News & Brews December 14, 2022

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Are election law changes ahead?

Spotlight PA’s Stephen Caruso dives into the question of whether lawmakers and Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro will accomplish any election law changes following two years of (mostly) stalemate between Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly. The story notes that given the shift in party power in the House, “lawmakers, lobbyists, and voting advocates are lining up with their lists of priorities. Their main takeaway? Neither party is going to get everything they want, but there’s room to cut some kind of a deal.”

Shapiro announces inauguration venue

Rock Lititz in Lititz, Pa. will be the site of Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro’s inauguration ceremony, Shapiro announced yesterday. He and Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis will be sworn in on January 17, and it will be the first time the Lancaster County venue has hosted an inauguration, PennLive reports.

After struggling to raise money, Mastriano didn’t spend all he raised

The Philly Inquirer reports that even as Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano pleaded for funds and said the Republican Governors Association, along with other outside groups, weren’t helping him, the latest campaign finance filings show Mastriano didn’t even spend everything he raised. “In fact, weeks after the election, Mastriano still had more than $1 million in his campaign account left unspent, according to a fund-raising report he filed last week. That’s about 15% of the money he had available for the general election.” This has led some Republicans to observe that the money could have at least been used to help down-ballot candidates.

Government is the problems, says poll

For the seventh year out of the last 10 years, Americans have “name[d] dissatisfaction with the government as the nation’s top problem,” per a new Gallup poll. “An average of 19% of U.S. adults have mentioned some aspect of the government as the most important problem facing the country…. The government edges out the high cost of living or inflation (16%) and outpaces the economy in general (12%).” Gallup further explains: “‘The government’ is a broad category of dissatisfaction with the government that includes a range of responses, such as the president himself, Congress, party politics and gridlock, to name a few.”

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Pa. donations

As FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces a host of legal problems, CNBC reportedyesterday that he’s been charged “with using tens of millions of dollars of misappropriated customer funds to make illegal political donations to both Democratic and Repulican candidates.” Among the recipients of Bankman-Fried’s political donations? The Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s federal pac, which received $10,000 from SBF in August, according to FEC campaign filings. Congressman Brendan Boyle’s campaign committee also received $5,800 from SBF. It’s unclear whether either of these donations has been returned, as disbursements by these groups on the FEC’s site date only through mid-October so far. Bloomberg reports that at least $73 million in political donations “tied to FTX” are “at risk of being clawed back.”

Battle over House majority extends to House funds

The Delaware Valley Journal reports that as the battle between Republicans and Democrats over who holds a majority in the state House continues, the latest front is a transfer of $51.4 million in operational funds by Republican Leader Bryan Cutler. A Democrat spokesperson blasted the transfer as “leav[ing] the new speaker with no reserves and a limited operating budget for this fiscal year,” yet the spokesperson admitted the transfer is legal. In response, Cutler stated, “Democrats are the party of entitlements. They believe they are entitled to the Speaker’s office, but they are not. They believe they are entitled to money specifically appropriated to Republicans, but they are not. They are entitled to try and create a distraction from the disaster of their self-created legislative minority, and that’s all this is.”

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