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Mastriano was elector 'point person' for Trump campaign

Plus, a Pa. congressman attended his gay son's wedding days after voting against codifying same-sex marriage.

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Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA Staff
July 27, 2022
'Fake' electors, tipped wage, wedding guest, child care credit, officer hired, attack plea, pollution plan, and farewell to the Philadelphia-born Choco Taco.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano was the "point person" for the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania as it assembled slates of "fake" electors loyal to the former president.

The New York Times viewed emails that show Mastriano sought assurances about the legality of the plan.

“Mastriano needs a call from the mayor. This needs to be done. Talk to him about legalities of what they are doing,” one Trump advisor wrote. 

While Republicans in some swing states ultimately signed a document that falsely declared Trump to be the presidential winner, 20 Pennsylvanians hedged the language to say they would cast electoral votes for him should any court challenges succeed. 

That language, LNP previously reported, will likely save those Republicans from legal trouble.

THE CONTEXT: The New York Times also reports much of the "legwork of finding ways to challenge Mr. Trump’s losses in the battleground states" was done by Mike Roman, a GOP operative from Pennsylvania. 

Also involved in the elector scheme was a top aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R., Pa.). Kelly recently said he was unaware of the effort and called it "kind of a nonevent," WESA reports.

Despite Mastriano's ties to the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Republican establishment figures are warming up to his campaign, the AP reports. Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity introduced him as "our next governor" at a recent event, and a pair of top party officials are hosting a fundraiser for Mastriano today. 


"I would say if you are earning tips lower than the threshold, you need to a get a different job."

—Ron Kamionka, owner of several Harrisburg bars, on new state minimum wage rules for tipped workers
Thanks for tagging us, @debarcjenks, in this lovely photo of the Susquehanna River! Send us your Pennsylvania pics, use #PAGems on IG, or tag @spotlightpennsylvania.
WEDDING GUEST: U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican based in Centre County, attended the wedding of his gay son just days after voting against a bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex marriage, NBC News reports. Thompson’s press secretary previously told the Centre Daily Times the Respect for Marriage Act is “a messaging stunt” for Democrats.

TAKING CREDIT: Gov. Tom Wolf was in York Tuesday to promote the state's new child care tax credit, saying, per the Capital-Star, "We have to figure out how to make it affordable, accessible, and safe for everyone in Pennsylvania." Revisit Spotlight PA's explainer to learn more.

CHANGING DEPTS: A former York City police officer accused of reenacting the murder of George Floyd at a party has been hired by another department in Pennsylvania, the York Dispatch reports. West Manheim Township defended its choice to hire Clayton Swartz, saying a settlement between the officer and York City — which wanted to fire him — "further validates our decision to hire."

ATTACK PLEA: A Berks County man has admitted to attacking police officers and an Associated Press photographer during the Jan. 6 insurrection. The AP reports that Alan Byerly is one of more than 300 people who have pleaded guilty to their role in the riot.

POLLUTION PLAN: Pennsylvania has released the final update to its plan to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, StateImpact reports. This year's budget put hundreds of millions of dollars toward the effort, but the Wolf administration anticipates a $300 million annual funding gap in the future.
HOME RULE: Grant Township's legal battle against Pennsylvania General Energy and the Department of Environmental Protection has made the Western Pennsylvania town a poster child for self-governance, the New Republic reports. If it heads to trial, the dispute could be a landmark case.

CHICKENS OUT: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has banned poultry and eggs at state fairs due to the spring's avian influenza outbreak. Millions of birds across the state were affected by the virus.

CHOCO CHUCKED: Beloved frozen treat Choco Tacos has been discontinued, parent company Unilever announced. The taco-inspired ice cream bar was invented in Philadelphia.

RANDOM ACTS: Members of Facebook group "Bucks County Kind" spread goodwill by handing out cards that encourage kind acts. The group began with a chance encounter in a Doylestown bagel shop.

POCONOS CUISINE: Though Eater's guide to dining in the Poconos asserts the region lacks a culinary identity, it's got plenty of recommendations, highlighting everything from soursop ice cream to rice platters. Dig in.
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