Pennsylvania Union Contract Pits Steel Workers Against Union Officials

 A controversial union contract at a steelworks plant has pitted workers against their union representatives. Though workers twice rejected a contract, union officials ratified it with management. Now, workers who want to decertify the union are barred from doing so for three years.

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Mastriano Condemns FBI Raid of Pennsylvania Pro-Life Activist

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano this weekend condemned the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s raid and arrest of Bucks County resident Mark Houck, a prominent pro-life activist. 

According to a LifeSiteNews.com report citing Houck’s wife Ryan-Marie’s firsthand reaction to the SWAT team’s Friday-morning visit to the home where the two live with their seven children, between 25 and 30 armed agents arriving in approximately 15 vehicles surrounded the house. 

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Pennsylvania Faces High Housing Prices Unless ‘Record-Level Building’ Happens

Pennsylvania’s struggle to build more housing, be it affordable or market-rate, will continue unless dramatic change happens within city, county, and state governments.

Such was the takeaway from a House Urban Affairs Committee hearing focused on northeastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

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Democratic Judge Questions Differing Ballot-Curing Rules Across Pennsylvania

As political-party attorneys and the state of Pennsylvania argued over “curing” election ballots on Thursday, the Democratic judge hearing the case suggested that differing county rules could undermine confidence in election integrity.

Judge Ellen Ceisler, one of two Democrats on the seven-member Commonwealth Court, conducted the hearing in which Republican Party lawyers pressed their case against Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D). Per litigation filed three weeks ago, the plaintiffs contended that the court should not permit the secretary to let counties notify absentee or mail-in voters that their ballots contain mistakes that can supposedly be corrected or “cured.” 

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New York City Education Department Fires 850 More Teachers for Refusing COVID Vaccine

The New York City Department of Education has fired another 850 teachers and aides for refusing to comply with its COVID vaccine mandate, bringing the total number of school staff terminated over the mRNA shots that have not prevented the spread of infection to 2,000.

Some 1,300 department employees agreed to comply with the vaccine mandate by September 5 after taking a year of unpaid leave with benefits, the New York Post reported. The department informed personnel they would have to be vaccinated by that date or be “deemed to have voluntarily resigned.”

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Fetterman Being Outspent by Oz as Polls Show Narrowing Race

Allies of Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania have dramatically increased their funding for his candidacy in the state, with new polls released Tuesday suggesting that their contributions are impacting the race.

John Fetterman currently leads Oz by under 2%, gaining 47.7% of the vote to Oz’s 45.9%, per a September poll by the Trafalgar Group – within the margin of error of 2.9%. In July, the same poll showed Fetterman leading Oz by 5%, outside the margin of error.

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Fetterman Campaign Says Nominee’s Calls to ‘Free’ Second-Degree Murderers ‘Taken Out of Context’

The campaign for Pennsylvania Democrat Senate nominee John Fetterman on Tuesday walked back the candidate’s apparent call to release all second-degree murderers with life sentences. 

A spokesperson for Fetterman’s campaign told Fox News that the lieutenant governor’s comments “are being taken out of context,” and the nominee does not support freeing all convicts serving life without parole for second-degree murder.

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Pro-Lifers Pleased with Enthusiasm at Second Annual Pennsylvania March for Life

Pennsylvanians who support legal protections for innocent life including the unborn resoundingly celebrated the enthused showing at Monday’s Pennsylvania March for Life in Harrisburg, the Keystone State’s second such annual event.

Thousands of residents marched to the Capitol Building in support of legislation to prevent abortion, an issue that has seen a resurgence of interest since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide was nullified earlier this year. Pro-abortion activists held their own rally for Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial candidacy the day afterward, drawing few attendees.

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Changes Needed to Make a Pennsylvania Hydrogen Hub Work

As Pennsylvania lawmakers aim to lure billions of federal dollars for a hydrogen hub to the commonwealth, the General Assembly would need to reform the legal and permitting process to make it happen.

The intricacies of such action were center stage at a Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee hearing on Monday.

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Commentary: John Fetterman’s Progressive Fantasy Campaign

In recent years, Americans have heard some new theories about the world from progressive activists and academics. First, that “your truth” is what matters, not the truth; you can be whoever you say you are. Second, that there is no need to debate “the other side” or confront its ideas. And third, that using the language of the oppressed – no matter how privileged you are yourself – means that you don’t need to listen or think about what would really help people.

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Legislators Propose Bill to Help Residents Recycle Electronic Devices in Pennsylvania

Two Pennsylvania legislators on Friday proposed imposing an “eco-fee” on purchases of electronic devices in the Keystone State to fund recycling of those items.

In 2010, the commonwealth adopted the Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) to facilitate manufacturer- and retailer-based recycling of such devices as laptops, desktop computers, monitors, televisions, printers and keyboards. These objects become hazardous if improperly discarded because they often contain mercury, cadmium, lead and other poisonous metals. 

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Pennsylvania’s Approach to Sealing Criminal Convictions Could Go National

Criminal justice reform that started in Pennsylvania to clear previous convictions may become the standard in federal law.

Two criminal justice reform bills, the Clean Slate Act and the Fresh Start Act, would “enable people with federal arrest and conviction records to petition to clear those records and support increased access to automatic record sealing for eligible offenses at the federal and state levels,” as described in a news release from the Clean Slate Initiative, a pro-reform group.

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Pennsylvania Gets $25 Million to Build out Electric Vehicle Charging

Pennsylvania will expand its electric vehicle charging infrastructure after it received $25 million in federal funds to do so.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the $25.4 million came from November’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, legislation also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law.

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Pennsylvania House Committee to Investigate ‘Ghost Flights’

A Pennsylvania House committee announced this week it will investigate cases of “ghost flights” of illegal immigrants, possibly including children, that reportedly landed in the Keystone State.

The state House Government Oversight Committee accepted a referral from House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Quarryville) and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) which voiced concern about media accounts of nighttime air delivery of persons who unlawfully entered the United States. Cutler and Benninghoff observed that whistleblowers have suggested these flights into the commonwealth’s northeastern region, allegedly chartered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), contain minors as well as adults. The individuals were reported to have been driven out of state after arriving.

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Pennsylvania Expands Election Funds and Audits

As Pennsylvania gears up for a November election less than eight weeks away, county boards of elections are getting more funds and the Department of State will require more audits to ensure public confidence in results.

Changes that could speed up the voting process and counting of ballots, however, do not appear to be on the table for this year.

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Pennsylvania House Votes Overwhelmingly to Hold Krasner in Contempt

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 162 to 38 on Tuesday to hold Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) in contempt for failing to comply with a committee subpoena. 

The vote came just hours after Pennsylvania’s House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order voted to recommend holding Krasner in contempt. Panel members have asked the prosecutor’s office to provide them with various documents including grand-jury records concerning the upcoming homicide trial of former police officer Ryan Pownall who shot and killed 30-year-old illegal-firearm carrier David Jones during a foot chase in 2018. Krasner balked at the committee’s request and is suing in Commonwealth Court to nullify it. 

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Won’t Fast-Track Hearing for Proposed Abortion Amendment

Pro-lifers and scored a momentary win this week as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided against bypassing the Commonwealth Court and hearing a case against a proposed constitutional amendment. 

The Pennsylvania Family Institute and the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia were among organizations that filed amicus briefs with the majority-Democrat Supreme Court urging it to make Governor Tom Wolf (D) first take his case to the Republican-controlled lower court. In that forum, judges will rule on the validity of a proposed amendment stating that the commonwealth does not confer a constitutional right to abortion.

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Trio of Election Integrity Measures Advance in Pennsylvania

A trio of bills are working their way through the Legislature to enhance the security of election ballots and remove deceased residents from the voter rolls. 

The House State Government Committee met on Monday to vote on House Bill 34, House Bill 143, and House Bill 2484, advancing all three of them past first consideration. The bills will need to get through three considerations before a final vote can be held.

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Counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Arizona, Minnesota and More Flooded with Requests for 2020 Election Records as Mandatory Preservation Window Expires

With the recent expiration of the federally mandated 2-year window for preservation of 2020 presidential election records, counties across the country have been inundated with public records requests from Americans concerned about election integrity.

During his “Moment of Truth Summit” last month spotlighting 2020 presidential election irregularities, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell exhorted “every single person in the country” to ask for cast vote records from the election from their local county clerk’s office. His website links to the Ordros Analytics, Inc., website, which provides templates of public records requests for cast vote records.

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Representative to Introduce Bill to Rid Pennsylvania School Libraries of Obscene Content

State Representative Barbara Gleim (R-PA-Carlisle) on Friday proposed legislation to forbid Pennsylvania school libraries from possessing “highly sexual” or otherwise obscene content.

The lawmaker took care to point out that she does not intend to rid schools all content that pertains to sex in any way. 

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Pennsylvania Turnpike: More Debt than the State, with Toll Increases Likely

The auditor general noted “growing financial issues” with the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and the news is not good for drivers who pay tolls.

“Today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has more debt than the entire state government of Pennsylvania, and the only way to pay it is to raise tolls,” Auditor General Timothy DeFoor said in a press release. “This is an unsustainable situation which highlights the need for innovative ideas and different solutions to rectify an issue that is decades in the making.”

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Pennsylvania Counties Take the Lead in Spending Opioid Settlement Dollars

Pennsylvania is set to spend $1 billion from the National Opioid Settlement – and the focus is on the county level.

Pennsylvania’s share of the $26 billion settlement will be divvied up so that 70% goes to counties, 15% is appropriated by the General Assembly, and 15% goes to counties involved in the opioid litigation, subdivisions, district attorneys, and special districts.

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Commentary: Pennsylvania’s Utility Disconnections Spike Amid Energy Affordability Crisis

Pennsylvania earned a dubious distinction recently that underscores the economic pain wreaking havoc statewide for millions of residents struggling to make ends meet.

We, along with four other states, account for 69% of all 3.6 million utility disconnections between January 2020 and December 2021, according to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity. 

It gets worse.

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Fetterman Agrees to One Debate with Oz in Pennsylvania Senate Contest

Pennsylvania Democrat Senate nominee John Fetterman has agreed to one debate with GOP rival Dr. Mehmet Oz, amid efforts to recover from a mid-May stroke, in a key general election race that will help determine whose political party will next control the Senate.

“We’re absolutely going to debate Dr. Oz, and that was really always our intent to do that,” Fetterman told the news outlet Politico on Wednesday. “It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out.”

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Pennsylvania State Representative Proposes Bill to Lighten Businesses’ Unemployment Obligations

State Representative Tim Twardzik (R-PA-Frackville) this week proposed legislation to lighten the burden of unemployment compensation (UC) on businesses that have seen major rate increases since COVID-19 hit in 2020. 

Twardzik indicated his bill will be similar to legislation that state Senator David Argall (R-PA-Mahanoy City) has introduced in his chamber. 

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Fetterman Agrees to One Debate with Oz in Pennsylvania Senate Contest

Pennsylvania Democrat Senate nominee John Fetterman has agreed to one debate with GOP rival Dr. Mehmet Oz, amid efforts to recover from a mid-May stroke, in a key general election race that will help determine whose political party will next control the Senate.

“We’re absolutely going to debate Dr. Oz, and that was really always our intent to do that,” Fetterman told the news outlet Politico on Wednesday. “It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out.”

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Commentary: Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman Is Soft on Crime

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, maintains that he agrees with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a socialist, on “virtually every issue.” Sanders, in turn, has endorsed Fetterman and appeared at events with him. But if Fetterman is taking his economic advice from the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, where is he getting counsel on dealing with violent crime? Sadly for Pennsylvania voters, Fetterman seems to be taking his lead from the City of Brotherly Love’s Larry Krasner, district attorney of Philadelphia.

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Commentary: Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman Is Soft on Crime

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, maintains that he agrees with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a socialist, on “virtually every issue.” Sanders, in turn, has endorsed Fetterman and appeared at events with him. But if Fetterman is taking his economic advice from the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, where is he getting counsel on dealing with violent crime? Sadly for Pennsylvania voters, Fetterman seems to be taking his lead from the City of Brotherly Love’s Larry Krasner, district attorney of Philadelphia.

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Lack of Affordable Housing Remains a Problem in Pennsylvania

Housing shortages and rising rents are a national problem, and the process for building more housing, especially affordable housing, is only one of many barriers.

In Pennsylvania, rents have increased mainly in the southeast and central parts of the state. As The Center Square previously reported, a report from pro-housing group Up for Growth estimated Pennsylvania has underproduced 98,000 units of housing. Statewide, rents increased by 14% from 2020 to 2021.

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Commentary: For Pennsylvania Families, the Midterms Can’t Come Fast Enough

The critical midterm election is in less than 70 days, but it can’t come soon enough for Keystone State families being crushed under the weight of failed Democrat policies. Reckless spending by Democrats in Washington has driven us into a recession and burdensome policies by Tom Wolf, John Fetterman, and Josh Shapiro have left Pennsylvania with high unemployment and shuttered small businesses. As State Treasurer, I know the importance of fiscal responsibility. I oversee an office of more than 300 employees and am tasked with protecting more than $150 billion in state assets. As a Pennsylvanian living in Joe Biden’s economy, I know firsthand the consequences of reckless spending and see the painful impact on every town in the commonwealth.

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Major Pennsylvania Newspaper Says Fetterman’s Stroke ‘Raises Serious Concerns’ About His Ability to Serve

A major newspaper in Pennsylvania questioned Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s ability to serve in the Senate in a Tuesday editorial after he declined another debate with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

“Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman has not fully recovered from the serious stroke he suffered in May,” the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. “His campaign has acknowledged his obvious struggles with ‘auditory processing’ and speech, but the persistence of those struggles has contrasted with the campaign’s rosier predictions of a return to the rigors of campaigning, including debating his opponent, Mehmet Oz.”

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Pennsylvania Senate Bill Proposed to Address First-Responder Shortage

State Senator Michele Brooks (R-PA-Greenville) is encouraging colleagues to back two upcoming bills she proposes to allay shortages of first responders in Pennsylvania. 

The first piece of legislation concerns insufficiencies among volunteer-firefighter companies. In a memorandum to fellow senators asking them to cosponsor her bills, the senator noted that certain professionals including corrections officers undergo rudimentary training in fire suppression. Nonetheless, that instruction does not yet count toward the over 200 training hours that aspiring volunteer firefighters must acquire in order to qualify. Brooks’s bill would make workers’ basic-firefighting lessons applicable to those seeking to join local fire departments. 

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Major Pennsylvania Newspaper Says Fetterman’s Stroke ‘Raises Serious Concerns’ About His Ability to Serve

A major newspaper in Pennsylvania questioned Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s ability to serve in the Senate in a Tuesday editorial after he declined another debate with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

“Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman has not fully recovered from the serious stroke he suffered in May,” the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. “His campaign has acknowledged his obvious struggles with ‘auditory processing’ and speech, but the persistence of those struggles has contrasted with the campaign’s rosier predictions of a return to the rigors of campaigning, including debating his opponent, Mehmet Oz.”

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New Hampshire Community in Turmoil as Political Activist LGBTQ Organization Scheduled to Conduct Teacher Training

The firestorm in New Hampshire School Administrative Unit (SAU) 21 is continuing over a scheduled teacher training September 13 by political activist LGBTQ organization Seacoast Outright, which also stands with Black Lives Matter.

“In SAU21, the upcoming teacher training on September 13th has caused political factions to argue against each other,” wrote education researcher and parental rights advocate Ann Marie Banfield at Granite Grok Friday.

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In Pennsylvania, University Mandates Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine for Students but Not Staff

Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania released its Fall 2022 COVID-19 vaccination protocol, stating that returning students must be fully vaccinated prior to arriving on campus.

“Students are required to be fully vaccinated prior to arriving to campus, unless approved with an exemption,” the Susquehanna University Plan for Fall 2022 reads.

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Student Loan Forgiveness in Pennsylvania Favors the Wealthy

As Pennsylvania higher education institutions face a shortage of students, their former students will disproportionately benefit from student loan forgiveness.

A research brief from the Independent Fiscal Office estimates that almost 2 million Pennsylvania borrowers hold $69 billion student loan debt, and $21 billion would be forgiven. Another $1.8 billion would be forgiven through the expansion of the income-driven repayment program. 

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Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Expansion Could Include Sealing Low-Level Felony Records

Advocates say a bipartisan effort to seal criminal records for low-level felonies would give more people second chances and boost the Pennsylvania economy.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss House Bill 1826, which would expand the Clean Slate Act by automatically sealing some low-level felonies.

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Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Expansion Could Include Sealing Low-Level Felony Records

Advocates say a bipartisan effort to seal criminal records for low-level felonies would give more people second chances and boost the Pennsylvania economy.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss House Bill 1826, which would expand the Clean Slate Act by automatically sealing some low-level felonies.

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Pennsylvania House Republicans: Krasner Is Suing to Skirt Accountability

Pennsylvania Republican legislators seeking solutions to the crime and violence in Philadelphia that have spilt into other communities across the Keystone State denounced city District Attorney Larry Krasner this weekend for suing to escape their oversight. 

GOP General Assembly members, who allege Krasner has demonstrated a “willful refusal to enforce Pennsylvania’s criminal laws,” have made clear they want to impeach the far-left prosecutor and introduced a resolution to that effect months ago. They however almost certainly lack the two-thirds of Senate votes to do so. 

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Student Enrollments Down, Administrator Hires Up in Pennsylvania

A new report questions the narrative of a “teacher shortage” in Pennsylvania, pointing out significant declines in student enrollments even as public school employment has risen.

“Since 2000, Pennsylvania public school enrollment has dropped 6.6% (120,000 fewer students); but public schools have added 20,000 more employees (8.7% growth), including nearly 40% growth among administrators,” the Commonwealth Foundation noted in its Back to School Education Trends report.

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RNC Sues Pennsylvania over Ballot Curing for 2022 Elections

The Republican National Committee announced Friday that it is leading a lawsuit against Pennsylvania over ballot curing in the 2022 elections.

The other plaintiffs are the National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, Pennsylvania GOP and several state voters.

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Pennsylvania GOP Nominee Mastriano Sues January 6 Committee, Alleges Subpoena Legally Defective

In an extraordinary legal strike two months before mid-term elections, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor on Thursday sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-run Jan. 6 committee in federal court, alleging it failed to follow its own rules and does not have the legal authority to compel him to testify.

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Oz Pennsylvania Senate Campaign Blasts Fetterman for Hiring Two Convicted Murderers

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz’s campaign on Thursday excoriated his opponent, Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, for bringing on two convicted murderers as campaign staffers. 

The celebrity surgeon and the National Republican Senate Committee cited Federal Election Commission filings indicating the lieutenant governor’s campaign employs Lee and Dennis Horton, who were both convicted of second-degree murder in 1993, having been found to have aided Robert Leaf in a theft-related killing of a man before fleeing the scene. 

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Pennsylvania GOP Nominee Mastriano Sues January 6 Committee, Alleges Subpoena Legally Defective

In an extraordinary legal strike two months before mid-term elections, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor on Thursday sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-run Jan. 6 committee in federal court, alleging it failed to follow its own rules and does not have the legal authority to compel him to testify.

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Connecticut Elementary Assistant Principal on Leave After Project Veritas Video Revealed He Ensures Rejecting Catholics and Conservatives as Hires

Assistant Principal Jeremy Boland of Cos Cob Elementary School is on leave in the wake of a Project Veritas (PV) undercover video that recorded his claims of how he ensures his school does not hire Catholics or conservatives in order to guarantee “subtle” leftwing indoctrination of children.

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Pennsylvania’s Latest Mail-In Voting Decision Has Local Officials Scrambling

Pennsylvania authorities contentiously combined voter registration and mail-in ballot applications into one document this month, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the latest in a series of disputed election-related policies.

The state’s Department of State issued an updated form Aug. 19 allowing citizens to register to vote and request a mail-in ballot, which had previously required multiple forms, The Federalist reported. Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions Jonathan Marks said this was intended “to simplify the process,” but many county elections officials argued the change occurred without warning and demonstrated a continuing lack of respect for them, according to the Inquirer.

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