WEATHER: Philadelphia, rain, high of 61; Harrisburg, rain, high of 64; Pittsburgh, cloudy, high of 67.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Opening statements in Congressman Chaka Fattah’s corruption trial found defense attorneys arguing that the pol had been unwittingly betrayed by former aides Greg Naylor and Tom Lindenfeld, writes the Inquirer.

* Meanwhile, former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed had 305 of 449 criminal counts dropped by state prosecutors, who alleged he illegally spent public money on a scheme to build a Wild West-themed museum in the capital, writes the Tribune-Review.

* A fight with insurers over $93 million in settlements paid to victims of former coach Jerry Sandusky has left Penn State nearly $40 million in the red, the Patriot News reports.

* A new education report from the Public Interest Law Center shows it would take $3.2 billion in new educational funding for all PA students to score “proficient” on state tests, WHYY reports.

* The state house will vote on a bill to expand the use of ignition interlocks for first-time DUI charges, partly as an alternative to license suspensions, the Patriot News writes.

* Philadelphia City Council moved to ban pre-employment credit checks, Newsworks reports.

* $5.5 million in fines generated by 28 red light cameras in Philadelphia was dispersed for various transportation projects across the state, writes the Inquirer.

* PennDOT awarded the City of Pittsburgh $11 million to help seal its application for a $50 million federal Smart City Challenge transportation grant, according to the Post-Gazette.

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* PA will likely ease its antiquated liquor laws for the benefit of politicos at Philadelphia’s Democratic National Convention, extending last call and allowing bars to purchase wine and spirits from private bulk purveyors, writes the Inquirer.

* A conservative group with ties to Newt Gingrich has formed a PAC that will seek to get Amish and Mennonite groups in Lancaster County to vote for Donald Trump, reports Lancaster Online.

* Former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said he will not back Trump or serve as his VP, if asked, according to CNN.

 

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Join City & State PA for our Launch Event on May 18 to help us celebrate a new era of political reporting in the commonwealth. Pick up a copy of our latest issue, featuring “Ten Titans: the most powerful behind-the-scenes players in Keystone State politics,” and mingle with a who’s who of PA government and politics!

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne tells Republicans that blaming President Obama for the rise of Donald Trump is a fool’s game – especially when the president has done so much during his two terms that fall squarely in the conservative wheelhouse of beliefs.

* The Inquirer has a point/counterpoint this morning on the question of whether or not felons should be allowed to vote..

* Daily News columnist Will Bunch explains why he recently burned his Democratic voter registration card, complete with a ruthless evisceration of the party establishment.

* Douglas E. Schoen, a longtime Democratic campaign consultant and author of “The Nixon Effect: How Richard Nixon's Presidency Fundamentally Changed American Politics,” writes in an Inquirer op-ed that it is long past time to give President Nixon his due on civil rights, providing examples of how Nixon did more to integrate schools and implement affirmative action than any other president in history.

* In an Intelligencer op-ed featuring the devastating line that RNC head Reince Preibus is destined to join Vidkun Quisling and Captain Charles Boycott in having his last name take on a separate meaning – that of fool – Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen hopes that Preibus can stop shilling for Donald Trump before that happens.

* Daily Local News columnist Christine Flowers makes the case that based on the preponderance of evidence that soundly contradicts the blue-collar narrative surrounding her, it is disingenuous to keep claiming Democratic US Senate candidate Katie McGinty is anything other than a dyed-in-the-blue-wool establishment Democrat.

* Calling him “one sick puppy,” Newsworks columnist Dick Polman goes the extra mile and backs up his assessment of Donald Trump as a narcissist by taking a test to determine narcissistic personality disorder, using Trump’s own stated positions and beliefs – with predictable results.

* The Patriot News editorial board argues that in the wake of the Pennsylvania primaries, two things have become clear: the state needs to open its primary to all voters; and ballot referenda should be moved to November elections.

* The Post-Gazette editorial board wants state lawmakers and citizens interested in curbing medication inflation to keep a close eye on the Vermont legislature’s novel plan to rein in skyrocketing prescription drug prices: a law that would require drug manufacturers to explain why they have increased the cost of obtaining the medication.

 

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Want to subscribe to City & State PA’s new glossy magazine? Just send an email to David Alpher at publisher@cityandstatepa.com and get the details!

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TODAY’S SKED:

8:07 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway. To listen live, click here.

9 a.m. - The PA House Health Committee will meet. Room 205, Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg.

9 a.m. - The Community, Economic and Recreational Development (Senate) and Gaming Oversight (House) Committees will meet. Room 60, East Wing, Harrisburg.

9 a.m. - The Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness (Senate) and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness (House) Committees will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

9 a.m. - The PA House State Government Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. – Philadelphia City Council Committee of the Whole will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.

10 a.m. - The PA Senate Finance Committee will meet. Room 461, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

11 a.m. – The PA House will reconvene.

1 p.m. – The PA Senate will reconvene.

1:30 p.m. -  Gov. Wolf and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine will visit a pharmacy to discuss the availability of naloxone to Pennsylvanians. Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1137 Market Street, Lemoyne.

2 p.m. - The PA Senate Public Employee Retirement Commission will meet. Room 461, Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

 

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Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com for details.

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KICKER: "I think on the one hand they respect business leaders and they view him as a successful business leader. On the other hand, his personal style and his sense of hubris and vanity are completely antithetical to Amish values of humility” –  Amish expert Don Kraybill on the thrice-married Trump’s chances of picking up Amish votes, from Lancaster Online.