News & Brews August 28, 2023

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Union leaders defend huge contracts

Government union leaders are working to defend “controversial” state contracts recently negotiated behind closed doors with the Shapiro administration. PennLive reports that per the union leaders, the contracts “will aid in efforts to help state government compete with the private sector for employees and retain workers at a time of low unemployment.” But not everyone is happy with the secretive negotiation process. Our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, observed, “Government unions donated nearly $5.5 million to Gov. Shapiro’s recent campaign…. [I]n return, he secretly negotiated contracts with union leaders that will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $3.2 billion. In any other scenario, backroom deals that give taxpayer dollars to campaign donors would raise serious concerns.”

Pa. GOP ‘slowly’ embraces mail-in voting

The Post-Gazette reports that “as 2024 approaches, the GOP is trying to turn the corner on mail-in voting.” To do this, GOP leaders have been “hammering home how Democrats have used early voting to gain an edge in the state…” According to Allegheny County Republican Committee Chair Sam DeMarco regarding the GOP’s efforts, “It’s not where I’d like it to be, but we’re making progress.”

Newsroom targets Shapiro over police officer data

Spotlight PA takes aim at Gov. Shapiro for “refus[ing] to intervene on Pa. police officer data disclosure.” The news outlet was one that had asked Shapiro “to assist with accessing public information about police officers that Pennsylvania State Police maintain.” The stated purpose was “to analyze the employment history of officers that … may enable reporting on issues of police misconduct and oversight.” In response, Shapiro’s office said it makes this data available for officers under the governor’s jurisdiction. “However, the Pennsylvania State Police is not responsible for the administration of the other 1,300 law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania and has no way of knowing which officers from those agencies are putting their lives on the line in dangerous undercover or covert operations.”

Pa.-based CPAC vice chair resigns

Republican analyst Charlie Gerow resigned on Friday as chair of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). PennLive reports that Harrisburg-based Gerow stepped down “while calling for an independent investigation into criminal charges against the organization’s chairman and its finances.” Gerow’s departure follows that of several others on CPAC’s executive committee who have left in recent months.

2024 Pa. congressional matchups

City & State PA previews five ‘competitive’ congressional races in Pa. happening next year. Some of the districts have more of a partisan lean, but a few—such as the 7th district in the Lehigh Valley and 17th district in Beaver and Allegheny counties—will be particular ones to watch.

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