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Profile Information

Name: Kathy Hinsman
Gender: Female
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Pittsburgh
Member since: Sat Feb 18, 2017, 02:16 PM
Number of posts: 24,142

Journal Archives

If Hell really exists, does the Devil give participation awards?

Oz's lead over McCormick shrinks to less than 1,000 votes as automatic recount nears

Caption: Allegheny County elections workers review provisional ballots with authorized representatives from Dave McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz's campaigns, Monday, May 23, 2022, on the North Side. (photo credit: Alexandra Wimley/Post-Gazette)

(Link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/05/23/mehmet-oz-dave-mccormick-votes-guaranteeing-automatic-recount-in-gop-senate-race/stories/202205230084

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette May 23, 2022

Mehmet Oz’s lead in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary shrunk to under 1,000 votes on Monday as Allegheny and other Pennsylvania counties tallied provisional ballots and prepared for the all-but-certain prospect of an automatic recount.

In one of the most closely watched Senate primaries in the country, Mr. Oz led former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick by 992 votes — of more than 1.34 million cast in the race — as of late Monday evening, almost a week removed from the primary election.

With the margin still so tight and both campaigns jockeying for any vote they can get before a likely recount, Mr. McCormick’s campaign asked the Commonwealth Court, in legal paperwork filed late Monday evening, to require Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to tally mail-in ballots that are missing a handwritten date on the return envelope.

There’s no official estimate of how many of these undated ballots exist across the state, but in Allegheny County, the county with the most registered Republicans in Pennsylvania, there are 42 GOP ballots that meet this criteria, election officials said.

- more at link -

The entire count could be completed by as early as Tuesday when the military and civilian overseas absentee ballots will be opened and counted. However there's no way to determine how many are Republican votes until the ballots are opened and counted. In any case, the absentee ballots won't be enough to give a clear lead to either candidate. The state will most likely initiate an automatic recount which could take another two weeks.

Josh Shapiro (running for Governor of PA) is a "pro"


Josh Shapiro

I've been a pro-choice, pro-democracy, pro-union Attorney General — and I'll be a pro-choice, pro-democracy, pro-union Governor, too.
7:15 PM · May 22, 2022

How Doug Mastriano built a grassroots movement on election denial, Christianity and Facebook

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/05/23/doug-mastriano-for-governor-2022-pennsylvania-election-fraud-abortion-stance-views-january-6-capitol-insurrection-josh-shapiro/stories/202205220179

Spotlight article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Spotlight PA
May 23, 2022

HARRISBURG — Two years ago, one Republican operative responded to the thought of a Doug Mastriano gubernatorial run with: “Seriously?”

Now, despite last-minute efforts by Republican insiders, he is Pennsylvania’s GOP nominee for governor.

The 58-year-old, arch-conservative state senator and retired Army colonel won 44% of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial results, defying the last-minute efforts of top consultants and party bigwigs to cast him as unelectable against Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro.


He also was a middling fundraiser, raising just $1.5 million — fifth-most in the GOP field, but almost all from individual, small-dollar donors. And he garnered just a handful of endorsements from state GOP officials, instead racking up endorsements from former Trump administration officials, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

So Mr. Mastriano’s win, insiders told Spotlight PA, cannot be attributed to prolific fundraising or institutional support, but to a grassroots movement slowly built through sharing those beliefs in earnest social media videos and during intimate gatherings, often in speeches riddled with sarcasm, historical allusions, and attacks on his perceived enemies in the media and across the political spectrum.

- MUCH MORE at link -

Mastriano is implicated in the Jan.6th investigation and he was named on a subpoena to turn over documents or appear for questioning. His activities in "Big Lie" coup have yet to be fully explained to the voters of Pennsylvania. Things should get very interesting before next November!

Josh Shapiro defends primary ad tying Doug Mastriano to Donald Trump

(Link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/05/23/josh-shapiro-doug-mastriano-tv-ad-pa-primary-for-governor-election-2022-trump-ultra-maga/stories/202205230070

Josh Shapiro, the newly nominated Democratic candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, defended on Sunday a television ad that he ran that appeared to elevate the standing of the Republican rival he will face in November — a man Mr. Shapiro has called the country’s most extreme candidate for governor.

The ad is part of a long-held strategy among campaign tacticians: elevate your most extreme rival and peel away disaffected moderates from that rival’s party come November. Last week, Axios noted that the rise of far-right, Trump-aligned candidates could test this theory and that Democrats are “trying to engineer the rise of ultra-MAGA candidates they feel will be easier to defeat in a general election.”

But in today’s highly polarized environment, in which party affiliation is deeply interwoven with people’s sense of identity, that strategy could backfire, as many Democrats were stunned to learn in 2016.

During the Republican primary in Pennsylvania, Mr. Shapiro, the state’s attorney general, ran an ad that called state Sen. Doug Mastriano “one of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters.” The ad went on to say that Mr. Mastriano “wants to end vote by mail. He led the fight to audit the 2020 election. If Mastriano wins, it’s a win for what Donald Trump stands for.”

- more at link -

CNN's Dana Bash suggested that Shapiro's primary ad was "irresponsible" because it boosted Mastriano even though he hadn't been chosen as the GOP candidate yet. Shapiro replied that it wasn't because Mastriano had been leading the crowded GOP field for weeks. Mr. Shapiro, who was running uncontested for the Democratic nomination, said he was eager to have voters understand the choice they would soon face.

Editorial: Botched Lancaster ballots undermine voter confidence

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2022/05/19/parties-must-work-together-to-enhance-voter-confidence-in-elections/stories/202205190132

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette May 20, 2022

16,000 botched mail-in votes in Lancaster County could determine the outcome of the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Now, imagine a similar scenario playing out in a Pennsylvania county in the 2024 presidential election. It could lead to a constitutional crisis.

“Election integrity” may have become a Republican talking point, but it’s responding to two genuine realities: Regular snafus in the collecting and counting of votes, such as the Lancaster mess, and understandable unease among voters about the competent administration of elections. Yes, some people prattle about “election integrity” in a cynical bid to undermine results they don’t like, and disappointed candidates try to console themselves by claiming the other side stole the election.

But there are also many, many voters who are innocently concerned for America’s democratic institutions. They look at major mistakes like Lancaster’s and worry: “Can we trust this process? Does it matter if I vote?” Not because they’re conspiracy theorists or wannabe insurrectionists, but because these are reasonable questions to ask.

Some try to dismiss these citizens as anti-democratic cranks, but this is counterproductive. It denies the observable reality of election mistakes, and only increases suspicion as people wonder why their honest concern is treated with derision. Screaming “nothing to see here!” always attracts more attention than it distracts.

In Lancaster, a coding error made by the county’s mail-in ballot vendor (NPC Inc., of Blair County) rendered 16,000 ballots unreadable by scanners. Now county officials have to painstakingly fill in new ballots based on the originals, then scan them. This is, incredibly, the second time in two years — with different vendors! — the county has had to do this.

The process is moving forward with professionalism. Three people are involved with each ballot: One who reads the original, one who marks the replacement and one who watches to make sure they got it right. Representatives for GOP Senate frontrunners Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick, who are currently separated by fewer than 1,500 votes statewide, are circulating. We have every reason to believe the count will be accurate.

- more at link -

Can the Lancaster County Board of Elections at least hire a proofreader? How about a trained volunteer? SOMEBODY has to check these ballots before they get printed and mailed.

Lancaster County reports issues with mail-in ballots

Link to AP story: https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-government-and-politics-pennsylvania-lancaster-bd842e11a00211eb61e8e4fcd53adbc8

3:36 p.m.

Lancaster County reports issues with mail-in ballots

An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties made thousands of mail-in ballots unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation’s most important battleground states.

Officials in Lancaster County, the state’s sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly. The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can’t be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days. Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.

“Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” Josh Parsons, a Republican and vice chair of the county board of commissioners, said at a news conference. “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.”

The Lancaster Board of Elections, of which Parsons is a member, renewed its criticism of a 2019 state voting law that expanded mail-in balloting but prevented counties from opening mailed ballots before Election Day to check for errors.

The board said the law, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support, also forces counties to use vendors to print ballots rather than doing them in house.

“Act 77 is untenable for us as counties to continue to work in elections and not have problems like this,” said Ray D’Agostino, chairman of the Lancaster board.

The vendor’s error left county officials with the task of having to hand-mark thousands of fresh ballots, a process that was expected to start Wednesday morning. For ballots that won’t scan, county election workers will recreate voters’ choices on blank ballots, and then scan those.

— Associated Press

Please note: the excerpt above is from the same AP story that was published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today. However the link to the AP Wire story on top of the page is more complete and more recent.

Pa.'s richest person has spent $18 million on the 2022 primary -- mostly to influence one issue

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2022/05/16/jeff-yass-pennsylvania-primary-spending-democrats-republicans-influence-philadelphia-spotlight/stories/202205160073

HARRISBURG — What does a conservative upstart challenging a top House Republican in York County have in common with a scion of a Democratic political family facing a progressive primary in Philadelphia?

Despite differing priorities and positions, both candidates’ campaigns are beneficiaries of the political largess of billionaire Jeff Yass, a Montgomery County investor and Pennsylvania’s richest denizen. A billionaire who turned gambling winnings into one of the largest stock trading companies in the U.S., Mr. Yass is a registered Libertarian, according to Pennsylvania Department of State records.

- snip -

Mr. Yass’ allies, including many who spend or have sought his dollars, argue he is a single-issue donor who backs candidates who support alternatives to public schools.

“It’s no secret,” longtime conservative activist Matt Brouillette said. “Where Jeff and [his wife] Janine invest their philanthropy and political dollars, they are passionate about getting kids to better schools.”

But critics from various political backgrounds argued Mr. Yass’ spending prioritizes peddling influence or inserting his ideology into both major parties, whether the issue is privatizing public schools or cutting taxes.

- more at link -

(caption) A graphic showing how Jeff Yass' money filters through several PACs to reach a candidate.
(Graphic by Spotlight PA)

Pittsburgh to Ukraine: Locals prepare for overseas journey to deliver humanitarian aid

(link) https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2022/05/16/pittsburgh-leaders-ukraine-refugee-humanitarian-aid-europe-russia-moscow/stories/202205160049

Whether stuffed to the brim in suitcases, or packed high onto wooden pallets, medical supplies are much needed by Ukrainians during Russia’s invasion — and two Pittsburghers are prepared to deliver that aid themselves this month.

During separate but overlapping voyages, Duquesne music professor Steve Benham and the Rev. Jason Charron of the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie are ready to take hygiene kits, medical prescriptions, and first aid packages to Ukrainians holding out in the fourth month of the grinding war.

Ten suitcases of supplies were packaged by Music and World Cultures, the nonprofit where Mr. Benham serves as president, and which boasts decades-long ties to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Father Charron is helping the Brother’s Brother Foundation oversee its own delivery, the result of a fundraising drive where local hospital chains and Pittsburghers donated over 80 pallets worth of critical supplies.

- more at link above -

Brother's Brother Foundation is a non-denominational disaster-relief organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brother's Brother has gone all over the world wherever medical help and supplies are needed, following hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, etc. Currently a humanitarian trip to Lviv, Ukraine through Poland is planned for May 25th.

Learn more about Brother's Brother Foundation and donate here: https://brothersbrother.org/

Trying to decide if this cartoon is funny (or not)

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