nominate Doug Mastriano in next week’s primary election. The Ed Board highlights the recent poll showing that while swing voters generically prefer a Republican for governor, in a matchup between Mastriano and Democrat Josh Shapiro, swing voters change their allegiance dramatically to Shapiro. The takeaway? “Pennsylvania Republicans will regret it if their party throws away another winnable election….”

Possible Barnette Senate nomination has national Republicans in panic mode

Meanwhile on the Senate side, Axios reports, “Influential Republicans in Washington and among the nationwide party elite are having a belated [moment of panic] over the previously unimaginable prospect that Kathy Barnette could win their party’s nomination for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania.” Barnette has surged in the polls recently, breaking through the din of Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, but many Republicans fear she would be a significant liability in the General Election and effectively “hand a competitive seat to Democrats.”

Charter leader fights against Wolf’s funding cuts

The new CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools vowed yesterday “torally support for charter schools and fend off Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed funding cuts to charter schools included in his budget proposal.” At an event at the Capitol, Anne Clark emphasized, “The heart that our schools have is we put our students first, always.” Read more here.

PA education funding up 40% since 2000

Persistent claims of underfunding by Democrats and teachers’ unions notwithstanding, education funding in Pennsylvania has been on the rise, increasing 40% since 2000. Commonwealth Foundation policy analyst Stefanie Mason notes, “Pennsylvania ranks top seven in the nation in education funding, spending an average of $19,000 per student per year. That’s 28% higher than the national average of $15,000 per student.” Read more at the Center Square.

PSERS may sue its consulting firm over profits error

In the latest in the PSERS mess, the Inquirer reports that the pension fund has hired an outside law firm “to consider suing the consulting firm that admitted botching a key profits calculation in an error that has triggered an ongoing FBI investigation.” Other legal options are also being considered. The firm that made the mistake—Chicago-based Aon—blamed the mistake on “human error” and errors in data entry.

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