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Murphy's Resignation Leaves Unexpected Opportunity For Local Politicians

Cliff Owen
Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy takes a photo of the 21st Century Cures Act prior to a signing ceremony on Capital Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016.


It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and the field for a special election to fill his seat is already highly contested. Murphy was forced to resign amid revelations of an extramarital affair in which the anti-abortion lawmaker allegedly urged his mistress to get an abortion.

The scandal creates an unexpected opportunity for local politicians. Murphy had a firm grip on Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, which he has represented for nearly 15 years. He ran unopposed in 2014 and 2016.

Catch up on the already crowded field with political reporters Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Wes Venteicher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Later in the show:

The Trump administration declared "the war on coal is over" this week, rescinding the Clean Power Plan without a replacement.

Current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt said the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that coal-fired power plants could not reasonably meet.

Laura Legere covers energy and the environment for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She joins The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier to talk about how the revocation will affect Pennsylvania's existing natural gas industry and its economy at large.

And finally...

A jury cleared one officer and declared a mistrial for another this week in the federal civil case against two Pittsburgh police officers charged in connection with the shooting of Leon Ford, who was mistakenly identified as Lamont Ford, a different black man officers were seeking in connection to an alleged crime.

University of Pittsburgh law professor and host of 90.5 WESA's Criminal Injustice podcast David Harris joins WESA law and government reporter An-Li Herring to talk about the case and its broader implications.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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