WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 70; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 70; Pittsburgh, rain, high of 66.



* Penn State has officially responded to new allegations that administrators and coaches knew about and concealed sex abuse by Jerry Sandusky since 1970, stating that there was no evidence to support the claim and blaming the “blogosphere” for rushing to judgement, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

* Immigrants rights groups again called for the closure of a controversial Berks detention center at a Mother’s Day rally. The facility houses some 90 families in what advocates describe as a “jail-like” setting, Newsworks reports.

* Republican State Rep. Rick Saccone’s bill to tell schools that they can post “In God We Trust” in prominent places passed the state house easily, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



*The FBI is probing the way the city of Philadelphia disposes of publicly held land, after developer Ori Feibush sued Councilman Kenyatta Johnson for allegedly “steering” land to politically connected buyers, writes the Philadelphia Daily News.

* John Estey, a former Rendell aide who cooperated with federal investigators after becoming entangled in a corruption case, may have worn a wire “for years,” sources now say. Who he recorded – and where – is still unclear, reports the Inquirer.

* A meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, where corporate lobbying groups meet to craft model legislation with state lawmakers from across the country, was picketed in Pittsburgh, reports the Post-Gazette.

*Philadelphia’s proposed soda tax is being eyed by municipalities, health advocates, anti-tax types and beverage industry players nationwide – all of whom are anxious to see what precedent Mayor Jim Kenney’s plan sets, according to the Inquirer.

* A languishing bill that would eliminate a civil statute of limitations for church sex abuse claims, which the clergy has vigorously opposed, advanced in Harrisburg, reports the Gazette.

* 200 protesters rallied outside a refinery in South Philadelphia, voicing their opposition to much vaunted plans to greatly expand oil and gas shipping facilities on nearby port land, reports the Inquirer.



* Blowing apart another Republican article of faith, Donald Trump told his party that he would raise taxes on the rich, CNN reports.

* Speaking at a campaign rally in Oakland, Hillary Clinton is making a last-minute bid to win over supporters of left-leaning rival Bernie Sanders by promoting her progressive credentials, the Daily Californian reports.

* Meanwhile, Sanders rallied thousands in New Jersey with his message of a “political revolution,” reports.



TEN TITANS: The next issue of City & State PA magazine will feature profiles of the most powerful behind-the-scenes players in Keystone State politics, detailing their influence and connections. If you have suggestions for who should be on the list, email Editor Greg Salisbury at Want to advertise in the issue? Email David Alpher at




* Philadelphia magazine’s online Citified section takes the referendum victory on abolishing Traffic Court and runs with it, naming three other city offices that should be eliminated.

* In an Intelligencer op-ed, Llewellyn King, executive producer and host of the PBS show, “White House Chronicle,” writes that the legacy of Watergate – and its effect on creating a media motivated to inspect every crevice of a politician’s life – has resulted in only two types of people who run for office: the grotesque and the shopworn.

* Republican Sen. Pat Toomey makes it clear in an Inquirer op-ed that he, like many of his fellow Pennsylvanians, is unhappy with the choices presented to him in this year’s presidential election, writing that Hillary Clinton is unacceptable on many levels, and that Donald Trump was not his first, second or third choice, before offering unsolicited advice to Trump on the way to the election.

* In today’s Inquirer, Washington Post op-ed columnist Charles Krauthammer looks at the paradox of Republican voters – a majority of whom have consistently stated in exit polls that they feel betrayed by their party for, among other reasons, not getting enough of the conservative agenda enacted – and the “ideological earthquake” their selection of Trump has created in the GOP.

* In an Inquirer op-ed, Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, and Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, argue that on the sugary drink tax, Bernie Sanders got it right – and Mayor Kenney is still getting it wrong.

* Greg Behr, executive director of the Grable Foundation, and Maxwell King, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation (and former editor of the Inquirer) write an Inquirer op-ed to bring attention to some of the innovative ways education in Pennsylvania is pushing forward, like the Remake Learning Network that is drawing national attention.

* John Bolton, longtime Republican diplomat and lawyer, writes in a Tribune-Review op-ed that there needs to be a closer examination of the oft-repeated tropes that Hillary Clinton is both hawkish and interventionist.

* Elizabeth Stelle, director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation, has an op-ed in the Morning Call calling for the state to go after “low-hanging fruit” like slowing spending growth, reprioritizing programs and cutting back on corporate welfare before raising taxes on individuals.



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



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: to PA Rep. Tim Mahoney … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at



10:30 a.m. – Mayor Kenney will join CHOP President and CEO Madeline Bell and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey as The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia celebrates the grand opening of its new South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees will have an opportunity to tour the $45.2 million, 96,000-square foot LEED-certified facility, which includes a CHOP pediatric primary care center; Philadelphia Department of Public Health community health center; state-of-the-art Free Library of Philadelphia South Philadelphia Library; and DiSilvestro Playground and Recreation Center. 1700 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

11 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will make remarks at a Holocaust remembrance ceremony. Governor's Reception Room, Harrisburg.

12 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will visit Dixon Learning Academy, a quality pre-K program of Diversified Community Services in South Philadelphia. This STAR-4 rated program recently expanded due to an investment by the Fund for Quality. 2201 Moore St., Philadelphia.

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

4:40 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on WURD with Nick Taliaferro. To listen live, click here.

5 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will be interviewed on the Rick Smith Show. To listen live, click here.



Want to advertise in First Read?

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at for details.



KICKER: “Our culture celebrates all the negative things: materialism, vulgarity, pornography, every type of lawlessness” – Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone lays out a depressing worldview, one which he believes can be reversed by his bill to allow schools to post the words, “In God We Trust,” in prominent locations. From the Post-Gazette.

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First Read is the morning email newsletter from City & State, covering politics and government in Pennsylvania. © 2016 City and State PA, LLC.


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