News & Brews October 25, 2023

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Shapiro hides behind NDA in harassment case

Yesterday Gov. Shapiro defended his unwillingness to comment on the sexual harassment allegation scandal that’s plagued his administration for several weeks. Instead, he claimed he has a “responsibility” to abide by a nondisclosure agreement. But not so fast, say others. The Post-Gazette reports that Democrat consultant Julie Roginsky has “urged Mr. Shapiro to release the woman from the confidentiality agreement.” And, “Legal experts … have said a body of case law makes clear confidentiality agreements such as the NDA in this instance can’t silence the government.” Further, “[C]ivil rights and First Amendment advocates alike say the government has a responsibility to protect citizens’ rights to speak out, particularly when it comes to what’s happening inside of government — and especially when it involves a settlement that will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Candidates line up for central Pa. House district

After Democrat state Rep. Patty Kim announced last week that she will not seek re-election to her House seat as she runs for state Senate, aspiring lawmakers are lining up in hopes of succeeding her. So far, three Democrats have said they plan to run to represent the district, which is in Dauphin and Cumberland counties. They are community leader Tina Nixon, Camp Hill Borough Councilwoman Mercedes Evans, and Democrat staffer Nathan Davidson.

Third Dem to enter race for state treasurer

The Inquirer reports that former Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz plans to announce his campaign for state treasurer, becoming the third candidate to enter the Democrat primary in hopes of challenging incumbent Republican Treasurer Stacey Garrity. Also running are Dem. State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro of Erie County and Allegheny County Democrat Erin McClelland.

Lawmaker seeks to ‘eliminate school board conflicts of interest in union contracts’

Republican state Rep. Brad Roae (Crawford and Erie counties) yesterday proposed legislation that would prevent school board members from voting on union contracts “if a spouse, romantic partner or household resident is in the collective bargaining unit under consideration.” Roae stated, “As two-thirds of a typical school district budget encompasses salaries, health insurance, pension and Social Security costs, school property taxes are often increased to cover the cost of large pay raises and low employee out-of-pocket health care…. It is a conflict of interest for a school board member to vote on agreements that keep their own household expenses low and salaries high, which necessitates hikes in property taxes for those living in the area.”

Superior Court candidate recovering after crash

Republican Superior Court Candidate Maria Battista was hospitalized overnight after being struck by a car on Sunday evening while putting out yard signs. The AP reports, “Her campaign said she was released Monday after being treated for injuries that included a hairline fracture of her collarbone.” Further, “she expects to be back on the campaign trail in a few days.” We wish her a speedy recovery.

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