News & Brews December 13, 2022

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GOP House leader sworn in, Dems react

In the latest in the saga over which party has power in the Pa. House, yesterday House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler was sworn in, which his office called “[an] action forced upon him in response to the secret swearing-in of Democrat Leader Joanna McClinton.” In response, House Democrats claimed it was an attempt to deny Pennsylvanians a right to representation. Click here for more on the developments, and click here to watch Leader Cutler’s press conference following his swearing in.

Are people returning to Philly post-pandemic?

Although a significant number of office workers haven’t returned to Philadelphia following Covid shutdowns, according to the president and CEO of the Center City District, “The core of the downtown, while not fully restored … is coming back relatively strongly.”BillyPenn reports on the return of foot traffic to the city and asks if Philly can “do what it needs to keep the momentum going.”

Pa.’s Latino voter turnout fell sharply in mid-term elections

An Inquirer analysis of “precinct-level [election] results from 60 of 67 counties constituting 97% of the overall vote” showed that “[p]recincts where Latinos are the largest ethnic group plummeted 47% in votes cast between the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 U.S. Senate election. The turnout decline across the rest of the state was about 22%.” According to the head of one Latino advocacy group, three months before the elections, more than half of Latino voters in Pa. said they hadn’t been contacted by any political party or candidate. Read more here.

Toomey objects to legislation pushed without any hearings

Gotta love how the Post-Gazette frames this story. Sen. Pat Toomey objected to including the so-called “ENABLERS Act” in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A top GOP staffer on the Senate Banking Committee, on which Toomey is a ranking member, “said the veteran lawmaker objected to the legislation being tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act — a must-pass bill — without any hearings.” Indeed, the Post-Gazette confirms that “there is no record of Senate sessions on the bill.” But the narrative of the P-G story isn’t that Toomey pushed for transparency. It’s that he “played a key role in blocking sweeping anti-money laundering legislation that was created to choke off the billions of dirty dollars pouring into the United States from shady operators, including drug traffickers, oligarchs and corrupt foreign leaders.” Sigh.

Op-ed: ‘Unions have been loyal to Dems. How’s that working out?’

Broad + Liberty Editor-At-Large Kyle Sammin observes in the Inquirer that Democrats and Republicans appear to be somewhat swapping positions when it comes to being the champions for organized labor. He points to the recently averted railway strike, in which government’s action to force a settlement smacks of “a betrayal of workers.” Notably, more Senate Republicans than Democrats opposed the bill. As one astute observer noted, however, the op-ed could also be read as: “‘Republicans should do favors for Union Leaders, and then those union leaders will love them in return’ despite decades of trying that and getting bruised and battered. This is the union politics version of Stockholm Syndrome.”

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