2/15 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. There was no better place to be in Pa. yesterday afternoon than the hallway outside the office where nominating petitions were due.

New new maps: The Legislative Reapportionment Commission meets today to unveil its revamped state House and Senate maps in the wake of the Pa. Supreme Court’s decision.

Correction: The LRC does not have a meeting scheduled today. Rather, today was the deadline for caucus leaders to present their versions of the new map to Chairman Stephen McEwen. The LRC meets next Wednesday, Feb. 22, to unveil them.

Petition Signature Roundup: Here’s the full list of candidates who have filed so far, and some of the more impressive numbers of petition signatures from the various campaigns.

PA-Sen Poll: The GOP may be in serious trouble when it comes to Sen. Bob Casey’s seat. Last Friday, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review released a poll in which 72% of GOP voters stated they are unsure which of the six candidates they will support in the race.

3 Dems V. Kelly: Three Democrats are preparing their bids against Rep. Mike Kelly in the NWPA 3rd congressional district.

Murphy Vulnerable? Conservative primary challenger Evan Feinberg is getting noticed. Politico did a feature this week listing the top five U.S. House incumbents most vulnerable to a primary challenge, and Rep. Tim Murphy made the list.

Legislative Election Updates

These are going to be very confusing for the next two days, so look for a more global view on PoliticsPA. We’ll highlight really standout tidbits, but mostly we’ll stick to full articles about the entire state until the ballots are finalized.

HD-151: William Sylianteng, a Whitpain attorney who lost a bid for the Montgomery Township Board of Supervisors in 2009, said he is the party’s only candidate in the race to challenge incumbent Republican Todd Stephens.

National:
Pennsylvania Ave.: Pa. Dems Raise Money Off Santorum Success
Pennsylvania Ave.: Pat Toomey On CNN: Anchor’s Facts Are Factually Ridiculous
Slate: Congress nears sweeping payroll tax, jobless benefits deal
USA Today: Santorum still hasn’t released tax returns
USA Today: Are the Maine GOP caucus results in doubt?
USA Today: Poll: Santorum tied with Romney nationally
The Caucus Romney defends opposition to auto industry bailout
NY Times: In Michigan race, Santorum wants to turn attention away from social issues and back to jobs
NY Times: Economic gains give lift to Obama in new poll
The Hill: Reid will allow vote on repeal of administration’s birth control mandate
The Hill: White House issues veto threat on House transportation bill, citing Keystone XL
provision
The Hill: Geithner: Tax hikes must be part of the budget
Washington Post: Romney faces major test in Michigan primary, once thought an easy win
Washington Post: Santorum ad says he has “best chance” to beat Obama
Politico: No guarantees for Gingrich in Georgia
Politico: Romney’s risky pivot to social issues
Politico: Report: 1.8 million dead registered to vote, other flaws
The Hill: Lawmakers seek fight over Arctic drilling, oil taxes on highway bill
Pottstown Mercury: President infringes on religious freedom
Politico: SGR fix gets more challenging
Roll Call: New Democrat coalition seeks influence
Politico: 5 most vulnerable House incumbents
The Republic: Obama and 4 GOP candidates file for Pa. ballot

Statewide:
Capitol Ideas: Prevailing wage bill collapses in the House: Republicans can’t muster votes
Capitol Ideas: Also, Rick Santorum got glitter bombed in Tacoma
Capitol Ideas: Pat Toomey tells off Soledad O’Brien: “That’s factually ridiculous”
Capitol Ideas: The House tries to put down its marker on transportation funding
State House Sound Bites: On impact fee, PUC says it’ll play umpire, not advocate
State House Sound Bites: AIDS advocates call for Hershey boycott
State House Sound Bites: Links: Impact fee & other key bills signed into law, and Penn State’s $3.2M scandal
PA Independent: Corbett seeks $161M from nursing home care to help balance PA’s budget
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: Impact fee now law, and drilling the Lockatong Shale in Bucks County
StateImpactPA: DEP hopeful a buyer will emerge to keep ConocoPhillips Refinery open
StateImpactPA: PUC Chair says comission will “let the play come to us”
StateImpactPA: Vertical exploratory wells won’t be hit with fee
StateImpactPA: Township prepares impact fee challenge
StateImpactPA: Obama’s plan to expand fracking research
Capitolwire: PUC to out-source collection, distribution of shale impact fee
Capitolwire: Only three in ten tracked from adultBasic to new insurance
Capitolwire: Budget won’t cut impact agency operations, says DGS Sec. Phillips
Capitolwire: Department of General Services continues to focus on reducing vehicle fleet, says Sec. Phillips
Capitolwire: OFF THE FLOOR: Moving primary? Not so fast
Capitolwire: Senate Democrats question Corbett’s budget priorities, revenue assumptions
Patriot-News: State Sen. Orie and Sister To Be Tried Separately In Retrial
Patriot-News: Ex-Rep. Michael Veon’s Corruption Trial To Enter 2nd Day Of Jury Selection
Inquirer: Corbett defends higher-ed cuts
Somerset Daily American: Wozniak cites experience in bid for another term
Washington Post: Rail and trucking industries call a truce
Fair Warning: Feds leaving cities, states in dark on billboard safety

Philly:
Daily News: City to sell off PGW
Inquirer: Poll: nutter’s rating up despite growing concern
Daily News: Philadelphia launches free tree program
Inquirer: It looks as if Philadelphia is ready to sell of PGW
Philadelphia Weekly: ACLU sues city of Philadelphia on behalf of Gun rights activist
WhYY Newsworks: Audit finds Philadelphia school sin trouble
Phillynow.com: Gov. Tom Corbett signs shale bill in private
Inquirer: Casey, Williams introduce bill to make witness intimidation a federal crime

SEPA:
WHYY Newsworks: Move toward fracking in Bucks County
Pottstown Mercury: In wake of NJ, Washington bills, locals voice their views on gay marriage
Montgomery Media: Bucks Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick talks the economy, energy, and America’s debt problem
Philly Burbs: Obama budget provides $47M for new joint base hanger
Delco Times: 100 employees at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook refinery get final notices
Montgomery Media: Montgomery Township resident to challenge state Rep. Todd Stephens for 151st

Pittsburgh:
Tribune-Review: $67 million requested for pipeline safety
Tribune-Review: Bloomfield health care gets a lift
Tribune-Review: Orie sisters to be tried separately
Post-Gazette: Seneca Valley rejects changes to wellness policy
KDKA: KDKA’s Andy Sheehan gets inside look at fracking process

Southwest:
Beaver County Times: Housing market heats up, but Beaver County is lagging
Indiana Gazette: EPA examining gas drilling in southwestern Pennsylvania
Indiana Gazette: Sierra Club plans to sue Homer City power plant
Somerset Daily American: Somerset plans to auction former elementary schools
WJAC: Windber mayor proposes community merger

Lehigh Valley:
Express Times:Saucon Valley School Board holds off eliminating per capita tax
Express Times: Lower Nazereth sues foreclosed developer
Express Times: Jesse Jackson in Bethlehem: Gaps grow in education and health care
Reading Eagle: Prosecutor moves from county to state position
Reading Eagle: Jason Brodereck: Time at bottom of the economic ladder brief?
Morning Call: Transportation bills streamline projects

NEPA:
The Times Leader: Luzerne County 2 percent tax hike approved
The Times Leader: Caseloads, pays don’t match up
Times Tribune: Mobile home park owner is done fighting with the Department of Environmental Protection
Times Tribune: Ex-MEM president: Company was a Ponzi scheme
Times Tribune: School construction could be put on hold in NEPA
Times Tribune: NEPA senators tangle over budget priorities
Times Tribune: Area tourism chiefs worry Corbett’s budget could stifle their message
Citizens Voice: Judges strike down Bear Creek Twp.’s taking of land for charter school
Citizens Voice: Layoff decision will come after budget vote
Citizens Voice: Lawton delays start as county manager
Citizens Voice:  Corbett combines social services spending in hopes of savings
Wayne Independent: General Assembly to impose impact fee
Wayne Independent: Council to meet with auditors, request joint audit with Texas Twp.
Standard Speaker: County taxpayers blast budget plan
The Daily Review: Drugs a moving target
The Daily Review: Canton hears of ‘uncertain state’ of public education
The Daily Review: Sheshequin Twp. dissolves planning commission
Pocono Record: Pocono Mountain parents protest too many cuts – or not enough
Pocono Record: Millersville University drops three sports amid budget crunch

South Central:
Patriot-News: Commonwealth Court To Hold Public Hearing on Harrisburg’s Fiscal Recovery Plan
York Daily Record: Today is the filing deadline for Congressional candidates

North by Northwest:
Williamsport Sun Gazette:Yaw calls gas impact fee fair, reasonable
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Time running out for candidates to file petitions
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Corbett signs 3 key energy-sector bills
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Southern Tioga board approves next step in building project
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Township keeping same response system
Courier Express: District, teachers ink contract
Centre Daily Times: Leaders lament retreat
Sharon Herald: Lean budget forces deep cuts
Erie Times-News: Commission won’t investigate Erie councilman

Opinion:
The Daily Review: Opinion: Bigger isn’t always better
Wayne Independent: Opinion: Statistics on public schools very interesting
Times Tribune: Editorial: Make deal just partial one
Times Tribune: Opinion: Letters to the Editor 2-14-12
The Times Leader: Opinion: Formulate plan for safer schools
The Times Leader: Opinion: Mail Bag – Letters from readers
Jeff McNelly, ARIPPA, Patriot-News: Anti-coal Agenda Is Detrimental to Pennsylvania
Tribune-Review: Obama’s budget: A bogus plan
Post-Gazette: Not so special: SOCOM’s bid for independence is mistake
Post-Gazette: NRA strikes bck: A bill to shoot down local gun measures moves
Post-Gazette: New energy duties: It it makes sense for the PUC to deal with drilling
Tribune-Review: Santorum knows best?
Tribune-Review: Catholic church’s grand bargain backfires
Reading Eagle: Voting districts should be equal contiguous, compact
Morning Call: Allentown City Council will vote on waste-to-energy- plant
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Jobless rate drop develops into trend
Courier Express: Marcellus gas poses environmental risk, but it sure beats coal or nuclear

Blogs:
Young Philly Politics: Gov’s block grant plan for county human services
Keystone State Education Coalition: Scientific literature on early-childhood brain development
Commonwealth Foundation: Who would oppose reforming a costly, unnecessary law?
Commonwealth Foundation: Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Obama budget: Monument to irresponsibility or serious effort?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Who will take control in Bethlehem?
Lehigh Valley Independent: 8th Street was built in two years
Lehigh Valley Independent: Independents abandoning Romney
Lehigh Valley Independent: Will lack of credit hold back the rental boom?
NEPArtisan: Humans screw up lake by contamination
2 Political Junkies: Santorum: New GOP frontrunner?
Keystone Politics: Fitzpatrick breaking with House Republicans on transportation bill
Keystone Politics: Judge Kelly Ballentine dismissed her own parking tickets
John Hanger: U.S. ranks second in big world wind market
John Hanger: Gas has bridged the U.S. to declining coal generation and a cleaner environment
Penn Patriot: Five years of corruption trials and counting

February 15th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments