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Pa. House GOP moves to impeach Philly DA Larry Krasner | Tuesday Morning Coffee

The announcement came the same day House Republicans buried a slate of gun-violence reduction bills

June 14, 2022 7:21 am

District Attorney Larry Krasner (Jared Piper/Philadelphia City Council/City & State Pa.).

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

A trio of Republican state lawmakers who live hours away from Pennsylvania’s biggest city are readying articles of impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, saying the “unchecked violent crime” there has “has reached a breaking point.”

GOP Reps. Josh Kail, of Beaver County, whose district sits hard against the Ohio state line; Torren Ecker, of Adams County, whose seat is closer to Maryland than it is to Germantown, and Tim O’Neal, of Washington County, whose district is closer to West Virginia than it is to South Philly, announced their push on Monday.

The lawmakers began circulating a memo seeking co-sponsors for their proposal. That’s the starting point for a process that likely will take months — assuming it ever makes it to the House floor, and then to the state Senate for a trial, as NBC-10 in Philadelphia reports.

In a statement, the lawmakers said a June 5 mass shooting in South Philadelphia had underscored the urgency of acting in a city that already has seen nearly 1,000 people injured or killed by gun violence since the beginning of the year.

“We did not arrive at this decision lightly or easily. In fact, we are taking this action after we have taken significant steps to pass legislation that addresses violent crime in Philadelphia by ensuring our current laws are enforced,” Kail said in the joint statement.

“We are starting this process now because the unchecked violent crime in Philadelphia has reached a breaking point due to the willful refusal by District Attorney Krasner to enforce existing laws,” Kail continued.

It’s probably worth pausing to note here that the GOP trio made their announcement on the same day that a Republican-controlled House committee effectively killed a package of gun violence reduction bills, authored by Democrats, that would have helped to reduce the bloodshed.

Among the proposals was a ban on the kind of assault weapons favored by mass shooters, and a red flag law that allows for the court-ordered temporary seizure of a person’s weapons if they pose an immediate danger to themselves or others.

In fact, the International Association of Chiefs of Police says it favors an assault weapons ban because “semi-automatic assault weapons are routinely the weapons of choice for gang members and drug dealers. They are regularly encountered in drug busts and are all too often used against police officers.”

But at a time of rising crime, Republicans nationwide have instead set their sights on progressive prosecutors, arguing they’re the bigger problem.

Earlier this month, voters in San Francisco voted to recall sitting District Attorney Chesa Boudin, according to CBS News.

(Twitter Screen Capture)

Monday’s announcement comes several months after Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centretried to make Krasner’s impeachment one of the planks of his since-scuttled bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

Assuming the proposal makes it out of the House before year’s end, Corman, who is not running for re-election, could very well be on hand to see Krasner put on trial.

This also isn’t the first time that the Republican-controlled lower chamber has tried to take a run at the Democratic prosecutor. In April, the House approved a bill limiting the city’s top prosecutor to two, four-year terms, the Capital-Star previously reported.

On Monday, the House Republicans announced they’d set up a special website, StopKrasner.com, where people who believe they personally have been impacted by Krasner’s policies, can submit comment or share information.

(Twitter Screen Shot)

In a bit of conveniently-timed politically theater (either purposely or not), Krasner took to Twitter on Monday to tout the hard line his office was taking with a “stop the steal” adherent named Joshua Macias, who allegedly brought guns and ammunition to the Philadelphia Convention Center in November 2020 as votes were being counted.

“As attempts to overthrow our democracy continue, so do our efforts to protect it. We can’t let fascism win,” Krasner tweeted on Monday morning.

On Monday afternoon, Krasner said Macias, a co-founder of Veterans for Trump who already is awaiting trial for the 2020 offenses, could face jail time for a meeting with leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Inquirer reported.

Krasner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Photo via Philadelphia Tribune photo)

Our Stuff.
Public transit agencies, including SEPTAare dangling discounts and perks to woo riders, our friends at Stateline.org report.

The White House and Democratic leaders expressed support Monday for a framework on gun control legislation that 10 Senate Democrats and 10 Senate Republicans agreed to over the weekend, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa reports.

Former President Donald Trump planted the seeds for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by continually promoting theories that he lost the 2020 election through fraud, even though top advisers and officials told him there was no evidence to support the claim, according to testimony a U.S. House committee presented Monday. Capital-Star Washington Reporter Jacob Fischler has the story.

A Republican-controlled state House committee moved Monday to bottle up a series of gun violence-reduction measures, even as lawmakers on Capitol Hill reached a tentative agreement that could offer states assistance in reducing the number of firearms-related suicides, I report.

On our Commentary Page this morning: The story of white racism in America is one of sociopathy, psychopathy, perversity, sadism, savagery and malice, opinion regular Michael Coard writes. And growing up with school shootings hardened my generation in ways you don’t understand, collegiate journalist Sam Bailey writes in an op-Ed first published by our sibling site, the Missouri Independent.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman [Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller]

Elsewhere.

The Inquirer considers whether Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s unorthodox style will lift Democrats in what’s expected to be a brutal mid-term cycle.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill authorizing the sale of a former state prison in Pittsburgh, the Post-Gazette reports.

Disabled Pennsylvanians say they fear that a state plan for home health aides won’t work, PennLive reports.

Officials at the Hempfield Schools in Lancaster County will discuss amending its athletics policy requiring students to play on sports teams corresponding with their sex assigned at birth — with ‘reasonable accommodations,’ LancasterOnline reports.

The York Daily Record looks back at the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes.

Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, is pitching a plan that would authorize the state to spend $100 million on new mental health programs, the Morning Call reports.

The Times-Tribune looks at what pro-gun rights groups and pro-gun violence reduction groups have spent on area state lawmakers and members of Congress.

A new study has concluded that Philadelphians living with opioid use disorder remained in treatment longer during the pandemicWHYY-FM reports.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has added election-denier Jenna Ellis to his campaign, the Associated Press reports (via WITF-FM reports).

GoErie runs down where you can watch local fireworks displays this summer.

Key U.S. senators want the gun reform bill written this weekRoll Call reports.

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What Goes On
The House comes in at 11 a.m. The Senate reconvenes at 1 p.m. today.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Perry Warren
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Steve Mentzer
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Kristine Howard
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Jack Rader
5:30 p.m: Reception for Rep. Matt Bradford
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Sheryl Delozier 
5:30 p.m: Reception for Sen. John Gordner
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a truly ridiculous $18,800 today.

WolfWatch
As of this writing, Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s some new solo music from Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton, who’s been cranking out the tunes of late. It’s ‘Earth Ship.’


Tuesday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
The Toronto Blue Jays positively crushed the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Monday night, winning 11-1. Just gonna keep telling myself that it’s a rebuilding year — again.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
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.

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