News & Brews November 6, 2023

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WSJ: ‘Why Pa.’s Supreme Court election matters’

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board highlights tomorrow’s state Supreme Court election between Republican Carolyn Carluccio (whom we have endorsed) and Democrat Dan McCaffery. “For … immediate implications,” the Ed Board writes, “look at the high court’s most recent mail-ballot blunder, a 3-3 stalemate last fall that was made possible by [former Chief Justice Max] Baer’s death. Whoever replaces him could cast a pivotal vote.”

David Wecht: ‘The fight against Jew-hatred is everyone’s fight’

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht has an op-ed in the Post-Gazette, comparing the reaction to the Hamas terror attacks on Israel with the reaction to the 2018 attack on the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Justice Wecht writes, “In 2018, the response to the Tree of Life massacre was universal revulsion, and universal solidarity with the Jewish People. Or so it appeared. You see, it turns out that many were not heard from. These many kept their peace, bided their time. They harbored different views. They quietly exalted at the slaughter. Secretly, they prayed for more. But we are hearing from them now. We are seeing them in all their ugliness…. Never again has to mean something. Stand up. Speak out. Stand up and speak out now. History is calling you.”

5 things to watch tomorrow in Allegheny County

The Post-Gazette looks at (and explains) a somewhat unusual countywide election landscape in Allegheny County. Among the P-G’s things to watch: How will Democrats split between establishment and progressive Dems? How will national issues play? How will the deluge of ads influence voters? And more.

New poll: Trouble for President Biden? 

The Inquirer reports on a new New York Times/Sienna Poll of six 2024 battleground states, which found former President Trump leading President Biden in five of the six, including Pennsylvania. The Inky notes, “The erosion of Biden’s support is particularly stark among some key constituencies like Black, Hispanic and younger voters.”

Shapiro admin agrees to correct Rainy Day Fund deposit

The Center Square reports that the Shapiro Administration had a “change of heart … after legislative Republicans and the treasury questioned the administration’s request to transfer just $411.6 million” into the state’s Rainy Day Fund—or less than half of what the law requires. “In the end,” the story notes, “lawmakers agreed to better define ‘surplus’ in legislation headed to the governor’s desk this week.” And “State Treasurer Stacy Garrity said the $898 million contribution into the account … will keep the government operational for 48 days before running out of money – 3.5 days above the national median.”

Post-Gazette: NDAs should not be gov’t default

In light of “[t]he sexual harassment scandal roiling the administration of Gov. Josh Shapiro,” the Post-Gazette Editorial Board writes that the “Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) should amend its default settlement form to exclude, rather than include, non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses.” Currently, “[w]hen parties reach a settlement, the PHRC offers a form in which to fill out the details. Curiously, both non-disparagement and non-disclosure agreements are included in the default settlement form. In other words, the accuser must negotiate them out of the agreement, instead of into it.” The P-G argues that the PHRC should “change its settlement forms…. NDAs should never be the default, and should only ever be added on the initiative of the person whose protection is most important — the victim.”

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