Politics

Courtesy Guy Reschenthaler official Facebook page; Keith Srakocic/AP


State Rep. Rick Saccone (R - Elizabeth) sits at his campaign headquarters in Southpointe with one other staffer.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Pundits say the 75 Democrats who gathered in this Washington, Pa. library basement last weekend have a tough road ahead in the newly drawn 14th District. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Legislation is advancing in Pennsylvania to impose stiffer punishments on a repeat drunk-driving offender who kills someone while driving under the influence.

The Senate voted 45-4 on Wednesday to send the bill to the House.

Currently, a drunk driver who kills someone faces a three-year mandatory sentence. Under the bill, that sentence would rise to five years in prison for a repeat drunk driver and to seven years in prison for someone who has two or more prior drunk-driving convictions.

The bill imposes a consecutive prison term for each victim.

Matt Rourke / AP

Lawyers for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati have filed an appeal to a federal court decision that the Republican must personally pay more than $29,000 for legal fees in a high-profile redistricting case.

The GOP lawmaker officially has 14 days to pay—but his chief counsel said he has no intention of doing so.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

State House lawmakers voted to create work requirements for able-bodied people to get Medicaid coverage.

Such requirements weren’t federally permitted for Medicaid until the Trump administration changed the policy several months ago.

Not Seeking Re-Election, GOP Rep. Dent To Resign From House

Apr 17, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite / AP, file

Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leader of an influential caucus of GOP moderates and a critic of President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that he will resign from Congress in May, after announcing last year he would not seek re-election.

Dent's announcement sets up the potential for a special election as early as mid-summer to serve the remaining months in his term while candidates campaign for a full two-year term in the November election.

Attacks In Pennsylvania Governor's Race Getting Personal

Apr 16, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

With less than five weeks to go before the Pennsylvania primary, the blistering attacks between  Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Wagner and Paul Mango are getting more intense and personal.

In the latest exchange, Wagner’s daughter Katharine speaks directly into the camera answering a Mango ad that calls Wagner a “deadbeat dad.”

“Paul Mango is a disgrace,” Katharine Wagner says in the ad. “Mango is taking a decade-old dispute and twisting the truth. Mr. Mango, you're not half the man my father is. Take down your disgusting ads and apologize.”

Jockeying Begins As House Openings Fuel Leadership Shuffle

Apr 16, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Changes are coming to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, due in large part to the pending departure of one of the most powerful elected officials in Harrisburg.

The decision by House Republican Leader Dave Reed to not seek re-election after a brief flirtation with running for Congress sets the stage for a fight over leadership later this year.

"The day that a leader announces that they're not going to be the leader anymore, a certain amount of 'Game of Thrones' begins," said rank-and-file Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Republican Rick Saccone drew upon national Republican support during his special election campaign against Democrat Conor Lamb last month. He lost that race anyway, and federal campaign-finance reports show he may not be able to count on that edge when facing a new Republican challenger, state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, in the May 15 primary.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvanians have until the close of business Monday to register if they want to vote in the May 15 primary, but they can sign up online

Friends of Ray Linsenmayer, Don Wright/AP, Conor Lamb for Congress

A month after winning the special election in the 18th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D - Mt. Lebanon), now faces a new drama on a new stage.

House GOP Backs Plan To Give Majority More Districting Power

Apr 12, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Republicans on a Pennsylvania House committee voted on Wednesday to give more power over redistricting to the majority party in the Legislature, breathing life into efforts to substantially change how General Assembly and congressional districts are drawn.

GOP Brass Appeal For Unity Amid Gubernatorial Primary Fight

Apr 11, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Republican Party chairman called for party unity Tuesday as a hard-edged primary campaign attack ad against its endorsed gubernatorial candidate played on television screens across the state, and another potentially tough attack ad waits in the wings.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta raised nearly $1.3 million in the first three months of 2018 for his campaign to contest Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey's re-election bid in Pennsylvania.

Barletta's campaign said Monday it had about $1.6 million in the bank as of March 31. That compares with the $10 million-plus that Casey's campaign said it had after raising $2.2 million in the period.

Barletta spent about half of the amount he raised during the quarter, while Casey spent about 40 percent of what he raised.

TV Ad Opens Up New Line Of Attack In GOP Gubernatorial Race

Apr 5, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango is opening up a new line of attack against Republican rival Scott Wagner, airing a TV ad that digs into Wagner's business dealings, child support case and violations in his waste-hauling business.

Mango's campaign said the 30-second ad began airing Wednesday on stations in Pennsylvania's six media markets.

Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration says the Democrat is backing a package of forthcoming legislation that's designed to improve protections in Pennsylvania against workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.

Wolf's announcement Thursday with Democratic lawmakers comes amid revelations of misconduct allegations against several lawmakers and state agreements to pay more than $3 million to settle sexual misconduct claims over the past decade.

Wolf Extends Fundraising Lead Over 3 Republicans In Primary

Apr 4, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Millions more dollars poured into the Pennsylvania governor's race in 2018, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf extended his fundraising lead over the three Republican candidates vying for the party's nomination to challenge him, according to reports filed at the state's Tuesday deadline.

Wolf reported more than $14.7 million in the bank for November's general election, or $8.5 million more than his nearest rival, Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner of York County, who made millions in the waste-hauling industry.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Republican gubernatorial candidate, State Sen. Scott Wagner recently sent supporters an alarming email, pointing out that the Washington Times reported that a lawsuit claims 100,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Pennsylvania.

Is that possible?

Maybe, maybe not. But the origin of the figure and how it found its way into the public debate is an interesting tale.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's incumbent governor raised nearly $5 million for his re-election during the first three months of the year, leaving him with more than $14.7 million in the bank for the election that's now seven months away.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's campaign said Monday he took in $4.96 million between Jan. 1 and March 26.

His campaign says 91 percent of his donations were of $250 or less, and nine out of 10 donors live in Pennsylvania.

Wolf spent more than $32 million, including about $10 million of his own money, in winning the governorship in 2014.

How Would PA’s U.S. House Delegation React If Mueller Is Fired?

Apr 2, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

President Donald Trump's recent public criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election has raised concerns he may be laying the groundwork to derail the probe.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor is staying on the ballot after a judge rejected a claim that he falsely listed his mother's home as his residence on election records when he actually lives in a state-owned mansion at Fort Indiantown Gap.

A Commonwealth Court judge on Wednesday sided with Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, saying his actions show his intent to make his mother's Philadelphia home his residence.

PA Legislature Has Long History Of Inaction On Redistricting Reform Bills

Mar 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Now that legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s new court-drawn congressional map have been rejected, state lawmakers have turned their attention to the typical process by which the state reapportions congressional districts every decade.

But some stakeholders are skeptical about whether any current proposals will ever make it to a vote.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

A new poll shows Pennsylvania’s incumbent Democrats are in a strong position ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

It found 43 percent of voters in the Franklin and Marshall College survey believe Governor Tom Wolf is doing an “excellent” or “good” job in office, compared with 38 percent in a similar poll in September.

The boost came primarily from Democrats and Independents.

F&M’s Berwood Yost said it could be due to a lot of things.

For one, it might be disapproval of President Donald Trump—who has a steady 30 percent approval rating in the poll.

Matt Rourke / AP

A crowded field of Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor met for a debate Monday as they attempt to unseat incumbent Democrat Mike Stack.

Though Stack himself was busy presiding over the Senate and was notably absent, his four-year tenure was a central topic.

In Pennsylvania, candidates for governor and lieutenant run separately from one another in primaries, and pair off for the general election.

That can lead to odd couplings—including the current one between Stack and Governor Tom Wolf.

Another Key Redistricting Case Goes In Front Of High Court

Mar 26, 2018
supremecourt.gov

The Supreme Court has already heard a major case about political line-drawing that has the potential to reshape American politics. Now, before even deciding that one, the court is taking up another similar case.

Zach Gibson / AP

A Republican Pennsylvania congressman has announced that he will not seek re-election, boosting Democratic hopes of winning his House seat.

U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello announced on Sunday that he would not be running, ending weeks of speculation about his future.

During an appearance on MSNBC, the second-term congressman called it "the most difficult decision" he's ever had to make and said it was due to a number of factors including the state's new congressional map.

Democrats Banking On Suburban Discontent In 2018

Mar 23, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

From the old steel communities around Pittsburgh to the lakefront communities of Chicagoland, Republicans are facing an increasingly clear reality: They've got trouble in the suburbs.

Virginia Alvino Young/Conor Lamb campaign / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania’s congressional hopefuls now have a little more certainty about the May 15 primary election.

The newly drawn congressional district map was upheld after being challenged in court, and the deadline has passed for major party candidates to get on the ballot.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA


Most of the candidates who intend to run in Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 14th Congressional District to the south and east of Pittsburgh don’t actually live there.

Matt Rourke / AP

The majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is quitting elective politics, blaming his aborted candidacy for the U.S. House on a new map that put him in the same district as an incumbent congressman from the same party.

Republican state Rep. Dave Reed of Indiana County said Tuesday he made the decision because he doesn't want to challenge GOP U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson.

Reed's in his eighth term and isn't seeking re-election to the state House.

He says he doesn't have plans for a new job but has eight months to figure that out.

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