News & Brews November 7, 2023

Get News & Brews in your inbox each day: Subscribe here!

It’s Election Day!

Voters today will elect candidates to offices from state Supreme Court to county executive and district attorney to local school boards. Topping the ticket are races for state Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court. Click here for our full slate of endorsements for these seats. Polls are open until 8:00 p.m. Click here for more Election Day information.

Pa. school board elections draw national attention 

POLITICO reports on how once-sleepy contests for school boards in Pa. have become “vicious, sophisticated, expensive and injected with dueling endorsements from political committees and national organizations.” The story posits that “board elections from the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh suburbs to smaller central Pennsylvania communities will further test the potency of conservative school politics ahead of the 2024 presidential election.”

Johnny Doc: Embezzlement or ‘an honest mistake’

Yesterday saw opening statements in the (latest) trial of former Philly labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. The Inquirer reports, “Prosecutors began presenting their case against the former labor leader with a dizzying array of expense reports, union records, and invoices from retailers that they say back up their claims that he and other union officials misspent more than $600,000 meant to support the members of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union Dougherty led for nearly 30 years.” Meanwhile, Dougherty’s lawyer argued all of this was simply “an honest mistake.”

Philly officials mostly silent on anti-Jewish boycott

Sierra Dawn McClain, a Fellow with the Wall Street Journal, wrote in the Journal, noting, “On Oct. 30, the Philly Palestine Coalition posted on Instagram urging its 15,000 followers to boycott Philadelphia restaurants that are ‘owned by Zionists,’ serve Israeli food, raise money for Israel, or are owned by Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurant.” She writes, “What do Philadelphia officials have to say about this anti-Semitic campaign? Very little. Mayor Jim Kenney refused to condemn the boycott…. City Councilman Anthony Phillips offered a similar dodge….Council President Darrell Clarke refused to comment, as did members Kenyatta Johnson, Sharon Vaughn and Cindy Bass. Nine others didn’t respond to requests for comment. Only Councilman Mark Squilla went as far as to say he ‘does not support this boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in Philadelphia.’”

Pennsylvanians ‘moving to Florida at surging rates’

The exodus of folks from Pa. to other states isn’t new. but now the Philly Inquirer reports that “[t]he net loss for Pennsylvania in movers between … [Pennsylvania and Florida] has grown from fewer than 2,000 in 2011 to nearly 20,000 in 2022.” Meanwhile, the number of folks heading the opposite direction “has stayed relatively flat.” While weather is among folks’ reasons for leaving, policymakers should be aware: the “common themes” also “include housing costs … and politics.”

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox