Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Rep. Todd Platts surprised everyone yesterday. The 6-term York lawmaker announced that he will retire, citing in part his support for term limits. It unleashed an immediate search for the GOP nominee, as the winner of the ensuing primary will be a Congressman. State Rep. Scott Perry appears to be the front runner.
#SOPA Headache for Holden? We notice a few left-leaning blogs are zinging the Congressman for his co-sponsorship of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which critics (including pretty much anyone who ever had anything to do with creating the internet), say would undermine the freedom that makes the web possible. His soon-to-be primary opponent Matt Cartwright (who will announce in a day or two, sources say) opposes it. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) is also a co-sponsor.
A Post-Bonusgate Ethics Issue? A cost-saving policy by the DOS, or disregard for the post-Bonusgate ethical climate? Staffers are confused and critics are calling hypocrisy on the Corbett administration.
SuperPAC in the PA-Sen Race: The SuperPAC craze has come to Pennsylvania, where a group favoring Bucks County businessman, veterans’ advocate and U.S. Senate hopeful David Christian has popped up and is giving grief to two of the front runners in the race.
WPa Laborers Endorse Critz: Rep. Mark Critz won another labor endorsement Tuesday afternoon: the Laborers District Council of Western Pennsylvania. It’s a solid pickup for Critz, who must battle fellow Democrat Rep. Jason Altmire in a primary this April.
Welch’s Chesco Endorsements: Just in time for the PAGOP’s southeast caucus meeting, Steve Welch won the endorsement of two Chesco officials: DA Tom Hogan and State Rep. Dan Truitt.
Featherman to Challenge Brady: Republican John Featherman has once again set his sights on public office, but this time around he’s aiming a little higher.
Some Dems Embrace GOP Maps: In Pennsylvania, a trio of Democrats — Reps. Jason Altmire, Mike Doyle and Robert Brady — helped rally support from Democratic state legislators to pass a GOP-drafted congressional remap even though it shored up more than a half-dozen vulnerable Republicans and guaranteed that at least one Democrat would lose a seat. Altmire wrote a letter to statehouse members to “respectfully ask for your support of the new map as drawn.”
O’Pake Center Seeking Director: Alvernia University in Reading is seeking applications for the founding Director of the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service. The Institute is named in memory of the late Senator Michael O’Pake whose life exemplified devotion to ethical leadership throughout his distinguished career in public service.
Legislative Election Updates
HD-20: Former Ross Twp. commissioner Mark Purcell will again challenge incumbent state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl in the 20th legislative district, after losing to the mayor’s brother by 15 points two years ago.
HD-24: State Rep. Joe Preston, has drawn a primary challenge from City Democratic committee chairman Ed Gainey. Again. Gainey barely lost to Preston in 2006.
HD-45: Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell will officially announce his campaign today for Chester County’s new state House seat.
HD-60: An Armstrong County sources reports that former Freeport Area School District Superintendent Don Tylinski is likely to challenge Rep. Jeff Pyle in the Republican primary.
HD-88: State Rep. Sheryl Delozier, of Lower Allen Township, officially announced her re-election bid Tuesday. “The previous administration left the taxpayers of Pennsylvania holding the bag, leaving behind a terrible economy and a $4.5 billion deficit,” Delozier said. “A lot of Harrisburg insiders thought we should just raise taxes. Instead we worked on a fiscally responsible budget that cut wasteful spending and balanced the budget without raising taxes on our small businesses or working families.” She faces a possible primary challenge from Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger.
HD-200: A judge overturned another judge’s decision to toss a DUI charge against Rep. Cherelle Parker in a district that loves Democratic primaires.
AP: Appeals court refuses to add Perry to VA ballot
AP: Romney says he pays about 15% in income tax
AP: Romney looking to clinch GOP nomination in Florida
AP: PA US rep says he’ll retire at the end of this year
AP: House GOP chair got discounted loan
AP: A look at key moments in the SC GOP debate
AP: Romney says he may release tax returns in April
Politico: Newt: Why’s Mitt waiting on taxes?
FOX 29: Supreme Court declines public prayer cases
FOX 29: Obama to accept nomination at Bank of America Stadium
FOX 29: Gingrich sets demand for Muslim politicians
FOX 29: Ron Paul picks up endorsements, vows to stay in race
Politico: Santorum’s South Carolina Hurdle: Electability
The Big Tent: Baptist Rick Perry Pointedly Praises Santorum As ‘Good Catholic’
The Mercury: Expansion in pre-K programs curtailed in recession
Pennsylvania Ave: Unemployment extension clears Senate labor committee
Politico: Newt urges Santorum, Perry to drop out and unite behind his campaign
Poiltico: Rick Santorum’s South Carolina primary challenge: Electability doubts
Politico: Perry: Santorum a ‘good Catholic’
Politico: South Carolina GOP debate: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich confront Mitt Romney
Politico: Rick Perry loses appeal to get on Republican presidential primary ballot in Virginia
Five Thirty Eight: The myth of ‘Anybody but Romney’
The Washington Post: Rick Santorum: I may have won Iowa
The Washington Post: Romney’s rivals vie to be the sole conservative alternative
The Washington Post: Newt Gingrich says he’d be ‘delighted’ with Rick Santorum endorsement
The Washington Post: Super PACs: GOP rivals reap benefits of groups they claim to disdain
The Washington Post: Rick Santorum endorsement: An evangelical-Catholic truce or marriage of convenience
National Journal: Santorum accesses Romney of ‘dirty, dishonest politics’
CNN Politics: Gingrich urges Santorum, Perry to drop out
The Hill: Republican primary calendar tilts in Romney’s favor after South Carolina
The Hill: Santorum optimistic he won Iowa in final vote tally
New York Times: Romney looks past weekend’s primary as rivals find new hope
New York Times: Risks for GOP on attacks with racial themes
New York Times: A spare lectern and little left to chance at Republican debate
The Caucus: Court rejects candidates’ effort to appear on Virginia ballot
USA Today: GOP candidates debate economic issues
USA Today: GOP candidates sharpen Romney attacks in debate
Slate: Perry, Gingrich and Santorum enter the 36 chambers of commerce
Early Returns: Campaign Journal: Gingrich & Perry
Early Returns: Campaign Journal: Florence, S.C.
New York Daily News: Santorum rips Romney over felon voting rights
AP: PA high court OKs redistricting hearing telecast
Capitol Ideas: Fracktivists Call On Lawmakers To Kill Drilling Bills
Capitolwire (Paywall): Marcellus Shale Zoning Measure Target of Protest
State House Sounds Bites: Environmental Activists Decry House and Senate Shale Bills
Capitol Ideas: Unemployment Extension Clears Senate Labor Committee
Capitolwire (Paywall): Senate Panel Moves Bill To Allow Pennsylvanians To Continue To Access Extended Unemployment Benefits
Capitolwire (Paywall): Lawmakers Continue To Push For Fix To Discrepancies In Pay Rates for Corrections Personnel
Delaware County Times: Short-Term Deal Between Chester Upland, State Ensures Teachers Are Paid For Few More Weeks
Early Returns: Privatization Task Force Convenes In Public
State House Sound Bites: Housing Group Says Cuts To Certain Programs Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish
WHYY Newsworks: PA lawmakers urged to try again on drilling impact fee
WHYY Newsworks: Housing advocates press PA for continued funding
StateImpact Pennsylvania: Electricity prices drop as shale spurs natural gas glut
The Mercury: Firing of PA conservation panel official decried
Washington Post: PA Rep. Todd Platts to retire
Essential Public Radio: Report: Break up comprehensive Shale bills
WHYY Newsworks: FIT Kids bill pushes to get children moving
Early Returns: US Senate forum Friday in Murrysville
York Daily Record: Local Tea Party leader: end endorsements before primaries
philly.com: Report finds safety flaws, promises fixes in Philly SD
philly.com: Report: Swaps cost city, school district $331 million
Philadelphia Inquirer: Former school official: Ackerman steered contract
Philadelphia Daily News: Kindness in honor of King
Philadelphia Daily News: Occupiers set down new roots in Kensington
Philadelphia Weekly: Occupy Philly struggles to regroup
Philadelphia Inquirer: Longtime Narberth leader ready for relaxation
Philadelphia Inquirer: New Chester mayor has upbeat vision
Philadelphia Inquirer: Chester, Gloucester Counties to lead growth in Philadelphia-area population
FOX 29: Chester-Upland schools state takeover possible
ABC 6: Chester-Upland to get $3.2 million from state
ABC 6: Neshaminy teachers say they’ll return to work
CBS 3: Judge OKs infusion of funds for foundering Chester-Upland school district
The Mercury: Pottstown bucking national trend of slowing early education efforts
Courier Times: Teachers to return to work Friday, another strike could be called in Spring
Delco Times: Chester residents ready to press fight for schools
Delco Times: ConocoPhillips, steelworkers reach tentative agreement on severance packages
Ambler Gazette: Upper Dublin forming committee to evaluate engineering candidates
Ambler Gazette: Ambler community to hold co-op meeting
Daily Local: Campos remembered for his work in Coatesville community
Daily Local: Borough council takes next step in moving forward with financing
Tribune Review: Orie retrial delayed
Tribune Review: Harrisburg group calls for stronger controls on Marcellus shale drilling
Tribune Review: Pa lags behind in supporting public research universities
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County begin joint financial system
Early Returns: Privatization task force convenes
Early Returns: U.S senate forum, Friday in Murrysville
Post-Gazette: Agreement on permit saves 700 miner jobs (mentions Mark Critz)
Post-Gazette: U.S. Senate forum Friday in Murrysville
Post-Gazette: Is PA18 in for a Democratic takeover?
Morning Call: Macungie Council votes to restore budget cuts
Morning Call: Allentown managing director resigns
Reading Eagle: Township imperiling businesses, owners say
Express Times: Mansfield Township officials approve controversial solar project
Express Times Local coalition rallies against Corbett budget freeze
AP: Santorum fights back aganst critics with barbs
Times Leader: Council to examine code for personnel-Mike
Times Leader: Officials vague on hospital news
AP: Romney goes after Santorum on felons voting
Times Leader: Billionaire to back Santorum PAC
Times Tribune: A standalone Marcelllus bill moving to passage
Times Tribune: Cummings out of Senate race, but not politics
Citizens Voice: More injection wells proposed for Pa. sites
Wayne Independent: Several seek open mayor, council positions
Daily Review: Teamster strike, local picketing, ends in pipeline industry
WSJ: Paul picks up endorsements, vows to stay in Republican race
Pocono Record: Stroudsburg’s Ramsey elementary school may close
Pocono Record: Sen. Casey wants help in fight against meth
North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Pennsylvania regulators continue to hold off on changing 814 area code
Erie Times-News: Union City Borough increases property taxes
Erie Times-News: Rep. Kelly travels to Middle East
Chris Friend: Don’t Blame Sunoco, ConocoPhillips, or unions for refinery shutdowns
The Mercury: Media attacks on Santorum are off the mark
Philadelphia Weekly-Philly Now: Wikipedia to go dark tomorrow over SOPA and PIPA
Philadelphia Weekly-Philly Now: Highlights from Newsweek article about Karen Santorum’s former relationship
Philadelphia Daily News: John Baer: High-court justice’s woes: Its PA politics, as usual
Philadelphia Daily News: Nutter’s words on bad parenting are absolutely correct
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center: Too big to trust? Banks, schools and the problems of interest rate swapping
Times Tribune: ‘Super Pacs’ part of sham
Citizen’s Voice: Break the asset ceiling
Express Times: Plans to revive Easton’s federal judgeship
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center: Too big to trust? Banks, schools and the problems of interest rate swapping
CasablancaPA: If Justice Melvin has exposed the “junk in her trunk”
Lehigh Valley Independent: Moodys’ optimistic about on housing start for 2012
Keystone State Education Coalition: Latest on Chester/Upland school district funding situation
Commonwealth Foundation: Time for Pennsylvania to get right on crime
Commonwealth Foundation: Could anti-gas atmosphere prevent creation of 10,00 jobs?
Commonwealth Foundation: The education monopoly commandeers CNN
NEPArtisan: “Urination Gate”: Not a bad thing?
NEPArtisan: Unelectable when running, electable when not
2 Political Junkies: Another reason torture is immortal
Above Average Jane: A new candidate for 154th state house district emerges
Above Average Jane: Young Philly Politics’ report on attorney general vote
Keystone Liberty: Prevailing wage reformation possible in 2012
Keystone Politics: Gov. Corbett’s business tax cuts to blame for spending freeze
Keystone Politics: Why Pennsylvania needs stricter well bonding requirements for natural gas drilling
Keystone Politics: Delaware County should take over Chester-Upland school district
Keystone Politics: What do Democrats want in an attorney general?
John Hanger: Addicted to dirty, expensive gasoline when cheaper alternative exist
John Hanger: U.S. energy independence from Iran
Keystone Politics: What do Democrats want in an Attorney General?