News & Brews August 5, 2022

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Fetterman asks TV stations to remove attack ad

Democrat U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman is asking TV stations across Pa. to take down an attack ad funded by the National Republican Senatorial Committee—and approved by Republican Mehmet Oz—that accuses Fetterman of wanting to “eliminate life sentences for murderers” and release one-third of all prisoners in Pa. Fetterman’s campaign says the ad is spreading “blatant lies and misinformation.” The Post-Gazette has more.

Op-Ed: ‘AG group is turning civil justice system into a for-profit business’

Here’s an interesting read: Sherman “Tiger” Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, writes that the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) (of which Pa. AG Josh Shapiro is a member), is benefitting financially from lawsuits it helps fund. This practice “diverts settlement money away from actual victims and provides it to NAAG — putting profits before the public interest. It also allows state attorneys general to avoid using state-appropriated funds or having to go to their respective state legislatures for more funds to pursue financially lucrative or ideologically driven litigation.” Concerns over NAAG’s ideology and practices have led several AGs to leave the organization. Read more here.

Undated ballots case impacting candidate’s quest to exit race

The primary election results have still not been certified in a handful of counties, as a Commonwealth Court judge is deciding on a case challenging whether undated mail-in ballots should be counted. The AP reports that the holdup has “created problems” for GOP Rep Matt Dowling, “who has just filed a lawsuit seeking to withdraw from his reelection contest.” Dowling opted not to run for re-election following a DUI charge, but his “district is in Fayette County, where the primary results have not been certified. Until he is deemed the winner of the nomination, the state isn’t letting him withdraw, and there’s a looming deadline for local party officials to pick a substitute.” Read more here.

Counties mull taking new state funding for elections

WHYY reports that some counties are still deciding whether to take their portion of $45 million recently allocated by lawmakers to help with elections. Counties taking the funding would “have to agree to follow several new rules in running their elections …. the most onerous of these rules is that counties will be required to begin processing mail ballots at 7 a.m. on Election Day, when polls open, and ‘continue without interruption’ until the tabulation is complete.” Additionally, counties would have to complete counting mail-in ballots by 12:01am on the day after Election Day. Some counties with limited staff question their ability to comply.

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