News & Brews October 24, 2023

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A look at county races in Allegheny, Philly

The Associated Press says, “Local elections in Democratic strongholds at both ends of Pennsylvania next month could show how voters feel about progressive candidates and issues such as abortion and crime ahead of the 2024 election.” I wouldn’t quite call the races bellwethers since, (as the story notes), both Allegheny and Philly are Democrat strongholds. But the races—particularly for DA and county exec in Allegheny—are ones to watch. In the DA race, the longtime Democrat DA is running as a Republican against a progressive Dem. And in the race for county exec, a progressive Dem is facing off against a moderate Republican.

Op-Ed: ‘Shapiro must reset his legislative strategy’

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield draws comparisons between Gov. Shapiro’s lack of legislative accomplishments to date and former Gov. Corbett’s lack of the same at this point in his tenure. While Shapiro blames divided government, other governors facing the same have accomplished more. Nate writes, “Historically, governors, such as Corbett, who sit back and wait on their legislatures – saying things like ‘I’d sign that bill if it gets to my desk’ – don’t get much legislation on their desk. Successful governors engage in the legislative process.”

Dem Senate candidate tied to financial scandal

As Democrat state Rep. Patty Kim (Dauphin and Cumberland counties) recently announced her bid for state Senate, Broad + Liberty reports that one thing she’s not talking about is her role in the House Democrat Campaign Committee’s recent financial scandal. The committee fired its executive director, Trevor Southerland, after Broad + Liberty exposed that he had received $365,000 in ‘reimbursements,’ more than $100,000 of which he could not back up with receipts. Kim was treasurer of the committee “while at least sixteen of the questionable reimbursements were paid, the largest of which were $23,032.56 and $39,216.08.”

Joint hearing today on education funding

The Pa. House Appropriations and Education committees will hold a joint hearing on school funding today at 1:00 p.m. The hearing, which will take place in Philadelphia, will be live-streamed here.

Philly Dems: Discord in the ranks

The Philadelphia Democrat Party has expelled its first committee member for backing progressive Working Families Party candidates. BillyPenn reports, “The expulsion is the first to result from a long-brewing internal party battle over whether Democrats can officially support the Working Families candidates, who are running for at-large seats.” Party Chair Bob Brady says that backing any non-Democrat candidate is against party rules, and he has been threatening such expulsions for years. Meanwhile, some Dems say backing the WFP candidates is their way to keep Republicans off of City Council.

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