News & Brews August 17, 2022

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Mastriano challenges Shapiro to non-media-hosted debates

Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano sent Democrat Josh Shapiro a letter, challenging him to two debates that would be organized not by media outlets but by the two campaigns. “Typically,” Mastriano writes, “Republican statewide candidates fall prey to the trap of debates that are effectively a two-against-one matchup, in which the mainstream media, who moderate the debates, are unpaid advocates and ideological allies of the Democrat candidates.” The Shapiro campaign shot back that Mastriano’s offer is “unserious” and “an obvious stunt to avoid any real questions….”

Shapiro’s ad spending tops $12 million

With his latest ad attacking rival Doug Mastriano, Josh Shapiro has brought his general election ad spending to $12 million, Mastriano, meanwhile, “has spent nothing on traditional TV advertising in the general election,” NBC News reports. The figures are from AdImpact, which tracks political spending.

House committee hearing focuses on open primaries

Yesterday, the House State Government Committee held a public hearing on proposed legislation that would allow independent voters to vote in primary elections. Currently these elections—which are the mechanisms by which the Republican and Democrat parties select their respective nominees to run in the general election—are open only to registered Republicans and Democrats. Proponents of open primaries contend that the current system shuts voters out, while closed-primary advocates point out that these elections are party functions, so it’s appropriate that only registered party voters can vote. Of course, one solution would be for government to stop running and funding these party functions entirely and let the parties run and fund their own internal elections.

Inflation is hitting Pa. workers

Remember that “transitory” inflation that really isn’t that bad because the economy is great—if only we would realize it? Well, the Morning Call reports on “how quickly Pennsylvanians’ pay is falling behind inflation,” noting that according to the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, “‘real average hourly earnings’ — a measure of workers’ pay adjusted for inflation — declined by 3.9% in June.” This was the biggest contraction of the year to date. Read the story here.

PA Family: Wolf executive order seeks to restrict therapy access

Yesterday, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order purportedly intended to protect members of the LGBTQ community from so-called “conversion therapy.” But the PA Family Institute points out that the order would “restrict therapy aimed at helping people feel comfortable in their own bodies.” PA Family notes the order would discourage individuals whose therapy goals differ from Wolf’s beliefs from seeking counseling and “[hinder] the ability of counselors and therapists to help their patients.”

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