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Bucks County Mom Beat Shapiro in Court. Now She’s Fighting to Elect Mastriano.

Jamie Cohen Walker is the Bucks County mom who beat Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the state Supreme Court.

The Chalfont resident, a former certified reading specialist, is now a stay-at-home mom to her 16, 14, and 11-year-old children. During the COVID-19 classroom lockdowns, she was active in the Reopen Bucks movement to get kids back in school.

She says she is a politically moderate former Democrat, but she may be a model of the “mama bear” voter Republicans need to win in this year’s midterms.

“I’m Jewish. I was a Democrat. I would not be a Democrat now. I don’t think I could do it after seeing what they’ve done to our kids,” said Walker, a guest speaker at a recent rally for GOP gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

Political consultant Albert Eisenberg of RedStateBlue, said, “Suburban, college-educated women have been up for grabs since the GOP transitioned from the party of Romney to the party of Trump. But now the Republican Party is in its post-Trump era and many of these moms are returning to the fold.

“They are seeing de facto Democratic policies of absolute radicalism — people who genuinely believe parents should have no say in their child’s education, people who are still forcing toddlers to wear masks, which is completely inhumane,” said Eisenberg. “Adding to this sharp left turn of the Democrats is the skyrocketing cost of living and eroding value of a dollar due to the Democrats’ insane economic policies — and the suburbs are certainly coming back, in places, to the GOP this cycle.”

Since the 2021 school board elections brought a conservative majority to the Central Bucks School Board, Walker said she is not concerned that the board would agree to shut down the schools again in case another epidemic happens.

But if Shapiro is elected governor, that’s another story.

“If Josh Shapiro wins, could he shut down schools? Absolutely. The only thing that would shut down schools is a governor’s emergency. Our (school) board is really good now, so they would not shut down schools. And our health director would not shut down schools.

“But Josh Shapiro could shut down schools. Absolutely. He fought to keep them closed,” said Walker.

Walker is one of the right-to-know warriors battling the school district for information about how it made decisions about COVID-related closings and mask mandates and finding out through a trove of emails that the district had kowtowed to teachers’ union demands.

“I won my first right-to-know appeal in January 2021. The district said it would give me all the records except three emails and took me to court,” Walker said. “That was when (attorney) Chad Schmee reached out to me and said, ‘I can win these records for you.’”

After Walker won, Supt. Dr. John Kopicki “just up and disappeared,” said Walker.  “The superintendent of the largest district in Pennsylvania decided to leave in March 2021. As soon as he left, I received my emails.”

“We have a local health department,” said Walker. “Dr. David Damsker is our health director.  When you have a local health department, they determine the mitigation for something. Also, a mask is actually a modified quarantine.

She points to an “email that Dr. Damsker wrote to all (Bucks) superintendents telling them you don’t have to be hybrid,” said Walker. “Every child can be in school. You don’t have the authority to do this. They broke the law. They did not have the authority.

“And Dr. Damsker said if you’re wearing a mask (when exposed to someone with COVID), you don’t have to stay home and quarantine,” said Walker. “But our school district wasn’t doing that. Our school district was sending healthy kids home. That was against the law, too.

“No one ever wrote about it. No one ever questioned it. They kept 1,100 kids home that were considered contacts, and no one was getting sick. They weren’t consulting the health department. They were just doing it on their own,” she said. “I don’t think people understand what they did to children. They missed so much school,” she said.

“In June 2021, Dr. Damsker came to our school district and said the kids don’t have to wear masks anymore, and we’re going to treat COVID like the flu and move on from COVID. Well, a lot went down in August.”

On Aug. 31, 2021, former state Health Director Alison Beam required school students and staff to wear masks again.

“So Central Bucks already started, and everybody was normal, all the kids were back to school normal,” said Walker. “So they said on Sept. 7, all the kids had to start wearing masks again.”

Beam put the “illegal mask mandate in, and I joined a few other parents to sue Allison Beam. It was Josh Shapiro who defended it, his office. We won in Commonwealth Court,” she said, but then Shapiro appealed to the state Supreme Court. “And we won. We beat him in the Supreme Court.”

Then in December, Beam resigned.

“Our health director (Damsker) put out health guidance on Aug. 15, then Alison Beam and the teachers’ union pressured our county commissioners to change the health guidance, then nobody ever heard from our health director again.”

“It’s really bad what went on here,” she said. “Some of the Democratic people hated Dr. Damsker. There were Facebook groups about him, ‘Ditch Dr. Damsker.’ They did such horrible things to him.”

At the Mastriano rally, Walker said, “Here in Bucks County, we saw first-hand how Democrats were willing to use COVID-19 as a political tool to strip away our personal freedom and exert their will over us. We watched our health director was silenced by Democrat bosses when the Wolf administration did not agree with his health guidance. They interfered with our health director’s legal authority to set health guidance during a pandemic. We lived with the effect of that illegal interference for two painful years. A group of us parents stood in their way. We acted as the opposition to the Wolf administration’s mandates.

“We knew that keeping kids out of school would harm them, so we fought, and we fought extremely hard because the Democratic politicians and their allies, the teachers union, made us their enemy,” she said. The parents were called “domestic terrorists” and “jerks.”

“They weaponized the government against us,” Walker said.

Walker and another parent, Megan Brock, are in a legal battle with Bucks County over their right-to-know request about how the county issued its health directives, bypassing Damsker. The county sued the two moms to keep some of the commissioners’ emails private after Walker and Brock won an appeal to the state Office of Open Records.

“After decades of Republican control of Bucks County, these Democrat commissioners are the first Bucks County administration ever to sue a private citizen to hide their emails, their own words,” said Walker. “Those emails they’re trying to hide from us are about how Democrat politicians interfered with our children’s education.”

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So Far Democrats Shun Debates In Statewide Races

Despite offers to debate from the Republican candidates running for governor and U.S. senator, their Democratic opponents have yet to accept the challenge.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, offered to debate Attorney General Josh Shapiro twice in October, with the venues and dates to be determined by the candidates. Mastriano’s one mandate is that he wants the campaigns to run the debates, not the media.

“As expected, Josh Shapiro doesn’t have the guts to debate Sen. Mastriano without cover from his protectors in the mainstream media,” said a Mastriano campaign spokesperson. “Given the opportunity to meet Sen. Mastriano face to face in a neutral venue with each campaign receiving the exact same terms, Josh made clear that he only wants to debate Sen. Mastriano if the moderators, venue, and on-site media are carefully tailored to give him an artificial advantage.”

Shapiro’s campaign spokesman Will Simons dismissed Mastriano’s proposal. “Doug Mastriano’s unserious proposal is an obvious stunt to avoid any real questions about his extreme agenda and record of conduct by dictating his own rules for debates. Mastriano has spent his entire campaign refusing to answer questions from local outlets across Pennsylvania–refusing to leave his echo chamber of extremists on alt-right media.

“In Pennsylvania, there is a long history of media outlets and independent moderators asking candidates of both parties fair, direct questions about their track records and plans if elected–nobody gets to pick their own moderators or set their own terms.

“It’s unfortunate that Doug Mastriano has recklessly decided to blow up good faith debate negotiations with media outlets across the commonwealth. If he’s ever ready to step up and finally answer questions about his reckless agenda, we look forward to comparing Josh Shapiro’s long record of bringing people together and delivering results for Pennsylvanians with Mastriano’s record of dangerous extremism,” Simons said.

Similarly, Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is decrying Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s failure to agree to debates. Oz has offered to debate Fetterman five times.

“Doctor Oz has agreed to five debates. John Fetterman has agreed to zero debates. If John is too sick to debate and is concerned he cannot stand in front of cameras for more than 10 minutes, then he should just say so. We’re sure voters would understand and so would we. Otherwise, he should pick some of the many debates Doctor Oz has agreed to or explain why he won’t agree to debate on KDKA on September 6,” said Oz campaign communications director Brittany Yanick.

Fetterman’s campaign did not respond when asked to comment about whether he plans to debate Oz.

Both Democrats are leading in recent polls and also have larger campaign coffers. A recent Trafalgar Group poll has Fetterman at 48.4 and Oz at 43.5 percent. It also puts Shapiro at 48.6 with Mastriano trailing at 44.7.

The Emerson College Poll showed Fetterman leading Oz by four points and Shapiro over Mastriano by three. But the Franklin & Marshall poll showed the Democrats winning by wide margins, with Shapiro at 44 percent to Mastriano’s 33 percent and Fetterman at 43 percent to Oz’s 30 percent.

But debates could be game changers.

Christopher P. Borick, professor of political science and director, Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, said it is not unusual for a frontrunner to spurn debates.

“As for debates, it is a long-established strategy for frontrunners to try and minimize or even forego debates,” said Borick. “The status quo benefits those who are in front, so why give your opponent opportunities to score hits. Of course, those trailing will ask for more debates and use the reluctance of the frontrunner to engage to score a few points. In 2022 this dance is playing out with the GOP candidates looking for opportunities to gain ground and the Democrats not eager to provide those chances.”

The two Republican contenders may also get a boost from a rally with former President Donald Trump planned for Sept. 3 in Wilkes-Barre. Trump endorsed both candidates.

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Push for Radical Gender Policies in K-12 Education a Top-Down Effort, Mastriano Says

Parents in several Delaware Valley school districts have complained about their children being exposed to a “woke” gender agenda and explicitly sexual books and materials in their classrooms.

Now critics are pointing to materials from the state Department of Education under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that appear to make it look like a top-down effort.

For example, the DOE website lists genders as “ne, ve, ze/zie and xe,” as well as “he/him, she/her” that they label “traditional.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor, called out the Wolf administration and is touting bills he’s introduced to empower parents and end these programs.

“Once again, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration skirts the legislative process to implement a far-left agenda behind the backs of the 13 million Pennsylvanians,” Mastriano said in a statement. “These guidelines encourage school districts to proselytize radical ideas about gender identity to children in all grades, all under the guise of school safety.

“The department touts the left’s twisted vernacular as objective fact, while the governor’s Democratic allies demonize parents as too bigoted to teach their own children about these sensitive topics,” Mastriano said. “We can teach kids to be tolerant, accepting, and kind to others – no matter what – without indoctrinating an entire generation.”

Mastriano said he stands behind several Senate-led bills to prioritize and empower parental involvement in our public education system, alert families about explicit material available in school libraries and limit formal conversations about gender identity and sexual orientation to middle and high school curriculum only.

He also introduced legislation earlier this year to establish a Parental Bill of Rights. It would give families statutory rights to “direct the upbringing of their children free from bureaucratic overreach,” the release said.

“Our schools need to focus on closing the learning gaps that worsened as a result of the governor’s ill-advised pandemic school closures, not forcing elementary-age children to engage in inappropriate conversations about gender identity,” Mastriano said. “It is up to parents, not the state, to engage with their children on these complex social issues and I will never stop fighting for their right to do so.”

Casey Smith, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, defended the gender policy. “The children who attend our schools represent the diverse backgrounds and cultures of our commonwealth, and that includes Pennsylvanians with various gender identities and expression. It is incumbent upon us to support all learners and make them all feel welcome in their schools and communities.

“The Wolf administration supports equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts in every school, and one way we can better serve our learners is by providing resources so that schools can support students who come from all walks of life.”

Fenicia Redman, a parent with a son in the Great Valley School District, told DVJournal she believes there is an intentional effort to influence children with an extreme ideology. “There are wolves among our children masquerading as Granny. I’ll see them soon in federal court.” Redman said she plans to sue the district over sexually explicit books found in school libraries.

Jim Jacobs, who took his son out of the West Chester Area School District because of a gay pride celebration at Stetson Middle School that encouraged boys to wear dresses, agrees this is not education.

“I know teachers who tell me personally – in private – they hate this garbage and agenda. But they want to retain their jobs,” Jacobs said. “Everyone I have spoken to, regardless of political party, has a huge issue with this being taught, but they’re afraid of standing up because of repercussions and being canceled. These are our youth coaches, shop owners, and just everyday working Americans who want to live their lives and educate their kids. Its indoctrination on top of indoctrination- how does this get passed to be taught to our children without parents being involved?

“Yes, it’s important to be tolerant and accepting of different religious beliefs and sexual preferences- but introducing this in school for kindergarten, middle school, and high school? Insanity,” said Jacobs.

The  Central Bucks School Board voted last week to keep graphic books out of elementary and middle school libraries.

A campaign spokesman for Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democrat running for governor, did not respond when asked whether Shapiro would keep the Wolf administration policies in place.


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In Bridgeport, Hundreds Rally for Ukraine

Phoenixville resident and teacher Andrij Chornodolsky had a crowd of several hundred on its feet clapping and cheering Sunday at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bridgeport, rallying in support of Ukraine.

“I think all of us have to bow our heads in front of the huge sacrifice and valor of the Ukrainian nation totally unanticipated, totally unbelievable, all of the military experts (said) Kyiv would fall in 48 hours.

“Kyiv stands today. Kyiv stands today and Kyiv will stand forever…If we have to rebuild every single building, every single historical relic we have preserved for 1,000 years, we rebuild. We will rebuild Ukraine ourselves if we have to…We must preserve a Christian nation, a nation of democratic values,” Chornodolsky told the crowd.

Andrij Chornodolsky with Father Ronald Poplvchak

Chornodolsky said military help is needed.

“We are demanding action now. What must be installed around Kyiv is an iron dome. Without that iron dome, Kyiv will be leveled…We must implement a Berlin-style airlift to Ukraine with a continual flow of weapons and support. Now. Not when Kyiv falls…What is happening is a war of attrition and destruction that has never been seen since World War II.”

Congresswomen Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware Co.), were among the officials who attended the event.

Dean took part in a Zoom call with Zelensky and other representatives and senators on Saturday.

“He was exactly as you have seen him in the media, determined. Dignified,” she said. She quoted him saying, “Our values are the same. We want a life with dignity. We want to see our children. We want to sit and have coffee in our homes…We cannot fight this alone…We are not fighting Russia. We are prepared to be their neighbors. Imagine saying that after these past 10 or 11 days. He called upon us for increased sanctions…He said they need air cover, ‘We need jets. We need those MIGs. Javelins, stingers, air cover.’”

“Mr. Putin expected a quick topple of Ukraine’s young democracy,” she said. “Boy, was he wrong. I’m in awe of the resilience of the Ukrainians including their president.”

She called for “overwhelming support,” including weapons, food, fuel, and refuge.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, state Rep. Austin Davis, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Bridgeport Mayor Beth Jacksier, Father Ronald Poplvchak, Council President Kyle Shenk and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon.

Chornodolsky also expressed surprise and admiration for Ukraine’s president.

“We are grateful for the presence of President Volodymyr Zelensky, totally unexpected. I did not support him for president…I am totally amazed at what this man has done. We are talking about prosecuting President Putin for war crimes but what we ought to be talking about is nominating President Zelensky for the Nobel Peace Prize.  What a sacrifice we are seeing…Putin put 200,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, poor boys, poor children of Russian mothers. They didn’t even know where they were going…Poor boys going back home in plastic bags.

“We don’t wish that on anyone…But we do wish death on those who invade Ukraine.”

Scanlon thanked the Biden administration for permitting the Ukrainians who are already here special status to remain in the U.S. She supports the people of Ukraine and their “gallant president” in the face of the “unprovoked attack on that sovereign nation.”

“The free world has rallied to condemn and sanction Putin,” she said.

This week Congress will approve a package of humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine, she said.

“We are all united behind Ukraine,” she said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the great-grandson of two people who emigrated from Ukraine about 100 years ago. Shapiro, a Democrat running for governor, said he was inspired by the Ukrainians fighting for democracy and their president.

And as a prosecutor, he said, Putin should be prosecuted for war crimes.

“My own faith teaches no one is required to complete the task, nor are we free to refrain from it. I think about that each and every day,” said Shapiro. “It means that each of us has a responsibility to get off the sidelines to get in the game and do our part.”

Irena and Ruslana Naiva hold the Ukrainian flag.

“And so we are gathered here today in the huge numbers that we are you are putting a searing image into the minds of your two congresswomen who will be in Washington D.C. tomorrow and pass a historic appropriation…We are all standing in solidarity with Ukraine,” he said.

The Rev. Dr. Ronald Poplvchak, pastor of the church, said a Ukrainian mother and her 4-year-old daughter whose apartment building was bombed, began to walk and hitchhike 20 miles to the Polish border with “only the clothes on their backs.”

“The mother looked at the little girl. Her right hand was bleeding,” he said.

The child was tightly clutching a handful of sharp pebbles. She told her mother she did not have her doll or her bear and the stones were all she had left from her home.

He thanked the Polish people for taking in one million Ukrainian refugees so far and asked the crowd to donate, as well. The group responded, filling collection baskets with cash and checks. The rally ended with the group singing the Ukrainian national anthem while the American and Ukrainian flags flanked the dais.

Volunteers also collected about three container trucks of donations at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Abington.

“The place is towering with donations,” Dean said.

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As Wolf Pushes Forward on RGGI; Shapiro’s Stance Still Wobbly

Pennsylvania’s governor has gone to court to get the ball rolling again with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), but a state legislator says it is nothing more than a legal stunt.

“This continues the Wolf administration’s pattern of reckless disregard for the constitution and the residents of this commonwealth,” said state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford) in a statement to Delaware Valley Journal.

Meanwhile, the Democrat who wants to replace Wolf in November, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, still is not willing to take a stance on whether Pennsylvania should be part of the cap-and-trade plan.

“Ultimately, that is a determination I will make as governor, in close consultation with workers and affected communities,” Shapiro told DVJournal. “I refuse to accept the false choice between protecting jobs or protecting our planet – we must do both, and my priority will be ensuring Pennsylvania has a comprehensive climate and energy policy that will move all of us forward.”

Wolf (D) has been seeking to put the state in RGGI since 2019 without the approval of the legislature. He has long stated that it is necessary to combat manmade climate change.

“Climate change is one of the most critical issues we face and I have made it a priority to address ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Wolf said in September 2021 after the Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 3-2 to approve a regulation paving the way for Pennsylvania to join RGGI.

“By participating in RGGI, Pennsylvania is taking a historic, proactive, and progressive approach that will have significant positive environmental, public health, and economic impacts,” he said.

Prior to the IRCC vote, the Environmental Quality Board voted 15-4 in favor of pushing Pennsylvania into the RGGI.

Still, the Legislative Reference Bureau has not yet published Wolf’s regulation, prompting the governor’s lawsuit last week in Commonwealth Court.

“Publishing the regulation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin would mean it takes immediate effect and would make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy,” says an AP story published last week on NBC “Republicans who control the legislature oppose the regulation and argue they have more time, several weeks at least, to see if they can muster a two-thirds majority in each chamber to block it, (but) Wolf’s administration maintains that the legislative review period has expired and that Republicans’ interpretation of the law is wrong.”

“Once again, the administration relies on a flawed interpretation of state law to undermine the voice of elected officials – and the millions of Pennsylvanians who voted for us – to force this carbon tax into reality,” said Yaw. “Unfortunately, we’ve come to expect nothing less from this executive branch.”

RGGI may be Wolf’s last hurrah as governor. The 73-year-old is term-limited and will leave office in January 2023. Shapiro, the Democrats’ only major candidate for governor, has yet to reveal whether he would continue the push to impose the tax-and-trade system on Pennsylvania’s energy sector. As attorney general, Shapiro had signed off on Wolf’s decision to ignore the legislature.

“We need to take real action to address climate change, protect and create energy jobs, and ensure Pennsylvania has reliable, affordable, and clean power for the long term,” Shapiro said in an October 2021 statement. “As governor, I will implement an energy strategy which passes that test, and it’s not clear to me that RGGI does.”

Pittsburgh public radio station WESA reports Shapiro made similar comments last year to officials from the boilermakers union.

“He told me he does not stand for RGGI the way it stands right now and he feels it should be run through the legislature,” said John Hughes, business manager of Boilermakers Local 154. “We should get everyone to the table and talk about it…. I said, ‘we are going to support the guy who doesn’t support RGGI,’ and he told me, ‘I can’t support it as is.'”

Yaw and other legislative opponents say RGGI will increase energy costs, and they dispute claims it provides meaningful environmental benefits.

“I, along with 161 other elected officials in the General Assembly, oppose RGGI because of the devastating impact it will have on our economy, our environment, and our residents,” said Yaw. “We will lose our position as a leading energy exporter when power generation moves to other less-regulated states.”

As a result, Yaw said carbon pollution “will only worsen.”

“No lawsuit will change how deeply flawed and unpopular this carbon tax is for Pennsylvania.”

Virginia’s newly-elected GOP governor, Glenn Youngkin, has announced he is pulling his state out of the initiative. New Jersey dropped out of RGGI under Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2011, then re-entered under Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019.

Pittsburgh Works Together, an alliance of labor, business, and civic leaders, is also opposed to RGGI.

“It will lead to significantly higher power prices in Pennsylvania, which will hurt the state’s efforts to rebuild a manufacturing base, and it will adversely affect low-and fixed-income households and seniors,” a statement from that group said.

How much might RGGI add to the cost of electricity? Environmentalists and others who support RGGI say participation in the initiative will slow the increase in the cost of electricity. Pittsburgh Works Together sees things differently.

“It’s about double in Connecticut. I want to say the kilowatt hour in Pennsylvania is about 9.80 [cents per] kilowatt hour. It’s literally double that in Connecticut,” Jeff Nobers, executive director of Pittsburgh Works Together, told KDKA in July 2021.

Power PA Jobs Alliance, a coalition of labor, management, and consumer stakeholders who oppose state proposals to impose carbon dioxide emission taxes on fossil fuel generation, manufacturing operations, and motor fuels, said electric bills will increase by more than $2.6 billion by 2030.

“Since Gov. Wolf announced RGGI in the Fall of 2019, the RGGI tax rate increased from $5.20 to $13.00 – $7.80…a 150 percent increase,” said the Alliance in a 2021 press release. “If not stopped by the Pennsylvania General Assembly or the courts, RGGI will lead to even more power plant closures and massive job losses, and much higher (20+ percent) electric rate increases on poor and senior households.”

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Commonwealth Court Strikes Down PA’s Controversial Act 77 Voting Law

The Commonwealth Court Friday ruled that Pennsylvania’s no-excuse mail-in voting law, Act 77, is unconstitutional.

In addition to striking down the law, the court ordered the acting secretary of state not to enforce Act 77.

The 3-2 ruling found the law, which permitted no-excuse absentee voting, while ending straight-ticket voting, violated the constitutional requirement of “the physical presence of the elector.” The judges found the legislature could not make changes to voting laws without amending the state Constitution.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democratic candidate for governor, said he will appeal the decision.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

“This opinion is based on twisted logic and faulty reasoning, and is wrong on the law,” said Shapiro, who is also the presumed Democratic candidate for governor. It will be immediately appealed and therefore won’t have any immediate impact on Pennsylvania’s upcoming elections. The issue will now go before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and we are confident in the constitutionality of Act 77.”

Gov. Tom Wolf agreed, saying, “The administration will immediately appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court and today’s lower court ruling will have no immediate effect on mail-in voting pending a final decision on the appeal.

An appeal has already been filed, triggering an automatic stay that keeps the law in place during the appeal process.

“The Republican-controlled legislature passed Act 77 with strong bipartisan support in 2019 to make voting more safe, secure, and accessible and millions of Pennsylvanians have embraced it,” Wolf said.

He accused Republicans who opposed Act 77 of “trying to silence the people.”

Sen. Jake Corman

Pennsylvania Republicans, however, were thrilled. And they used the ruling to criticize the Wolf administration’s execution of the law.

“There have been numerous concerns raised about the way Act 77 was implemented by the Department of State, especially the double standard created by the removal of key mail-in ballot security measures in lead-up to the 2020 election,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte). After what occurred in the 2020 and 2021 elections, I have no confidence in the no-excuse mail in ballot provisions. There is no doubt that we need a stronger election law than the one we have in place today.

“Today’s ruling should serve as a call to action to open up a serious conversation about the reforms necessary to make voting both accessible and secure for all Pennsylvanians. Gov. Wolf has ignored this debate for over a year, but hopefully this ruling will help bring him to the table so we can address concerns about our election system once and for all.”

Corman plans to introduce a bill with voter ID, eliminating straight-party voting and ending drop-boxes, as well as banning outside money to fund elections, which was done by Mark Zuckerberg in key areas of Pennsylvania in 2020.

Bill McSwain

Republican Bill McSwain, the former U.S. Attorney for eastern Pennsylvania running for governor castigated those who supported Act 77, including his Republican primary opponents.

“Act 77 has wreaked havoc across our state and robbed voters of confidence in their elections. Any politician who supported this unconstitutional bill on either side of the aisle is unqualified to be governor,” said McSwain. “As U.S. Attorney and as a candidate for governor, I have consistently called Act 77 unconstitutional, and applaud the Commonwealth Court for recognizing it as such.”

Lou Barletta

Former Congressman Lou Barletta, another gubernatorial candidate, promised to repeal Act 77 if it remains on the books after appeals are exhausted.

“Now we know that not only was Act 77 a terrible law, it was also unconstitutional and shouldn’t have been passed in the first place,” said Barletta. “Most states that go to widespread mail-in voting take years to implement the process, but in Pennsylvania, we went from under 300,000 people voting by mail in 2016 to over 2.6 million in 2020. Local elections officers weren’t trained, equipped, or staffed to handle the flood of ballots and the result was the chaos that we all saw.”


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