The Philadelphia suburbs are home to some of the most competitive races in the country.
Congressional seats, state Senate seats, and state House seats are all up for grabs in the city's collar counties, which have grown more liberal in recent years.
Such high stakes can lead to election shenanigans or — depending on how you see things — political paranoia.
In Delaware County, two Democratic committee people's campaign signs went missing last month. Karen McCunny and Marie Turnbull had put up the signs to broadcast their support of Democratic state representative candidate Jen O'Mara.
McCunny checked her security camera and made a shocking discovery: A man in a Springfield Township car had removed her sign.
Springfield Township Police Chief Joseph Daly said authorities later determined that the township employee, whom he declined to name, had taken both women's signs — at the direction of his boss.
"He probably would have been charged, but he was under instruction by somebody," Daly said of the worker.
According to Daly, the employee believed "there was some long-term agreement that nobody contemporary remembers" between Democrats and Republicans to not put up political signs in the township before Oct. 1. How political parties could ever keep such a promise — and why a township worker would ever think to uphold it — isn't entirely clear.
McCunny and Turnbull call it political hijinks.
"I definitely think we were targeted because we are Democratic committee members," Turnbull said. "They're threatened because Jennifer O'Mara is running a good campaign."
"My gut feeling is that they were just taking Democrats' signs," McCunny added.
Delaware County Republican Party leader Andrew Reilly said, "There was no orchestrated or township-wide sanctioned effort to remove lawn signs. … It was an employee operating under an old policy."
Asked if the township employee's superior was being reprimanded, Daly said, "All that was passed over to" Springfield Township Manager Lee Fulton. Fulton did not respond to a request for comment.
"From their point of view, I would think the same thing," Daly said of the Democrats' belief that the sign brouhaha was politically motivated. "But I'm a proof guy. I just don't know if it's true or not."
The general election is 11 days away, and you're probably already sick of campaign mailers piling up at your residence. But if you live in Pennsylvania's 157th House District, expect at least one more.
A Chester County judge this week declared as "fraudulent" a mailing from a political action committee that inaccurately accused Republican State Rep. Warren Kampf of "living large on thousands of dollars in per diems."
Members of the legislature can collect $183 in tax-free per diems for travel expenses without providing receipts if they live outside a 50-mile radius of the state Capitol, all courtesy of taxpayers.
Kampf, seeking a fifth term in a district that covers parts of Chester and Montgomery Counties, doesn't collect per diems and never has. Instead, he files for individual expenses, such as miles and meals.
The judge ordered PA Fund for Change, a pro-Democratic PAC that has declined to reveal details about its donors and spending plans, to send another mailing to about 12,000 addresses that received the first one, acknowledging it as deceptive.
Shelly Chauncey, an attorney for the PAC, said the ruling was disappointing: "We don't see the difference between per diems and accepting tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursement payments. In the grand scheme of things, it's all the same concept."
A juicy bit of political intelligence came to the surface when Kampf testified for an injunction: His polling numbers against Democrat Melissa Shusterman have taken a nosedive in the closing weeks of the election.
"Things are more difficult for me, according to the polls I've heard about in the last couple of weeks, probably because of the barrage of mail the Fund for Change has made about me," Kampf said.
A ponytail? Good God.
We had to see this monstrosity. But when we fact-checked Krasner and the New Yorker, we found plenty of evidence showing Krasner didn't have a ponytail — and no evidence showing he did.
A tipster forwarded Clout a photo of Krasner in 1992, when he was in his early 30s, apparently without a ponytail. We unearthed another image of him at age 40 in 2001 that also appears to show him sans ponytail.
We sent Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, a copy of the evidence and asked him if the New Yorker got it wrong.
"This photo is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office," he said. "Due to office policy, I am unable to comment further at this time."