News & Brews December 8, 2023

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The leaky roof mystery deepens

Well, on Wednesday I shared that Pa. House Democrats claim they can’t hold votes for the entire winter because of a leak in the House ceiling. And coincidentally, this latest vacation approximately coincides with when Dems will again have one vacant seat, so the House will be tied 101-101. Yesterday, PennLive revealed that this leak was discovered in December of LAST year. Why wasn’t it already addressed? Perhaps when the House was on its long vacation earlier this year under former Democrat Speaker Mark Rozzi? No answers. What’s more, when ABC27 asked if they could take a camera to see the damage, they were told, “It wouldn’t be possible.”  So, a year-old leak that no one is allowed to see is stopping lawmakers from doing their jobs—at a very politically convenient time for House Democrats.

Johnny Doc found guilty in embezzlement trial

Yesterday, a jury convicted former Philadelphia labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty of more than 70 counts in the federal embezzlement trial that’s his second felony trial in as many years. The Inquirer reports that “the verdict means the threat of additional prison time on top of the up-to-20-year sentence he was already facing on the most serious counts from his 2021 bribery trial.” Dougherty plans to appeal. Meanwhile, a third trial, this one on extortion charges, is scheduled for the spring.

Op-Ed: ‘It’s time for educational choice in Pa.’

GOP Rep. Joe D’Orsie (York County) writes in the Delaware Valley Journal that money, power, control, and politics are blocking school choice even though “[a] comfortable majority of voters, and an even more lopsided majority of parents of school-age kids, support every form of educational choice here in the Commonwealth, from tax credit scholarships all the way up to universal choice.” He’s proposed legislation “establishing accounts that are administered and managed by the Treasurer’s watchful eye, finally allowing parents to apply their tax dollars to curriculum, methods, and resources that they know work best for their child.”

UPenn president faces calls to resign

City & State PA reports that lawmakers have begun calling for the resignation of University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill following her disastrous congressional testimony on antisemitism, during which she said it’s “context-dependent” whether calls for genocide against Jews violate UPenn’s code of conduct. Among those calling for Magill’s resignation is Bucks County Democrat state Rep. Steve Santarsiero, who said he would not vote in favor of any funding for UPenn until Magill resigns.

Fetterman tells Dems concern over border is ‘reasonable’

Democrat U.S. Sen. John Fetterman “is blaming not only Republicans but also members of his own party for what he described as a reflexive political resistance to a border security deal,” POLITICO reports. Fetterman said, “I hope Democrats can understand that it isn’t xenophobic to be concerned about the border.” Reflecting on the number of border encounters in September (270,000), Fetterman said, “Honestly, it’s astonishing. And this isn’t a Fox News kind of statistic. This is the government’s. You essentially have Pittsburgh showing up there at the border.”

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