News & Brews April 15, 2024

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Obama/Holder group again sets sites on Pa. 

The post-2030-Census redistricting may seem a long way off, but the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC)—founded in 2016 by former President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, to tilt the redistricting scales in favor of Democrats—has already announced Pa. as one of its 11 target states in the years between now and 2030. Basically, this means NDRC will work to elect more Democrats in Pa., so Democrats can control redistricting, so they can be sure to draw as many Democrat seats into the new maps as possible, so when 2032 rolls around, they can elect even more Democrats.

Pa. lawmakers respond to Iran’s attack on Israel 

The Post-Gazette reports that in the wake of Iran’s weekend attacks against Israel, Sen. Casey said, “The United States will continue to stand with Israel and support its defense against these Iranian attacks.” Rep. Mike Kelly said, “The U.S. must continue to stand with Israel. Additionally, the Biden Administration must stand against Iran and demonstrate the ironclad relationship the U.S. has with Israel.” And Gov. Josh Shapiro said, “The commonwealth of Pennsylvania — like so many across the world — stands with Israel against Iran.” Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. John Fetterman—who has been one of the strongest supporters of Israel—said the attack “demonstrates how it’s astonishing that we are not standing firmly with Israel.” He criticized any talk of “conditions” on sending additional help to Israel, saying “there should never be any kinds of conditions on all that. When a nation can launch hundreds of drones towards Israel — I’m not going to be talking about conditions ever.”

On permitting reform, there’s still work to do

The Center Square reports, “A recent review of the Department of Environmental Protection’s permit backlog argues that much remains to be done. While timelines have sped up and the backlog has improved, critics worry that … [Gov. Shapiro’s] reforms won’t go far enough.” Competitive Enterprise Senior Fellow James Broughel reviewed Pa.’s permitting process and had this to say: “The reforms that we’re seeing form the Shapiro administration seem to be making some progress — but they’re also rehashing old ideas that were tried 30 years ago like the money-back guarantee policy. I think that policy in general is a good idea — but this signals maybe a lack of ambitious or bold ideas, and maybe something bigger needs to be tried.”

Johnny Doc heads back to trial

Former Philadelphia labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty will be back in court this week for his third trial, this time for “conspiracy and extortion” the Inquirer reports. Dougherty and his nephew “are accused of threatening a contractor and a job site manager.” But Dougherty’s lawyers “maintain the government has blown the argument out of proportion.” Dougherty already has two convictions against him, and he is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Trump endorses McCormick

Appearing on Saturday at a campaign rally in Pa., former President Trump officially endorsed GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick in his challenge to incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. You’ll recall that two years ago, Trump endorsed Mehmet Oz in the GOP primary against McCormick. Responding to the endorsement, McCormick tweeted (or is it called “X-d” these days?), “Thank you, President Trump. Together we will deliver a big win for Pennsylvania and America in November.”

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