News & Brews March 22, 2024

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Pa. population loss and the presidential race? 

In light of the recent news stories about how Pennsylvania has lost population in recent years, the Inquirer observes that the data “show Pennsylvania’s population declines since the last presidential election are mostly concentrated in counties where President Joe Biden won in 2020.” Per an analysis from Franklin & Marshall College, “About 45,000 Pennsylvania residents left counties that Biden won…. Counties that voted for former President Donald Trump gained 4,500 residents….” That said, “The analysis looks at residents, not registered voters, so it’s impossible to deduce whether one party benefits and whether shifts might impact a statewide vote. About half of the residents who left counties that Biden won relocated within the state and half moved to another state.”

Biden & Trump: More alike than not on trade? 

The libertarian site looks at President Biden and former President Trump’s opposition to the sale of Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel to Japan-based Nippon Steel. The story notes that the sale “makes sense to economists” and “makes sense to the owners of U.S. Steel.” But, “in our age of government shoving its fingers into everything, President Joe Biden announced that he opposes this purchase for muddled, misguided reasons. Former President Donald Trump agrees, showing once again that when it comes to trade there is little difference between the two presidents.” Relatedly, the Post-Gazette Editorial Board has come out in support of the sale, calling it, “the best available option to ensure the long-term stability of the American steel industry, and to keep quality jobs — both white- and blue-collar — in Western Pennsylvania.”

Libre Initiative launches in Pennsylvania

The Libre Initiative, which describes itself as “the largest center-right Latino organization in the country,” held a kick-off event last evening in Philadelphia to launch its Pennsylvania chapter. A news release announcing the event said, “Through LIBRE we are going to work with our community toward empowering all Latinos to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. We remain committed to advancing freedom-oriented solutions to bring about prosperity and opportunity for all.” Reporting on the expansion, the Inquirer notes that it comes “just days after President Joe Biden’s campaign launched its own Latino voter outreach initiative.”

A closer look at Shapiro’s energy tax

Amid a “lack of key details” provided by the Shapiro administration, Spotlight PA takes a stab at explaining Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to implement a state-based energy cap and tax scheme in lieu of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). “While some Democrats have voiced support for … [Shapiro’s proposal], party leadership has yet to explicitly back Shapiro’s plan and declined to comment on its position.” Meanwhile, GOP Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman noted, “The key challenge is, a cap-and-tax initiative is punitive and we shouldn’t be having this conversation with a punitive mindset.”

Taxpayer-funded Mustangs and more from Philly

The Inquirer’s ‘Clout’ column gives us a trio of eyebrow-raisers this morning. First, two top aides to Mayor Cherelle Parker are driving taxpayer-funded Mustangs (with take-home privileges) that cost $56,400 each. The city blames the Kenney administration for the purchases. Second, Mayor Parker has a new non-profit whose mission is to boost her agenda. (How convenient for her future re-election efforts….). And it turns out the average pay for Philly city council members is higher than the average pay for New York City legislators.

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