News & Brews October 30, 2023

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Dem court nominee McCaffery’s nepotism under scrutiny

The Delaware Valley Journal reports on an ad (run by our connected PAC) exposing that Democrat Supreme Court nominee Judge Dan McCaffery hired his domestic partner, Samantha Riebow, for a taxpayer-funded job in his office, in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct’s prohibition against nepotism. McCaffery counters that the hiring was justified since Riebow originally began working for the court in 2006, before the anti-nepotism rule went into effect. But the reality is McCaffery hired her in his particular Superior Court office in 2019, after the rules had been in place for years and after the two were already in a relationship.

Will George Soros buy Allegheny Count DA race? 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that according to the latest campaign finance filings, “An outside political group backed by billionaire liberal donor George Soros is continuing to finance almost all of Matt Dugan’s campaign for Allegheny County district attorney, while longtime incumbent DA Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. is getting considerable support from labor unions.” Dugan bested Zappala in the Democrat primary, but Zappala garnered enough write-in votes to secure the Republican nomination. Outside of Soros’ $1.1 million, Dugan raised just $67,000 from June 6 to Oct. 23, “a very small sum for a countywide race.” Meanwhile, Zappala raised $684,100 for the same time period, and PACs “representing banks, labor unions, and other entities contributed well over $200,000 to Mr. Zappala’s campaign.”

Will ChesCo’s commissioner board swing GOP? 

Democrats won a majority on the Chester County Board of Commissioners in 2019—the first time they did so in county history. With three seats up for election and four candidates running (two Republicans and two incumbent Democrats), the Inquirer considers whether the Board will stay blue or swing red. One of the two Republicans is former state Rep. Eric Roe. The story notes, “Chester County’s electorate is split sharply between red and blue camps. And while Democrats hold an edge on Republicans by around 8,000 registered voters, the party also saw more of its voters re-register with the GOP in 2022 than any other year since 2016.”

Pa. ‘silver tsunami’ set to drive up taxes

The Center Square reports, “Pennsylvania’s ‘silver tsunami’ of retirees outpacing workers isn’t only a population shift: it’ll also drive up the tax burden.” A recent report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office states, “The actual contraction of the working-age cohort suggests that real per capita tax levels for that age group must increase to keep pace with the anticipated increase in demand for healthcare and other services.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as both the IFO and state Treasurer Stacy Garrity (among others) have warned of upcoming budget shortfalls.

GOP, 3rd party/Indy voter registration grows in Pa. 

The Erie Times-news reports, “Pennsylvanians who identify as neither Democrats or Republicans represent the fastest-growing demographic since the primary heading into next month’s election. Registration statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of State show that independent and third-party voters grew by 24,626 from May 16 to Oct. 23. Republicans gained 20,923 to their ranks during this period as well.” Meanwhile, “Democrats for this timeframe decreased slightly, a reduction of 315.”

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