Dave Davies

Dave Davies is a guest host for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

In addition to his role at Fresh Air, Davies is a senior reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. Prior to WHYY, he spent 19 years as a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, covering government and politics.

Before joining the Daily News in 1990, Davies was city hall bureau chief for KYW News Radio, Philadelphia's commercial all-news station. From 1982 to 1986, Davies was a reporter for WHYY covering local issues and filing reports for NPR. He also edited a community newspaper in Philadelphia and has worked as a teacher, a cab driver and a welder.

Davies is a graduate of the University of Texas.

Candidate Laura Ellsworth, seeking the Republican Party's nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election bid next year takes part in the Montgomery County Republican Committee gubernatorial forum in Blue Bell, Pa., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

After being outspent and outshouted for months in the Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial primary, Laura Ellsworth is getting air time, endorsements, and — she hopes — a surge toward the finish line.

Ellsworth, a Pittsburgh attorney, never had the personal wealth to compete with state Sen. Scott Wagner and Pittsburgh businessman Paul Mango, each of whom invested millions in their own campaigns.

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Pennsylvania businessman Paul Mango (left) and state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, are engaged in an increasingly nasty campaign for the GOP nod to take on Gov. Tom Wolf in November.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

With less than five weeks to go before the Pennsylvania primary, the blistering attacks between  Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Wagner and Paul Mango are getting more intense and personal.

In the latest exchange, Wagner’s daughter Katharine speaks directly into the camera answering a Mango ad that calls Wagner a “deadbeat dad.”

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Here's a couple of memorable moments from the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Personal essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with a stray cat who became his companion for 19 years.

"There's just a certain reservoir of affection we all have that needs to be expressed in the literal sense, and so we will lavish it on pets," Kreider says. "Those are less complicated, less demanding relationships than human relationships."

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Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her parents were religious fundamentalists who stockpiled food, mistrusted the government and believed in strict gender roles for their seven children.

As a girl, Westover says, "There wasn't ever any question about what my future would look like: I would get married when I was 17 or 18, and I would be given some corner of the farm and my husband would put a house on it and we would have kids."

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Christian Picciolini was 14 years old when he attended the first gathering of what would become the Hammerskin Nation, a violent, white-power skinhead group. Looking back, he describes his introduction to the group as receiving a "lifeline of acceptance."

"I felt a sort of energy flow through me that I had never felt before — as if I was a part of something greater than myself," he says.

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Peter Morgan, creator of the Netflix series The Crown, has an unusual take on Britain's royals. He says, "Let's just stop thinking about them as a royal family for just a second and think about them as just a regular family."

Like any family, Morgan says, the House of Windsor has its share of shame, regret and "misdemeanors of the past;" and, of course, "no family is complete without an embarrassing uncle." In the case of the Windsors, the uncle in question was King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne 1936, paving the way for Elizabeth to become queen in 1952.

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The Pennsylvania Judicial Center
AP / AP

On Tuesday, Pennsylvanians will elect seven judges to statewide appellate courts — one justice to the Supreme Court; two members of Commonwealth Court, which hears cases involving government policy; and four judges to Superior Court, which hears appeals in criminal and civil cases.

Franklin & Marshall College political analyst Terry Madonna said the judicial seats are important, since they affect lives, and the winners can generally stay there as long as they want.

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Decades before NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African-Americans, boxer Muhammad Ali roiled white America with his 1967 resistance to the Vietnam War draft.

The boxer had converted to the Nation of Islam a few years earlier, and he explained his resistance to the war by saying, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong."

After Marine Sgt. Thomas ("TJ") Brennan was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan in 2010, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to recall much of his immediate past — including, at times, the name of his own daughter.

"When I got blown up, it erased a lot of my memories," Brennan says.

On May 25, 1978, a package exploded at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., injuring a security guard. It was the first of a series of 16 bombings that would occur over the next 17 years, killing three people and injuring many others. The suspect in the case, a shadowy figure who frequently used the U.S. mail to send his homemade explosives, became known as the "Unabomber."

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photo: AP

 At a news conference on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday they're joining 14 other states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to delay the implementation of new, tougher standards for ozone in the air.

 Our air isn't as nasty as it used to be, but the EPA determined under the Obama administration that tougher standards are needed. You don't have to have to be a scientist to see that, Shapiro said.

Tales from the American West are marked by heroism, romance and plenty of cruelty. Among those stories, the saga of the Donner Party stands alone — a band of pioneers set out in covered wagons for California, and eventually, stranded, snowbound and starving, resorted to cannibalism.

AP file photo

The Republican tide in Pennsylvania Tuesday wasn't limited to the presidential election and the U.S. Senate race. The GOP captured a super-majority in the state Senate as well.

Though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pennsylvania, the GOP came into Election Day with a lopsided 31-19 edge in the state Senate.

The party targeted seats held by Democrats in the Erie, Johnstown and Harrisburg areas, and hoped to keep a Delaware County seat held by Sen. Tom Killion just since a special election in April.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

 

I've been hearing for weeks that if you drove through western and central Pennsylvania, you'd see Trump signs everywhere, like mushrooms.

How could the polls showing Hillary Clinton so far ahead in the state have been so wrong?

Trump, who happily ignored the conventional tools of political campaigns, just did it his way and won.

An early look at the numbers suggests it was Trump's ability to excite and expand his populist base that got the job done.

NewsWorks file photo

 

While Pennsylvania Democrats are optimistic about winning the presidential race Tuesday, some party leaders worry about state Senate contests.

Democrats hold a voter registration edge in Pennsylvania, but the 50-member state Senate has 31 Republicans and only 19 Democrats.

If the Republicans can flip three Democratic seats to the GOP, they'll have a veto-proof majority in the Senate. And they've poured campaign cash into capturing seats in the Erie, Johnstown, and Harrisburg areas.

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