WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 77; Harrisburg, scattered partly cloudy, high of 79; Pittsburgh, cloudy, high of 81.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* An aspiring election volunteer was shot dead in Philadelphia moments after talking with George Rabb, a Temple University professor who is running in the 200th Democratic state House primary, the Inquirer reports: http://goo.gl/xxgxmF

* Former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian Tasco reiterated a call to abolish Philadelphia’s election board, a publicly elected office she once occupied herself. A notorious patronage den, Tasco said she had “nothing to do” during her service there, wrote the Inquirer: http://goo.gl/7vlwnn

* According to the Inquirer, former Democratic PA Sen. Harris Wofford, 90, publicly announced that he would marry his partner of 15 years, a 40-year-old man he met on a beach in Florida several years after his wife passed away: http://goo.gl/RmNgEu

 

FROM THE WEEKEND:

* Few seats in the statehouse are contested this year, the byproduct of bitter partisanship and financial barriers deterring new candidates from running for office, according to the Tribune-Review: http://goo.gl/tkCuJE

* Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order making more state data public, to the delight of PA’s “open data” advocates, reports PennLive: http://goo.gl/IE3o1V

* Of three ballot questions that will appear in the PA primary, one, on raising the retirement age of PA judges, has already been stripped of importance by state legislators; another seeks voter approval to formally abolish Philadelphia’s already defunct Traffic Court; the third question is on whether or not to make the Mayor’s Commission on African-American Males a permanent group, writes the Inquirer: http://goo.gl/JV84vN

* The AP reports that Harrisburg lawmakers narrowly approved a new raft of oil and gas regulations, which would, among other things, force fracking companies to pay for polluting groundwater : http://goo.gl/L70SXk

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* With the PA primary just hours away, presidential candidates are taking one last pass through the Keystone State, reports the Inquirer: http://goo.gl/UBurTw

* At simultaneous news conferences, John Kasich and Ted Cruz agreed that they would join forces to ensure that Donald Trump does not become the Republican presidential nominee, according to the Inquirer: http://goo.gl/euiXAd  

* Vermont Democrat Bernie Sanders told “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he felt the Democratic Party had “not been fair” to him, in the self-described socialist’s bid for the White House: http://goo.gl/jubWdu  

 

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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 gsalisbury@cityandstatepa.com. Want to advertise in the issue? Email David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com.

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* In an op-ed for Philadelphia magazine’s Citified section, Bernie Sanders explains why he doesn’t support Mayor Kenney’s proposed sugary drink tax, basing his objection around the disproportionate impact it would have on the city’s poorest families: http://goo.gl/snHqFD

* The Inquirer editorial board gives the nod to John Kasich for the GOP presidential primary, citing his experience and ability to run a competitive campaign in the general election: http://goo.gl/7r0IVz

* The Daily News editorial board also endorses Kasich in the GOP primary, calling him “the only adult at the table” - http://goo.gl/4JTvbs

* Salena Zito’s Tribune-Review op-ed explores the sudden re-emergence to relevance of voters in western Pennsylvania – and the mad scramble by both parties to try to appeal to them in this election cycle: http://goo.gl/64hpnV      

* A Daily News op-ed by Christine Flowers recaps the struggles she has had with being an anti-choice, “religion in the public square,” strong national defense Democrat over the decades, and how she finally made the decision to switch parties for this election – only to find that the Republican Party can be as unwelcoming as the Democratic one was: http://goo.gl/jn19M1   

* The Post-Gazette editorial board uses the recently ended federal investigation into the treatment of mentally ill prisoners in the state to call for reform of the PA prison system’s methods for caring for the mentally ill, and its use of solitary confinement: http://goo.gl/q3XrOm       

* In his syndicated column appearing in the Post-Gazette, George Will looks askance at the effort by a group of Attorneys General to criminalize what he deems “climate change skepticism”: http://goo.gl/LUlKPJ

 

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Want to be the first 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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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Rep. Keith Rothfus … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at editor@cityandstatepa.com

 

TODAY’S SKED:

2 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will swear in departmental integrity officers. Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall Room 202, Philadelphia.

4 p.m. – Donald Trump holds a rally at West Chester University. 700 S. High St., West Chester.

7 p.m. - Trump holds a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. 255 Highlands Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Township.

7:30 p.m. – Hillary Clinton will hold a GOTV event in the City Hall courtyard. 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia.

8 p.m - Bernie Sanders will hold a GOTV Rally featuring Kendrick Sampson and Susan Sarandon at Drexel University. Daskalakis Athletic Center, 3301 Market St., Philadelphia.

 

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Want to advertise in First Read?

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

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KICKER: “I talked to a Republican legislator who told me, ‘You know, Brian, if I was seen talking with you, I would get called into the speaker's office.' I said, ‘Is it really that bad?' He said, ‘It is that bad,'” – former Democratic state Rep Brian Clark describes toxic partisanship in modern-day Harrisburg, from The Tribune-Review.