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PA Dem in district that voted for Trump says he's a moderate, but voting record tells another story

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A Pennsylvania congressman who has touted himself as a “moderate” despite being in the Congressional Progressive Caucus is anticipated to have one of the most closely-watched congressional elections this year as he works to again defend his seat in a district that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020. 

“I am a moderate, so don’t be worried about me running off with Nancy Pelosi,” Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright said in 2014 during a debate in the lead up to his first re-election.

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Nearly a decade later, voting records show Cartwright overwhelmingly voted in line with Nancy Pelosi when she served as House Speaker, and has continued his membership with the left-wing Congressional Progressive Caucus as a handful of other left-wing Democrats left the group following the war in Israel or over cost of membership. 

Cartwright was first sworn into Congress in 2013, where he represented Pennsylvania’s 17th District before the state redistricted in 2018, when Cartwright was elected to represent the state’s 8th District. 

PENNSYLVANIA ELECTION RESULTS: REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT WINS RE-ELECTION AGAINST TRUMP-ENDORSED CHALLENGER

Representative Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, speaks during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 28, 2020. Photographer: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Getty Images)

“His priorities in Congress include strengthening the middle class, creating jobs, ensuring quality health care, protecting seniors, and supporting veterans and military families. A strong believer in working with members of both political parties, he has introduced more bills with Democratic and Republican support than any other House Democrat since he was first elected,” Cartwright’s congressional biography states. 

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The 8th District is located in Pennsylvania’s northeastern portion of the state, and includes cities such as Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, encompassing Wayne, Pike, and Lackawanna counties, as well as portions of Luzerne and Monroe counties. 

Cartwright is up for re-election again this year, when Pennsylvania will take center stage as a top battleground state as Trump and President Biden tee up another face-off for the White House. 

ONE OF NATION’S MOST VULNERABLE DEMOCRATS COZIES UP TO BIDEN FOR PENNSYLVANIA RALLY

Cartwright’s district voted to re-elect Trump in 2020, carrying the district by 2.9 points over Biden. While Cartwright defeated his Republican congressional challenger by just over 7,000 votes of the 286,886 cast that year, New York Times data shows. 

Former President Donald Trump clapping

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally to support local candidates on Sept. 3, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

His re-election campaign this year is anticipated to be closely watched, as he is one of just nine districts across the country where Democrats are working to defend their seats after Trump won the districts in the 2020 presidential election. 

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In comments to Fox News Digital, the Republican congressional candidate for Pennsylvania’s 8th District, Rob Bresnahan, took issue with Cartwright’s repeated proclamations of support for Pennsylvania’s working class while remaining in Congress’ left-wing Progressive Caucus. 

“Every election year Matt Cartwright proclaims ‘I work for you’ to the working class voters of the 8th District. How could that be true as a member of the radical Progressive Caucus? It’s not. Matt Cartwright represents the radical left, and they own his vote,” Bresnahan said. 

Fox News Digital repeatedly emailed and called Cartwright’s campaign, congressional office, and press secretary for comment since last week, but did not receive a reply. 

DEM REP. CARTWRIGHT DOWNPLAYS VIRGINIA GOVERNOR RACE’S SIGNIFICANCE: WILL BE ‘DIM MEMORY’ BY MIDTERMS

The Progressive Caucus was established in 1991 by lawmakers such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, and California Rep. Maxine Waters. The group is now chaired by Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and represents the Democratic Party’s most left-leaning members, including each member of the Squad. 

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Nancy Pelosi and Matt Cartwright

UNITED STATES – JULY 20: Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., speaks during a news conference on the Child Tax Credit in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Also appearing from left are Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Getty Images )

The caucus has bled membership in recent months, most notably after war broke out in Israel in October, with Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Zoe Lofgren of California both confirming this month they are no longer with the caucus, citing cost of membership. Earlier this year, New York Rep. Ritchie Torres also left the caucus after disagreeing with the group on the war in Israel, while Florida Rep. Lois Frankel left last year over similar reasons, Axios reported.  

Progressive Caucus members

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 24: U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) held a news conference to discuss the debt ceiling negotiations. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Fox News Digital examined Cartwright’s voting record for the 117th Congress, which began and 2021 and officially ended last year, and found he agreed with New York Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on 95% of votes, and agreed with Progressive Caucus Chair Jaypal on 97% of votes, data published by ProPublica shows. 

FOX NEWS POLL: PENNSYLVANIA LOOKS HEADED FOR ANOTHER TIGHT RACE IN 2024

Despite saying he would not be “running off with Nancy Pelosi” in 2014, his voting record for the 117th Congress also shows he voted in line with Pelosi a whopping 100% of the time. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Daily Kos, a left-wing blog outlet, reported this month that even after winning his district in 2022 following Trump’s win in 2020, Bresnahan “may be the toughest challenger for Cartwright yet,” while the Cook Political Report lists the seat as a “Democratic toss up” and Politics Pennsylvania lists his seat as “vulnerable.” 

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A recent Fox News poll found Pennsylvania overall is expected to hold another nail-biter election this presidential election. In the presumptive presidential rematch, Trump has a narrow edge over Biden among Pennsylvania registered voters, at 49% to Biden’s 47%, according to a poll released last Wednesday. The 2-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

AHEAD OF 2024 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, SWING STATE PENNSYLVANIA SETS UP ELECTION SECURITY TASK FORCE

In his previous 2022 campaign, Cartwright detailed on his website that his top priorities included: lowering prices “from the grocery aisle to the gas pump;” “protecting and expanding access to affordable health care for all northeastern Pennsylvanians;” defending the military and veterans; funding and supporting police; finding solutions to the opioid epidemic and strengthening the education system. 

“Matt Cartwright has spent his entire career sticking up for working people, first as a trial attorney and now as the congressman in Pennsylvania’s Eighth District. He is a fighter for all hardworking northeastern Pennsylvanians, standing up to corporate special interests and Washington insiders to lower prices, protect and expand access to health care, and grow our local economy,” his campaign website states. 

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Marinella said in comment to Fox News Digital that Cartwright presents himself as a moderate in order to “squeeze out a vote” while pushing left-wing policies. 

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“Matt Cartwright is the embodiment of a lying politician who will do and say anything to squeeze out a vote. Cartwright thinks his voters are fools who are willing to believe he’s a moderate, while he has personally crafted the extreme policies of the far left wing of the Democrat Party,” Marinella said. 

CONSERVATIVES RALLY BEHIND PENNSYLVANIA AMISH FARMER WHO SUFFERED POLICE RAID OVER MILK SALES

Capitol Dome

The U.S. Capitol is seen lit by the morning sun. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

Cartwright, who is a senior member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, voted for Democratic legislation such as the Build Back Better Act, co-sponsed Medicare for All legislation, and has voiced support for some policies in the Green New Deal.

Cartwright is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, which will be held next month. Republican challenger Bresnahan, a fifth-generation native of Luzerne County and CEO of Kuharchik Construction, is anticipated to face Cartwright in the general election on Nov. 5. 

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Boston, MA

WBUR is laying off 7 employees, 24 workers taking buyouts at Boston NPR station: ‘A significant loss’

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WBUR is laying off 7 employees, 24 workers taking buyouts at Boston NPR station: ‘A significant loss’


Facing a financial crisis, WBUR has announced that Boston’s NPR station is laying off seven employees and 24 others are taking buyouts.

These job cuts come weeks after the station on Commonwealth Avenue warned of possible job cuts.

WBUR’s on-air sponsorship income plummeted by about $7 million in recent years, and the station is looking to begin the next fiscal year with a budget that’s at least $4 million lower than this year.

“I will begin with the hardest news,” CEO Margaret Low wrote to staff members on Wednesday. “We are laying off seven people, including three part-time colleagues. This means valued co-workers are losing their jobs and will leave WBUR before the end of June.”

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“It’s painful to lose longtime colleagues and friends and we’ll make time in the weeks ahead to recognize those who will depart,” Low added.

The station has also been offering buyouts, and 24 employees are taking them.

“The number of people who raised their hand allowed us to limit the number of layoffs,” the CEO said.

Among those taking the package are four members of the senior leadership team: Pete Matthews, Del Reese, Mike Steffon and Karl Voelker.

“This is a significant loss of institutional history,” Low said. “It’s worth noting that three of the four have been at WBUR (or Boston University) for more than 25 years. They all saw the Voluntary Program as a rare opportunity to turn the page and do something new.”

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The buyout total number won’t be firm until May 1 when employees must formally commit to the voluntary buyout program.

Beyond the layoffs and buyouts, WBUR plans to cut expenses across the board. WBUR is eliminating nine unfilled positions, cutting travel costs, spending less or negotiating lower rates on contracted services.

“A small but not insignificant item — we will no longer buy Peet’s Coffee,” the CEO said. “Thanks to our Business Partnerships team, we now have a trade deal with a local coffee roaster — Fazenda. This will save WBUR thousands of dollars a year. Finally, we will no longer cover cell phone costs for any non-represented colleagues.”

These cuts come as WBUR has the top share for a radio news station in the city.

“There is so much for all of us to be proud of, but I recognize that this has been a tough period for everyone at WBUR,” Low said. “Change of this magnitude is very hard.”

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Pittsburg, PA

Operator of Pittsburgh-area casino fined $10,000 for letting in gambler on self-exclusion list

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Operator of Pittsburgh-area casino fined $10,000 for letting in gambler on self-exclusion list


Pennsylvania lawmaker to introduce legislation to tackle dark side of online gambling

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Pennsylvania lawmaker to introduce legislation to tackle dark side of online gambling

03:12

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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The operator of Hollywood Casino at The Meadows in Washington County has been fined $10,000 for letting someone gamble who was on a self-exclusion list, officials announced. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved a consent agreement on Wednesday to fine Washington Trotting Association, LLC, which operates the casino.

The board said a person on the self-exclusion list was allowed inside to gamble at slot machines and cash checks at the casino. When someone puts themselves on the list, a casino operator has to deny gaming and cash-checking privileges, the board says.

If a person on the self-exclusion list is caught in a gaming facility, they can be charged with defiant trespass, which the board says happened in this case. 

In October, the Live! Casino in Westmoreland County was fined $30,000 for letting in someone who was underage and two people who were self-excluded from gambling. 

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The board says it offers self-exclusion programs to help people distance themselves from the temptation of gambling. It allows people to voluntarily ban themselves from casinos, internet-based gambling, video gaming terminals and fantasy sports wagering. 

Last year, Pennsylvania brought in a record $5.7 billion in revenue from gambling, and in March, the state’s monthly gaming revenue passed $500 million for the first time since legalized gambling began in 2006.



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Connecticut

Man accused of using Uber to bring girls from CT group home faces decades in prison for sex crimes

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Man accused of using Uber to bring girls from CT group home faces decades in prison for sex crimes


A 28-year old man has been accused of hiring a ride share service to pick up teenage girls living at a state-run group home in West Hartford and deliver them to hotels and shopping malls in Connecticut and New York where he filmed himself sexually abusing them.

Nicolas “Breezy” Brown, who is believed to live in New York City, faces decades in prison after being indicted this week on two child pornography charges by a federal grand jury in New Haven.

The FBI learned in mid-March from the state Department of Children and Families, the group home operator, that someone calling himself Breezy was hiring Uber drivers to pick up girls and deliver them “to different hotels throughout the state,” according to an FBI affidavit. Two of the girls, aged 15 and 16, are minors and one recently turned 18.

Fast rise in AI nudes of teens has unprepared schools, legal system scrambling for solutions

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Subsequent investigation developed evidence that Brown had been arranging, since March 5, to have the girls delivered to hotels and shopping malls where he filmed himself abusing them, according to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

At one point early in March, the 15- and 16-year old girls stayed with Brown at Travelodge in South Hackensack, N.J. for four days. He had promised them a short term home rental in Manhattan, but diverted to New Jersey when that didn’t work out, according to the affidavit

The first interaction with the minor girls apparently took place at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford, where they remained with Brown for seven hours before West Hartford police interceded. The police learned the girls were at the hotel after questioning the Uber driver, but Brown escaped after the 18-year-old girl spotted police in the hotel lobby and tipped him off, according to the affidavit.

Brown is accused of abusing and filming girls at shopping malls or hotels on four more occasions before he was apprehended on March 20 by the FBI and police, who were tipped off by Uber that he was at a Quality Inn in Danbury waiting for girls to be dropped off. Brown tried but failed to escape by jumping out a second floor window, according to the affidavit.

Three spokesmen for the Department of Children and Families were not immediately available to discuss the case. Brown has been denied bail and is in custody.

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He is charged with production of child pornography, an offense that, if convicted, carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and with possessing and accessing with intent to view child pornography, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.



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