New DNC ad campaign aims to ensure Pa.’s Black voters have a plan to cast ballots | Tuesday Morning Coffee

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Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

As of this writing, there’s a little less than two weeks to go before Pennsylvania’s Oct. 19 voter registration deadline, and three weeks to go until the Oct. 27 deadline to obtain a mail-in ballot.

And starting this week, the Democratic National Committee is upping its courtship of Pennsylvania’s Black voters, a constituency whose support could well be determinative this voting season. In a new series of radio and print ads, the DNC wants to make sure they have a plan to vote.

The campaign is part of six-figure buy across several battleground states, the Capital-Star can exclusively report. The ads will appear in the Philadelphia Tribune (a publishing partner of the Capital-Star) and WRNB-FM in Philadelphia, the DNC said in a statement.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden enjoyed significant support among Black voters in an August CBS News poll. He also got a bump when he named U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is Black and Indian, as his running mate.

Even so, the former vice president has fought what some news organizations have described as an enthusiasm gap when it comes to winning the support of Black voters, who have historically voted Democrat. Sensing an opening, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has tried to pry that support away, specifically targeting Black male voters.

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The new ads — print and radio both — direct listeners and readers to IWillVote.com, the DNC’s specialty voter engagement website (partly pictured above), where voters can confirm where they’ll vote, to register to vote, and to vote by mail.

Despite this year’s anti-racism protests, President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed he’s done more for Black voters since Abraham Lincoln, and warned Black voters as recently as late last month that Biden was taking their support for granted, the Washington Post reported.

“They want to take the Black voter for granted and they have taken the Black voter for granted,” Trump said in a speech in Atlanta last month, the Post reported.

Democrats have clearly been listening.

“Democrats are meeting Black voters where they are and making critical investments to ensure Pennsylvanians have the information they need to make their plan to vote,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement obtained by the Capital-Star. “The stakes have never been higher — especially for communities of color — and we are committed to making sure voters have the tools and information they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.”

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
The Capital-Star 
has launched its 2020 Election PageClick on the link at the top of our navigation bar for instant access to all our coverage, as well as our comprehensive voters’ guides, and information about the deadlines to register to vote and to request a mail-in ballot.  

Our Battle for the Ballot series, which takes a nationwide look at voters’ rights issues, continues this morning with a comprehensive look at the nonexistent threat of voter fraud, and what states are doing to try to fight it.

A Pennsylvania Senate panel took testimony from advocates and opponents of a proposal that effectively convert as much as half of the $1 billion in unspent federal CARES Act money into grants for the parents of K-12 students statewide. Parents could spent the money on supplies, tutoring and private school tuition, Elizabeth Hardison reports.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s, R-Pa., announcement that he’ll neither stand for re-election in 2022 nor seek the GOP nomination for governor that year has set off a feeding frenzy of speculation about who will step into the significant power vacuum, Stephen Caruso reports.

At a press conference in the Lehigh Valley on Monday, Toomey said he plans to return to private life, has no firm plans, and will serve out the last two years of his term. And unlike 2016, he’s not playing it coy about his support for President Donald Trump, your humble newsletter author writes.

Amid the pandemic, an advocacy group wants Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature to extend Medicaid coverage to the state’s entire population, arguing it’s the best way to ensure the health and safety of the state’s nearly 13 million residents, Lancaster Correspondent Lauren Manelius reports.

On our Commentary Page this morning, David C. DeWitt, editor of our sibling site, the Ohio Capital Dispatch, says there’s nothing but a raw power grab behind the push to fill the federal judiciary with conservative jurists. And former Gov. Mark Schweiker says Pennsylvania’s economy can emerge from the pandemic, but it will take all of us rowing in the same direction to make it happen.

Love Park in Philadelphia (Photo via Flickr Commons)

Elsewhere.
In Philadelphia, Bangladeshi immigrants are finding their voice and learning to flex their political muscle, the Inquirer reports.
Community spread is being blamed for spiking coronavirus cases in Westmoreland County, the Tribune-Review reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to Gov. Tom Wolf’s business shutdown order, PennLive reports.
The Morning Call has what you need to know about the debate between U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, and GOP challenger Lisa Scheller.
The Citizens-Voice has its guide to mail-in voting for the Nov. 3 election.

From a reader, here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day. Want your fave featured? Tag us @PennCapitalStar or DM us.

The organizers of one of Philadelphia’s homeless encampments have reached an agreement with the city to disband, WHYY-FM reports.
Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union wants to cancel standardized testing in the state this year, WESA-FM reports.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will visit Gettysburg 
today, PoliticsPA reports, citing a campaign advisory. Additional information was not immediately available.
When President Donald Trump got back to the White House on Monday night, the first thing he did was take off his mask; the second thing he did was shoot a propaganda video telling Americans not to fear COVID-19. NYMag’s Intelligencer reminds us Trump is on steroidswhich speaks volumes.

What Goes On.
The Senate comes in at 1 p.m. today. Here’s a look at the day’s slate of committee action.
10 a.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building: Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee.
10 a.m, Senate Chamber: Judiciary Committee
11 a.m., Senate Chamber: Intergovernmental Operations Committee
11:30 a.m, Senate Chamber: Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee
12 p.m., Senate Chamber: Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee
12 p.m., Hearing Room 1, North Office Building: Finance Committee
12:30 p.m., Senate Chamber: Health & Human Services Committee

In the House:
9:30 a.m.: 
Republican Policy Committee
2 p.m.: Democratic Policy Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
8 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Rep. Chris Sainato
8 a.m.:
 Breakfast for Rep. Mike Puskaric
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. Joe Pittman
11:30 a.m.: 
Luncheon for Sen. Ryan Aument
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out an only mildly offensive $3,250 today.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s an absolute classic from the great Bob Mould to get your Tuesday rolling, it’s ‘See a Little Light.’

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link.
The fall transfer window has closed. The Guardian looks at who went home happy — and who went home empty-handed.

And now you’re up to date

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press