News & Brews August 25, 2023

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Pa. Dems focus on abortion in Supreme Court race

As voters prepare to elect a new state Supreme Court justice this November, Democrats are hoping their enthusiastic support of abortion will win them the seat. The AP reports, “Democrats and their allies are bringing up talk of abortion … at their rallies and in their ads and are casting a contest for a Pennsylvania high court seat as an existential response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority.” Democrat nominee Dan McCaffery has previously said he believes the Constitution is a “living document” and the court is an engine for “social justice,” while Republican nominee Carolyn Carluccio emphasizes that judges should apply the law as written and not legislate from the bench.

Philly’s return to the office lags behind most cities 

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The City of Brotherly Love has a new reputation as one of the emptiest office districts in America.” According to one measure, Philly’s office occupancy rate has been around 40% over recent months, although the story notes that some question this data. By comparison, “New York City occupancy has consistently been more than 45% … while Dallas and Austin, Texas, office use has ranged between 50% and 65%.” Some suggest that “the combination of the office-worker exodus, taxes and crime has resulted in more empty office space on the market today than during the 2008 recession.”

How secretive union contracts cost Pennsylvanians

Why is it that reporters are often hyper focused on transparency—except when it comes to multi-billion-dollar contracts that Gov. Josh Shapiro just negotiated with some of his big union donors? Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, dives into the opacity of Pa.’s government union contract negotiations and why even Democrats and union leaders used to be opposed to public sector unionism. Check out his piece at RealClear Pennsylvania.

Pa. Dem mayors ask Biden to give amnesty to illegal immigrants

City & State PA reports that a group of six Democrat Pa. mayors has asked President Biden to give legal protections to individuals who are in the country illegally. In their letter to Biden, the mayors wrote, “These families belong to our communities and contribute greatly to our cultural and economic growth.”  But “they have no lawful avenue to gain legal status.” The mayors’ effort is being led by CASA, a group whose political action arm is funded by labor unions and so-called “dark money.”

Resignations, retirements, and special elections

The progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star has published a running update of lawmakers who have left office during this legislative session—and the special elections that have been (or will be) held to fill their seats. It’s a handy reference, which will be updated with any new additions, for those interested in tracking legislative turnover.

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