Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

City & State

Just days after July 4, the fireworks in Harrisburg are still happening between Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro and leaders of both parties over education funding – and we don’t know when the grand finale will be popping off.

One thing we – and every member of the Beyhive – do know: There won’t be musical fireworks in Pittsburgh next month. To the dismay of fans across the commonwealth – and Pittsburgh’s concert-adjacent economy – Beyoncé announced her Aug. 3 concert at the Steelers field would be canceled. 

Keep reading for more of this week’s Winners & Losers!


Public school advocates -

For now, it looks like public school advocates and the state’s teachers unions got the better of a budget battle over private school vouchers. Gov. Josh Shapiro has vowed to line-item veto a $100 million allocation for private school scholarships, dashing the hopes of school choice advocates. However, with the state budget yet to be finalized, this probably isn’t the last to be heard on this topic.

Bob Casey -

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is pulling in campaign cash while waiting for the GOP primary field to materialize. In the most recent fundraising quarter, Casey raised $4 million – an increase of $1.2 million compared to the start of his reelection bid in 2017 – giving him $6 million in the bank as Republicans prepare to take him on in 2024.

Rick Monti -

It’s a nice change of pace when we get to write about fellow reporters. Longtime journalist Rick Monti, who has held roles with Trib Total Media and sits on its board of trustees, has been recognized by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association with its 2023 Benjamin Franklin Award for Excellence. Monti has spent more than four decades in the industry and is involved with the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania and the Bob Fryer Memorial Scholarship, which helps college students pursuing journalism careers.


The PA House Freedom Caucus -

Making Nazi-related references never bodes well – and that held true this week when the Pennsylvania House Freedom Caucus tweeted a meme that appeared to compare school voucher supporters to the Nazis in the film “Saving Private Ryan.” The tweet prompted a brisk response from Gov. Josh Shapiro’s office, and the meme was later deleted – in favor of one comparing themselves to the cannibals chasing Johny Depp’s character Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Lycoming Patriots -

If you thought we were done talking about the 2020 election, well, you were wrong. A judge in Luzerne County has rejected a complaint from Richard Houser and Catherine Burns, members of the conservative Lycoming Patriots organization, requesting a forensic audit of the 2020 general election due to what they allege are fraud and irregularities. The judge found that there is no provision in the state Election Code that compels boards of elections to conduct the independent, third-party audits the complaint seeks and that Houser and Burns failed to provide a petition of at least 100 electors and signed affidavits from at least five electors, both of which are required to properly contest an election.

Wilkes Barre Chicken, LLC -

The commonwealth’s entity for enforcing discrimination laws has just dropped a case right out of a coop in Wilkes Barre. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission announced Wilkes Barre Chicken, LLC must pay nearly $50,000 to Kyle Rodin, a former employee who dealt with workplace harassment based on his sex and sexual orientation. As PHRC’s order says, in the commonwealth, discrimination doesn’t fly here.