May 6: Planes, trains and cars

🙂 Let’s get this started. Make it a great week.

Weather in Pennsylvania
☁️Marion Center | Mostly gloomy, 73
☁️ Mount Carmel | Cloudy, 69
☁️Coopersburg | Cloudy, 70

Sports PA
⚾ Pirates (16-19) | Colorado 5-3 | Monday-Wednesday vs. L.A. Angels
⚾ Phillies (24-11) | San Francisco 5-4 | Mon vs. San Francisco
⚽ Union (3-5-2) | DC United 2-2

📱 What are we listening to?. The latest Voices of Reason podcast has been released. Our topic is Election Integrity and our guests include: Commonwealth Secretary Al Schmidttogether with Jeff Greenburg, Jerry Feaser, Anna Mendoza AND Guy Ciarrocchi.

📅 What’s happening today. The House meets at noon and the Senate begins at 1 p.m

🎂 Happy birthday. A belated cake and candles for Representative. Anita Astorino Kulik (Sun.)

🎸 Everyday Bruce. “Sparks airy up E Street as prophet boys walk down it handsome and sexy” – Reshuffle on E Street

🗞️ PA politics news delivered straight to your inbox. Did you know that PoliticsPA Guide reaches over 7,200 subscribers? Add your name to the list and we’ll deliver all of today’s AP political headlines in an easy-to-read email format by 8 a.m. And it’s free. Sign up now.

The best story

1. The GOP wants to punish universities. It’s unclear how much it can do

“In response to pro-Palestinian protests, Republicans have threatened everything from stripping federal funding from universities, deporting students involved, and arresting those who refuse to comply.

But beyond holding hearings in which public officials and university representatives are bombarded with questions, it is unclear whether Congress will be able to achieve these goals. Some of their ideas could face serious legal challenges, and others could die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

That doesn’t mean free speech experts aren’t worried — and they’re already discussing what to do if lawmakers succeed in passing new laws or finding creative ways to punish certain campuses.” (known)


McCormick speaks out about pro-Palestinian protesters occupying universities. “As pro-Palestinian encampments and protests continue at the University of Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick is calling on the university to put an end to the illegal demonstration.” (DV Journal)

Generation Z will appear in 2024 – and the division is not what you think – VoR Podcast episode 4. “Data from the most recent Pennsylvania primary shows a significant trend: approximately 8% to 9% of votes cast were from new primary voters.” (Wide + Freedom)

Some cities allow foreigners to vote in local elections. Their attendance is quite low. “Three towns in Vermont now allow non-U.S. residents to vote in local elections. Winooski is one such municipality. The third local elections with non-citizen participation have just been held. Municipalities that allow foreigners to vote in local elections have seen similarly low voter registration and turnout rates. Local leaders are trying to understand why.” (WHY)


2. Gov. Josh Shapiro uses the AP state plane much more often than his predecessor

Pennsylvania Officials Fly High in State Plane at Taxpayers' Expense -

“In his first year in office, Shapiro has exceeded all expectations Governor Tom Wolf the busiest year for air travel, costing $270,000 in fuel, maintenance and staffing in 2023 over nearly 150 flight hours. Wolf used the plane most frequently in 2018, the final year of his first term, during which he logged just over 77 hours in the air and cost $136,000. Former GOP Governor Tom Corbett the busiest aviation year was 2014, when he spent almost 84 hours on a plane, costing taxpayers $103,000.

The reasons for the trips aren’t always clear, even though state law requires agencies to report their “public purpose.” But a composite of Shapiro’s incomplete appearance schedule, public media reports and flight logs show that he traveled by plane to various public announcements, private meetings with officials across the country and even to a Phillies playoff game.

Some government regulators say the resulting travel costs are far too high.” (PA reflector)


Proposed state legislation on guns at airports on hold as talks with law enforcement continue. “Legislation designed to reduce the number of guns confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration at Pittsburgh International Airport has been sent to the drawing board.” (Grandstand overview)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission is moving toward a reckoning. “The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission plans to hire a new executive director, but recent confusion has made lawmakers even more skeptical of the agency’s competence. The commission aims to tighten policy and work more closely with lawmakers, but critics want deeper changes.” (Central Square)

Around the Republic of Poland

3. Some Philadelphia Democrats fear the city party is not prepared for November, and that could cost Joe Biden

Official Philadelphia Tourism and Visitor Information |  Visit Philadelphia

“More than 500,000 Democrats in Pennsylvania’s bluest city did not vote in last month’s primary election.

Turnout in Philadelphia, a perennial problem for Democrats, is certain to be higher in November. However, the number of urban voters going to the polls could make or break President Joe Biden’s re-election chances.

With six months until a high-stakes presidential election, the turnout challenge for Democrats is compounded by waning enthusiasm for Biden, including some within the party protesting against him, generational and ideological divisions within the city party, and lingering tensions over how local communities will party is being conducted.” (Questioner from Philadelphia)


HD-117: Cabell, Walsh Race comes down to short-lived challenges. “File this document in the ‘Every Voice Matters’ category.” (PoliticsPA)

The outcome of the Luzerne County House of Representatives race remains unclear after the Board of Elections meeting. “The Republican candidate for the 117th House District seat will remain unknown until at least Tuesday, and possibly longer.” (WVIA)

  • Walsh asks court to throw out 6 incompletely dated ballots in 117th District race; The hearing is scheduled for Monday. (Standard Hazleton speaker)

Montco says it has cleared $100 million in tax arrears. No one will say how long the county fell behind. “Questions remain how one of the wealthiest and most populous counties in the state created such a large backlog — amounting to about six months of work, according to previous probate audits conducted annually in the counties.” (Questioner from Philadelphia)

Defense officials abandon plan to create a flyover zone in PA Wilds. “The office has withdrawn its proposal to establish a low-flying training zone, the Duke Military Operating Area (MOA), in portions of Elk, Cameron, Clinton, McKean, Potter and Tioga counties.” (CNHI News)


4. What do you mean

  • Give 911 operators the title and benefits they deserve. (Pittsburgh Postal Newspaper)
  • The Pro-Life Movement is now embarrassing the Republican Party. (Michelle Goldberg)
  • Why MAGA is trying to control local GOP committees. (Ann S. Womble)
  • America needs a functioning Congress. (Marek Singiel)
  • Bipartisan legislation is a good first step in rolling back government controls on drug prices. (Robert Campbell)
  • The possibilities for education reform are “limitless.” (Wayne Brookhart)
  • ​​Smear campaign against “Christian nationalists”. (Ralph Reed)
  • Who stole the media’s bragging rights? (POLICY)
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5. Mr. Softee is going high tech

About us

“Childhood vacation memories are sweet, including chasing the Mister Softee ice cream truck barreling down your street. But you don’t have to chase anymore. There’s an app for that.

The New Jersey-based ice cream retailer has equipped its fleet with tracking software that can be easily accessed by downloading the Mister Softee tracking app, said a representative of Mister Softee’s global headquarters in Runnemede, South Jersey. The application is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The Mister Softee jingle is the soundtrack to summer in Bucks County. While the melody is recognizable, the lyrics are largely unknown. They were written in 1960 as a radio jingle for the late Lester WaasAccording to the company’s co-owner, James Conway.

“The creamiest, dreamiest soft serve ice cream/You’ll get it from Mister Softee/For the ultimate refreshing delight/Look for Mister Softee…” (Bucks County Courier Times)

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