POLS ON THE STREETS: Ds, Rs – Who’s Recruiting in Pennsylvania?

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POPULAR President Barack Obama came to the Dell East in North Philadelphia to boost the victory hopes of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, L, and Gov. Tom Wolf. Photo by Leona Dixon

BY JOE SHAHEELI
Where are today’s Pennsylvania voters? And are we getting them?

That’s what both parties want to know as they head into a crucial statewide election, with a U.S. senator, 18 Congress members, a governor, half the State Senate and all the State House on the line.

Initial reports are that Keystone State Democrats are producing when it comes to new registrations. New registrations don’t predict total vote in themselves, but they tend to be reliable turnouts in the same way that older voters are. If you just signed up to vote in the last 60 days, you are likelier to do so than if you signed up years ago but have not followed politics much since.

And new Democratic voter registrants have outnumbered new Republicans in 40 of 67 counties so far this year, the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania is bragging.

It’s a fair brag. Most of their gains have been in big or midsized counties, many in swing districts.

Republicans have outpaced Democrats elsewhere. But theirs have largely been in rural counties where there aren’t many potential Democrats to recruit – and not many total votes at stake.

The State Democratic Party has also boasted that its new registrants tend to be young. That’s not unusual; older people tend to have already registered. The challenge with younger voters is actually to get them to the polls, a step they often miss. Otherwise – Democratic gains in this age cohort may pay off in 50 years, when they’ve turned into senior citizens.

MAYOR Jim Kenney posed for this shot with a troop of SEIU campaign volunteers.

YRs Fight Back to Sign up Their Generation

Young Republicans running for office held a press conference Tuesday to discuss their 2018 efforts, backed by party leaders.

“As a former Young Republican myself, I know the kind of energy and effort the organization brings to the electoral process,” said Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio. “Not only has our state Young Republican organization received national recognition, but I am happy to see so many young Republicans running for office to work to make this state and this country a better place.”

LIEUTENANT gubernatorial candidate John Fetterman surrounded himself with a line of female Democratic candidates.

Pennsylvania Young Republican Chairman Rick Loughery detailed his group’s grassroots work: “In 2018 alone, Pennsylvania Young Republicans have made over 500,000 voter contacts (with a goal of 1 million by Election Day), have seen a 300% increase in membership, conducted 90 grassroots activities, and held 94 education and training sessions.”

Also speaking at the press conference were a number of Young Republicans running for elected office in Pennsylvania in 2018, including Philadelphia’s 3rd Dist. nominee Bryan Leib. Across Pennsylvania, 40 young Republicans are running for elected office in 2018.

Milton Street Proposes Gambling

Veteran politico Milton Street has come out with a Philadelphia first in the general election: proposed legislation if he is elected.

Street, who is running as a Republican in Lower North’s 181st Legislative Dist., wrote in a letter to Mayor Jim Kenney that if elected, he will advocate “video poker and bingo machines in the airport, hotel lobbies, barber shops, beauty shops, bars, etc.” He said the move would eliminate a looming deficit in the school budget and forestall a need to raise real-estate taxes.

DECKED OUT in Obama shirts were, L-R, Betty Crosby-Walker, Janice & Randy Matthews, and Roz Lee. Photo by Leona Dixon

Street argued the games would generate about $360 million annually. He would like to schedule hearings on the move as soon as January, involving both State and local officials, when the new House of Representatives will be in session.

Street noted that, unlike most legislation introduced by the Philadelphia delegations in the General Assembly, his would likely be fast-tracked since he would have the support of fellow Republicans. “The legislative minority has its say, the majority has its way!” he wrote.

Street has served before in both chambers of the General Assembly – as a Democrat and as a Republican.

REACHING out to youth, Councilman Mark Squilla and representatives from the City Commission visited Horace Furness High School in Pennsport to encourage voter registration for those who are or will be 18 years old in time for the Nov. 6 general election. Included in the presentation was a voting machine, with explanation of how it works. City Commissioners Lisa Deeley and Al Schmidt also paid a visit to the school. Photo by Wendell Douglas

DiBerardinis Eyes Faculty Role at Fels Institute

Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis is planning to wrap up his distinguished public-service career by joining the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government next year.

DiBerardinis surely has something to teach about public administration. He has served several mayors as deputy mayor for environmental & community resources and as commissioner of the Parks & Recreation Department. He is no stranger to Harrisburg either, having served Gov. Ed Rendell as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. A civic institution himself, he will be an asset to the institute.

Asian Bar Group Honors Yu

Attorney Kay Kyungsun Yu will receive the Attorney of the Year Award at the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania’s annual banquet on Oct. 5.

COUNCILWOMAN Jannie Blackwell warmed up the crowd of thousands in front of the Please Touch Museum last Saturday to begin the 21st annual Walter E. Brandon Sickle Cell 5K Walk/Run fundraiser, sponsored by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter and AFSCME District Council 33. Photo by Bob Wolper

Yu is a member of the boutique law firm Ahmad Zaffarese, LLC. She is vigorously exploring a race for a judgeship next year.

Legislature’s Size Will Stay the Same

In a last-minute move, Democrats in the House Rules Committee persuaded a few Republican colleagues to join them in changing a bill that would cut the size of their legislative body from 203 to 151 after redistricting.

They did so by adding language that would also cut the size of the State Senate – a move that senators have already made clear they are not interested in.

For the foreseeable future, then, the Pennsylvania House will remain the largest full-time legislative chamber in the nation.

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