News & Brews April 26, 2024

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Where was anti-Biden Dem vote strongest in Pa.? 

In Tuesday’s primary, nearly 130,000 Democrat voters—or about 12% of the Dems who voted—chose someone other than President Biden. The Inquirer maps out that “it wasn’t the state’s progressive areas where Biden was the weakest.” Indeed, “In relative terms, opposition to Biden came most strenuously not from left-leaning urban areas, but from the rural, conservative counties in the state’s center and west. In many of those counties, a combination of votes for [Democrat Dean] Phillips and write-ins dragged Biden’s vote share below 80%.” And while “Biden’s campaign has posted on social media multiple times since Tuesday about Pennsylvania Republicans voting for Haley … the president faces a comparable number of defections within his own party.”

Mistrial declared in latest Johnny Doc case

After about 11 hours of deliberations and a deadlocked jury, former Philly labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty’s latest legal woe ended in a mistrial. The Inquirer reports that jurors told the judge “they were hopelessly deadlocked on all of the 19 counts of conspiracy and extortion that Dougherty and his nephew and codefendant, Greg Fiocca, faced.” It’s unclear if prosecutors hope to retry the case. Johnny Doc is scheduled for sentencing on July 11 for his two earlier convictions.

Failing pensions expose union mismanagement

It was huge news that flew somewhat under the radar recently when AFSCME 13, which represents more than 65,000 government employees in Pa., was placed under administratorship by AFSCME international because of “serious” financial problems. Isabel Blank of Americans for Fair Treatment writes in National Review that this “turmoil … serves as a stark reminder of the endemic issues plaguing many unions.” She notes that “an increasing number of unions are in dire financial straits, largely attributed to ballooning pension liabilities,” and she outlines how AFSCME 13’s “descent into financial chaos, combined with AFSCME International’s administrative oversight, lays bare a troubling reality of mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility that calls into question unions’ efficacy in serving their members.”

Ivy League encampment

Anti-Israel students at the University of Pennsylvania—apparently with the sympathies of some faculty—have set up an encampment on campus to protest Israel’s response to being attacked by Hamas terrorists. A similar encampment attempt at Princeton was swiftly nixed by the university.

Lawmakers look to Canada on marijuana

PennLive reports that the House Health and Liquor Control committees held a joint hearing yesterday to, among other things, “solicit input from researchers who have studied the impacts of legalized weed in other states and Canada.” Committee members “heard from experts who have studied Canada’s marijuana legalization efforts with a lot of attention focused on Quebec where its provincial government controls the sale of marijuana and is more restrictive than other provinces in that country.”  Among the topics discussed were revenue, the potential black market, and health and safety.

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