News & Brews March 28, 2024

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Appeals court upholds dating requirement for mail-in ballots

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Pennsylvania’s requirement that voters put the correct hand-written date on the outside of their mail-in-ballots does not violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as plaintiffs had argued. In its ruling, which overturned a lower court’s ruling, the court said, “The Pennsylvania General Assembly has decided that mail-in voters must date the declaration on the return envelope of their ballot to make their vote effective. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania unanimously held this ballot-casting rule is mandatory; thus, failure to comply renders a ballot invalid under Pennsylvania law.”

Shapiro announces big handout to his campaign donors 

Yesterday, Gov, Josh Shapiro issued a new order requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) for government construction projects. PLAs, as the Department of Labor explains, are “pre-hire collective bargaining agreements negotiated between construction unions and construction contractors that establish the terms and conditions of employment for construction projects.” In other words, Shapiro’s order requires that state contracts be given only to unionized construction workers. Unions, of course, are among Shapiro’s biggest campaign donors. And his message to non-union workers? As our president and CEO, Matt Brouillette, stated, “In issuing this directive, Gov. Shapiro has told construction workers that unless they’re part of a union that donates to his campaign, they don’t get state contracts.”

Anti-Israel groups urge Pa. Dems to oppose Biden 

Two groups that oppose Israel and are calling for a ceasefire are asking Pennsylvania Democrats to write in “Uncommitted,” “No Joe,” or “Ceasefire Now” on their primary election ballots. A similar effort in the Michigan primary election resulted in more than 100,000 uncommitted votes. In PA, one of the groups has a goal of 40,000 votes, while the other is aiming for 80,000—approximately the number by which President Biden defeated former President Trump in Pa. in 2020.

Dems opening 14 campaign offices across Pa. 

The progressive Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports, ”The Pennsylvania Democratic Party coordinated campaign is opening 14 offices across the commonwealth this week….The offices will be focused on electing and reelecting Democrats ‘up and down the ballot,’ including President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.” Meanwhile, the AP recently reported that former President Trump has been “slow to invest” in key battleground states. That said, the story notes, “Officials on the ground in top swing states are not panicking….”

Inky gives a pass to Mayor Parker’s massive personnel budget increase

Journalist Stu Bykofsky, who formerly wrote for the Philly Inquirer and Daily News, takes on the Inky for basically giving Mayor Cherelle Parker a pass for “more than doubling the mayor’s budget…. Her budgeted staff is exploding from 39 positions under Jim Kenney to 113. That’s an 189.7% increase.” Bykofsky writes, “The Inquirer sought to forgive explain Parker’s wild excess in the usual ways, quoting toadies staffers as saying the money was necessary to attract the best and the brightest, meaning the top tier of Parker’s campaign staff, I guess. I read the Inquirer story closely. In the 22 paragraphs there was not a single paragraph with anyone saying anything negative about the money grab.”

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