Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman (L) and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro (R) Campaign file photos
Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
As of this writing, a little more than 100 days remain until a very consequential Election Day (not that anyone’s counting …).
And to mark the occasion, Pennsylvania Democrats will kick off a statewide press blitz at Independence Hall in Philadelphia at noon today arguing that, from abortion to voters’ rights, Republicans up and down the ballot are too extreme for Keystone State voters.
“We are letting Pennsylvania voters know there is a clear choice between Republicans’ too-extreme, ultra-MAGA agenda and Democrats’ continued work to lower costs, combat inflation, and defend our healthcare and our freedoms,” state Democratic Party spokesperson Rosie Lapowsky said.
The “Too Extreme GOP,” tour, as Dems have christened it, is “another reminder to Pennsylvanians that the Republicans running in our commonwealth are working to ban abortion, end Medicare and Social Security, and raise taxes on over 35% of hardworking Pennsylvanians. We will stop them at the ballot box,” Lapowsky said.
According to a schedule obtained by the Capital-Star, the tour will make stops next in week in Scranton, Pittsburgh and State College.
Friday’s event in Philadelphia will feature appearances by Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairperson Sharif Street, U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District; Philadelphia City Councilmember Allan Domb; state Sen. Nikil Saval, state Rep. Darisha Parker, state Rep. Regina Young and state Rep. Mary Isaacson, all Philadelphia Democrats.
Democrats have been concentrating an unusual amount of both money and resources on highlighting the record and stances of hard-right Republicans.
Analysts have seen the effort as an attempt by Democrats to pick their November opponents, believing that such candidates will be easier to beat because they present such bright-line contrasts.
Current Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro employed a similar strategy during the May primary, running ads attacking GOP nominee Doug Mastriano, a state senator from Franklin County.
While a new poll gives Shapiro a double-digit edge over Mastriano, it’s not clear whether that approach will pay the same dividends during the general election. Shapiro has stayed on the attack this summer.
After opposing him in the spring, Republicans now appear to be warming to Mastriano, and are giving him badly needed fund-raising support, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier this week.
Shapiro’s encouraging poll result “could be a sign [his] advertising is beginning to pay off,” Stephen Medvic, the director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, told PoliticsPA. “He’s painting Mastriano as an extremist, and there hasn’t been a response from Mastriano, and it could be that voters are getting the message. Having said that, it’s too early to know for sure and I’d urge caution in interpreting these results until other polls find something similar.”
Gov. Tom Wolf filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Republican-led General Assembly over its late-night passage of a package of proposed constitutional amendments that includes a ban abortion in Pennsylvania, Peter Hall reports.
State officials and community partners gathered at the charging stations of a Sheetz gas station in Carlisle on Thursday to discuss how federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used for EV infrastructure development in Pennsylvania. Cassie Miller has the story.
Deep into their third year of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, local and state public health workers are battered, depleted and, in many places, demoralized. And now, they face a rapidly spreading new virus: monkeypox. Michael Ollove, of Stateline.org, has the details in a special report.
Congress is staying mostly silent as states fight to contain the monkeypox outbreak, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Jennifer Shutt writes.
Speaking of, the Allegheny Health Department has announced expanded access to the monkeypox vaccine for people who have a high-risk of exposure to the virus, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.
The U.S. Senate came up short Wednesday in trying to move ahead on legislation that would provide health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits overseas, Jennifer Shutt also reports.
A Pennsylvania mortgage company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett deliberately discriminated against Black and Latino homebuyers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, federal officials said Wednesday while announcing a $20 million settlement with the firm, our sibling site, the New Jersey Monitor reports.
En la Estrella-Capital: La tasa de desempleo de Pensilvania cayó al 4.5 por ciento en junio, según los datos estatales. Una nueva aplicación para ayudar a los estudiantes y familias sin hogar a acceder a recursos y servicios ya está disponible en Pensilvania.
On our Commentary Page this morning: With the end of Roe v. Wade, Americans are demanding Supreme Court term limits, scholars from UMass/Amherst and Northern Illinois University write. And lives are hanging in the balance as time runs out for action on health insurance, cancer survivor and advocate Laura Packard writes in a piece first published by our sibling site Colorado Newsline.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz has accused Democratic rival Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of being soft on crime. The Inquirer fact-checks the claims.
Fetterman’s health scare this spring has sparked a state Senate inquiry of how the state handles those situations, PennLive reports.
A new Fox News poll shows double-digit leads for Fetterman and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro, PoliticsPA reports.
A Pennsylvania State Police trooper was shot and wounded in a Beaver County convenience store early Friday morning, the Post-Gazette reports.
A Lancaster County commissioner testified Thursday during a Commonwealth Court hearing on mail-in ballots, LancasterOnline reports.
The York Daily Record runs down what you need to know about ride inspections at this year’s York Fair.
Monkeypox has arrived in the Lehigh Valley. The Morning Call runs down what you need to know about the virus.
Pennsylvania and Delaware are pulling the plug on their COVID-19 exposure apps, WHYY-FM reports.
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will face trial on drunken driving charges, the Citizens’ Voice reports.
Longtime backer Ron DiNicola will step down from Erie County Community College’s board of trustees, GoErie reports.
President Joe Biden has urged passage of the reconciliation deal struck between U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Talking Points Memo reports.
Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:
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What Goes On
10 a.m., Mazzoni Center, 1348 Bainbridge St., Philadelphia: Reps. Brian Sims, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia, join local health providers to talk about the impact of the monkeypox virus.
9:30 a.m., Philadelphia: Gov. Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf visit a food rescue operation to highlight the state’s efforts to fight food insecurity.
1:30 p.m., Colmar, Pa.: Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and advocates and lawmakers talk about the harmful effects of an abortion ban.
You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Best wishes go out to Joyce Davis at PennLive, and to my old hockey linemate, Hank Butler, of the Pennsylvania Jewish Federation, both of whom celebrate today. Congratulations and enjoy the day, friends.
We’ll go out this week with a tune from former Talking Heads guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison. Here’s ‘Rev it Up’ — which is just the kind of encouragement you need heading into the weekend.
Friday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link
‘So refreshing and joyful’: The Guardian’s readers weigh in on this summer’s women’s Euro 2022 competition.
And now you’re up to date.
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