Pennsylvania Dem Threatens To Withhold Funding From University of Pittsburgh Over Conservative Speakers

A Pennsylvania lawmaker on Tuesday issued what free speech advocates are calling a veiled threat to withhold funding from the University of Pittsburgh over the school’s decision to allow several conservative speakers on campus.

During an appropriations hearing on university funding, Pennsylvania state representative La’Tasha Mayes (D.) demanded that Pitt disinvite Cabot Phillips, Riley Gaines, and Michael Knowles from upcoming campus events. All three speakers have a history of “targeting transgender students,” Mayes claimed—especially Knowles, whom she accused of saying that “transgender people should be eradicated.”

Mayes called on university chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who was at the hearing to request additional funding from the state, to “cancel the speakers who are coming to campus”—implying that she might vote against his request if he did not. Mayes did not respond to a request for comment.

The exchange alarmed Speech First, a legal nonprofit focused on First Amendment issues, which called Mayes’s remarks an “abuse of power.”

“The state is saying that if the university doesn’t violate its students’ First Amendment rights, then their funding could be at risk,” Cherise Trump, Speech First’s executive director, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Lawmakers shouldn’t be using veiled threats to hold funding over universities simply because they don’t like a person who was invited to speak.”

The shakedown highlights the growing willingness of progressive lawmakers to target offensive speech, in part by putting pressure on universities that permit it. In January 2022, for example, Democrats in both the Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania State Senate urged the University of Pennsylvania to fire Amy Wax, the tenured law professor who has drawn fire for her views on race and immigration. Other Democrats, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Maryland senator Ben Cardin, have falsely claimed that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment.

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AI tool used to spot child abuse allegedly targets parents with disabilities

Since 2016, social workers in a Pennsylvania county have relied on an algorithm to help them determine which child welfare calls warrant further investigation. Now, the Justice Department is reportedly scrutinizing the controversial family-screening tool over concerns that using the algorithm may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by allegedly discriminating against families with disabilities, the Associated Press reported, including families with mental health issues.

Three anonymous sources broke their confidentiality agreements with the Justice Department, confirming to AP that civil rights attorneys have been fielding complaints since last fall and have grown increasingly concerned about alleged biases built into the Allegheny County Family Screening Tool. While the full scope of the Justice Department’s alleged scrutiny is currently unknown, the Civil Rights Division is seemingly interested in learning more about how using the data-driven tool could potentially be hardening historical systemic biases against people with disabilities.

The county describes its predictive risk modeling tool as a preferred resource to reduce human error for social workers benefiting from the algorithm’s rapid analysis of “hundreds of data elements for each person involved in an allegation of child maltreatment.” That includes “data points tied to disabilities in children, parents, and other members of local households,” Allegheny County told AP. Those data points contribute to an overall risk score that helps determine if a child should be removed from their home.

Although the county told AP that social workers can override the tool’s recommendations and that the algorithm has been updated “several times” to remove disabilities-related data points, critics worry that the screening tool may still be automating discrimination. This is particularly concerning because the Pennsylvania algorithm has inspired similar tools used in California and Colorado, AP reported. Oregon stopped using its family-screening tool over similar concerns that its algorithm may be exacerbating racial biases in its child welfare data.

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New Details Emerge in Deaths of Daughter and Parents in Pennsylvania As Coroner Releases Findings

Three people found dead Wednesday from gunshot wounds to their heads planned their murder-suicide deaths, York County, Pennsylvania’s coroner determined.

York County Coroner Pamela Gay identified the three deceased as James Daub, 62, Deborah Daub, 59, and their 26-year-old daughter, Morgan Daub.

Based on a detailed investigation and evidence found at the scene, the coroner determined all three family members had preplanned their deaths. Communications from the family members was among the evidence, according to an ABC27 report.

Dr. Gay said in a statement that the three family members were found dead in the back yard of their 2098 Loman Avenue residence in West Manchester Township.

The daughter posted a video to YouTube the day before the three were found dead that consisted of just the phrase: “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

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Pennsylvania AG Announces Arrest in ‘Widespread’ Ballot Fraud Operation Days After Midterm Elections

Only days after a midterm election that dragged on for days beyond Election Day, Pennsylvania’s attorney announced the arrest of a Democratic consultant for orchestrating ‘widespread’ ballot fraud that included forging thousands of signatures.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Wednesday announced the arrest of Rasheen Crews, a Philadelphia-based Democratic consultant, for charges related to forging signatures on nomination petitions to get his clients on the ballot for the 2019 Democratic primary races in Philadelphia.

“In advance of the 2023 municipal elections, this arrest is an important reminder that interfering with the integrity of our elections is a serious crime,” said AG Shapiro. “By soliciting and organizing the wide scale forgery of signatures, the defendant undermined the democratic process and Philadelphians’ right to a free and fair election. My office is dedicated to upholding the integrity of the election process across the Commonwealth, to ensure everyone can participate in Pennsylvania’s future.”

It is telling that the Attorney General waited until after the 2023 midterm elections to announce the arrest for the 2019 crimes. If the announcement had come earlier, it would have drawn much more scrutiny to a Pennsylvania election process that was far from regular.

“An investigation by the Office of Attorney General found that in 2019, multiple candidates hired Crews to help them obtain the requisite amount of signatures needed for their nomination petitions for the Democratic primary races. Crews recruited individuals to help with the petition work, bringing them to a hotel room and asking them to write names, addresses, and forged signatures on multiple petitions,” Shapiro’s office announed on the arrest. “Crews then had these petitions notarized and filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State on behalf of his clients.”

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Ellen Greenberg ‘suicide’: Pennsylvania court hears arguments in family’s bid to overrule medical examiner

For more than a decade, the family of a woman stabbed 20 times — including 10 from behind — has battled to have the Philadelphia medical examiner’s ruling that her death was a suicide overturned.

Ellen Greenberg, a 27-year-old teacher, was found covered in bruises and stabbed to death in her apartment during a blizzard more than a decade ago. Despite the blood-soaked crime scene, evidence her body had been moved and stab wounds to the back of her skull, investigators found “no evidence of a struggle in the kitchen area or anywhere else in the apartment.”

Dr. Marlon Osbourne, a former pathologist at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, initially ruled the death a homicide, based on the injuries, then backtracked and revised the manner of death to suicide after conferring with city police, according to a civil lawsuit from Greenberg’s family.

An appeals court heard arguments in a civil lawsuit this week and will decide whether it can move to trial.

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Good Samaritan Killed by Violent Cop While Rendering Aid to Shooting Victim

Kenneth Vineyard, 48, is the type of man who would run up to a complete stranger who lay bleeding on the ground and do anything he could to help him. In fact, that is exactly what he did on Sunday when a shooting unfolded in a Walmart parking lot. Unfortunately for Vineyard, however, this would be his last act of kindness thanks to Pennsylvania’s finest — who killed him for it.

Vineyard’s family is now demanding justice after an officer with the Center Township Police Department walked up to Vineyard as he helped a complete stranger and killed him.

“This appears to be another instance of senseless police violence,” said attorney Joel Sansone, according to KDKA.

According to police, Vineyard was at the Monaca Walmart with his fiancé on Sunday afternoon when gunfire erupted in the parking lot. Vineyard was not involved in the shooting. Police said Rashaun Smith, 20, was shot in the abdomen by Yeshua Bratcher, 23, and Vineyard simply ran up to Smith and began rendering aid.

“As the victim of that shooting lay bleeding, a Good Samaritan named Kenneth Vineyard rushed to the victim to render aid,” said Sansone.

Vineyard stopped Smith’s bleeding until paramedics arrived. When paramedics began helping Smith, Vineyard backed away and let them work. That’s when a man in plainclothes — who was a Center Township police officer — approached Vineyard and began barking orders.

Vineyard told the officer that he had just helped the shooting victim and was trying to make his way back to his fiancé. The officer couldn’t have cared less, however, and violently attacked Vineyard, according to Sansone. The officer reportedly shoved Vineyard to the pavement so hard that it killed him.

“The unidentified man insisted Mr. Vineyard step away and violently pushed Mr. Vineyard to the ground where he struck his head on the pavement,” Sansone said.

According to Sansone, Vineyard’s fiancé began chest compressions immediately while the first responders on the scene jumped in to help as well but he had no pulse. Vineyard was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sansone says he has video of the officer shoving Vineyard as well as witness statements that corroborate his claims. “We want the name of the individual who caused this death and we intend to sue him and possibly others,” said Sansone.

“This officer should be immediately suspended pending the outcome of this investigation if the facts are as I’ve been told. He should be arrested and charged with manslaughter at the very least,” he added.

Although state police claim to be investigating the attack, the officer involved has yet to even be interviewed. Yeshua Bratcher, however, has been found, arrested, and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and a firearms violation.

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Fetterman Predicts ‘Dramatic’ Overnight Comeback, Taps Clinton Lawyer To Fight PA Election Law

Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and Democratic US Senate candidate John Fetterman predicted on Monday that his Republican challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, will take an early lead on election day, only for a “dramatic” change to happen overnight as more ballots are counted, according to the Western Journal.

Counting for ballots cast by mail and early in-person cannot begin until Election Day, thanks to the GOP-controlled legislature — an intentional move to help Republicans baselessly sow doubt about the election results when it suits them,” Fetterman wrote in a memo to “interested parties,” reads a memo from Fetterman, according to the Washington Post.

Pennsylvania is one of only eight states that bans pre-processing of early mail-in ballots, forcing county officials to wait until 7 a.m. on Tuesday to begin opening returned ballots and scanning them into the system,” he added.

Fetterman pointed to the 1.4 million mail-in ballots requested, saying they will skew heavily Democratic when counted.

The journalistic consortium Spotlight PA reported that roughly 70 percent of the mail-in ballot requests came from registered Democrats. -Western Journal

“The biggest share of absentee and mail ballot requests came from Allegheny County [which includes Pittsburgh] and Philadelphia — nearly a quarter of the total,” Spotlight reports.

“Because Pennsylvania is one of the only states that reports Election Day totals first before ballots cast by mail, and because more populated counties around Philadelphia can take longer to report, we should expect one of the most dramatic shifts in the country from initial GOP support in early results to stronger Democratic gains as more votes are processed,” said Fetterman.

Meanwhile, Fetterman has tapped controversial Clinton lawyer Marc Elias’ firm to challenge Pennsylvania election provisions.

As Jonathan Turley writes;

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman and other Democrats have filed a federal lawsuit to strike down parts of Pennsylvania’s election law after the state Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots with incorrect dates or no dates should not be counted.Fetterman is challenging the state law on constitutional and federal statutes. He has turned to a controversial former lawyer for Hillary Clinton to seek to strike down the provision.

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Pennsylvania Taxpayers Spent $16.7 Million On Trans Treatments For Minors Since 2015

A new public records request reveals how millions of taxpayer dollars have funded controversial “gender-affirming” medical treatments for trans-identifying minors in Pennsylvania. 

The Pennsylvania Family Institute, a non-profit representing family values, filed a right-to-know request with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to find out exactly how much taxpayer money has been spent on medically transitioning children and adolescents in the state. The request revealed that since 2015 more than $16.7 million in tax dollars have been spent on puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and gender-related surgeries for minors.

“When Gov. [Tom] Wolf took office, he unilaterally changed state policy to cover things like double mastectomies to remove healthy breasts from minor girls and irreversible experimental hormones for children,” said Emily Kreps with PA Family Institute. “The same drugs used to chemically castrate convicted sex offenders are being funded by tax dollars for minors. This type of ‘care’ is happening right now at major institutions like CHOP, Penn State Health and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh—especially to children in foster care.”

In 2015, Democrat Governor Tom Wolf took office, nominating Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender pediatrician, as Pennsylvania’s physician general. Before becoming the Assistant Secretary of Health to the Biden administration, Levine worked for six years to advance “LGBTQ rights,” including access to “gender-affirming” care. Levine has pressed for insurance coverage for medical gender transition at the state and federal levels. From 2015 to 2021, Pennsylvania saw a nearly 5000% increase in spending on “gender-affirming” care for minors under 18.

The request included data from Fee-For-Service (FFS) paid claims, Physical Health (PH) HealthChoices paid encounters, and Behavioral Health (BH) HealthChoices paid encounters available in Pennsylvania DHS’ PROMISe from January 1, 2015, through October 21, 2022.

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The Media’s Cover-Up of John Fetterman

It should now be crystal clear why Democrat John Fetterman refused to take part in more than a single debate with his Republican Senate rival, Mehmet Oz, and why Fetterman insisted on pushing that debate to just two weeks before Election Day—after at least 500,000 Pennsylvania voters had already voted.

Last night’s debate was an unmitigated disaster. 

A disaster for Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor—who appeared confused and could barely manage a coherent sentence, let alone a complete paragraph.

And a disaster for Pennsylvania voters, who didn’t get the tough, substantive debate they deserved, one that would have pushed Oz to explain, among other things, why he was distancing himself from Donald Trump (without whom he wouldn’t be the nominee); his position on abortion; China; and how he plans to bring down gas prices.

Oz had some solid talking points, but they were just that—talking points. But Fetterman lacked even those.

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Pennsylvania Elementary School Training Introduces 5-Year-Olds To Transgenderism

A Pennsylvania elementary school held a training for educators to teach them how to create a “gender-inclusive” classroom and affirm LGBTQ identities, according to documents provided by No Left Turn in Education to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Fern Hills Elementary School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, hosted an Aug. 24 teacher training titled “An Intro to LGBTQ Education: Cultivating Gender Inclusive Classrooms” put on by LGBTQ activist Aneesah Smith, according to documents obtained by the DCNF. The training provided the elementary school teachers with picture books and lessons for kids as young as kindergarten on transgenderism to incorporate into their classroom.

“Why are our elementary school teachers focused on gender ideology rather than teaching our children reading, writing, arithmetic, history and science?” Yael Levin, chief communications officer of No Left Turn in Education, a group focused on parental rights in education, told the DCNF. “Why are our schools even touching on subjects that belong with the parents, especially in children ranging from 5 to 11? And more importantly, why are our children being evaluated based on whether they are using the term gender expression and if they understand the meaning of the word.”

Smith is a “queer, Christian, cisgender, woman of color” and the director of diversity equity and inclusion at Penn State Abington who has been in social justice activism for more than 12 years, according to her website. She hosts a variety of training sessions including “understanding & supporting your LGBTQ+ child” and “cultivating campus climate considering intersectionality,” a workshop on addressing unconscious bias within campus offices and programs.

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