News & Brews December 22, 2022

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Day in court for House power struggle yields no conclusion

What began as a court hearing yesterday changed into closed door negotiations that “failed … to settle a dispute between Republican and Democratic [House] leaders about when to hold three special elections that will determine control of their chamber,” the AP reports. Both sides indicated they were near agreement on Feb. 7 as the date for the special election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Tony DeLuca, but it appears that nearness diminishes when it comes to two additional special elections.

Pa. Dems silent on whether they’ll return Sam Bankman-Fried’s donations

As FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) faces a slew of charges in what’s been called“one of the biggest financial frauds in American history,” Pa. Democrats who accepted donations from SBF are silent on whether they’ll return the tainted money. Broad + Liberty’s Todd Shepherd reports, “In Pennsylvania, Bankman-Fried gave $10,000 to the state Democratic Party in August, according to FEC records. He also contributed $2,900 in April to Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Northeast Philly Democrat representing Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District.” While national Democrat groups are planning to return millions, “the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Boyle’s campaign did not respond to emailed requests for comment on their intentions regarding the money.” Hmm, this shouldn’t be a tough question.

Pa. pension heads to get big pay boost

PennLive’s Jan Murphy reports that even as government officials in Pa. are slated to get a 7.8% pay boost on Jan. 1 because of a 1995 law tying their pay to changes in the Consumer Price Index, the heads of Pennsylvania’s two pension systems are also getting big boosts—even though these “positions are not among the officials listed in the law.” The board chair of PSERS said the $21,450 raise for its executive director is tied to the retirement code, but the board chair of SERS cited no mandate for the $15,600 raise for its executive director. Read more here.

Krasner submits response to Pa. Senate in advance of impeachment trial

Yesterday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner submitted to the Pa. Senate his formal response to the articles of impeachment against him. The Inquirer reports that in the response, which you can read here, Krasner “provided several reasons he believes each of the seven charges against him should not stand, and more broadly stated that the alleged offenses do not amount to ‘misbehavior in office’ and that impeachment and removal is not applicable to a locally elected official.” The impeachment trial is scheduled to begin January 18.

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