News & Brews December 4, 2023

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A look at the taxpayer fund that paid Vereb settlement

The Post-Gazette submitted Right-to-Know requests to gather more details on the Employee Liability Self-Insurance Program (ELSIP), which is the “taxpayer-supported pool of money that covered most of the $295,000 sexual harassment settlement involving” Gov. Shapiro’s former secretary of legislative affairs, Mike Vereb. According to records, this fund “has paid out almost $19 million for 138 claims of various types generated in recent years.” However, “The total paid out on those claims was $18.9 million, with 20 of them for $140,000 or more — indicating that even the Vereb-related base settlement of $196,000, excluding $99,000 in attorneys’ fees, was large in comparison to many others.

Tracking Shapiro’s promises (except a big one)

Spotlight PA has a story tracking Gov. Josh Shapiro’s “11 biggest campaign promises through his first year.” Just about all of them are unfinished. And for reasons one can only imagine, Spotlight didn’t track Shapiro’s pledge to support Lifeline Scholarships—the one promise that’s overshadowed pretty much the entire state budget—instead only mentioning his veto in passing. Meanwhile, speaking at the PA Society in New York this past weekend, Shapiro claimed his tenure so far is proof that he can get stuff done. Umm.

Pa. GOP considering early endorsement in AG race

The Inquirer says that the Pa. Republican Party is reportedly considering convening in January to issue an early endorsement in the primary race for state Attorney General. “[T]he two-week period for circulating nomination petitions starts Jan. 23,” and an early endorsement would mean “a candidate who does not get endorsed can decide if they want to go through the petition process or withdraw from the race.” York County DA Dave Sunday appears to be the frontrunner for the endorsement, but GOP state Rep. Craig Williams (Delaware and Chester counties) thinks an early meeting is designed to push him out of the race.

Casey & McCormick suggest a ‘cordial contest’

The Inquirer reports that this past weekend in New York, incumbent Dem. Sen. Bob Casey and GOP Challenger Dave McCormick both addressed attendees at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association luncheon at the Pa. Society weekend. And their speeches “previewed what both men have indicated will be a hotly contested but cordial contest.” Of course, I’ve yet to see a hotly contested U.S. Senate race that remains cordial, but who knows, this could be the first……………..

Another Dem enters auditor general race

On Friday, Democrat Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley announced his candidacy for Pa. auditor general, becoming the third Democrat to enter the race. Pinsley claims he is “the only candidate that can flip the office back to the Democratic Party.”

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