News & Brews December 7, 2022

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First ad in Philly mayor’s race hits the airwaves

Next year, Philadelphia voters will elect a new mayor to replace term-limited Jim Kenney. And as the field of candidates grows, the first ad—supporting grocer Jeff Brown—has hit the airwaves. The Inquirer reports that the ad, which features former First Lady Michelle Obama, is paid for by the political action committee “For a Better Philadelphia.” As of now, the ad buy is $92,000, and the ads are slated to run for two weeks.

Shapiro announces pick for budget secretary

Yesterday, Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro announced that the Philadelphia School District’s recently named deputy superintendent and, prior to that, chief financial officer Uri Monson will become Pennsylvania’s next budget secretary. The Inquirer reports, “Monson has close ties to Shapiro, who was chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners when Monson was Montgomery County’s top financial official.” Meanwhile, City and State PA is tracking everyone Shapiro has named so far to his team.

DOJ subpoenas local election officials re: 2020 election

The AP reports that Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, “has subpoenaed local election officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, asking for communications with or involving former President Donald Trump, his 2020 campaign aides and a list of allies involved in his efforts to try to overturn the results of the election.” In Pa., a spokesperson confirmed that Allegheny County received a subpoena, while the Department of State, along with several other counties, declined to say whether they’d been recipients as well.

Eight Democrats line up for vacant House seat

Yesterday, I shared a story that said at least two candidates had tossed their hats in the ring for the House seat left vacant by the passing of Rep. Tony DeLuca. Well, that was six off. WESA reports, “A total of eight hopefuls filed letters of intent, and a $500 filing fee, by a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline with the [Democrat] party and can thus compete to be the party’s nominee….” Democrat committee members will meet Sunday to select their nominee, and they will use a voting method that’s been growing in popularity: ranked choice voting. “Rather than require multiple rounds of voting … the party will have committee people rank their choices, from 1 to 8, on their ballots, and then tabulate results that factor in second and third choices to reach consensus.” The special election is set for February 7.

Wolf admin seeks to bypass legislature in defining ‘sex’ in nondiscrimination law

Spotlight PA reports, “In the closing days of his final term in office, Gov. Tom Wolf is backing a regulatory change that would formalize nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people while circumventing the legislature.” At issue is “the definition of sex as it applies to the state’s nondiscrimination laws. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act bans discrimination in hiring, firing, housing, and schooling on the basis of sex, though it does not define the term.” Read more here.

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