News & Brews March 13, 2024

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

Teachers unions spend millions in GOP primaries 

In yesterday’s News & Brews, we shared how GOP Rep. Tom Mehaffie is a favorite of the Left. Well, the Daily Signal reports on a study showing he’s not alone. “Though teachers unions are well known for donating huge sums to Democratic candidates, a closer look at donor data reveals that the unions have spent the last six years quietly slipping millions of dollars into the pockets of Republican candidates for state legislatures in contested primary races.” These unions can give big to support the Republican who is most likely to side with unions and Democrats. “For example, between 2018 and 2024, the Pennsylvania State Teachers Association has contributed $887,854 to Republican state legislative primaries in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has donated $97,000 to Rep. Thomas Mehaffie III, R-Dauphin, and is his second biggest donor. He has received $15,000 so far in 2024 and got $19,000 in 2022 and $62,000 in 2020.”

Independents critical to 2024 election

The Erie Times-News reports, “Though independents won’t be heard from in Pennsylvania’s closed primary, they could have the final word in November.” And, “Significant shifts within the independent ranks …  could be consequential this year.” On some issues, like immigration and inflation, “Independents’ concerns align more closely with Republicans.” Yet, “Some preliminary surveys suggest that Keystone State independents may be leaning more toward Biden than those in other states.”

Environmentalists v. unions at Shapiro speech

WHYY reports, “Cheers and jeers erupted during a speech by Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro Monday, who was in town to promote hydrogen energy at a public meeting at the Steamfitters Local 420 union hall in Northeast Philadelphia.” Environmentalists objected to the fact that the meeting was held at a union hall, as they claim the union “stands to gain federal funds.” After one environmentalist stood up and started shouting, “Union members shouted back to ‘sit down’ and ‘shut up.’ Soon, both environmentalists and union members were shouting ‘shame, shame, shame.’” In response, Shapiro said, “Yelling and shouting accomplishes nothing.” Then, he “went on to finish his speech during the commotion and then quickly left.”

GOP primary challenges to McCormick fall flat

Although two Republicans had intended to challenge Dave McCormick in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, neither will be on the ballot on April 23. The Delaware Valley Journal reports, “The Pennsylvania Department of State announced last week that Republican Joseph Vodvarka withdrew from the primary while fellow GOPer Brandi Tomasetti was removed from the ballot.” Both were long shots in the race. Yet, Tomasetti has asked voters to write her in.

Federal court rules Krasner’s office misled court

The Inquirer reports that a federal appeals court ruled that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office, “slant[ed] the facts” in a case surrounding a man convicted of murder “before asking a lower federal court in 2019 to vacate the death penalty and order … [the man] to spend life in prison instead.” The story notes that the ruling “provided yet another instance in which courts have questioned his [Krasner’s] office’s handling of death row appeals. Since Krasner took office six years ago, courts have repeatedly questioned whether … the district attorney’s office has cut corners or failed in its duty to apprise victims of what it is arguing in court.”

Sign up to get News & Brews in your inbox