2/20 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. The redistricting mess continues, and this time Democrats are looking at legal action.

Pa. Ballot Odds & Ends: We’ve taken a look at the ballot from the state department and pulled out a few interesting tidbits about the legislative races, like who’s facing a 2010 rematch, who’s getting a free pass, and what’s happening in the open seats. Enjoy!

Final List: Pa Ballot 2012: Here it is, the up-to-date list of every candidate for office in Pa. in 2012.

Dems, Lawsuit, Try to Force 2001 Lines: Last week we told you about Minority Leader Frank Dermody’s effort to fill the 6 vacant State House seats according to the 2001 lines – what Dems would essentially be the first nail in the coffin of plans to have the 2012 elections in newly drawn districts. Now, several citizens are suing Speaker Sam Smith to try and force it via litigation. Expect the Dems to launch a legal effort soon, too.

2/17 Ups & Downs: Candidates filed petitions this week, and some of them stood out. Those weren’t the only shenanigans in Harrisburg.

Congratulations to the Penn State University community who raised over $10 million for pediatric cancer this weekend!

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-29: Sen. Dave Argall is facing a challenge from within the Schuylkill Co. GOP, but he gets along well in the Berks Co. part of his district. “I am humbled to have the unanimous endorsement of the Republican Committee in Berks County,” said Argall in a release this weekend.  “The overwhelming support shows the grassroots structure we have in Berks County.”

SD-37: 2011 Allegheny Exec candidate Raja is on the ballot to replace Sen. John Pippy. The businessman will face in the primary GOP state committee woman Sue Means, and State Rep. Mark Mustio (who is also on the ballot for re-election to the state House).

SD-49: Retiring State sen. Jane Earll (R-Erie) endorsed Janet Anderson – the only Republican) – in the race to replace her. Anderson was the top pick of GOP recruiters in Harrisburg, but she faces an uphill battle to keep the seat in the R column; Dems have a 60-40 performance advantage there.

HD-5: Democrat Jason White is on the ballot for the seat of retiring Rep. John Evans (R-Erie). He’ll face Republican Greg Lucas in the GOP-leaning district. “I believe we can balance caring for the citizens of this state with fiscal responsibility.  It is irresponsibe to mortgage our future for short term gain which is what Governor Corbett is doing with his latest budget.  We need to elect people that will stand up to these reckless cuts in education,” he said in a statement.

HD-22: Shawn Lunny will be the fourth Dem on the ballot to replace Rep. Chelsa Wagner (D-Allegheny).

HD-31: Meet the two Republicans vying to face Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks): Helen Bosley, the GOPs officially endorsed candidate, is a Yardley-based financial consultant. Anne Chapman is a former executive committee member of the Bucks GOP.

HD-50: Dems declined to field alternative candidate to State Rep. Bill DeWeese, who was convicted for corruption this month.

HD-89: Susan Spicka, the Dem seeking to unseat Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), says in honor of President’s Day that if elected she will serve just 4 terms.

HD-112: NEPArtisan predicts Rep. Ken Smith will have a rough time in 2012 in light of revelations that he has nearly $300,000 in unpaid personal and business loans that he has not attempted to pay back – plus potential ethics violations.

HD-153: For the seat of now Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro, local Democrats endorsed Abington Township Commissioner Madeleine Dean, while the Republicans backed Nick Mattiacci, until recently an associate general counsel for the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Misc from NEPA: Most local state reps have primary challenges.

Have news or a tip about a state Senate or House race? Email it to press@politicspa.com. Wondering why your opponent’s statement got on the list and not yours? Add us to your press list!

National:
Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum is big labor? Pa. union leaders say ‘ridiculous’
Pennsylvania Ave: Disapproval of Obama campaign request for Santorum dirt
Politico: Voting Rights Act under siege
Politico: Ron Paul insists he can still win
Politico: McCain ‘concerned’ about November
Politico: Michele Bachmann: Republicans not anti-women
Roll Call: Eric Cantor: House GOP to focus on small-business measures
Five Thirty Eight: Santorum’s surge holds steady so far
Washington Post: Returning military members allege job discrimination – by federal government
Washington Post: GOP presidential candidates bring founding fathers back into political spotlight
Washington Post: Ezra Klein: With a second term go Obama’s accomplishments
Washington Post: Mitt Romney, as a student at a chatoic time for BYU, focused on family, church
Washington Post: Is Rick Santorum too conservative to win?
US News: The cost of President Obama’s Keystone XL dithering
National Journal: Daniels: Obama ‘totally AWOL’ on debt reduction
The Hill: Surging Santorum embraces media scrutiny on social issues
The Hill: Gallup poll shows Santorum with 8-point lead over Romney
New York Times: Rising gas prices give GOP issue to attack Obama
New York Times: In Maine, a county votes, Ron Paul wins, but not by enough to overtake Romney
New York Times: Tax cut extension passes; everyone claims a win
The Caucus: Santorum defends comments on Obama and education
The Caucus: In Georgia, Gingrich campaigns on guns and gas
The Big Tent: Santorum says Obama Health Care Law Encourages Abortions
Tribune Review: Feds, amend, add details to Bank of New York Mellon complaint
Tribune Review: Poll: Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton best recent presidents
AP: Santorum questions Obama’s Christianity
Tribune Review: Michigan pivotal for GOP front-runners
Tribune Review: House panel examines Solyndra loan guarantee
Post-gazette: Romney’s roots could harm, help in Michigan
NY Times: GOP pumped up over rising gas prices
Washington Post: Santorum success forces Dems to revise strategy
AP: Congress sends payroll tax cut bill to Obama
AP: Gingrich: Home states must wins for GOP candidates
AP: Obama campaign adviser says Santorum crossed line
My Santonio: Transportation forum raises funding troubles

Statewide:
AP: Gov. Corbett Calls Democrats Critical Of His Progress On Transportation Issues ‘ballsy’
Capitol Ideas: Democrats, Including Lehigh County’s Cunningham, Increase Pressure for Special Election
Capitolwire (Paywall): Letters Calling On Speaker Smith to announce special election date
Capitolwire (Paywall): Corman, Pippy say bills to provide more PLCB state revenue have support
State House Sound Bites: State Senators Hear Proposed LCB Reforms
Capitolwire (Paywall): DNCR Chief says predicted drop in Oil and Gas Lease Fund monies next year due to low natural gas prices
Patriot-News: Pa. Health Secretary Eli Avila Moves Egg Sandwich Dispute to Federal Court
Capitolwire (Paywall): State Police personnel issues worsening, causing concern the agency won’t be able to fuflill its duties
State House Sound Bites: What Your Smartphone Has To Do With Dip In Corporate Tax Revenue
Post-gazette: Map mania: Ruling roils 2012 politics
Early Returns: Candidate list, statehouse edition
Observer Reporter: Pa. House Dem leader wants elections to fill vacancies
Politico: Sununu: “Endorsements can be overrated”
Tribune Review: Democrats’ pick for House must fight temptation
Post-Gazette: Lawsuit seeks special elections in South Hills, elsewhere

Philadelphia:
The Inquirer: Casey no longer seen as quite so vulnerable
PhillyClout: Voters ask state Supreme Court to order special elections
KYW Newsradio: City councilman Bill Green pushing to revamp the way Philadelphia reports its billions of dollars in spending
KYW Newsradio: New zoning proposal  to develop vacant lot in Point Breeze causes racial, economic divide in community
KYW Newsradio: In bipartisan compromise, congress revamps unemployment benefits
KYW Newsradio: School district awards $1.4 million contract to uncover cost-cutting areas
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania state commissioner Frank Noonen says some barracks could close
PhillyNow: Tara Murtha’s tweet featured on MSNBC
PhillyNow: In midst of cuts, PA group calls for even more ‘welfare reform’
Fox Philadelphia: Rendell denies dropping Inquirer bid

SEPA:
Pottstown Mercury: Corbett budget leaves schools with less, rich with more
PhillyBurbs: School board calls for  state law to outlaw teacher union strikes
Delco Daily Times: Yeadon council meeting turns heated
Delco Daily Times: Public hearing set on refinery closures
Montgomery Media: Montgomery Township resident challenges Stephens
Montgomery Media: GOP not ready to throw in the reapportionment towel
Bucks Local News: Lower Makefield republicans to go head-to-head for 31st legislative district nomination
Bucks Local News: Bucks congressman Mike Fitzpatrick talks the economy, energy and America’s debt problem
Bucks Local News: State Rep. Steve Santarsiero votes against plan for local impact fee on Marcellus Shale
Daily Local: Primary elections in Chester County  beginning to take shape
Daily Local: Proposed West Chester restriction  may hurt county property price
Daily Local: Kennet, Unionville schools await state budget plans

Pittsburgh:
Tribune Review: Fourth Democrat joins field seeking Wagner’s former seat
Tribune Review: Raja to run again, seek Pennsylvania Senate seat
Tribune Review: Fitzgerald picks Mt. Lebanon attorney for Allegheny County solicitor
Tribune Review: Cutbacks to close western Pennsylvania camp for disabled
Tribune Review: Harmar supervisors hear request to cut taxes
KDKA: Protestors roll out red carpet for Governor Corbett
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: City plans to help residents deal with property appeals

Southwest:
Observer-Reporter: Democrats avoid filing for seat held by DeWeese
Observer-Reporter: Three looking to oust Casey take message to county GOP
Valley News Dispatch: Obama’s budget protects funding for Parks cleanup, river locks
Altoona Mirror: Corbett discusses jobs, budget in visit to JOhnstown business
Altoona Mirror: Liquor board seeks bill to generate $150M
Tribune Democrat: Unions mobilizing support for Critz
Tribune Democrat: Crtiz optimistic despite polls showing Altmire in lead
Daily Courier: Southmoreland struggles with budget because of state cuts
Patch Politics: Critz gaining on Altmire?

South Central:
Harrisburg Patriot News: Middletown Borough Council seeks 15 percent ‘across the board’ cuts
Harrisburg Patriot News: Palmyra Bologna Company asks Borough to reconsider rezoning its property
Harrisburg Patriot News: Penn State dance marathon raises $10.68M, shatters record
York Daily Record: New law: Drivers must give wide berths to cyclists
York Dispatch:  York city schools, PennDOT plan safe walking corridor
Lancaster Era: Water over the bridge
Lebanon Daily News: County rolls out rain barrel conference

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Allentown School District braces for possible budget-related job cuts
Morning Call: Allentown’s waste-to-energy deal may resurface
Morning Call: Cunningham calls state of Lehigh County “sound”
Reading Eagle: School districts changing to self-insured health care plan
WFMZ: Occupy protesters take stand against improvement zone
Express Times: Bethlehem council deadlocks on city controller selection

NEPA:
Times News: $65,000 generator draws criticism in Rush Twp.
Times News: Magisterial district changes proposed
WNEP: School closing in Lackawanna County
Go Lackawanna: Dunmore council weighs options for federal block grants
Go Lackawanna: Most local state reps have primary challenges
Times Leader: “Culture shock” in new county government
Times-Tribune: Scranton Board ignoring own ethics code
Times-Tribune: State Rep. Smith says he failed to disclose debts as required

North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Water-well regulations could reduce contamination, increase costs
Erie Times-News: Sen. Casey asks FBI for help on W. Pa. cold case
Erie Times-News: 5th Amendment agin an issue in Erie debt-collection case
Erie Times-News: This year’s election season anything but routine
Erie Times-News: Filing deadline passes; some Erie region incumbents without opposition
Erie Times-News: Earll endorses Anderson for 49th District state Senate seat
Sharon Herald: County to levy impact fee on drillers
Courier Express: Unpaid taxes add up in Reynoldsville
Courier Express: Learning from coal to regulate Marcellus shale
Centre Daily Times: Pa. legislative campaigns plying uncharted waters
Williamsport Sun Gazette: No US district judges named to local court since 2 seniors’ deaths
Williamsport Sun Gazette: 3 new members join commission

Opinion:
Tribune Review: Liquor control: Kill the beast
Tribune Review: The ‘Progressive’ legacy
Tribune Review: The ‘political’ prisoner?
Tribune Review: Electoral College doom?
Tribune Review: The U.S. Constitution is a bad model
Post Gazette Two trains running: Parallel tracks on liquor reform risk derailment
Post- Gazette: Economic boost: Congress puts the knives away and agrees to agree
Observer Reporter: Grazing in a field of common sense
Indiana Gazette: Disconnect hurts military, nation
Indiana Gazette: Sierra Club’s objective is ending coal-fired plants
Altoona Mirror: Bill for tax cut has to be paid
Altoona Mirror: Growing gov’t is mistake
Reading Eagle: Rohrer takes wrong turn on issue of licensing drivers
Express Times: PA’s primary panic is a plea for redistricting reform
Reading Eagle: President transforms budget into stump speech
Reading Eagle: Lots of pain to go around in proposed state budget
Wayne Independent: Who do these women think they are?
The Inquirer: The American Debate: Obama getting a boost from GOP’s stance on birth control
The Inquirer: Editorial: Outsourcing targeted
Tribune Review: Legislators’ self-interest at biblical proportion
Patriot News: Ethics law needs to tighten and focus more on nepotism
LA Times: Michael Kinsley: For President, no experience needed
Politico: Opinion: Using diplomacy to create jobs
Washington Post: Opinion: Our unrealistic attitudes about death, through the doctor’s eyes
Washington Post: Opinion: Which was the most important U.S. election ever?
Washington Post: Opinion: Five myths about the presidency
New York Times: Opinion: Building self-control, the American way
New York Times: Op-Ed: A Third voice for 2012
New York Times: Opinion: The end of American intervention
New York Times: Opinion: Economics made easy: Think friction
New York Times: Editorial: A frightening shortage of vital drugs

Blogs:
The Inquirer: Santorum says Obama health law encourages abortions
Speaking Freely: Would someone sue in favor of discrimination?
Speaking Freely: Reproductive health locked up: No contraception on lock down
Young Philly Politics: End of morgage assistance could undermine economic recovery
Commonwealth Foundation: Ending the cycle: Reforming welfare in PA
PA Budget and Policy Center: Revenue tracker: January close to revenue targets but corporate taxes continue to lag
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Armstrong: Allentown’s area, Pawlowski’s black hole
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Dent files four more petition signatures than needed
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Another conflict of interest in NIZ Biz
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Allentown finance director has few details on NIZ Biz
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Sweeping changes proposed at Gracedale
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Call him controller Chico
NEPartisan: HD-112: Smith in serious trouble
NEPartisan: Scranton school board unethical? You don’t say
NEPartisan: Ken Smith makes yet another mistake regarding finances
NEPartisan: Congressional races finalized: Moran out in 10th, Urban out in 17th
2Political Junkies: Mom…they’re doing it again
2 Political Junkies: Huh?
2 Political Junkies: The war on women, part II: What’s wrong with this picture?
PA Water Cooler: Opposing drug testing for welfare recipients? Are you high?
Beaver County Blues: To move forward, we still need unions, and in a big way
PennPatriot: State GOP bows to governor
Keystone Politics: Liquor privitization compromise legislation
Keystone Conservative: Pat Toomey and conservative senators challenge insurance mandate
Johan Hanger: UT study of shale gas impact is objective & a must read
John Hanger: Texas coal gassification & carbon capture plant at crucial juncture
Citizen’s Call: Ready to serve on Cheltenham’s new Human Relations commission ?
Citizen’s Call: Montco’s Shapiro rallies fellow Democrats to press for House special elections during April 14 primary, adding grease to redistricting fire

February 20th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Morning Buzz, Top Stories | No Comments

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