News & Brews May 23, 2024

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An Oregon warning signs for soft-on-crime DAs?

In a much-watched primary election in Oregon this week, tough-on-crime district attorney candidate Nathan Vasquez defeated incumbent progressive District Attorney Mike Schmidt. The race was in Multnomah County, where Portland is the county seat. Elected in 2020, Schmidt “campaigned on reforming the criminal justice system, and while in office, he launched initiatives to review wrongful convictions and prison sentences and focus prosecutions on violent crime rather than low-level offenses,” POLITICO reports. “Vasquez denounced some of Schmidt’s policies, such as his decision not to prosecute protesters arrested during the 2020 demonstrations for low-level, non-violent offenses….” Like some progressive DAs in Pa., Schmidt received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros.

Pa. House Dems vote to give ‘sweetheart deal’ to school boards association

PennLive reports that in what appears to be a “sweetheart deal,” House Democrats—joined by the Dems’ favorite Republican, Rep. Tom Mehaffie—voted for legislation limiting school director training to one organization: the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. “This bill would require the department to authorize a statewide education organization that represents school directors to offer department-reviewed training at no cost. It further limits the department to approve alternative training programs that only the statewide organization recommends.” Meanwhile, “Rep. Jesse Topper of Bedford County, the ranking Republican on the House Education Committee, said that currently there are over 50 approved providers that can offer this school director training but this bill specifically limits it to a statewide organization….”

Fetterman to receive Yeshiva University’s highest award

Democrat U.S. Sen. John Fetterman will receive Yeshiva University’s Presidential Medallion at the school’s commencement next week, the highest award offered by the orthodox Jewish university. Yeshiva praised Fetterman for his unwavering support of Israel against those who wish to destroy her. Fetterman said, “It is truly humbling to be invited to share in this milestone with the graduates of Yeshiva University. As we gather to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class, we must also acknowledge the profound significance of their journey within the context of the recent surge in antisemitism across the country.”

About that undecided GOP House primary race

The Republican House primary race in Luzerne County between incumbent state Rep. Mike Cabell and Jamie Walsh is slowly inching closer to ending. The Times Leader gives an update on the status of court appeals pending in the case, with filing deadlines on various issues for the candidates happening yesterday, today, next Monday, and next Wednesday. Currently, Walsh leads by three votes.

GOP lawmaker’s chief of staff was charged with DUI

LancasterOnline reports that Republican state Sen. Ryan Aument’s chief of staff, Ryan Boop, “was arrested in March by state police and charged with driving under the influence.” Boop stated, “As a staff member for a public official I am aware that I must adhere to a higher standard that demands personal accountability for my conduct and I fully accept responsibility for my actions. I sincerely apologize to my family and community for my actions that have fallen short of that standard. I intend to continue to fully cooperate with authorities.”

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