The Big Talk takes a look at new possible license plate requirement, a text scam with AT&T customers and another attack on Colonel Mastriano

CHAMBERSBURG – Every weekday morning on First News, the local – live morning radio information show with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen features the big talk topics and opinion from local Attorney Clint Barkdoll.

On September 23, the Big Talk discussed the uncollected tolls from the PA Turnpike, the latest text scam and Jake Corman’s latest shot at Senator Doug Mastriano. 

Front license plates could be a possibility for PA drivers

The PA Senate had a hearing yesterday about uncollected PA Turnpike tolls that come from people just smashing through the booths without paying.

There is apparently more than $104 million that’s owed the Turnpike Commission in uncollected tolls.

One idea that came out of the hearing is putting license plates on the front of cars in PA. It appears that there’s bipartisan support for the idea.

PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission said they’re going to come back with a report on the cost of putting licenses on the front of cars as a way of collecting unpaid tolls.

It sounds like there could be a real chance of the General Assembly approving the requirement of having a front license plate on every car in PA.

Ryan wondered, “What are they all worried about? They’re just going to pass it on to Michele, you and I. What’s the big deal? I’m surprised it’s lasted this long, but then again, I’ve got a state full of ridiculous liquor laws. It’s doesn’t surprise me that you haven’t had front plates. From where I have traveled from before, front plates? That’s just a natural, but they’re just going to put it on the people that are driving around here. What’s the big deal?”

Barkdoll said, “Well, that’s right. If you’re the driver or the owner of the car, if they pass this, you’re the one that would have to pay for the additional plate. Who knows how what that would cost, but even if it’s a nominal $20 or $25, obviously millions and millions of dollars in new revenue to the state, but the people at PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission are pointing out if there’s front plates, these cameras that capture the images of the cars moving in and out of those plazas that don’t pay will have a better chance at not only finding these people, but tracking them down because many times the back plates, they’re not able to capture the full image on because they might have a bike rack or something on there that has it obscured, where if they have the front and the back, there’s a better chance they’ll capture a better image.”

If you have AT&T watch out for the latest text scam

Scam texts are going out to AT&T numbers, including one that provides a link for a $950 COVID refund. If you click the link, it’ll put malware on your phone or there’s a form with your personal information and if you fill it out, people will have information to get into your bank account or your credit.

Barkdoll said, “Be really careful. If you get any kind of a text like that, it is a scam. These companies are not sending out alerts that you’re entitled to refunds. Nothing related to COVID or that you’ve won a contest. Just immediately delete it. Don’t even leave it on your phone.”

Senator Jake Corman takes another pot shot at Colonel Mastriano

Yesterday, President Pro Tempore of the PA Senate, Jake Corman has confirmed through his office that Senator Doug Mastriano no longer has access to any closed-door caucus meetings, which is where lawmakers meet privately to discuss bills and legislative strategy.

Barkdoll said, “I think this is just unprecedented, to keep someone out, in their own party, to keep someone out of those meetings. Now they’re saying Doug would still have virtual access to the materials, but they’re not letting him inside of the meetings. This really seems like it has gotten bad. Maybe there’s more going on than we know. We’ve heard Corman’s comments about Mastriano. We’ve heard Mastriano’s comments about Corman and it really seems like Corman is doing what he can to retaliate and to try to sort of castigate Doug and marginalize him to a point where he’s not going to be participating in legislative discussions.”

Ryan asked, “What’s Doug’s move then?”

“You know, I don’t know,” Barkdoll said. “I’m curious to see if Doug comes out with any kind of an announcement. He’s being placed in a really difficult, awkward situation here. I mean, he is duly elected. Whether Corman and others like it or not, he is the Senator, duly elected that represents this district. I think Corman is really doing a disservice to the citizens of Pennsylvania that live in this district. The idea that Corman can say your Senator can’t be in these private caucus meetings when we’re discussing bills and legislative strategy, I mean that’s a disservice to everyone that’s living in this district and I think Corman needs to look at it that way instead of looking at it as a personal attack on Doug.”