News & Brews March 25, 2024

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Who’s funding renovations to gov.’s mansion? Shapiro won’t say

Spotlight PA reports on the interior renovation project of “Gov. Josh Shapiro’s official state residence in Harrisburg,” noting that beyond some broad info, “little is known about the scale, scope, or even the price tag for the redesign. Despite the involvement of Shapiro’s aides in the project, no one will say who is managing it, raising money for it, or exactly who is paying for it…. The lack of transparency leaves taxpayers in the dark about who is underwriting the project, including whether any of those donors have financial interests in state policy.”

Interview with Gov. Josh Shapiro

PennLive caught up with Gov. Josh Shapiro for a feel-good interview on sports, elections, social media, and more. A couple takeaways: 1) With $5 million in his campaign account, Shapiro plans to help bankroll state legislative candidates this year. 2) He’s restricted the use of TikTok on state devices but sees no problem using it himself. 3) He continues to shift blame to a “divided legislature” for the fact that last year’s budget was months late, and “he gets defensive when it’s portrayed as a ding on his record.”

Congress has questions about Pa.’s new election task force

The Delaware Valley Journal reports, “Last month, Gov. Josh Shapiro and Secretary of State Al Schmidt launched an Election Threats Task Force. This month the new task force garnered Congressional interest. The Federalist first reported Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is seeking information on whether Pennsylvania’s new task force, working with the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, will stifle free speech during the 2024 election.” To learn more, Jordan’s committee has “subpoenaed the Department of Homeland Security, CISA’s parent agency, for information.”

Pa. House GOP to talk voter ID at a.m. press conference

Pa. House Republican lawmakers are scheduled to hold a press conference this morning at 10:30 a.m. “to announce next steps in in seeking commonsense voter ID expansion.” House Democrats have blocked a proposed voter ID constitutional amendment from heading to voters, but the issue has re-emerged as a potential negotiating point after Democrat Leader Joanna McClinton announced her intent to seek same-day voter registration and early in-person voting.

Op-Ed: ‘Is the tide turning on Larry Krasner?’

Larry Platt of the Philadelphia Citizen wonders whether Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s progressive do-not-prosecute approach to crime is part of “a national moment that may have passed.” He points to uber-liberal San Francisco, where voters recently “passed a slate of pragmatic reforms, including sanctioning more police car chases and drone surveillance to fight crime.”

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