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

Philly voting board gets messy before big election

Plus, Shapiro's plan to fight climate change.

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

Thursday, March 14, 2024
Today: Official friction, Shapiro's climate plan, outage order, TikTok bans, Philly endorsements, and fake glasses. Thanks for checking in.
Support Spotlight PA's vital journalism and for a limited time, all gifts will be DOUBLED! AN URGENT CALL: We must raise $25,000 by March 23 to keep Spotlight PA"s unmatched brand of investigative journalism strong. Hurry a gift now and as a special bonus, every dollar you give will be DOUBLED »

As a nonprofit newsroom, nearly 1/3 of our budget comes from individuals like you. And that means, without your support, we cannot keep up this vital work in what will be a vital year for Pennsylvania.

Give now »

Observers are worried that apparent dysfunction within the commission overseeing Philadelphia's elections could undermine people’s faith in the security of our voting system in a pivotal year.

The chair of the Philadelphia Board of City Commissioners was ousted from the role in January in what she later called a "power grab." Since then, the board's meetings have been marked by frequent public spats, allegations of Sunshine Act violations, and lots of interpersonal friction.

One official said "everything is running smoothly," but Lauren Cristella, president of the Philadelphia-based good-government group Committee of Seventy, said the appearance of dysfunction could negatively impact voter perceptions. It could also feed a fresh round of misinformation.

Read Spotlight PA’s full report: Philadelphia voting commission shakeup creates bad optics during big election year.


“This is a meeting where we are here to listen. I’m happy to have people voice their thoughts constructively through this process. Yelling and shouting does nothing other than disrespecting the people who are here to listen.”

—Gov. Josh Shapiro when interrupted by a hydrogen hub protester; Shapiro's energy agenda has drawn criticism from environmentalists, but his new climate plan is drawing early plaudits; keep reading for details
Support Spotlight PA's independent, nonpartisan journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
We need your help: You won't find anyone else providing the reporting we provide, or getting the results we're getting for the people of Pennsylvania. At a time of hyper-partisanship and democracy under pressure, we need independent, nonpartisan, no-nonsense journalism more than ever.

Make a tax-deductible gift now & get it DOUBLED »

You can also give via PayPal or Venmo, or send a check to: Spotlight PA, PO Box 11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728.

Thank you to the more than 165 people who have given so far, including Nancy B., who said, "I appreciate truthful, unbiased reporting on what's going on in PA. That is hard to come by nowadays." Join Nancy and make a gift now »

EDUCATION EMPOWERMENT: Join us TODAY March 14 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a roundtable discussion with Pennsylvania reporters on transparency in education, and how you can hold school officials accountable. Register here and submit questions to events@spotlightpa.org


Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River, between Columbia and Wrightsville, via Kim S. Have a photo you want to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

A black-and-white photo of a long, open-spandrel arch bridge over water.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.
CLIMATE PLAN: Under pressure from environmentalists, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled a climate change action plan Wednesday that includes a call for legislation to make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel-producing state to adopt a carbon-pricing program, the AP reports. The standalone program (no RGGI) would apply to power plant emissions and is likely to face serious pushback.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.DIRECT ORDERS: Dauphin County Prison employees have confirmed to PennLive (paywall) that the power to two segregation units was cut off for two weeks late last year, while cells were stripped of personal belongings, including legal work, all under orders from command staff. Reporter Joshua Vaughn says the warden also asked to personally review all phone calls between Vaughn and people imprisoned there.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.TIKTOK VOTE: The U.S. House has passed a bill that could lead to the banning of TikTok nationwide, and it did so with support from 14 of Pennsylvania's 17 delegates. Patch reports Democratic Reps. Brendan Boyle and Summer Lee, and Republican Rep. Scott Perry, voted no. The bill, a salvo in an ongoing proxy battle with China, is headed to the U.S. Senate, where John Fetterman (D., Pa.) is shouting his support.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.TIKTOK DEBATE: All five Democrats running for Pennsylvania attorney general said they support banning TikTok on state devices here. The unanimity was on display during this week's debate. If you missed it, you can watch it here or read the highlights, via Capital-Star. The debate also covered guns, artificial intelligence, and abortion access.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.LABOR NODS: State Rep. Amen Brown (D., Philadelphia) just survived another ballot challenge, but his primary opponent just racked up four key labor union endorsements. Stephen Caruso reports unions for Philly teachers, janitors, and hotel and food service workers are backing Cass Green over Brown — "a Dem known for bucking his party."

SOLAR ECLIPSE: The path of totality is coming to Pennsylvania (these four counties, specifically) on April 8, and experts are once again warning the public to be careful where they get their protective eyewear.

ERIE COKE: The sprawling, bayfront property of a defunct Erie coke plant has been condemned. A local redevelopment authority is eyeing control "so we can decide as community what's going to happen there."

NEW OWNERS: One of the Poconos' last old-school honeymoon hotels is being sold, heart-shaped tubs and all. WFMZ reports Pocono Palace has a buyer. It's not exactly clear who it is or what comes next.

BEST TOWN: Pennsylvania towns are in the running to be named best small town in the northeast by USA Today readers. The nominees are: Wellsboro, Jim Thorpe, Sewickley, Ohiopyle, and Gettysburg. Voting ends April 1.

PROM INTERRUPTED: Robert Morris University in Allegheny County will host a prom for its graduating seniors who missed out on the high school rite of passage four years ago due to COVID-19, TribLIVE reports.

Spotlight PA's exclusive 'All Sun, No Shade' beach towel

'All Sun, No Shade' Beach Towel

It's Sunshine Week, and our limited-edition towel is selling fast!

Promote government transparency & tan lines, all in support of Spotlight PA's vital journalism. SHOP THE SALE NOW >
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 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Baritone

Congrats to our daily winners: Eric F., Stacy S., Elaine C., Don H., Beth T., Daniel M., Barbara F., Jon W., Jane R., Richard A., Alan B., Judith D., Malachy M., Kim C., Jon G., Susan N.-Z., Becky C., Tom M., Wendy A., Kimberly D., and Karen W.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.