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Philly's progressive DA impeached by Pa. House

Plus, low pay and no unions in the 'wild west' of baseball.


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The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.

Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
November 17, 2022
Pro labor, impeachment vote, PSERS litigation, Abbott's buses, membership dues, DEI dilemma, and new state flag just dropped. It's Thursday.

A historic organizing effort delivered minor league baseball's first labor union over the summer, but professional baseball remains far from unionized overall, and chances are your local team isn't either.

After years of scrutiny over the low pay and lean conditions facing minor leaguers under the control of monied Major League Baseball clubs, a first-of-its-kind collective bargaining process is set to begin.

Several Pennsylvania minor league teams are covered, but independent league teams in places like York, Washington, and Lancaster aren't. 

A collaboration between Spotlight PA and Defector delves into what could be the next frontier in baseball’s labor reckoning — and why baseball experts say it probably won’t be. Read the full report here.

THE CONTEXT: There are significant hurdles to overcome in organizing a union on the outskirts of professional baseball, experts say.

Among them: less job security, which makes it riskier for players leading an organizing effort; a more transient workforce; shorter careers; smaller checks to cover union dues; and less-monied owners.

The case for unionizing was maybe most obvious for the minor league teams owned and controlled by uber-wealthy MLB clubs. But observers say conditions for independent league players are often worse. 

“... you’re going to make less money, have less job security — you are probably going to work in the offseason to support your baseball habit, is the way people have put it,” said J.J. Cooper of Baseball America.


"I did not."

—U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) when asked if he voted for Republican Doug Mastriano for governor; Toomey said he wrote someone in instead
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
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The end of the year is the time to invest in the causes we believe in most. If you've benefitted from Spotlight PA this year, pay it forward and make a generous gift in support of our vital, independent journalism.

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» WHAT’S NEXT?  To help make sense of the election and what’s to come, join us TODAY at 6 p.m. EST on Zoom for a free panel about who won, what they promised on the campaign trail, and how those plans might get implemented once they are in office. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org

Another gorgeous sunrise from Eric G.-S. in Ambler. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
A brightly colored morning sky is seen through bare tree branches in Ambler.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.IMPEACHED: The Pennsylvania state House on Wednesday voted to impeach progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, largely along party lines. The case is now headed to the state Senate, where a trial would be held and two-thirds support would be needed to remove Krasner from office. Questions remain about the next phase of the rarely invoked process and legal challenges likely loom.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.PSERS SUIT: The Inquirer (paywall) reports Pennsylvania's $70 billion public school employee pension system has agreed to “commence litigation” over a consultant's report that exaggerated the system’s profits and touched off a federal investigation. The pension system, known as PSERS, won't say who it's planning to sue, but The Inquirer said the agency’s longtime investment consultant is one possibility.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.NEW ARRIVALS: Philadelphia and several nonprofits are providing food, temporary housing, and other services to 28 migrants who arrived in the city Wednesday on a bus chartered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, per CBS News. One passenger, a 10-year-old said to be suffering from dehydration and a fever, was taken to a hospital. Abbott, a Republican, is bussing migrants to Democrat-run cities nationwide.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.RATE HIKE: A proposed plan to up the amount of funding that local governments contribute to a longstanding regional government organization in central Pennsylvania has drawn a rare rebuke from municipal managers. Spotlight PA reports the Centre Region Council of Governments wants a larger kick-in from members, but the municipalities say the increase is too high and the timing terrible

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.DEI DECISION: The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has joined calls for Penn State to reverse its canceling of a planned Center for Racial Justice. The university says President Neeli Bendapudi is focused on racial justice efforts "that drive measurable change." Spotlight PA reports on a fracturing within the university over how to best address racism ahead of Friday's town hall.
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.

RIGAS HOUSE: Construction on a Rigas family mansion in Coudersport was stopped when several members of the clan were hit with federal fraud charges, the beginning of the end for the Adelphia cable empire. The Inquirer (paywall) reports the home is on the market 20 years later.

CAR FIRE: A Tesla caught fire on I-80 in Clearfield County on Tuesday after hitting debris in the roadway, the uninjured occupants told WTAJ. The Morris Township fire company said it "took two hours of continuous water to put [the fire] out," per @GeoffRushton of StateCollege.com.

CIVILIAN DUTY: A "historic" arbitration ruling has cleared the way for the Philadelphia Police Department to expand the use of civilians in some roles on the force. A 2021 UPenn study recommended exactly that.

FLAG DAYS: Here's a Kickstarter that's looking to raise $3,000 to make a new flag for the state, er, commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Keystone Flag is a flag "as bold and recognizable as Pennsylvania itself." 

TORAH STORY: The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle has the story of a well-traveled Torah that begins in 1863 in Lithuania, progresses to Westmoreland County in 1913, and is now turning to a new chapter in Israel.

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. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Developmental

Congrats to our daily winners: Michelle T., Chuck M., Craig W., Mike B., Susan D., Kimberly D., Marty M., Theresa T., Don H., Jody A., Barbara F., Patricia M., Irene R., Patty R., Bette G., John P., Susan N.-Z., Nancy S., Michael H., Kim C., Beth T., Judith D., Jon W., Jill H., Elaine C., George S., Stanley J., Jane R., Wendy A., Starr B., James B., Bill S., Dianne K., Ted W., Doug W., John B., David W., and Tish M.
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