WEATHER: Philadelphia, cloudy, high of 71; Harrisburg, rain, high of 67; Pittsburgh, scattered thunderstorms, high of 75.



* South Philadelphia state Sen. Larry Farnese has been indicted for allegedly offering a $6,000 bribe to affect a Democratic ward election in his district, Philadelphia Magazine reports.

* An Allentown engineering exec is the latest to plead guilty in a pay-to-play trial that has rocked that city and nearby Reading. Court filings have heavily implicated the mayors of both cities, although neither has been charged, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

* Gov. Tom Wolf has said he will veto a bill seeking to end public school teacher seniority protections, reports the Patriot News.

* Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke came out in favor of preserving the Office of City Commissioners, a notorious patronage den targeted for abolition over, among other reasons, chronic absenteeism on the part of one member of its elected board, the Inquirer reports.

* The state Senate advanced legislation that would make background checks mandatory for healthcare professionals and clergy who work with children and limit access to criminal histories involving minor crimes, the Patriot News reports.

* At a conference in Philadelphia, Gov. Wolf told a crowd that state policy was “hostile” towards PA’s cities, the Inquirer reports.



* Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump easily swept the West Virginia primary, NBC News reports.

* The city of Philadelphia is upgrading emergency personnel radios and buying new police helmets ahead of the Democratic National Convention, with total security costs topping $43 million, according to the Associated Press.

* Although the mathematical odds of Sanders picking up enough delegates to win his party’s nomination narrow daily, his late primary wins have Clinton staffers worried, writes Politico.



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




* Milad Emam, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, has an op-ed in the Inquirer that lays out the case for ending Pennsylvania’s draconian civil-forfeiture laws.

* In an Inquirer op-ed, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank offers an entertaining look at how Republican leaders are contorting themselves over whether or not to support Donald Trump, with a little help from a Paul Simon classic.

* In an Intelligencer op-ed, R. Michael Topping, president of the Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association, calls for stronger legislation to protect forager fish like shad that are seeing their numbers decimated by being caught as byproduct of commercial fishing of other fish, like herring.

* The Post-Gazette editorial board weighs in on the shocking information that only a third of Pennsylvania’s 1,000 police agencies are in compliance on declaring how many untested rape kits they have in their evidence rooms.

* Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Bernstein has an op-ed in the Post-Gazette that looks at what he calls the “myth of the ignorant voter.”

* In his Newsworks blog, Dick Polman notes the fracturing of the once-bedrock support of evangelical Christians for Republican candidates, as more of them, most notably Southern Baptist Convention spokesman Russell Moore, speak out against voting for Donald Trump.

* The Tribune-Review editorial board comes out strongly against new Food and Drug Administration regulations restricting vaping, calling it an overreach that will harm countless people’s efforts to give up smoking cigarettes.

* A Tribune-Review op-ed by Pat Buchanan tells Paul Ryan – and the rest of the Beltway establishment – to lean into welcoming Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, instructing the Speaker of the House that “losers don’t make demands; they make requests.”



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



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

9:30 a.m. - The PA Senate Education Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

9:30 a.m. – The PA Senate State Government Committee will meet. Senate Majority Caucus Room, Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.

9:30 a.m. - The PA Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee will meet. Room 461, Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg.

10 a.m. - The PA House Urban Affairs Committee will meet. Coatesville City Hall Council Chambers, 1 City Hall Place, Coatesville.

10:30 a.m. - The PA Senate Education Committee will meet. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building, Harrisburg.

11 a.m. – the PA Senate will reconvene.

11:30 a.m. - Mayor Kenney will attend a press conference announcing plans to create a new Holocaust Memorial Park in Philadelphia. 16th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.

12:30 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will join Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Kathryn Ott-Lovell at a press conference announcing Comcast’s $105,000 donation to the Parks & Recreation Public Access Computing Centers, bringing Internet access, training and technology to Philadelphia communities. Kingessing Recreation Center, 4901 Kingessing Ave., Philadelphia.

1 p.m. – The PA House Gaming Oversight Committee will meet. Valley Forge Casino and Resort, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia.

2 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will be joined by Drexel University President John Fry and Radnor Property Group President Dave Yeager at the groundbreaking for Vue32, a 16-story, 175,000-square foot mixed-use development project on Drexel’s campus in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Promise Zone initiative. 32nd and Race streets, Philadelphia.




Want to advertise in First Read?

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



KICKER: “The Senator stands accused of making a contribution from his campaign account to a deserving young student’s scholarship fund in exchange for the support of the student’s mother in a party ward election” – indicted state Sen. Farnese’s lawyer lays out the state’s case – that he paid for a ward official’s daughter to study abroad in exchange for political support. No one denies the payment, or the semester abroad, happened. From Philadelphia Magazine.


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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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