Here’s Everything You Need to Know to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election


Happy Election Day, Philadelphia! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The most important presidential race in modern memory is today. There are also lots of other candidates on the ballot who could change your life for better or worse. Pennsylvania is home to one of the most important U.S. Senate elections in the country. The state will elect its top law-enforcement official, and decide whether the Republican Party has a veto-proof majority in the state Senate. If you don’t know anything about those races — or where your polling place is, or whom to call if you have trouble voting — don’t worry. We’ve got all that and more covered below. Read more »

The No-Bullshit Guide to the 2016 Philadelphia Presidential Election

Election 2016 Presidential

Clockwise: Josh Shapiro, Hillary Clinton, Pat Toomey, John Rafferty, Donald Trump and Katie McGinty. | Photos by the AP, Donald Derosa under a Creative Commons license, Wikimedia Commons and via Rafferty.

Only two days left.

The most unbelievable election of our lifetimes is, mercifully, coming to an end. The vast majority of you know whether you’re voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. (To those of you who don’t, we have a simple message: ?!?!?!?!) But even political junkies have found it difficult to focus on anything outside of the Black Mirror episode we’re currently inhabiting, er, the presidential race. Worry not. We’ve studied the other elections in Philadelphia so that you don’t have to. They include a Senate race that could determine whether the ninth seat on the Supreme Court stays open, a battle to replace Kathleen Kane, and lots of legislative campaigns. You’ll also be asked a ballot question that’s pretty darn shady.

This is not your typical voter’s guide: It’s the straight-up honest truth about each of the candidates’ pros and cons. Here are your choices.

The offices:

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State Legislators Approve Bill Limiting Police Transparency in Pennsylvania, catnap72, catnap72

Last week, we told you about three controversial bills being fast-tracked through the Pennsylvania legislature.

One of them, a bill that would limit police transparency, is perhaps the most controversial of the three given national dialogue surrounding fatal and contentious police shootings of unarmed minorities – mostly black men. Read more »

Tom Wolf’s Crash Course in State Government

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/ Press.

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/ Press.

In late July — on the day Donald Trump was nominated for president — Governor Tom Wolf drove from Harrisburg to a strip mall in Johnstown to talk about addiction.

Fighting addiction to prescription drugs and heroin has become one of Wolf’s signature issues, and his administration has designated 45 Centers of Excellence that will receive funding to attack the problem “holistically,” which is a word the governor uses often. In this case, it means giving help to addicts to overcome whatever is wrong with their lives, to solve the problems that led to abusing drugs in the first place. It’s a far-reaching plan. Read more »

Harrisburg Outraged After Trump Calls City a “War Zone”

City of Harrisburg / Donald Trump split photo

Harrisburg photo by kev72 (license); Trump photo by Michael Vadon (license)

Donald Trump has had a busy week. But even with all of that going on, he also appeared at a rally in Mechanicsburg, just eight miles west of Harrisburg. And a protester was “roughed up” at it, per a video circulating online. Sounds like a Trump rally!

Yesterday, the Donald spoke about Harrisburg at a rally in Northern Virginia. He said, when driving through the city, it “looked like a war zone.” Read more »

A Pennsylvania Representative Just Introduced a “Blue Lives Matter” Bill

Blue Lives Matter Bill

Courtesy of Representative Frank Burns

Pennsylvania Representative Frank Burns, a Cambria County Democrat, has introduced a “Blue Lives Matter” bill that would prompt crimes committed against law enforcement and corrections officers to be considered hate crimes.

That means his bill would add the category of “law enforcement officer” alongside the state’s currently covered categories of race, color, religion and national origin.

“Law enforcement personnel have been singled out for attacks across the country, just because they wear the uniform, most recently in Dallas where five police officers tragically lost their lives,” Burns said in a statement.

If the bill were to pass, Pennsylvania would become the second state in the country to protect police officers in its hate crime statue, according to the Washington Post. Louisiana passed a similar bill in May.

Read more »

Wolf: Pennsylvania Budget Will Become Law Without My Signature


Governor Tom Wolf announced on Sunday night that an appropriations bill approved by the state House and Senate would become law without his signature.

Late last month, the legislature agreed to a $31.6 billion spending plan. Wolf said at the time that he supported the plan, which provides additional funding for basic education and programs aimed at battling opiate addiction, but wouldn’t sign it until the legislature specified how the plan will be funded.

Throughout this year’s budget process, Wolf has identified investments in education and addiction programs as his priorities, along with approving a balanced budget that matches all spending with stable revenue. So far, the legislature has not agreed on a revenue package.  Read more »

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