News & Brews October 19, 2022

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Poll: Fetterman up by 2, Shapiro up by 11

A new poll by Republican firm Fabrizio Ward and Democrat firm Impact Research shows Democrat John Fetterman leading Republican Mehmet Oz by just 2% (48%-46%) in the race for U.S. Senate. This is well within the margin of error. Meanwhile, Republican Doug Mastriano trails Democrat Josh Shapiro by 11% (53%-42%) in the race for governor. POLITICO has more.

Fetterman’s fracking stance depends on audience

CNN (yes, CNN), takes Democrat John Fetterman to task for his flip-flopping fracking stance, writing, “John Fetterman says he’s ‘always supported’ fracking — he previously said ‘I don’t’ and ‘never have’.” What’s changed (aside from his stated position)? His audience, apparently. The story notes, “Fetterman’s message about the industry has often depended on his audience and he has attempted a balancing act….”

Counties consider dropbox security

In what House State Government Committee Chair Seth Grove (York County) is calling a “HUGE election integrity win,” the Chester County Board of Elections agreed in court to overhaul how the county monitors ballot dropboxes. Broad + Liberty explains this includes “a commitment that dropboxes will always be manned, will have specified hours of availability rather than being open 24-7, and will include video surveillance for every dropbox.” The changes came on the heels of a lawsuit that came after video surveillance obtained via Right-to-Know request “showed over 300 instances from the 2022 primary election where multiple ballots were dropped off by a single person,” in violation of state law. The elections board contends, however, that the lawsuit was not an influencing factor. Meanwhile, Lehigh County has suspended the use of dropboxes pending ongoing litigation surrounding dropbox monitoring.

Passions run high at hearing on parental rights bill

Yesterday, the Senate State Government Committee held a public hearing on a proposedparental bill of rights, introduced by Sen. Doug Mastriano (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties), that would “enumerate the rights of parents and legal guardians to direct the upbringing, education, and health care of their child.” The Center Square reports, “The committee heard testimony from parents concerned over how school districts handled pandemic-era remote learning, mask mandates, gender issues and transparency on school policies for personal pronouns.” Criticizing the hearing as one-sided, Democrat Sharif Street of Philadelphia compared parents who are concerned about what their children are learning in schools with parents who supported racial segregation in schools.

‘4 candidates, 4 religious traditions’

What do John Fetterman and Doug Mastriano have in common? Their religious fervor. So writes Pittsburgh Post-Gazette deputy editorial page editor Brandon McGinley in an insightful piece looking at the religious traditions of John Fetterman, Mehmet Oz, Doug Mastriano, and Josh Shapiro. While Mastriano’s faith has received near endless attention, McGinley writes that “John Fetterman, despite evincing no particular religious beliefs, represents an American spiritual tradition…. This tradition, the social gospel, sees political reform and social justice as the expressions of authentic spirituality, more fundamental than belief.” Read the piece here.

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