2/23 Morning Buzz

PA politicos and labor groups continue to react to the protests in Wisconsin, with the question du jour: could it happen here? (Probably not). Meanwhile Gov. Corbett says he would sign a right to work law.

The shipyard v. prison controversy has soured otherwise strong relations between law enforcement enthusiasts and Navy enthusiasts.

Debate continues over whether Corbett was budgeting wisely or playing politics with his seemingly conflicting decisions on the Philly shipyard and the Fayette Co. Prison.

(Senator) Casey goes to bat for medical research funding, in the vein of former Senator and NIH hero Arlen Specter.

And it’s official: with yesterday’s addition of Tom Knox, Mayor Nutter has picked up the endorsements of every serious potential primary rival and is virtually assured of a second term.

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz.

PoliticsPA Reports

Philadelphia Shipyard vs. Fayette County Prison
In: A $42 million government investment to keep the South Philly shipyard operating, reported to preserve up to 1,000 jobs. Out: A $200 million prison construction project in Fayette County, reported to generate approximately 650 jobs in an area where work is sparse.

Sen. Casey Takes Up Former Sen. Specter’s Mantle on Medical Research Funding
When former Senator Specter stood on the Senate floor to give his farewell speech in December, he urged Congress to substantially increase funding for the National Institutes of Health. Now Sen. Casey continues to take on the issue in full force.

Video: Medaglia’s Opening Salvo
Larry Medaglia is going on TV in earnest tomorrow if special election to replace the late State Senator Mike O’Pake, and he’s starting with a standard get-to-know-you style television ad.

Mayor Nutter Cruising Toward Re-Election
Despite his poll numbers, Michael Nutter appears to have his re-election in the bag. The Mayor’s last potential serious rival, Tom Knox, endorsed him today. PoliticsPA takes a quick look at why Nutter has scared off all.

Tribune-Review: Orie Staffer Changes His Tune
According to a story today in the Tribune-Review, a former staffer for GOP state Sen. Jane Orie testified today that he did not know that the campaign work he was doing for Orie was illegal at the time, which contradicts his earlier testimony from yesterday.

State House Sound Bites: Corbett Standing Firm on Decision to End adultBasic
The Corbett Administration is standing firm on its decision not to step in and extend Pennsylvania’s adultBasic program, which provides bare-bones health insurance for more than 40,000 people.

Washington Post: Supreme Court Hears Soap Opera Story of Interest to the Tea Party
What do poison, intrigue, the 10th amendment the tea party and the Supreme Court have to do with Bucks County?

Headlines
Politico: Rick Santorum: Wisconsin protesters must be smokin’ something
Pennsylvania Ave.: Casey to China: Counterfeits not better than the real thing
Tribune-Review: Gov. Corbett says he would sign right-to-work legislation
Newsworks: Emails Show Al Jazeera viewers want to watch on Comcast
Pennsylvania Ave.: Specter wants spy for Israel released, sends letter to Obama
Times-News: State liquor stores discontinuing 400 wine and spirit products amid movement to privatize
Post-Gazette: In response to Wis., Pittsburgh city council honors public employees
Times-Tribune: Hundreds turn out for hearing on Delaware River Basin drilling
Fox Philadelphia: Phila. City Council DROP Study off by $160 million
Early Returns: Casino job does not bar Matta run
Pittsburgh City Paper: Fitzgerald: Without statewide tax reform, “I’ll go to jail” before sending out tax reassessments (h/t Early Returns)
Post-Gazette: Newspaper owner enters race for Washington commissioner
Early Returns: Shields announcing run for District Judge on Thursday
AP: Ex-top aide: Senator’s staff did political work
AP: Corbett scaled back drilling policy on public land
Times-Tribune: Corbett: Pennsylvania is not Wisconsin
Inquirer: Knox won’t run in mayoral election
Inquirer: Could Wisconsin happen here?
Citizens’ Voice: Corbett: Pennsylvania is not like Wisconsin
Citizens’ Voice: Barletta, Marino to hold joint forum at King’s
Post-Gazette: High court rules against Mt. Lebanon girl’s vaccine suit
Post-Gazette: Pa. public workers keeping eyes on Wisconsin

Opinions
Post Gazette Editorial: Prison break: A Fayette County project is a victim of budget cuts
Patriot-News Editorial: Pennsylvania’s archaic liquor laws can not be fixed in a piecemeal way
Patriot-News Editorial: Education vouchers would violate state constitution
Times-Tribune Editorial: Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich plans to introduce a bill precluding state lawmakers from being paid for board seats
Inquirer, Thomas Fitzgerald: Santorum’s anal Google problem
Citizens’ Voice: Legislators should avoid board seats

February 23rd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook | No Comments