The 2022 midterms are a very big deal: Help us cover them | Monday Morning Coffee

Send us your questions, tell us your priorities. We’ll press for answers from the people asking for your vote

July 18, 2022 7:17 am

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Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

If we know one thing about our rock-em-sock-em elections, it’s that there’s no longer any off-season in American politics.

But that wasn’t always the case.

For a long time, the rule of thumb for us in the news business was that most voters, busy with summer vacation and other pursuits, didn’t tune into politics news until after the last Labor Day fireworks had faded from the sky.

But from fights over abortion rights and access to the polls, to the roller-coaster economy and troubles abroad, it can often feel like every day is campaign season.

In Pennsylvania, with nationally watched races for U.S Senate and the Governor’s Office, not to mention the General Assembly all on the ballot this fall, it seems like you can’t open your email, or scroll through social media without some candidate or elected official demanding your attention.

So here at the Capital-Star, we want to give the power back. We’re enlisting you to help us cover these very important elections. We want to put our readers in the drivers seat.

We want to know:

  • What issues matter to you?
  • What questions do you have for the people who are not only competing for your vote — but also your hard-earned cash in the form of campaign donations?

What to do next:

Share your queries and thoughts with us, and we promise that we’ll ask as many of your questions as we can. We’ll press elected officials and the candidates vying for your vote on your priorities and how they plan to meet them.

How to Contact Us: Email us at [email protected], or hit us up on Twitter @PennCapitalStar.

You also can reach out directly to our reporters covering the races that matter to you.

  • Staff Reporter Marley Parish is covering the U.S. Senate race, as well as the state Senate, where half the 50-member body is up for re-election this fall.
  • Senior Reporter Peter Hall is our point man on the race for governor. He also covers the state House, where all 203 of its members will face the voters in November.

Anything else?

You can email me or Associate Editor Cassie Miller with general questions about our coverage, or if you want to submit an op-Ed or a letter.

One caveat: Because we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we will not accept or publish letters or op-Eds from anyone running for office, or from anyone advocating on behalf of the election or defeat of a particular candidate. Op-Eds or letters on the issues facing the commonwealth this campaign season are more than welcome.

How to Submit: Op-eds should be a maximum of 850 words; letters should be a maximum of 250 words. We accept submissions in MSWord and Google doc formats, or pasted directly into the body of an email. No PDF submissions, please. All submissions should include a two-line bio explaining who the author is, where they live, and their particular area of expertise or profession.

Democracy works when all of us participate. Let’s get to it.

Voters line up at a polling place on Election Day. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Our Stuff.
Elections officials across the country risk criminal charges under 31 new GOP-imposed penaltiesCapital-Star Democracy Reporter Kira Lerner writes as she wraps up a two-part series on how Republicans are criminalizing the vote this campaign season. If you missed it, you can read part one here.


More states may legalize psychedelic mushrooms, our friends at report.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman recruited ‘Jersey Shore’ reality star, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi to troll his Republican rivalMehmet Oz, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.

Removing homosexuality from Pa.’s crimes code is a start, advocates say. But more needs to be done. Our summer intern, Jaxon White, has the story.

In Philadelphia, a new PSA campaign aims to hammer home the importance of having a will, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

Pennsylvanians seeking treatment for addiction can now use a new online tool to find treatment providers, for the services that are provided, and the insurance they accept, Cassie Miller reports.

En la Estrella-Capital: El presupuesto nuevo de Pa. incluye un recorte de impuestos corporativos largamente buscado. Y el nuevo presupuesto estatal financia completamente al proyecto de ley agrícola de Pa. por cuarta vez.

On our Commentary Page: Willful blindness is no defense when you summon a mob to wreak havoc, opinion regular Dick Polman writes. And abortion and other hot-button issues could get young voters to the polls in November, a Tufts University expert writes.

Philadelphia skyline from South Street Bridge (DOUGH 4872, BRIAN W. SCHALLER VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/City & State Pa).


In Philadelphia, one in seven municipal jobs are vacant, creating a ‘crisis’ in local government services, the Inquirer reports.

Pittsburgh has been hit with a surge of deadly shootings this year. The Post-Gazette breaks it down.

New FEC filings show Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman with a fundraising edge over Republican rival Mehmet OzPennLive reports.

LancasterOnline gets to the heart of a zoning fight in one suburban community: the choice between warehouses or farmland (subscriber-only).

USA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau has the latest on GOP-spearheaded election reform efforts in the state House (via the York Daily Record — subscriber only).

The Morning Call looks at how a recently approved cut to state corporate taxes could make the Lehigh Valley more attractive to business.

Two years after it was first announced, Wilkes-Barre’s police advisory board hasn’t completed its training, and has lost a member, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Two weeks in, protesters at an encampment in Philadelphia’s University City say they have no plans to fold up their tentsWHYY-FM reports.

The new state budget has given a $125 million infusion to a private school tax credit program that lacks basic accountability, Spotlight PA reports (via WITF-FM).

Spotlight PA also explains what you need to know about the state’s new child tax credit program (via GoErie).

PoliticsPA looks at the connection between GOP gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano and the right-wing favored social media network called GAB.

City & State Pa. runs down last week’s winners and losers in state politics.

Talking Points Memo explains how U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., blew up the climate change bill he was helping to craft.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


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A post shared by Chris Mautner (@chrismautner)


What Goes On
10 a.m., Capitol Media Center: The Wolf administration rolls out a plan to get more teachers on the job.
11 a.m., Hearing Room 1 North Office Building: Senate State Government Committee

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
9 a.m.: Golf outing for Rep. Josh Kail, R-Beaver. Admission runs $250 to $10,000.

Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Belated best wishes go out to David DeKok, of Reuters, and Jill Helsel Gingrich, of La Torre Communications, both of whom celebrated on Sunday. Up to date best wishes go out to Kurt Knaus, of Ceisler Communications, who celebrates today. Congratulations all around, friends.

Heavy Rotation
Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder has died at the age of 58. The band helped define the Madchester sound of the late ’80s and early 1990s. Here’s one of their classics, it’s ‘Step On.’

Monday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
Well, that 10-game streak couldn’t last forever. The Baltimore Orioles dropped a 7-5 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon.

And now you’re up to date.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.