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|Mastriano to testify, rural affairs, GOP challenge, forever waste, ammo checks, IRA impact, and it's cold outside. Today is Tuesday... all day.|
Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has been tapped to testify on Rudy Giuliani's behalf in an ethics case involving the Trump attorney's false 2020 claims of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania.
The Guardian reports Mastriano and his campaign's senior legal adviser, former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, are among the election deniers named on a witness list filed by lawyers for Giuliani last week.
The legal ethics prosecution hearing is slated for December.
THE CONTEXT: The D.C. Bar brought the ethics charges in June over Giuliani's role in backing a Trump campaign lawsuit that sought to invalidate as many as 1.5 million Pennsylvania mail ballots.
Giuliani insists he had a "good faith basis" for doing so, the Guardian reports, but the D.C. Bar says he "engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice" by fueling the frivolous suit.
Giuliani's claims about Pennsylvania's 2020 election, and his appearance at a conspiracy theory-laden election hearing organized by Mastriano, were cited in New York's decision to suspend his law license in 2021.
Mastriano's role in undermining the 2020 election is also well documented. Here's a comprehensive timeline from WHYY.
|NOTABLE / QUOTABLE|
"Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona — those conspiracies are transitioning from fringe to mainstream."
—Katherine Keneally, of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, in a Daily Beast article on poll watcher trainings led by 2020 election deniers in Delco
» GOVERNOR'S GUIDE LIVE: On Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. via Zoom, Spotlight PA is hosting a free panel on who the candidates for governor are and how their administrations would impact you. Register for the event here and submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|A Main Street mural in Brockway, Jefferson County, as spotted by yours truly. Have an interesting image of your own to share? Send us your photos and art, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.|
|RURAL POLITICS: The winner of the 2022 race for governor will have the authority to address a wide range of issues affecting the roughly 3.4 million people who live in Pennsylvania's rural counties. Here's where the top two candidates for the office — Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano — stand on issues like rural health care, expanding broadband access, and agriculture.|
BALLOT SUIT: With weeks left before Election Day, Republican groups are now suing to stop undated mail ballots from being counted in Pennsylvania, the AP reports. The state Supreme Court suit follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prompted competing legal conclusions around the issue last week. The Wolf administration has instructed counties to tally undated ballots, but some are treading lightly.
'FOREVER' FRACKS: Environmental Health News has identified the previously undisclosed locations of eight Pennsylvania oil and gas wells where toxic "forever chemicals" known as PFAS were pumped underground. All were located at the western edge of the state, and more are likely out there. PFAS exposure has been linked to a host of health issues, including cancers and birth defects.
BULLET BLOCKS: A man arrested in the shooting that killed one teen and wounded several others outside of a Philadelphia high school last month legally purchased the bullets he used, despite being a convicted felon. The Inquirer (paywall) reports there is no law that could have kept Yaaseen Bivins, 21, from buying the ammo. Some say efforts to change that could be "the future of gun violence prevention."
CLIMATE PLAN: Financial investments from President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act could go a long way toward building out Pennsylvania's green economy and reducing pollution from oil and gas wells here, advocates say. But Capital & Main reports the true impact is likely to depend on how legislators, regulators, and local governments use the incentives — and who the next governor is.
PARISH PLAN: A historic Black church that was demolished to make way for Pittsburgh's Civic Arena in the 1950s could return to the Lower Hill District in a deal with the city's professional hockey team, PublicSource reports. But some locals say they've been burned before.
PERSONAL STORY: CNN's Jake Tapper writes in The Atlantic about his father's quest to free C. J. Rice, a Philadelphia man who was sentenced as a teen to decades in prison for a crime he insists he didn't commit.
SUNSETTING SUPPORT: Pennsylvania's pandemic-era water bill assistance program is coming to an end. WESA reports the program is running out of aid money and will stop taking applications Oct. 28.
COLD FRONT: Freeze watches and warnings are in effect this morning across a wide swath of Pennsylvania as below average temperatures blanket the northeast. They're going to stick around for a few days.
WHALE HELLO: A father and son from Bucks County got the cellphone video of a lifetime when a whale breached and bumped into their boat off the Jersey Shore last week, via WPVI. "Epic whale footage," one said.
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