Politics & Government

We cover politics and government with an eye to providing to voters clear, in-depth, nonpartisan information. 

Trump To Make Return Visit For Pennsylvania Special Election

Mar 2, 2018
Evan Vucci / AP

Democrat Conor Lamb is pounding Republican Rick Saccone in fundraising ahead of a special election in Pennsylvania for a vacant U.S. House seat, as President Donald Trump plans a pre-election rally in a contest viewed as a gauge of Republican strength before 2018's midterm elections.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

Two women recently accused state Representative Nick Miccarelli of repeated domestic violence.

In one incident, he allegedly brandished a gun while driving with one of the women, and threatened to kill them both.

Lamb Pounds Saccone In Fundraising In US House Race

Mar 2, 2018
An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Democrat Conor Lamb is pounding his Republican opponent Rick Saccone in fundraising ahead of the March 13 special election for a vacant U.S. House seat in a conservative southwestern Pennsylvania district, a contest viewed as a gauge of Republican strength ahead of 2018's midterm elections.

(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

The judges granted a request Thursday by the 18 voters to join the lawsuit as defendants, along with two senior state elections officials under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The decision came during a session to sort out issues ahead of a hearing next week.

Chris Knight / AP

Pennsylvania’s three candidates for the Republican nomination for governor are vying to distinguish themselves to voters as the May 15 primary election draws closer.

Photos courtesy of the candidates and Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

In December, City Councilman Dan Gilman of Pittsburgh's District 8 left his seat to become Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff. This was one month after he won reelection to another four-year term. 

GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Join First Debate

Mar 1, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

Three Republicans seeking the party's nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in November's election will take their first debate questions together as their campaigns gather signatures to get on the primary ballot.

Matt Rourke / AP

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Pennsylvania to campaign for a Democratic congressional candidate trying for an upset in an upcoming special election.

Conor Lamb's campaign and Biden aides confirm that the two men will appear together twice Tuesday, one week before the March 13 election between Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone.

Lamb is trying to win in a Pittsburgh-area district that President Donald Trump won by almost 20 percentage points in 2016. Polls suggest a tight race for the seat that opened when Republican Rep. Tim Murphy resigned last year.

State Disputes Claim 100K Noncitizens Registered To Vote

Mar 1, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania election officials said Wednesday that there is no evidence to back up a claim that more than 100,000 noncitizen immigrants had been registered to vote in the state, responding to a conservative group's lawsuit in federal court.

The Department of State, in a statement to The Associated Press, said it is reviewing data and that the figure "is not confirmed by any substantive analysis by the Department. It is not a credible figure and there is no reason to believe it to be accurate."

State Lawmaker Accused Of Assaults, Including Forced Sex

Mar 1, 2018
Pennsylvania House of Representatives / legis.state.pa.gov

*Updated

A state representative was urged Thursday by House Republican leaders to resign amid allegations he forced a woman to have sex after they broke up and threatened to kill another while driving at a high speed and brandishing a gun.

Rich Copeland / WITF

Pennsylvania’s newly redrawn 10th Congressional District—which now encompasses both Harrisburg and York—is getting a new candidate.

 

Christina Hartman, who lost a high-profile congressional race to Republican Lloyd Smucker in 2016, is jumping into the 10th after leaving her Lancaster County district.

 

Hartman said the days since Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court redrew the congressional map have been tumultuous.

 

AP Photo

In the wake of the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people, Pennsylvania US Senator Pat Toomey was among a number of lawmakers who met with President Trump Wednesday to discuss new gun control measures.

The second-term Republican's main proposal is a measure that would expand background checks for firearm purchases to include sales online and at gun shows.

The bipartisan bill is cosponsored by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin; a version was first introduced after 2012's Sandy Hook shooting, and narrowly defeated.

Keith Srakocic / AP


Congressional campaigns across Pennsylvania remain in flux since the state's high court issued a new congressional map last week. If the map survives a pending GOP lawsuit, it would take effect for the May primary.

GOP Congressmen Hit Ground In Districts They Hope To Block

Feb 28, 2018
Jacqueline Martin / AP

Republican congressmen who are suing to block Pennsylvania's court-ordered U.S. House district boundaries nonetheless began circulating petitions in those new districts Tuesday, as they hope and wait for a federal court to intervene.

Tuesday was the first day for candidates to collect signatures to get on May 15 primary ballots in the state's 18 districts, all of which were redrawn in a new map imposed by the state Supreme Court last week.

Pennsylvania Dem Stiff Arms Pelosi In GOP-Leaning District

Feb 28, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

The Republican ads have been unsparing: Conor Lamb would be just one more congressional sheep — pun intended — behind that San Francisco liberal, Nancy Pelosi.

Now Lamb, the 33-year-old former Marine trying to pull an upset in a southwest Pennsylvania special election, is fighting back. Ahead of his March 13 matchup with Republican state lawmaker Rick Saccone, Lamb is disavowing Pelosi and making clear he'll go his own way.

Matt Rourke / AP

Over the last several months, Pennsylvania’s House and Senate have spent over $3.5 million on congressional redistricting.  

Matt Rourke / AP

This week’s annual budget hearings are giving lawmakers a rare chance to publicly question Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court justices.

 

As justices took questions at a Senate judiciary hearing, the conversation repeatedly returned to the court’s controversial decision to invalidate and redraw the state’s congressional map.

 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new report on the costs of Pennsylvania's primary law governing public access to records and information says most agencies receive few if any requests and only a fraction of them are appealed.

The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report issued Tuesday says more than half of the agencies surveyed spent less than $500 annually dealing with open records requests.

The committee says some governmental bodies have lawyers review every request they field, adding costs.

New Congressional Districts In Philly Suburbs Could Help Democrats Win In DC

Feb 27, 2018
Dan Gleiter / Pennlive.com

Pennsylvania’s new court-ordered congressional map has thrust the commonwealth into the national spotlight, and the readjusted political calculus in the Philadelphia suburbs is a big reason why.

Petition Day Arrives With Congressional Boundaries In Doubt

Feb 27, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The first day for congressional candidates in Pennsylvania to circulate petitions will arrive amid legal challenges to week-old court-ordered boundaries of the state's 18 U.S. House districts.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Unionized workers filled a city block as they marched in downtown Pittsburgh Monday – the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a major case involving public sector unions.

GOP Governor Hopeful Wants Death Penalty For School Shooters

Feb 26, 2018
Gerald Herbert / AP

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner says he'll pursue a mandatory death penalty for any school shooter who kills someone, although legal analysts say that's unconstitutional.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's governor and elections officials want the state's highest court to stand by its ruling establishing new congressional districts.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s congressional races are seeing a lot of upheaval in the wake of the state Supreme Court redrawing the map after declaring it unconstitutional.

 

The new map drastically shifts district boundaries, and renders several parts of the state much more competitive for Democrats.

 

That left a lot of state politicians feeling compelled to hastily consider—or reconsider—launching congressional bids.

 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A voter from the Philadelphia suburbs is the 1 millionth person to register to vote or update their registration online since Pennsylvania's online system began more than two years ago.

State officials said Monday that about 60 percent of those users were signing up to vote, while the rest were changing their name, address or party affiliation.

Bradley C. Bower / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator who was the subject of allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides has announced he is ending his stalled congressional bid.

Sen. Daylin Leach, a lawyer and a Democratic state lawmaker since 2003, had announced in December he would "step back" from his campaign after the allegations were published by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a Facebook post Saturday night, Leach cited attacks on his family but also said "how unappealing Congress has become." He said he would instead remain in the state Senate.

Impeachment Talk A Sign Of GOP's Long-Term Worry About Court

Feb 24, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to redraw boundaries of the state's congressional districts has triggered a volcanic reaction from Republicans, including talk of impeaching justices and a Democratic Party plot to stop President Donald Trump.

Federal Judges To Hear Pennsylvania District Map Challenge

Feb 23, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

*Updated
A request by eight GOP congressmen in Pennsylvania to halt the use of a new congressional district map in this year's elections was placed in the hands of three Republican-appointed federal judges Friday.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The boundaries of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts are still in contention this week as GOP leaders file suit to block a map enforced by the state Supreme Court. Three Republican-appointed federal judges on Friday agreed to hear the case.

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