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Mastriano Bows Out of Senate Race, Opening Door for McCormick

State Sen. Doug Mastriano announced on Facebook Thursday evening that he will not run for the U.S. Senate next year.

His announcement opens the door for Dave McCormick, who said he is seriously considering running for the Senate again. Although he has not yet announced a bid against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D), many in the Republican Party are urging him to do so. Casey is seeking a fourth term.

McCormick narrowly lost the GOP U.S. Senate primary last year to Dr. Mehmet Oz, who former President Donald Trump endorsed. Oz went on to lose to Democrat John Fetterman.

“Wow,” said GOP strategist and former candidates Charlie Gerow to the news Mastriano’s out. “I’m sure many are breathing a sigh of relief that the road is now cleared for a challenger who can beat Bob Casey. Winning the Senate seat is a top priority for 2024.”

Mastriano said he prayed before making the decision. And he told supporters watching him on Facebook that their Walk as Free People movement is not over. Mastriano and his wife Rebbie promised to hold a conference in the fall to help train future leaders.

And what may be more important, they promised to support the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat.

“We want to be sure we’re supporting that 80 percent person,” said Rebbie Mastriano, echoing remarks by former President Ronald Reagan regarding supporting fellow Republicans. “Somebody does not have to be perfect to have our support,” she said.

“Like Ronald Reagan, we believe our best days are still ahead,” Doug Mastriano said.

Many in the party had asked Mastriano not to run for the U.S., while many of his supporters asked him to.

Mastriano was the Republican nominee for governor in 2022. He lost by 15 percent to now-Gov. Josh Shapiro, whose campaign funding dwarfed Mastriano’s. Shapiro could afford to run relentless advertising dwelling on Mastriano’s strong pro-life views, painting him as a danger to Pennsylvania women.

State Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) tweeted: “Today I’m calling on all level-headed P.A. Republicans to join me in requesting that Doug Mastriano abandon any plans he may have to run for U.S. Senate in 2024. 1/14.”

Many others active in the GOP feared that while Mastriano might once again win a primary, he would hand the Democrats an easy victory in 2024 since he is perceived as out of step with the mainstream, especially on abortion. And with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats have used abortion to beat Republicans, even in races like the recent 163rd state representative seat in Delaware County, where the GOP candidate was pro-choice.

Guy Ciarrocchi, who ran for Congress last year and is now a writer and political strategist, was optimistic.

“Now is the time for Republicans to unite,” said Ciarrocchi. “To find a candidate who will defeat Sen. Casey and be a voice for common sense and focus on the actual problems that affect us every day, that we talk about at the kitchen table. Unify and invite independents and Democrats to join with us for a better future.”

Many believe that candidate is McCormick.

“I thank Doug for his years of military and public service and his dedication to Pennsylvania,” McCormick said when asked to comment Thursday evening. Mastriano spent 30 years in the military, retiring as a colonel.

Dave McCormick

“I am seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate because (Sen.) Bob Casey has consistently made life worse for Pennsylvania families over the past 18 years, and our state deserves better. Casey votes for Biden’s liberal agenda 98 percent of the time; he is openly hostile to our state’s energy industry, endorses dangerous criminals walking freely on our streets, and is enabling open borders, leading to a terrifying rise in fentanyl deaths in Pennsylvania,” McCormick said.

“Throughout my life, I have had the honor to serve and lead, including as a paratrooper in the first Gulf War and later while creating hundreds of jobs in Western Pennsylvania. We need a Republican nominee who can build a broad coalition of Pennsylvanians to defeat Bob Casey and improve the lives of Pennsylvania families,” McCormick added.

McCormick recently published a book, “Superpower in Peril,” and has been traveling the state discussing it.

McConnell Puts PA on GOP’s ’24 Top Four Target List, Touts McCormick

Congrats, Pennsylvania — You made Mitch McConnell’s final four.

In an interview with CNN, the Senate’s GOP leader laid out what he believes is the most likely path for Republicans to regain control, and it runs through four states: Montana, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

McConnell and many GOP pundits say Republicans are on track in West Virginia, where popular Gov. Jim Justice has announced he plans to run for the seat currently held by Sen. Joe Manchin. The two-term Democrat has not said if he will run for reelection next year in a state Trump carried by 40 points in 2020.

The other states are less settled, particularly Pennsylvania, where Republican strategists believe Dave McCormick would have the best chance to stop Democrat Sen. Bob Casey from winning a record fourth term. But McCormick may have to get past state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who polls show remains popular with GOP primary voters despite his crushing defeat in last year’s gubernatorial race against now-Gov. Josh Shapiro.

According to CNN, McConnell and the NRSC “are expected to go all-out for McCormick, whom the GOP leader called a ‘high-quality candidate.’”

And what about Mastriano? “I think everybody is entitled to run. I’m confident the vast majority of people who meet Dave McCormick will be fine with him,” McConnell said.

“The Senate GOP Leader understands what nearly all Republican leaders here know,” Republican strategist Christopher Nicholas told DVJournal. “Only Dave McCormick can give Casey a run for his money in 2024.”

There has been little polling about a GOP primary, but the available data give Mastriano a lead. Pennsylvania GOP pros say the passion for Mastriano in the MAGA section of the party remains strong. At the same time, losing the Senate seat in 2022, particularly to John Fetterman, a left-of-center candidate with significant health issues, sent a shockwave through the state GOP, one source told DVJournal.

“There is no ‘MAGA’ magic,” the source said. “If they really don’t care about winning [the general election], then we just have to find a way to beat them.”

Republicans may need to pull out all the stops in Pennsylvania. In Montana, another state Trump carried big, popular incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) has already said he will run again, giving his party its best chance of holding the seat. And while Ohio has been trending red for more than a decade, incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is a populist Democrat in the mold of Sen. Bernie Sanders. He may be particularly tough to beat, as well.

So even though Democrats have to defend more than twice as many seats as Republicans next year (23 to 11), McConnell laughed when asked if he was confident about the GOP’s chances.

“No, no – I’m not,” McConnell said. “I just spent 10 minutes explaining to you how we could screw this up, and we’re working very hard to not let that happen.”

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Sen. Bob Casey Raises More Money From PACs Than From PA

This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s recent fundraising quarter showed the Democrat collecting more in contributions from corporate PACs than in checks from Pennsylvania citizens.

Federal Election Commission filings show the Democrat pulled in about $75,000 in corporate PAC money, compared to about $70,000 in donations from Pennsylvanians.

That distribution, and the acceptance of corporate PAC money at all,­­ is certain to be at odds with the stated rhetoric of many members of his own party.

According to a 2022 report from Roll Call, “More than 70 members [of Congress] say they are swearing off such [corporate PAC] contributions, indicating that a trend, almost exclusively among Democrats, that caught on during the 2018 election cycle has persisted. Despite the growth, the move has not led to the enactment of major campaign finance policy or legislative changes.”

It cuts a sharp contrast with the commonwealth’s junior senator, John Fetterman, who pledged to abstain from taking corporate PAC money in his successful 2022 campaign.

A request for comment to the Casey campaign was not returned.

The fundraising haul from January through March showed Casey doing very well with pharmaceutical political action committees. Abbvie, Novartis, Eli Lilly, and drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen are some of the companies in that category who contributed to the early part of Casey’s re-election efforts.

Although the Republican side of the field is still shaping up, the 2024 Senate contest is certain to be expensive. A report from showed in the 2022 race, Fetterman raised about $75 million and Republican candidate Mehmet Oz raised close to $51 million. The Pennsylvania race was the second most expensive race in the nation that year.

Although Casey may not have sworn off corporate PAC money like Fetterman, he has had occasional sharp criticisms of the influence of corporate money in politics.

For example, in 2014, in reaction to the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, Casey decried the influence of corporate money on politics.

“I am pleased that the Senate voted today to proceed to debate the Democracy for All amendment. The Citizens United ruling significantly increased the power of corporate special interests by giving them the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections,” Casey said in a press release. “The ruling has allowed a handful of wealthy individuals and corporations to skew the national debate at the expense of hard working Pennsylvanians. Amendments to the Constitution should never be taken lightly but it is time to address the role of money in politics. This bill will help to level the playing field and put power back in the hands of the American people.”

Delco Garners Nearly $1M in Federal Funds for Maternal Health

From a press release

Delaware County Council Chair Monica Taylor Ph.D., Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer and Delaware County Health Department Director Melissa Lyon participated in a press conference hosted by Sen. Bob Casey and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon on April 25 at the Delaware County Courthouse.

The press conference highlighted substantial funding for the Delaware County Health Department.

Casey and Scanlon, both Democrats, secured $954,000 in community project funding that will allow the Delaware County Health Department (DCHD) to create a new workforce development program to train Perinatal Community Health Care Workers (PCHW) and doulas who can work to reduce racial disparities in maternal health.

The program also aims to reduce racial and economic disparities in maternal care through education, targeted training, and deployment of doulas in communities that have the highest disparities in maternal and child health outcomes. The goal of this program is to ensure that Delaware County women will receive the support they need to assist in healthy pregnancies and deliveries, as well as reduce disparities in maternal and birth outcomes.

Casey and Scanlon fought for this community project funding to improve maternal health outcomes in Southeastern Pennsylvania and bolster the health care workforce.

“When the Delaware County Health Department applied for community project funding, it struck me that infant mortality rates were three times higher for babies born to Black mothers than those born to White mothers here in Delco,” said Casey. “If we are not keeping moms and babies safe, then we are not doing enough to keep our nation safe. By investing in community health workers, this project invests in those who know their community best, making them uniquely suited to provide the proper maternal health care to their neighbors.”

The disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color has brought a new focus to health disparities, including the longstanding inequities in maternal and infant health, officials said.

Many low-income families in Delaware County have challenges accessing healthcare and some families struggle because English is not a first language. Those challenges are also compounded by the fact that the Delaware County community recently lost a birthing hospital- Delaware County Memorial Hospital- which serves a large population, many of which are low-income and English is not their first language, officials said.

There is a crisis in Delaware County and throughout the nation regarding maternal and infant mortality. Black and Brown women are three times more likely to die during childbirth compared to White women. And research also shows that Black women are at significantly higher risk for severe maternal morbidity, such as preeclampsia. And Black women have higher rates of admission to the intensive care unit during delivery compared to White women. There are clear racial disparities in maternal and infant health and it’s critical that we work to raise awareness and create change, officials said.

“Every mother in our community deserves to live a happy, healthy life with her baby, but tragically, our country has the worst maternal health outcomes in the developed world, and Black women are three times more likely to die from childbirth than white women, said Scanlon.

“With this new federal funding for additional maternal health care workers and doulas, Delaware County is taking urgently needed action to reverse these alarming trends and protect our mothers and babies. I’m grateful for Sen. Casey and Delaware County’s partnership in advancing evidence-based solutions that will save lives and reduce disparities.”

Members of the newly created Delaware County Maternal Child Health Committee also attended the press conference. In February, county Council and the county Health Department formed the Delaware County Maternal Child Health Committee to address the critical public health issues facing mothers and children in our community. The committee is working to address the disparities in maternal health outcomes in Delaware County.

Subcommittees will be formed in other key areas of concern, including concerns that will be identified by the upcoming Delaware County Needs Assessment.

“The Committee’s expertise and passion surrounding maternal and children’s health can help the county to prevent deaths and also greatly improve the overall health and well-being of women, babies, and children across the county,” said Taylor. “As council and the County Health Department gain valuable information and data, we can utilize the community project funding to work to improve maternal health outcomes in Delaware County. Our goal is that every pregnant woman has a healthy pregnancy and their babies have a healthy start when they are brought into this world.”

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Casey Announces, GOP Pounces. Do Republicans See Path to Senate Majority Going Through PA?

The phrase “Republicans pounce” has become a punchline in GOP circles, mocking the media’s less-than-evenhanded political coverage. But in the case of the party’s reaction to Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s re-election announcement, “pounce” appears to be the right word.

Within hours of Casey’s announcement Monday that he will seek a fourth term in 2024, the National Republican Senatorial Committee was in attack mode.

“From risking Pennsylvania workers’ pensions in Chinese state-run companies to using his Senate seat to enrich his family, Bob Casey has made a career of shady self-dealing and selling his voters out to the highest bidder,” said NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou.

On Tuesday, the NRSC was already up with an ad targeting Casey on social media.

“Bob Casey stopped putting Pennsylvanians first a long time ago,” Letsou said with the release of the NRSC’s ad.


The NRSC has been hammering Casey in the months leading up to his re-election announcement, accusing him of “betraying Pennsylvania farmers” and claiming that he “oversaw multi-million dollar investment from state pension fund into [a Chinese Communist Party]-linked company.”

Political observers say it could be a sign that the GOP believes the path to a new Republican Senate majority goes through Pennsylvania. The 2024 cycle includes several Senate Democrats running in states former President Donald Trump carried in 2020, most notably Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana. However, both are popular incumbents who may be difficult to beat. Could Casey — a one-time moderate who has been out of step with his own party — offer an attractive target for a Republican Party that needs to net a two-seat pickup to win back the Senate?

The NRSC did not respond to a request for comment. However, Christopher Nicholas, a veteran Republican political consultant and the principal of Eagle Consulting Group, Inc., in Harrisburg, speculated that “the NRSC, like a lot of Republicans, is tired of losing.”

“They have come to the same conclusion that most people have, that the reason they lost some of these seats is because they did not have the best candidates available,” Nicholas said.

He pointed out Pennsylvania’s Senate elections are staggered back to back. “After this, we don’t have another one until 2028,” he said. “I think a lot of people here, especially on the GOP side, are even more committed to beating Casey since now we have two Democratic senators.”

By most measures, Casey looks well-positioned for the next election. He won two out of his three first-election contests with double-digit margins; he is the only Democratic senator to win an election three times in the state. This is the first time Democrats have controlled both of the state’s Senate seats since the 1940s.

National Republican operatives are doubtlessly hoping to patch their wounds from the bruising 2022 elections, which analysts had predicted would be a resounding Republican success but which ended up with Democrats vastly outperforming historical projections.

Among the most surprising upsets was the flipping of retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat, replaced by Democrat John Fetterman. Trump-backed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz lost to Fetterman by five percentage points.

That victory helped Democrats secure an outright majority in the Senate, their first since 2015, and a pointed victory for President Joe Biden.

Pennsylvania is still considered a swing state by most analysts. A recent Commonwealth Foundation poll showed lopsided disapproval ratings for Biden in the state, potentially leaving Casey with the albatross of Biden’s record around his neck come November 2024.

At the same time, Pennsylvania Democratic strategist Mike Mikus told the Washington Examiner he believes Casey is a stronger candidate than some realize. “I think a lot of people forget that Sen. Casey tends to do a lot better than the average Democrat in many of the rural counties in Pennsylvania. He may not win them, but he does better than the average Democrat, and that’s where I think lies his greatest strength. He’s able to overperform in some pretty tough areas, in many areas that delivered Trump in 2016.”

Nicholas argued Casey “hasn’t spent one day on the campaign trail worried about whether he’s going to win or not.” He pointed to the historic Democratic cycles in 2006 and 2018, both of which saw Casey ride to victory.

He also noted Casey had drifted leftward since his start in national politics, transforming from “a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat” into a candidate much more in line with present Democratic orthodoxy. “Democrats have gotten over their queasiness with them,” he said.

Still, Nicholas said, a potentially bruising election contest with a popular candidate could lead to an upset next November.

“Because he’s never spent one day worrying, politically — does Casey have a glass jaw?” he said. “We don’t know.”

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Sen. Bob Casey Will Seek 4th Term

Although 2024 may seem like a long time away, politics has its own timeline.

Sen.  Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced Monday that he is running again.

“Folks, I’m running for re-election. There’s still more work to do to cut through the gridlock, stand up to powerful special interests, and make the lives of hardworking Pennsylvanians easier,” Casey tweeted.

Democrats hope for a repeat of 2022, keeping abortion as the major wedge issue and downplaying economic concerns. Casey may make that strategy a bit trickier, however, having voted for some moderate restrictions on abortion in the past. Just last year, NPR described Casey as “an anti-abortion-rights Democrat,” despite his support for federal legislation allowing legal abortion without restriction at any point during a pregnancy.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee promptly responded to Casey’s announcement.

“From risking Pennsylvania workers’ pensions in Chinese state-run companies to using his Senate seat to enrich his family, Bob Casey has made a career of shady self-dealing and selling his voters out to the highest bidder,” said NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou.

Lawrence Tabas, chair of the Pennsylvania GOP said, “Bob Casey has shown time and time again that he has no problem putting his interests before those of his constituents. Pennsylvania deserves a Senator that will stand up for their values, not use their seat to enrich their own family. I’m confident that the Republican nominee will demonstrate to voters across the commonwealth that it’s time to send Casey back to Scranton.”

The National Republican Party is hoping Dave McCormick, who lost a Senate primary narrowly to Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2022, will be the party’s nominee to challenge Casey. But it looks like he’ll have to get past firebrand state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) first. Mastriano, who lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro in the governor’s race by nearly 15 points last year, has. strong support from members of the MAGA GOP base.

“Taking on any incumbent is challenging,” Mastriano told DVJournal. “Casey’s challenge is that other than running on his dad’s name, he’s an unremarkable senator who’s more interested in being a lackey for the radical left than fighting for Pennsylvania.”

McCormick said, “Bob Casey votes for Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s failing, far-left agenda 100 percent of the time. Thanks to Casey’s support for open borders, 5,000 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to fentanyl in 2020 alone. Pennsylvania is the second biggest gas-producing state in the country, yet Casey’s support for leftist energy policies has cost our state thousands of jobs. And even though Philadelphia has one of the highest murder rates in the country, Casey has done nothing to fight crime and instead has supported dangerous policies. A vote for Casey is a vote for Biden and Schumer — he’s a Washington insider and not a leader we can count on to deliver a better future for our great commonwealth.”

Is the party ready for Mastriano, or would the GOP faithful prefer McCormick?

National Republican Senate Committee Chair Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who oversees the group’s candidate recruitment, said via Twitter: “We need somebody who can win a primary and a general election. (Mastriano’s) last race demonstrated he couldn’t win a general.”

However, a Public Policy poll in March showed Mastriano well ahead of McCormick among GOP primary voters, at 39 percent to 21 percent. Kathy Barnette, who came in third in the primary in 2022, had 11 percent.

Well-known radio host Dom Giordano, who writes a column for DVJournal, isn’t holding back when it comes to another Mastriano candidacy, calling on Pennsylvania Republicans to do something to dissuade the state Senator now.

“The control of the United States Senate — perhaps even the White House — could ride on Pennsylvania Republicans acting early and decisively.”

GOP consultant Christopher Nicholas agreed.

“Sen. Mastriano has demonstrated that he can win a crowded GOP primary and then run a terrible, underfunded, and losing, general election campaign. Nominating him for U. S. Senate is a sure-fire way to give Sen. Casey a free pass back to the Senate,” Nicholas said.

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Sens. Casey, Fetterman, and Brown Introduce Railroad Accountability Bill

As people in Ohio and Pennsylvania still deal with the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern derailment, where railcars carrying toxins overturned, Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, all Democrats, introduced the Railway Accountability Act. They and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) introduced the Railway Safety Act earlier this month. 

Vance did not respond when asked why he had not signed on to the Railway Accountability Act. Fetterman, who spent six weeks hospitalized for depression, was working from the hospital, his staff said.

He is expected to be back in the Senate on April 17.

Issues addressed by the Railway Accountability Act include broken rims, a leading cause of derailments; brake inspections when trains are not moving; more transparent safety information; ensuring emergency brake signals function properly: and requiring major railroads to report close calls to a confidential system.

“Too many communities in Pennsylvania and nationwide have suffered from catastrophic train derailments. The Railway Accountability Act would implement additional commonsense safety measures to help prevent these disasters in the future,” said Casey. “Along with the Railway Safety Act, this bill will make freight rail safer and protect communities from preventable tragedies.”

Labor unions, including the Transport Workers of America (TWU), the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers (NCFO), and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers-Mechanical Division (SMART-MD) support the legislation.

Norfolk Southern did not respond when asked to comment.

“The legislation is unlikely to help,” said Iain Murray, vice president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “It includes things like minimum crew member sizes that research has been unable to show any safety benefit from. However, what is likely is that the bill will do several things probably detrimental to safety, like concentrating hazardous materials on fewer trains, making derailments – which are still likely to occur – more dangerous. Shippers might also prefer to ship by road rather than slower trains, and we do know for a fact that shipping hazardous materials by road is more dangerous than shipping by rail, even under current standards.”

The earlier bipartisan Railway Safety Act included enhanced safety procedures for trains carrying hazardous materials, requiring wayside defect detectors, requiring that railroads operate trains with at least two-person crews, and increasing fines for railroads found to have committed wrongdoing, according to a press release.

Pennsylvania lawmakers held hearings into what happened when the Norfolk Southern train derailed just across the state line in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3. Recently, state Senate Veteran’s Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee members grilled Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw.

Residents have said exposure to toxic chemicals during a controlled burn has caused various health issues. There are also concerns about water pollution and chemicals that rained down onto the soil where crops are grown.

Shaw has promised to help the residents in both states affected by the accident. “I am determined to make this right,” he said at the hearing. “Norfolk Southern is determined to clean the site safely. We’ll get the job done and help these communities thrive.”

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Sen. Casey Tight-Lipped Over Potential Stock Sale Reporting Violation

This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty

Sen. Bob Casey (D) is refusing to add any explanation or clarification to his legally required disclosure of a stock sale which clearly appears to have been filed well outside of the mandatory 45-day reporting window.

The delayed reporting raises numerous ethical questions, especially given that in between the transaction and the time it was reported to the Senate Ethics Office, a subsidiary of the energy company in question was telling Energy Secretary Rick Perry a potential bankruptcy was likely and requested federal assistance to help keep some of its power plants operating.

The Senate ethics disclosure site shows Casey filed the “periodic transaction” report in May 2018, establishing that a dependent child of his sold somewhere between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of stock in FirstEnergy Corp. The website also shows, however, that the sale occurred eight months earlier on Aug. 31, 2017.

The STOCK Act, signed into law in 2012, updated previous ethics laws, and requires certain federal elected officials “to file reports within 30 to 45 days after receiving notice of a purchase, sale, or exchange which exceeds $1,000 in stock[.]”

For a stock sale conducted on Aug. 31, 2017, that transaction would need to have been reported by Oct. 15, 2017 to be compliant.

Requests for comment by Broad + Liberty to Casey’s office seeking an explanation of the delayed disclosure were not returned.

FirstEnergy was enduring a period of incredible turmoil in 2017. Rumors swirled for months that one of its subsidiaries, FirstEnergy Solutions, was nearing bankruptcy.

That potential bankruptcy wasn’t all bad for the parent company, however. Some analysts were upgrading their forecasts for the parent company FirstEnergy on the news.

In March 2018, FirstEnergy and its subsidiary notified the federal government it intended to close three of its nuclear power plants, two in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania. Days later, FirstEnergy Solutions made its bankruptcy filing.

“This disclosure law, as well as Senators’ compliance with accurate and timely filing of all required disclosures, is extremely important because it is the only mechanism to determine whether a Senator has a conflict of interest or is wrongfully profiting from their position,” said Kendra Arnold, executive director of Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a DC-based nonprofit focused on transparency and ethics.

“It’s important to note that the Senators’ spouse and dependent children’s financial information are essentially treated as that of the Senator because the Senator may benefit from or actually control those assets,” she added.

“When a Senator does not file accurate or timely information it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the Senator’s personal finances influenced his official actions or the Senator used nonpublic information to profit. The Senator is already given a 30 or 45 day grace period to disclose and there is no excuse for late filings,” Arnold concluded.

Arnold also said given that the late disclosure was years old, it was unlikely that the Senate Ethics Office would investigate.

The late disclosure was first reported by the conservative website Breitbart, which also noted that a FirstEnergy political action committee donated $19,000 to Casey’s campaign committee starting in 2010. The last donation came in January 2018, after the stock sale had happened but the disclosure had not.

FirstEnergy would later go on to become embroiled in one of the largest bribery scandals in U.S. history that involved Ohio elected officials and in no way touched upon Casey.

“Federal prosecutors say that between March 2017 and March 2020, entities related to an unnamed company — but that would appear to be nuclear power company FirstEnergy Solutions — paid approximately $60 million” to a nonprofit controlled by the then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, NPR reported.

Through all of this turmoil, however, FirstEnergy’s stock price made a bullish run from the start of 2018 to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Casey, Fetterman Still On TikTok, Despite Spying Concerns

Time may be TikToking away for TikTok and the Americans who use it.

On Friday, six more U.S. Senators signed on as sponsors of the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, bipartisan legislation giving President Joe Biden new powers to ban the Chinese-owned app. Now 18 senators are on board, and the Biden administration has endorsed the effort.

Not on the list of sponsors: Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman. They are, however, on a recently-compiled list of a handful of members of Congress with TikTok accounts.

Both accounts were still active as of Sunday night. Neither senator responded to repeated requests for comment about their decision to remain on the controversial — and Communist-owned — video app.

The issue of TikTok giving China’s government access to data on U.S. citizens isn’t new. President Donald Trump tried to ban the app in 2020 but was blocked by the courts. Late last year, Biden signed an order banning the app from nearly all federal government devices.

The social media platform that is very popular with teenagers is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. ByteDance had admitted that some employees had filched Americans’ information, The New York Times reported. But the parent company claimed those workers were fired.

Biden is demanding ByteDance sell TikTok. And the Biden Justice Department is investigating whether the Chinese-made app is spying on some of the journalists who cover the tech industry.

More and more Pennsylvania government entities are banning the app, including Chester County and Bucks County, which just filed a lawsuit against it for harming children’s mental health. In state government, Treasurer Stacy Garrity banned it on state devices her department controls. However, Gov. Josh Shapiro has a campaign account. At the same time, however, Shapiro was investigating TikTok as attorney general for its impact on youth.

A January 2023 review by States News Service confirmed 32 of the 535 members of Congress had TikTok accounts, including Casey, Fetterman, and local Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks)

Contacted by DVJournal, a Houlahan spokesperson confirmed, “Her account still exists, but it is not active, and it is not on any House-issued devices.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to testify before Congress on Thursday. According to reports, he plans to argue that the app, which has about 150 million regular users in the U.S. — or about 45 percent of the population — is too deeply enmeshed in the nation’s social media to be banned.

A TikTok spokesperson recently sent DVJournal this statement: “The ban of TikTok on federal devices was passed in December without any deliberation, and unfortunately, that approach has served as a blueprint for other world governments. These bans are little more than political theater. We hope that when it comes to addressing national security concerns about TikTok beyond government devices, Congress will explore solutions that won’t have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans.

“The swiftest and most thorough way to address any national security concerns about TikTok is for CFIUS to adopt the proposed agreement that we worked with them on for nearly two years. These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies, and we are well underway in implementing them to further secure our platform in the United States.”

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Ahead of Possible Senate Bid, McCormick Blames SVB Crisis on Biden Fiscal Policy

Former Bridgewater CEO and possible 2024 U.S. Senate hopeful Dave McCormick slammed what he said was a “decade” of bad monetary and fiscal policy from government leaders that led to recent bank meltdowns.

McCormick made the claim during a DVJournal podcast interview regarding the historic collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the federal government’s scrambling efforts to contain the fallout.

Acknowledging that “anybody that’s predicting too much” about the crisis “probably is too confident” about the “dynamic situation,” McCormick—who is widely viewed as a likely Senate challenger to incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey next year—argued there are “a set of root causes” that led to SVB’s collapse.

“We’ve had a decade or more of misguided fiscal policy and misguided monetary policy,” McCormick said. “We’ve had fiscal policy that has been enormous spending, and that spending has accelerated dramatically under Joe Biden.

“Discretionary spending has gone up by about 40 percent,” he continued. “You’ve had the three big pieces of legislation, which have added something like $18 trillion of new spending over the next 10 years, and that’s a huge driver of inflation.”

McCormick further argued that “very low interest rates” have driven financiers to adjust their spending and investment practices accordingly, driving them to “lock in long-duration treasuries and things like that in search of yield.

“And when the Fed raised rates to essentially offset the inflation that they helped create, that created a crisis at SVB because those treasuries that they held in their balance sheet went down in value,” he said. “They had to sell capital to try to close the hole, and that spooked their depositors and their depositors started to take out money.”

McCormick called the present chaos “the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problem,” one that “[won’t] go away until we get our fiscal house in order and back to our normal monetary policy.”

McCormick, who is promoting his new book “Superpower In Peril,” is increasingly being viewed as a favorite for the 2024 Senate race, with many analysts and strategists balking at the prospect of another bid by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who lost his gubernatorial bid against Gov. Josh Shapiro last year.

However, a Public Policy Polling survey this week showed Mastriano with a sizeable lead ahead of McCormick in a potential 2024 GOP primary matchup.