Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

GOP asks Congress to reject Pa.'s Biden electors


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Jordan Wolman
December 4, 2020
Election fallout goes on, another broken record, the end of Three Mile Island, a mysterious monolith, and saluting Pearl Harbor. Welcome to Monday.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has directed Pennsylvania officials to respond to a suit seeking to block the state's election results on Tuesday, rather than Wednesday as originally directed.

At first glance, one day may seem like an insignificant difference. But as The Inquirer reported, the new deadline falls on the same day as the “safe harbor date” — which effectively shuts the door on challenges — and gives the court a few hours to act if it so chooses.

Republican lawmakers including House Speaker Bryan Cutler, meanwhile, sent a letter to the state's congressional delegation Friday asking them to reject electors for Democrat Joe Biden, Spotlight PA reported.

THE CONTEXT: Pennsylvania certified Biden as the winner in late November, which in most years would have been routine and uneventful.

But 2020 is not most years. In the courts and legislature, some Republicans have alleged without evidence that there was widespread voter fraud designed to steal ballots from President Donald Trump. Others have objected to the election process, particularly actions taken by Gov. Tom Wolf's administration.

That was the stated basis for the Friday letter, in which the GOP contends guidance from the Department of State on "cured" ballots, as well as rulings from the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court, undermined the election.

While observers don't expect these challenges to prevail, they may ultimately benefit the Republicans behind them. Sen. Doug Mastriano, who tested positive for COVID-19 after holding a largely maskless hearing on unsubstantiated claims of fraud, has boosted his public profile ahead of an expected run for governor.


“Whether it be understanding where to sign [or] what type of ink to use, all that stuff takes a certain level of comprehension. And in Pennsylvania, where the smallest thing could discredit a ballot, there’s a lot of concern there.”

— Marcus Hall, an instructor at the Community Learning Center, on how Philadelphians overcome literacy struggles to vote

POST IT: A calming sunrise shot of Bern Township in Berks County. Thanks, Jim B., for the submission! Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
ON THE TABLE: Senate Democrats in the General Assembly want to borrow billions of dollars to provide COVID-19 relief for businesses, the unemployed, and schools, the Capital-Star reports. State lawmakers and Wolf in November used the state's remaining federal relief dollars — $1.3 billion — to prop up the budget and pay salaries. 

BAD AND GETTING WORSE: Pennsylvania reported nearly 13,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday alone, again shattering the state's daily case record. Hospital capacity and staffing are growing concerns. One son's plea to get his York County mother moved to a hospital that could handle her deteriorating condition was shared hundreds of times on social media.

1979 LOOMS LARGE: The feds have approved the sale of Three Mile Island's Unit 2, the site of a partial meltdown, to a Utah company that will be tasked with completing the decades-long decommissioning, PennLive reports. High radiation levels have prevented close inspection, and LancasterOnline found that advocates are still concerned a natural disaster could lead to the release of radiation.

RISING DEATHS: Philadelphia jails are under a "shelter-in-place" order as COVID-19 cases explode inside the facilities, The Inquirer reports. After a calm spring, the state's prisons are also reporting a rising number of coronavirus-related deaths. Advocates for incarcerated persons are calling on the legislature to pass a medical parole bill that would release the most vulnerable inmates, Spotlight PA previously reported.

MAGA V. OLD GUARD: While Republicans have fared poorly in the moderate Lehigh Valley since President Donald Trump took office, the MAGA mindset may have some staying power among voters and local candidates, The Morning Call reports.
» GIVE NOW, GET A GREAT GIFT: Support essential local journalism and knock someone off your shopping list by becoming a member now. Contribute $15/month or $180/year and get this exclusive tote bag.
A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: On this day in 1941, Japanese war planes attacked a United States military base in Hawaii. More than 2,400 men and women died in the attack that officially launched America's involvement in World War II. Alex Horanzy, the last Philadelphia-based Pearl Harbor survivor, died earlier this year

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE: ... it's a monolith! Yes, a monolith. The latest strange metal structure to randomly appear in this world has been found in none other than our own Steel City: Pittsburgh

IN THE CENTRE: Smack in the middle of Pennsylvania is what's likely the state's tallest Santa Claus. Measuring 37.5 feet tall, you can check out this Christmas attraction for yourself at Cold Stream Park in Centre County. 

RIP, SQUIGGY: David L. Lander, the actor best known for portraying Squiggy on the classic TV show “Laverne & Shirley,” died Friday. He developed the character while studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

YES, IT'S THAT GOOD: The New York Times' Wirecutter has included a Pennsylvania treasure on its 2020 recommended gift list: Prantl’s Bakery Burnt Almond Torte. Learn about the history of this Pittsburgh classic, or better yet go eat some.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out the winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Love the scrambler? Make a donation to help us end 2020 strong.

Friday's answer: Solidarity

Congrats to our weekly winner: Ron P. 

Congrats to our daily winners: David I., Bob R., Susan D., Mary Ellen T., Thomas B., Craig W., John C., Heidi B., Tracey C., Bruce B., Chris M., Deb N., Jarrod B., George S., Irene R., Bill C., Lynne E., Gail H., Carol D., Joel S., Patricia R., and Jeffery S.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Chip in to support local journalism.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
225 Market St., Suite 502A
Harrisburg, PA 17101

You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, which has combined with Spotlight PA to create Pennsylvania's largest statewide newsroom dedicated to accountability journalism.

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.