Pennsylvania Perspective for Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May 31, 2022


Recount Begins in GOP Senate Race, Results Expected June 8

With just 900 votes separating Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, all 67 counties are beginning their required recount of the close race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator. In the background, both campaigns are waging a legal war for contested votes which could make a difference in the election result. The Associated Press has more .

Mastriano ’s Campaign Blends Christianity With a Conservative Platform

National election watchers say Doug Mastriano ’s primary victory is the most high profile case of a Christian nationalist winning in the country, referring to beliefs that blend conservative Christian ideology with a more standard political platform that goes beyond informing a policy debate. Mastriano, however, rejected that label. Read more from the Associated Press.

Despite Hope from Advocates, Gift Ban and Lobbying Reform Stall

A package of reforms meant to curtail the prevalence of gifts and per diems by state lawmakers appears to have stalled, despite stated bipartisan support in both chambers. Such reforms have historically stalled in Harrisburg, often not even receiving a committee hearing. Spotlight PA has more .

ICYMI: Commonwealth Court Upholds Block on Pittsburgh Assault Weapons Ban

A judge in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld a ruling that a package of gun laws passed by Pittsburgh ’s City Council violated state law. The laws, passed after the Tree of Life massacre in 2019, were challenged in court by multiple guns rights organizations. Read more from PennLive.



Former GOP Ward Leader At Center of “Ballot Harvesting ” Controversy Pleads Fifth

Billy Lanzilotti, a former South Philadelphia ward leader who is accused of requesting and delivering mail-in ballots on behalf of other people, refused to testify after he was subpoenaed by city election officials investigating the events. The Inquirer has more .

Boredom, Hot Market for Car Parts, and Social Media Fueling Rise in Carjackings

Police investigations into a record number of carjackings over the past two years point to three main causes for the rise: boredom, hot market for used cars and car parts, and social media influence encouraging the perpetrators, many of which are under 21 years old, to carjack. Read more from the Inquirer.

City 60 Lifeguards Short from Full Pool Reopening

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation officials say they need about 60 more lifeguards in order to open 65 of 70 public pools for the summer. The City has upped recruitment efforts, including increasing pay to $16/hour and covering certification costs for anyone under 24. WHYY has more .


Pittsburgh Begins Virtual Community Hearings on Operating and Capital Budgets

The City of Pittsburgh is beginning to lead community focus groups on the fiscal year 2023 budget, which will be held over Zoom and via online forms. The Tribune-Review has more .

Modifications to Allow Double-Stacked Train Cars to Move Forward

After a mediator-brokered agreement between Pittsburgh and Norfolk Southern Rail Company, final plans to modify existing infrastructure is set to pass City Council which will allow double-stacked rail cars. Read more from the Post-Gazette.

Audit Finds Significant Disparities in Pittsburgh Police Arrests for Marijuana

Despite making up 22 percent of the City ’s population, Black people made up 85 percent of marijuana-related charges in the city. The Capital-Star has more .

Lack of Community Presence and Fundraising Key to Election Losses from Two Incumbents

Reps. Michael Puskaric (R-Elizabeth) and Jason Silvis (R-Apollo) both lost their bids for reelection, and their challengers said their losses were due to general lack of presence in their districts as well as being outspent by their challengers. Read more from the Post-Gazette.

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