Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
With the rush and crush of the New Year upon us, and the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary just weeks away, it’s time to start doing some heavy thinking about the 2020 campaign and Pennsylvania’s place in the electoral firmament.
By now, you’ve probably noticed that the 2020 Dems have expended a good deal of psychic energy trying to out-populist each other, trading jabs about billionaire backers, wine caves and the corrosive role of money in politics.
With that in mind, we bring you a report by the Legal Intelligencer, which finds that Big Law is playing a big role in former Veep Joe Biden’s campaign.
Among Biden’s top volunteer fund-raisers is Stephen Cozen, the founder and chairman of Philly mega-law firm Cozen O’Connor, the legal trade paper reports.
As the Legal Intell’s Mike Scarcella notes, Cozen is among the 250 individuals and couples identified by Biden’s campaign who have raised at least $25,000 for the former veep’s presidential run. The list is shot through with high-powered members of the bar, he also writes:
“Biden’s list of top volunteer fundraisers … included … Bradley Butwin, chairman of O’Melveny & Myers; Brad Karp, chairman of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Robert Brady, chairman of the Wilmington-based firm Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor; Mitchell Berger, founder and co-chairman of Florida’s Berger Singerman; and Ace Werner and Peter Shields, managing partner[s] of Wiley Rein.”
Cozen told the Legal Intell over the weekend that he’s known Biden for more than 40 years, and believes he’s the candidate who “can cure the cancer that has infected us,” adding that Biden’s “virtues of honesty, trustworthiness, pragmatism, likability and political smarts,” means that “Joe can fix this country, and I’d like to help him do it.”
Other top Biden volunteer donors of note from the Keystone State include U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; longtime Democratic donor Kenneth Jarin, of Bucks County, and Clifford B. Levine, of Pittsburgh, according to the list the campaign posted.
Elizabeth Hardison crunched the numbers to map and chart the most popular tipple in every Pennsylvania county.
Stephen Caruso takes you inside an internecine political fight in southwestern Pennsylvania that’s now radiating across the General Assembly.
From our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia officials honored the contributions of a Germantown pastor by re-naming a street in his honor. And the Trib’s John N. Mitchell introduces you to the African-American man charged with bringing the scandal-plagued, and shuttered, Glen Mills School back from the dead.
On our Commentary Page, opinion regular John A. Tures says facts — not conspiracy theories — are the best weapon to combat such public health threats as a global rises in measles infections.
All 67 counties will have voting machines with paper trails in 2020, the Inquirer reports.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is taking heat for blocking paid family leave for 100K federal employees, Pittsburgh City Paper reports.
PennLive has 20 Pennsylvanians to watch for 2020.
The Morning Call profiles the Lehigh Valley company that’s watching the watchmen.
Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:
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Philly Mayor Jim Kenney has vetoed a food truck ban on Market Street in the city. It’s among six pieces of legislation he’ll send to the scrap heap, courtesy of his ‘pocket veto,’ WHYY-FM reports.
Speaking of vetoes, the PA Post looks at how Gov. Tom Wolf wielded his veto pen in 2019.
The Cook Political Report has officially moved U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright’s, D-8th District, seat to ‘toss-up’ status, PoliticsPA reports.
Roll Call looks at the difficult cancer fight facing U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
Gov. Tom Wolf, joined by cabinet secretaries, social workers, veterans and others, issues an “all-hands-on-deck” call to improve access to mental health care. The event takes place at 2:30 p.m. in the Governor’s Reception Room.
You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Belated best wishes go out this morning to longtime Friend O’the Blog, Rachel Moore, of the Hospital & Health System Association of Pa., who rang in another year on New Year’s Day, as well as to Adrienne Muller, in the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who similarly celebrated on the first day of 2020. Additional belated best wishes to our former PennLive colleague Paul Vigna, who celebrated on 12/31/19. Congratulations all around, friends.
Here’s an old favorite from Blur’s Graham Coxon we stumbled across Wednesday while we were reorganizing our iTunes library. It’s “Freakin’ Out.”
Thursday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Dallas rallied past the Predators to win Wednesday in a seriously chippy Winter Classic match-up at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Stars beat Nashville 4-2 in the annual outdoor game.
And now you’re up to date.