Politics

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.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

As an elementary school choir sang inside the Capitol rotunda on Friday, a group of men and women clad in military fatigues, carrying walkie talkies and AR-15s, gathered just outside.

“We live in a society where we give lazy kids who come in eighth place trophies,” shouted one man, who left before giving his name. “Alright? It’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental problem.”

Christian Yingling wore a patch on his camouflage jacket declaring him part of the Pennsylvania Lightfoot Militia.

He’s from Westmoreland County, and on most days, works as a machinist.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

A Pennsylvania official said no "legitimate claims or complaints" of voter fraud have come up since Tuesday's closely contested U.S. House race in the state, countering several false stories that cited invalid votes and a court decision throwing the election results out.

The website Daily World Update said in a story circulating on social media that a judge identified as Marshawn Little of the 45th Federal Appeals Court of Westmoreland County cancelled the results because they were "tainted beyond reproach."

Democrat’s Dilemma: An Energized Left V. Moderation

Mar 16, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania's Conor Lamb and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, the new miracle men of the Democratic Party, offer a clear model for how to run in Republican territory: Focus on economics, not guns, immigration or President Donald Trump.

But that won't be easy when much of the party is whipped into a fervor over those topics.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Google Maps


In the wake of Tuesday’s special election in the 18th Congressional District, attention has quickly turned to the district that could soon replace the 18th – the 14th District.

District 18 Race Suggests Almost No GOP Candidate Is Safe

Mar 15, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite

The message to Republicans from the Pennsylvania special election was simple: Almost no one is safe.

Rattled Republicans were hit with a day-after reality check Wednesday after the startlingly strong performance of a fresh-faced Democrat deep in Trump country.

Just five months ago, almost no one in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District knew Conor Lamb's name.

But since quitting his job as a federal prosecutor to run for a vacant House seat, the 33-year-old has spent a lot of time introducing himself to people.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state House has moved to change the commonwealth’s constitution and drastically reduce the size of the legislature.

However, there’s no guarantee voters will see the amendment on their ballots come election day.

Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the country—and for years, lawmakers have sought to change that.

Supporters of the proposal say cutting the number of representatives would make government more efficient—and probably save money.

And, bill sponsor Jerry Knowles noted, the ultimate decision will be up to voters. 

Ryan Dickey / Flickr

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that could have parents footing the bill if their child bullies another kid at school.

State Rep. Frank Burns' bill gives parents three strikes. The first time a child bullies someone, the school is required to inform his or her parents how the school handled the situation. Parents would have to take a class on bullying and attend a bullying resolution conference the second time. The third time, parents would receive a court citation and pay up to a $500 fine.

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