Hempfield man announces second bid for Westmoreland commissioner

A former retired executive from Hempfield announced this week he will seek election as Westmoreland County commissioner. John Ventre, 65, said he will run in this year’s Republican primary and is targeting first-time incumbent Doug Chew as his chief opponent this spring.

Source: Hempfield man announces second bid for Westmoreland commissioner

Josh Shapiro takes office as Pennsylvania’s 48th Governor

Josh Shapiro has become the 48th governor of Pennsylvania at the inaugural ceremony at the state Capitol.

Austin Davis, a McKeesport native, was sworn in as the first Black man to serve as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor in a ceremony in the state Senate chamber.

Shapiro, 49, takes over in the nation’s fifth-most populous state with more experience in state government than any of his recent predecessors, including six years as Pennsylvania’s attorney general.

He took the oath from Chief Justice Debra Todd on a cold winter day, with lawmakers, ex-governors, members of Congress and several thousand others looking on.

“I am humbled to stand before you today as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor,” Shapiro said at the start of his remarks from the podium. “Along the winding road that has led to this moment, I have been grounded in my faith and family.”

Shapiro succeeds term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, and is the first governor of Pennsylvania since 1966 to be elected to succeed a member of his own party.

Source: Josh Shapiro takes office as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor

Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden docs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an unsecured office in Washington dating from his time as vice president.

Source: Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden docs

Five Star Trail to get improved access in Greensburg

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists in Greensburg should have an easier time getting to the Five Star Trail after improvements are added next year at several points along the recreational path. The city is partnering with PennDOT on a project that will establish a new trailhead at George Street, which parallels East Pittsburgh Street.

The project has an estimated cost of about $334,500, including construction and engineering, Raykes said. The cost will be covered in large part by federal Transportation Alternative-Set Aside funds, with Greensburg providing a 20% match.

Source: Five Star Trail to get improved access in Greensburg

Biden’s classified documents issue adds to House Republicans’ growing list of investigations | CNN Politics

As House Republicans officially take over Congress and clamor to investigate the Biden administration, a new line of attack fell squarely into their laps: classified documents recovered from one of President Joe Biden’s private offices when he served as vice president.

“President Biden has been very critical of President Trump mistakenly taking classified documents to the residence or wherever and now it seems he may have done the same,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer, a key lawmaker in leading investigations in the 118th Congress, said Tuesday. “How ironic.”

The news of Biden’s possession of classified documents and the prompt Republican response that followed came as Congress voted Tuesday to establish a panel engineered to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government, adding to an already growing list of oversight priorities House Republicans have laid out now that they have committee control and subpoena power. The party-line vote was 221-211.

Source: Biden’s classified documents issue adds to House Republicans’ growing list of investigations | CNN Politics

First on CNN: McCarthy proposes key concessions after House adjourns for second day without electing a speaker | CNN Politics

After suffering yet another stinging defeat on Wednesday, in which he lost a sixth round of voting for House speaker, Kevin McCarthy proposed more key concessions in his push to get 218 votes — including agreeing to propose a rules change that would allow just one member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Source: First on CNN: McCarthy proposes key concessions after House adjourns for second day without electing a speaker | CNN Politics

Target 11 Exclusive: Pittsburgh police officers told not to follow controversial traffic stop policy

Acting Pittsburgh police chief Tom Stangrecki issued an order this week advising officers to return to the practice of enforcing minor traffic violations, such as broken headlights or expired inspection stickers.

The police bureau banned officers from enforcing those secondary traffic offenses after Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation last year barring officers from engaging in that practice.

Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess sponsored the legislation that he said disproportionally targeted African American drivers.

Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle spoke with Councilman Burgess, who said he was unaware of the reversal and he had no idea why Police changed the policy.

EARLE: Do you think they are almost slapping this back in your face?

Rev. Ricky Burgess: I don’t take this personally, but again I just think they should reconsider it because I think it will actually have the reverse effect and make us less safe.

Burgess said he stands by the ordinance and the data supports it.

“We have shown through data that when you do these secondary stops it targets disproportionately African Americans and African American communities,” said Councilman Burgess.

Target 11 reached out to the city on Monday.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

The city sent an emailed response Tuesday afternoon, stating that the move was made because of recent changes to state law.

Source: Target 11 Exclusive: Pittsburgh police officers told not to follow controversial traffic stop policy

McCarthy Loses 6th Speaker Vote

Live Updates: House Adjourns Until Tonight After McCarthy Loses 6th Speaker Vote

The Republican leader failed to gain the speaker’s post in another three straight votes, and the House adjourned until 8 p.m. The empty speaker’s position means that the House is at a standstill. Without sworn members, it is unable to perform oversight, pass bills or set up constituent services.

Source: McCarthy loses speaker vote for the sixth time

Latest headlines:

McCarthy enters Day Two of uncertainty as House resumes speaker votes

 

All eyes will be on the nearly two dozen conservatives who prevented Rep. Kevin McCarthy from winning the speaker’s gavel and are rallying behind conservative Rep. Jim Jordan.

WASHINGTON — Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and his conservative detractors will square off for a second consecutive day as lawmakers prepare to resume voting Wednesday to pick the next House speaker.

A group of 20 far-right rebels banded together Tuesday and blocked McCarthy from winning the 218 needed votes.

Three separate votes were held, and each time McCarthy, R-Calif., a veteran member of GOP leadership, fell short. It was the first time in 100 years that the speaker vote has gone to multiple ballots.

“This is about saving the country and getting somebody that’s going to cut and get us on a financial path of solvency,” said Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., one of the so-called Never Kevins who voted against McCarthy. “I’ll sit here for six more months — it doesn’t matter.”

But McCarthy has won the support of 202 Republicans — more than 90% of the 222-member GOP Conference — and the number of his detractors has stayed relatively steady. His allies vow to hold roll call votes until the opposition caves.

Source: McCarthy enters Day Two of uncertainty as House resumes speaker votes

Trump reacts as Jan 6 panel withdraws subpoena

Former president Donald Trump has gloated against “political thugs” as he said he did “nothing wrong” after the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack announced it would be withdrawing a subpoena against him.

In a statement on Truth Social, Mr Trump wrote: “Was just advised that the Unselect Committee of political Thugs has withdrawn the Subpoena of me concerning the January 6th Protest of the CROOKED 2020 Presidential Election.”

Source: Trump reacts as Jan 6 panel withdraws subpoena

Rep.-elect George Santos admits fabricating key details of his biography

Long Island Rep.-elect George Santos came clean to The Post on Monday, admitting that he lied on the campaign trail about his education and work experience — but insisting that the controversy won’t deter him from serving out his two-year term in Congress.

“I am not a criminal,” Santos said at one point during his exclusive interview. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”

Santos’ professional biography was called into question earlier this month after the New York Times reported that he misrepresented a number of claims, including where he attended college and his alleged employment history with high-profile Wall Street firms.

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos said Monday.

Santos confessed he had “never worked directly” for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, chalking that fib up to a “poor choice of words.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2022/12/26/rep-elect-george-santos-admits-fabricating-key-details-of-his-bio/

City school board narrowly approves nearly $680 million budget with no tax increase

Pittsburgh Public Schools Administration Building Oakland.jpgCity of Pittsburgh residents won’t see an increase in property taxes next year due to Pittsburgh Public Schools. The school board narrowly approved its nearly $680-million-dollar budget in a five-to-four vote. Two board members who voted against the budget said they didn’t support it because it carries a $9 million deficit.

Source: City school board narrowly approves nearly $680 million budget with no tax increase

Mike Lee, Title 42 drama holds up omnibus passage

An effort led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to maintain Title 42 is threatening efforts to pass a sweeping government funding bill before a shutdown deadline later this week.

Congressional negotiators on both sides say the biggest holdup is ongoing negotiations to decide what the voting threshold would be to pass the amendment.

Source: Mike Lee, Title 42 drama holds up omnibus passage

What we know about the next Senate and the balance of power now that Georgia’s runoff is over

Despite the Georgia runoff results, a split Congress means both Democrats and Republicans will have trouble passing legislation in January.

Warnock winning also puts Democrats in a better position in the next Senate election when the map will favor Republicans, former President Barack Obama said during a campaign stop last week.

Schumer, whose caucus held onto all incumbent seats and picked up Pennsylvania, was gleeful during a Wednesday morning press conference as he cheered the new 51-49 majority. .

“It’s going to be a lot quicker, swifter and easier,” Schumer said, noting that this year marks the first time since 1934 that each Senate incumbent of the party in power won their race.

Source: What we know about the next Senate and the balance of power now that Georgia’s runoff is over

Germany arrests 25 suspected far-right extremists for plotting to overthrow government | CNN

German officials arrested 22 suspected members and three suspected supporters of a far-right terrorist organization across the country on Wednesday on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government.

Source: Germany arrests 25 suspected far-right extremists for plotting to overthrow government | CNN

US midterms: Georgia Senate run-off looms after bitter campaign

Democrat Raphael Warnock will face Republican Herschel Walker after a long, and at times bitter, campaign.

On Tuesday, Georgia’s seven million registered voters will go to the polls for the fifth time in four years.

That’s thanks to a quirk in the state’s election law that requires winning candidates for state-wide posts in general elections not just to get more votes than everyone else, but to get fifty percent of the votes cast.

Twice in the past four years candidates from both parties have fallen short of that mark. Hence the need for a run-off election in 2021 for both Georgia’s US Senate seats and another one this time around.

Source: US midterms: Georgia Senate run-off looms after bitter campaign

AOC says Kevin McCarthy ‘intends to reward’ some of the most racist Republicans

Kevin McCarthy has indicated that he would reinstate Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar on committees

“I mean beyond unpunished, Kevin McCarthy has made a very clear statement – has stated that he intends to reward some of the most racist members of Congress that we have served in recent years,” she told The Independent.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez has been subjected to numerous death threats and verbal harassment since she won her primary election in 2018 against House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley. She has specifically become a subject of right-wing anger and vitriol. In addition, her campaign regularly spends fees as large as $5,000 a month for security consulting since members have to pay for their own security.

In addition, Representative Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, expressed concern.

“I’m worried about a lot of things in terms of the danger to our country, the danger to us personally. The danger to our democracy, I think it’s going to be a very difficult time,” she told The Independent.

Source: AOC says Kevin McCarthy ‘intends to reward’ some of the most racist Republicans

Kevin McCarthy wins GOP nomination for House speaker

McCarthy fended off a late challenge from GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.

Washington — House Republicans nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current minority leader, as their candidate for speaker of the House on Tuesday, with McCarthy overcoming a conservative challenger as the party inches closer to winning control of the lower chamber.

McCarthy was tapped as the nominee in an internal meeting of the Republican conference by a secret-ballot vote of 188 to 31, multiple sources in the meeting confirmed to CBS News. The vote means the California Republican is the favorite to become speaker of a GOP-controlled House, but the path to securing the 218 votes needed to claim the gavel during a vote of the full House in January is likely to be a difficult one, since Republicans are poised to hold a razor-thin majority of seats after a weaker-than-expected performance in last week’s midterm elections.

CBS News estimates the GOP will win at least 216 seats and Democrats will control at least 211. Republican candidates are leading in several battleground races in which CBS News has not projected a winner.

McCarthy fended off an 11th-hour challenge for the nomination from Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who was involved in efforts both within Congress and at the state level to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Biggs announced his bid Monday night, telling Newsmax in an interview that “we have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives.”

Source: Kevin McCarthy wins GOP nomination for House speaker

US midterm elections latest: Democrats retain control of US Senate after win in Nevada – BBC News

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto holds seat, according to projected results, giving Democrats control of the upper house.

Summary

  1. The Democratic Party will retain majority control of the US Senate after winning a pivotal race in Nevada
  2. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is projected to defeat Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, who was endorsed by Donald Trump
  3. The result means Democrats will now have 50 Senate seats – with Republicans currently on 49
  4. Georgia is still waiting on a Senate result, and will hold a run-off election on 6 December, after neither candidate won an outright majority
  5. Meanwhile, Republicans appear to be inching closer to a majority in the House of Representatives

Source: US midterm elections latest: Democrats retain control of US Senate after win in Nevada – BBC News

Republican victory in House paves road to softer dollar while control of US Senate in balance 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump take a selfie with a guest, at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the night of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., November 8, 2022. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

The U.S. Republican party looks favored to win a midterm election victory, giving it back control of the House of Representatives when the next session of Congress begins in January.

Control of the US Congress hung in the balance on Wednesday after Democrats put up an unexpectedly strong fight in the midterm elections, while Republicans insisted they were on course to take back at least the House of Representatives. Republicans notched up a string of convincing victories, particularly in Florida, where governor Ron DeSantis cruised to re-election by a 20-point margin.

But while the House appeared to be within the grasp of Republicans, control of the Senate remained too close to call, as Democrats appeared to stave off the worst-case scenario that many polls had predicted.

Source: Republican victory paves road to softer dollar

2022 midterm elections: Balance of power at stake

The 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be some of the most consequential in the nation’s history, with control of Congress at stake.

All 435 seats in the House and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballot, as well as several influential gubernatorial elections in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Democrats are defending their narrow majorities in both chambers. Republican control of either the House or Senate would be enough to curtail most of President Joe Biden’s agenda, and would likely result in investigations against his administration and even his family.

Source: 2022 midterm elections live updates: Balance of power at stake

Judge dismisses Wilkinsburg annexation petition

An Allegheny County judge on Friday dismissed a petition that sought to initiate annexation proceedings for Wilkinsburg to be incorporated into the City of Pittsburgh. The petition, filed on Sept. 29, was dismissed in a two-page order by Senior Common Pleas Judge Joe James. In the order, James wrote that the only acceptable procedure for annexation comes from Pennsylvania’s constitution, which requires a referendum in which a majority of voters from each municipality approve the merger.

Source: Judge dismisses Wilkinsburg annexation petition

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