News & Brews November 14, 2022

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Luzerne County ballot mess continues

The Citizens Voice reports that “[t]he first public answers as to what caused a ballot paper shortage at some Luzerne County voting precincts last week might come at Monday’s meeting of the county board of elections.” Dozens of polling sites in the county ran out of paper on election day, The results: “Some voters were forced to vote via provisional ballot or emergency ballot, while others left polling sites without voting. A judge ordered polls to stay open until 10 p.m.” As the county began sorting through these ballots, Republican House candidate James May “walked back” his concession to Democrat Jim Haddock pending the completion of vote counting.

‘How Mastriano flamed out after a Trump-fueled surge’

The Erie Times-News takes an in-depth look (paywall) at Republican Doug Mastriano’s failed gubernatorial campaign—from messaging to fundraising to strategy. One key takeaway: Mastriano’s refusal to reach beyond his Republican base was a predictable recipe for disaster. As our president and CEO Matt Brouillette notes in the story, “I honestly didn’t think it would be this bad. I thought that he would understand that to win elections in Pennsylvania you have to appeal to all voters and not just your Republican base. Obviously he decided to go his own path and we’ve seen the results. I’d call it campaign malpractice. It’s one that should never be replicated again.

Mastriano concedes governor’s race

Days after his double-digit loss, Doug Mastriano yesterday issued a statement conceding the gubernatorial race to Josh Shapiro. “Difficult to accept as the results are,” Mastriano said, “there is no right course but to concede.” He went on to call for election reform moving forward and said he would do his “very best” to help Shapiro deliver such reform to Pennsylvanians. Read Mastriano’s full statement here.

Election post-mortem: Taking stock of GOP losses in Pa.

The Post-Gazette reports that despite Republicans’ having ‘history on their side,’ the “scope” of GOP losses in Pennsylvania was “historic.” For some perspective, “Pennsylvania will send two Democrats to the U.S. Senate for the first time since the mid-1940s. The Congressional delegation will be majority-Democrat for the first time since 2010. Republicans are on the cusp of losing their state House majority for the first time in more than a decade. And the GOP lost an open-seat governor’s race by the largest margin in 70 years.” What went wrong? Check out the story here.

‘From academics to activists’: The self-politicization of teachers’ unions

A new report from the Government Accountability Institute details how, over the past 20 years, teachers unions have spent more and more of members’ dues money each year on political campaigns and lobbying. “In fact, over the past four years the NEA [National Education Association] has spent more money on political activities and lobbying than on traditional ‘representational activities.'” Read the report summary here or the full report here.

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