News & Brews November 10, 2023

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Philly-area GOPers say party must regroup for 2024

City & State PA attended a Republican presidential primary debate-watching gathering on Wednesday night in northeast Philadelphia. “A mix of disappointment and displeasure dominated discussions early in the night,” the story notes, “with voters acknowledging the Republican Party is ‘licking its wounds’ in Pennsylvania. Attendees exchanged grievances regarding Tuesday’s election results and expressed frustration with the Republican Party’s lack of focus on inflation and the economy, and what they saw as its poor engagement with diverse communities in and around Philadelphia.”

Pennsylvania remains key to 2024

In the wake of Tuesday’s election, CBS takes a brief look how Pa. will impact the 2024 presidential elections. In short, “comparing this off-year election to what could happen in 2024, political experts said is not only tricky but could be misleading,” as much can happen between now and then. Still, “Issues aside, … experts agree Pennsylvania will undoubtedly remain a key state for both campaigns.”

Are expensive judicial races here to stay?

The AP looks at the record spending on this year’s Pa. judicial races—which topped $20 million, several million more than the previous state record, set in 2015. Is this a new normal for races once considered sleepy contests? The answer … likely yes. (As is typical for the AP, the story does not name individual donors to Democrat Dan McCaffery, which included out-of-state millionaires and billionaires such as Stephen Spielberg and the dark-money Arabella network.)

Johnny doc’s $7K ‘birthday bashes’?

The Inquirer summarizes yesterday’s proceedings in the embezzlement trial of former Philly labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. “Of all the meals prosecutors say John Dougherty and his codefendants bought on his union’s dime, a series of summer 2015 birthday dinners were the priciest — and, for Dougherty, perhaps the most personally complicated.” According to the Inquirer, “Government lawyers walked jurors through that $7,000 birthday bonanza on Thursday … laying out a four-month span that saw Dougherty feting both his wife and his mistress at separate Atlantic City shindigs within weeks of each other. In each case, they said, Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union Dougherty led for nearly 30 years, unwittingly picked up the tab.”

Op-Ed: Money-back promise on permitting isn’t enough

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow Guy Ciarrocchi points out the inadequacy of Gov. Shapiro’s money-back guarantee for permit and license applications that extend beyond the deadline. “If you order a birthday cake for your daughter two weeks before her birthday and when you show up to get the cake, the owner instead hands you your money back, you’re not happy — and your daughter’s not happy.” The same holds true for businesses and individuals awaiting permits in Pa. What’s more, Ciarrocchi writes, why does Pa. even require so many permits? Spoiler alert: It’s a revenue source for the state.

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