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

Pa. lawmakers denounce U.S. Capitol mob

A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Tom Lisi
January 7, 2021
Capitol chaos, low testing, speaking out, new lawmakers, swimming in the cold, and a hopeful hotline. It's Thursday. 
State lawmakers denounced violence in Washington after a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol to impede the official count of Electoral College votes.

Top Republicans in the state House and Senate said in statements the chaos was not acceptable, Spotlight PA reports. They had earlier cast doubt on the integrity of the state’s presidential election.

Gov. Tom Wolf called the events "an attempted coup" and said they were the "direct result of a deliberate disinformation campaign by Republicans from the president down to legislators in Pennsylvania."

THE CONTEXT: The mob attack yesterday erupted minutes after U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey carefully rebuked an effort to block the popular vote for president. In a later statement, Toomey called the situation at the U.S. Capitol "an absolute disgrace."

At least one former state lawmaker and one current member were in Washington on Wednesday as President Donald Trump vowed to “never concede” the election he lost.

Rick Saccone, a former Republican state representative and failed 2018 congressional candidate, posted a photo of himself on Facebook with state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin), saying he bumped into the “fellow patriot” near the Capitol. Mastriano later called the violence "unacceptable" and "unAmerican."

"No one should feel like they have to endure this period and its stress, anxiety, and uncertainty alone."

— Teresa Miller, secretary of the Department of Human Services, on additional food benefits that are now available
POST IT: A shot of our Capitol dome in late fall. Thanks, Robert N., for the submission! Send us your hidden gems use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
STILL BEHIND: Much attention in the COVID-19 fight has turned to vaccine distribution, but Spotlight PA's Yaasmeen Piper reports how Pennsylvania's testing capacity still lags greatly behind what experts say is needed to curb the spread of the virus.

SPEAKING OUT: In a letter published by TribLIVE, a nurse at UPMC in Pittsburgh said the health system's leaders have painted an overly rosy picture of how staff is handling an influx of COVID-19 patients. A UPMC spokesperson told WESA it had "no reports" of one of the nurse's claims: that she had to wait a half-hour with a dying patient before a doctor became available.
UNPROTECTED: The low conviction rate for gun-related crimes is not new or unique to Philadelphia, but one crucial problem remains: the intimidation and lack of protection witnesses face when helping prosecutors, WHYY reports.

WOLF RESPONDS: Ahead of yesterday's remarkable events, Gov. Tom Wolf once again tried to straighten out the facts regarding the state's presidential election results, WITF reports. The Democrat said Pennsylvania's GOP representatives were "purposely spreading disinformation."

IN WITH THE NEW: A mother-son duo, a record-setting 73 women, and an 83-year-old lawmaker: get to know Pennsylvania's new General Assembly, courtesy of PennLive.

» FREE FOR SUBSCRIBERS: A live interview with Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of the PA State System of Higher Education, at 5 p.m. Jan. 13. RSVP now and submit questions in advance to ypiper@spotlightpa.org.
POLAR LAPS: Don't get too jealous, but a Philadelphia-area swim club was holding 5 a.m. winter workouts in an outdoor pool when indoor sports were halted by COVID-19 restrictions. The club bought special heaters to get the water near 80 degrees.
CLEAN FUN: Northeastern Pennsylvania skiing has held up as a solid option for some COVID-friendly recreation. Even on the open-air slopes, resort operators are enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing.
THIS OLD HOUSE: An Erie businessman spent millions restoring several 19th-century downtown homes on "Millionaire's Row," and the converted one- and two-bedroom apartments are now up for lease. You don't have to buy one to enjoy the photos.
CALL FOR HOPE: Philadelphia's poet laureate, Trapeta B. Mayson, has set up a toll-free hotline for callers to get 90-second "affirming poems." The project is meant to be an outlet in difficult times. Each Monday, a new poem will be featured at 1-855-763-6792.

LOCAL GEMS: Esquire is out with a list of 100 restaurants "America can't afford to lose," including a handful here in Pennsylvania. I have eaten at none of them, giving me something else to look forward to when this pandemic is over. 
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.
Yesterday's answer: Euphemism  

Congrats to our daily winners: David I., Neal W., Jill G., Joel S., Irene R., John C., Ron P., Jill A-S., Dennis E., Deb N., David W., Jessica K., George S., Anne G., Dianne K., Carol D., Linda N., Karen W., and Kim C.
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.