News & Brews March 7, 2024

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

Kids win big in Texas

Big school choice news from Tuesday’s primary elections in Texas! Anti-school-choice Republican incumbent lawmakers who opposed Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to establish universal education savings accounts were trounced by pro-school-choice candidates. Our friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity broke it down: “Only six of the 16 anti-school-choice incumbents who ran for re-election won. Six lost outright and four were forced into May 28 runoffs. Traditionally, incumbents enter runoffs as underdogs because a majority of voters have already expressed themselves against them…. An additional five seats were vacated by anti-school-choice incumbents who chose to retire. Abbott-backed challengers have won two of those and forced two more into runoffs. The fifth will go to a recount.”

With Haley out, Pa. preps for Trump-Biden rematch

The Inquirer reports that after Nikki Haley suspended her presidential bid following Super Tuesday’s losses, Republicans in Pennsylvania “are pivoting to November, some begrudgingly, many gleefully.” The question remains: How many Republicans who are not Trump fans will a) not vote, b) vote for Biden, c) vote 3rd party, or d) begrudgingly support the former president. That remains to be seen.

Supreme Court asked to hear free speech case from Pa. 

A few years ago, Pa. attorney Zachary Greenberg challenged a new rule from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that “prohibits speech that expresses disparaging views of another person based on any of 11 listed characteristics. It permits laudatory comments on the same bases.” Greenberg argued the rule “violates the First Amendment by imposing content- and viewpoint-based speech restrictions, and is void for vagueness.” A district court agreed, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals said Greenberg lacked standing. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to take up the issue. This one caught my eye because the case, Greenberg v. Lehocky, names as the defendant “Jerry M. Lehocky, in His Official Capacity as Board Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, et al.” Lehocky came into the limelight several years ago as his firm, Pond Lehocky, was involved in a workers’ comp scheme that “sen[t] clients to preferred doctors and ask[ed] them to send those new patients to the law firm’s pharmacy, Workers First. The pharmacy then charge[d] employers or their insurance companies for the workers’ pain medicine, sometimes at sky-high prices….” Former Gov. Wolf accepted more than $1 million in campaign contributions from a PAC with deep ties to Pond Lehocky.

Fetterman no longer still supports taxpayer funding for BDSM venue

For a short time yesterday, it appeared that U.S Sen. John Fetterman withdrew his support for $1 million in taxpayer funding for a LGBTQ center in Philly which, as Libs of TikTok pointed out earlier this week, “boasts rooms to try BDSM and s*x f*tishes and hosts BDSM and s*x k*nk parties.” But wait, Fetterman soon clarified that he still supports taxpayer funding for k*nky sex parties and plans to push for the funding again next year. Sen. Bob Casey also pulled his support, but did not appear to backtrack on the decision. (Rank this among the topics I didn’t expect to write about in today’s email.) If you’re not familiar with Libs of TikTok, the widely followed account has infuriated the Left because it reposts things the Left does and says. The Inquirer has more.

Watch today’s budget hearings

Wrapping up three weeks of budget hearings, the House Appropriations Committee will hear from the Governor’s Budget Office this morning 10:00 a.m. (watch here). The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear from the Department of Health at 9:30 a.m. (watch here) and from the Governor’s Budget Office/Department of Revenue at 1:00 p.m. (watch here).

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox