Politics

Heather Ainsworth / AP

In their final week of annual budget hearings, state lawmakers are trying to evaluate how last year’s sweeping gambling overhaul—designed to balance a shaky revenue plan—is affecting state finances.

 

The introduction of a new class of mini-casinos and remote video gaming terminals is the biggest expansion Pennsylvania’s gambling industry has seen since it was legalized well over a decade ago.

 

House Races Are In Full Swing, But Layered With Uncertainty

Mar 5, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's congressional races are in full swing, while Republicans are waging legal battles in federal courts in an effort to block a new map of 18 districts imposed by the state Supreme Court.

That has added a layer of uncertainly to fields of candidates that already went through upheaval when the state's high court redrew boundaries last month, putting the homes of some congressional hopefuls into different districts or forcing them to rethink their candidacy.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Democrat Conor Lamb (Mt. Lebanon Township) and Republican Rick Saccone (Elizabeth Township) doubled down on their respective messages, and launched sharp criticism at one another, ahead of the March 13 special election to fill the empty House seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

Heather Ainsworth / AP

The commonwealth’s gambling industry is midway through a significant shift, with bidding currently underway for existing casinos to acquire newly-legal satellite locations.

 

The process is already raking in more money than lawmakers anticipated; but not everything is going off without a hitch.

 

The most recent bidding process had to be completely restarted after a casino misjudged the state’s placement requirements.

 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are attempting to circumvent the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s congressional maps as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in favor of Republicans.

Toomey Visits Pennsylvania Factory To Tout GOP Tax Overhaul

Feb 21, 2018
Laura Benshoff / WHYY

New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pennsylvania, makes the glass and aluminum skins that cover skyscrapers. On Tuesday, it was also the most recent stop in a string of appearances by Republicans to highlight the GOP-championed tax law, which passed in December.

The events are part victory lap — and part pep rally — and they coincide with rising approval ratings for the law.

After a tour of New Hudson Facades’ high-tech manufacturing facility, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey credited the tax bill, which he helped author, with strengthening the company.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Political groups around Pennsylvania are working to figure out what the state Supreme Court’s new congressional map will mean for their agendas.

Several organizations that have backed efforts to redraw the districts say they are concerned that the new plan may dilute votes from black communities.

When drawing congressional maps, one key standard authors have to meet comes from the Voting Rights Act.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The new congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday shifts Democrat Conor Lamb — who lives in Mt. Lebanon and is running in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the current 18th District — into a new district and potentially a competitive primary.

Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans to fight Pennsylvania's new court-imposed map of congressional districts, issued a day earlier in a move expected to improve Democrats' chances at chipping away at the GOP's U.S. House majority.

Congressional Map Raises Democrats’ Hopes, Legal Test Ahead

Feb 20, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The map of congressional districts imposed by Pennsylvania's high court for the state's 2018 elections will set off a new legal battle, reconfigure perhaps dozens of campaigns and give Democrats a boost in their mission to wrest control of the U.S. House.

The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Attorney Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) and state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) largely stuck to their respective messages at Monday's first televised debate in the race to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh.

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