2/7 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Happy Budget day! Spoiler alert: Republicans are going to talk about tough times necessitating tough cuts, while Democrats will decry efforts to gut the social net.

Down Goes DeWeese: Former House Speaker Bill Bill DeWeese found guilty on five of the six counts on which he was charged, including theft and criminal conspiracy. He says he will stay in office until his sentencing and continue to seek-reelection pending the outcome of an appeal.

Marcellus Deal: A deal on the controversial Marcellus shale impact fee could be on the Governor’s desk tonight. A House/Senate conference committee voted on a plan that threads the needle on the fee structure and local ordinances – although it has been called a tax by Grover Norquist.

Smith Puts Another $275K on TV: The Senate candidate and former coal company owner from Armstrong County is putting up his existing TV ads with 1,000 gross ratings points each in the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Altoona-Johnstown, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre markets.

PAGOP to County Chairs: Non-Endorsed Candidates Need Not Apply: Since 2001, candidates endorsed by Democratic state committee have gone on to win the party’s nomination about 48 percent of the time. Endorsed Republicans have won 90 percent. Here’s why.

Dems Find Meehan Opponent: George Badey III, an attorney and Fralinger String Band member who led SavetheMummers.com when city budget cut-backs threatened the New Year’s Day parade, is circulating nominating petitions to run in the Democratic primary election for the 7th Congressional District in Delaware, Montgomery, Berks and Lancaster counties.

SEIU Endorses Critz: In what is starting to become a trend, the Critz campaign announced another labor endorsement today: the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

FreedomWorks to Endorse Feinberg: A national Tea Party group is about to turn up the heat on Rep. Tim Murphy. Several southwestern Pa. sources indicate that the organization FreedomWorks will endorse Murphy’s primary challenger, Evan Feinberg, on Tuesday.

DeWeese Witness Working for DePasquale, Other Dems: State Rep. Eugene DePasquale has earned the reputation of a reformer, but Capitolwire’s Pete DeCoursey reports today that some of his consultants have not.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-49: Another Democrat is in the mix for retiring Sen. Jane Earll’s seat. John Harkins, 60, has been on the Erie School Board for over 30 years.

HD-82: The primary against Rep. Adam Harris is getting crowded. Jim Felmlee, president of the Lewistown Borough Council, has announced that he is running for the Republican nomination. He joins Jim Knepp of Mifflintown.

HD-124: More GOP infighting in Skook. State Rep. Jerry Knowles has drawn a  primary challenge from Larry Padora, the president of New Ringgold Borough Council and owner/operators of the Italian Bakery in Tamaqua. The district was not significantly altered in the preliminary redistricting map, and includes parts of Schuylkill and Berks counties. “The taxpayers are fed up with career politicians who talk a lot but don’t do anything other than collect perks and a huge pension,” Padora said.

National:
Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum camp boasts Romney attacks
Roll Call: Differences remain on paying for payroll tax cut
Five Thirty Eight: What we learned from Nevada
Washington Post: Santorum starts to get the Newt Gingrich treatment
Washington Post: No delegates to be awarded tomorrow
Early Returns: Post-conviction, Deweese returns
Early Returns: Freedomworks backs Feinberg in PA18
Early Returns: Deweese convicted, still running again
The Hill: Critz gets more union backing then Altmire
Early Returns: FEC roundup
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Love letters
New York Times: Heading Midwest, Romney takes aim at Santorum
The Caucus: For 5 coming contests, 4 diverse approaches
WFMZ: Romney campaign targets optimistic Santorum ahead of Tuesday contests
American Medical News: Unspent War funds eyed to avoid years of Medicare doctor pay cuts

Statewide:
Capitolwire (paywall): Key witnesses against House Dems helping DePasquale campaign
KDKA: Santorum reflects on choice to run for president
WTAE- Lawrence County: Poll: Obama bests GOP frontrunners
Capitolwire: Inside Corbett’s second budget: welfare, colleges, universities face financial axe
Capitolwire: Moving the primary? Harder than you think
Capitolwire: Federal judge hears arguments, will rule on 2001 redistricting lines
Capitolwire: Americans for Tax Reform rips bill praised by environmental, county organizations
Capitolwire: House panel reports out unemployment benefits extension bill
Capitol Ideas: DeWeese found guilty on five of six counts
State Impact: Western Pa. group forms to oppose zoning preemption
State Impact Estimate:  Impact fee would generate $219 million in 2012
Inquirer: Judge to rule on using 2001 Pa. political map in primaries
AP: Pa. gas-drilling bill would yield estimated $190M
WFMZ: Harrisburg’s financial recovery plan released

Philadelphia:
Inquirer: Pushback on plans to close Philly schools earlier
Inquirer: Jury can hear how church handled past abuse cases, judge rules
Inquirer: SEPTA police threaten strike if pact isn’t forged soon
Inquirer: PGW: State complaint on fatal gas leak ‘unfounded and unwarranted’
Inquirer: More cuts of Pennsylvania’s state universities?
Inquirer: Rutgers chief decries merger plan
Heard in the Hall: Nutter praises Clarke and his ideas
PhillyClout: Mummer advocate to run for 7th Congressional seat
Phillynow.com: Election 2012: New Poll shows Rick Santorum OVER Obama, but is it trustworthy?
Phillynow.com: Occupy/Faith Dialogue at Temple University hosts conflicting points of view
Phillynow.com: Daily Grinder: Gov. Ed Rendell ‘believer’ in ‘newspapers’ ability to profit
ABC Philadelphia: Assembly leader measures support for gay marriage
KYW News Radio: Recreational organizations face obstacles following new school cutbacks
WHYY Newsworks: For Philly dropouts, the math is simple, but brutal: No diploma, zero jobs
WHYY Newsworks: Area Catholics react to call for action on birth control policy
WHYY Newsworks: Casey offers bill to streamline medical-device approvals

SEPA:
Pottstown Mercury: Parents urged to immunize school-age children
Pottstown Mercury: NRC: Limerick nuke plant must reassess quake risk
Delco Daily Times: Pa. Senate to discuss impact of Delco refinery closures
Delco Daily Times: Morton council eases residents’ concerns about trashy light
Montgomery Media: Taxpayer advocate says school board should post teacher salaries, push for changes in state law
Bucks Local News: Newtown Township manager resigns position to accept jobs closer to home in Montgomery County
Daily Local News: Emergency services grant approved
Main Line Times: Lower Merion civics host U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah

Pittsburgh:
Early Returns: New redistricting timeline proposed
Early Returns: Monday summary: District lines, budget on deck
Early Returns: FEC roundup for Western Pa. candidates
Post-Gazette: February a chance for GOP hopefuls to boost momentum
Post-Gazette: State inmates’ return to Pennsylvania boosts local economies
Post-Gazette: PennDOt plans 168 regional projects for this year
Post-Gazette: Corbett close to deal on shale fees and controls
Tribune Review: Jury decides DeWeese guily on five counts
Tribune Review: Most Pittsburgh ‘Occupiers’ exit before judges deadline

SWPA:
Beaver County Times: State to put hammer down on online sales taxes
Observer-Reporter: Need up, state and federal aid food down  
Observer-Reporter Pa. gas drilling bill could pass today, high-ranking senator says
Indiana Gazette: Republicans seeking nod on drilling vote
Indiana Gazette: Legislation would bolster cybersecurity
Altoona Mirror: Proposed DOD cuts not expected to affect local guard, reserves
Altoona Mirror: Casey pushes rebates to spur on natural gas powered vehicles
WJAC: House passes texting ban; bill returns to Senate
Johnstown Tribune Democrat: Consol Energy plans to expand longwall mines
Daily Courier: The Progress Fund celebrates record year of lending

NEPA:
Times-Tribune: Landfill Proposes To Mill Marcellus Shale

Lehigh Valley:
WFMZ: DA: Company defrauds township out of $100,000s
WFMZ: Judge hears challenges in Pa. redistricting case
WFMZ: 2 men accused of defrauding taxpayers of more than $800,000
Express Times: Nazareth Borough Council rejects TV in police department

South Central:
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Lewistown councilman announces for PA House, 82nd District
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Political contributions follow party lines in fracking issue
Chambersburg Public Opinoin: Chambersburg school district distributes over $47,000 in grants
Chambersburg Public Opinon: Shippensburg University’s “Teach In” used to prepare students for Corbett’s proposed budget
AP: Pennsylvanians should prepare for “dramatic” and “difficult” cuts in state budget, Sen. Joe Scarnati says
Carlisle Sentinel: Official: Bankruptcy possible for Harrisburg
Carlisle Sentinel: Politicians say they’ll fight for W. PA base closure
Carlisle Sentinel: Judge hears challenges in PA redistricting case
Carlisle Sentinel: PA gas-drilling bill would yield estimated $190M
Patriot-News: Dauphin County Commissioners “disappointed” in Harrisburg receiver’s fiscal recogery plan
Patriot-News: Harrisburg mayor’s spokesman Robert Philbin keeps job in recovery plan, ombudsman out
Patriot-News: Harrisburg recovery plan keeps bankruptcy option on the table, calls for chief operating officer
Patriot-News: State budget cuts put disability services in jeopardy
York Daily Record: Pennsylvania lawmakers to consider public testimony on casino buffer
York Daily Record: DeWeese conviction doesn’t spell doom for Stetler’s case
York Daily Record: Candidates line up for Platts’ congressional seat
York Dispatch: Drilling fee proposal could reach House, Senate floor by Tuesday
Lancaster Era: 2nd wave of evictions is sweeping away Occupiers
Lebanon Daily News: Palmyra gets grant for wetlands project
Lebanon Daily News: GOP to hold petition signing party

North by Northwest:
Erie Times News: Erie school director John Harkins to run for state Senate
Erie Times News: GoErie.com to host Congressional redistricting live chat
Erie Times News: Erie City Council to once again consider Pleasant Ridge Manor bed license deal
Erie Times News:  Erie County officials await Corbett’s proposed budget
Erie Times News: Times In-Depth: Pros and cons of congressional redistricting in Erie County
Sharon Herald: Kelly rallies GOP faithful
Courier Express: Impact fee part of Marcellus legislation

Opinions:
Inquirer Editorial: Obama’s HHS contraceptive policy was right decision
Centre Daily: Drilling not good for PA
Post-Gazette Editorial: Rule to ban real-time updates from courtrooms is a step backward
Daily News Editorial: School Bus ads are a bad idea
Tribune Review: Opinion: Principles for a ‘just war’
Tribune Review: Opinion: Cage fighting on the campaign trail
Times-Tribune Editorial: Exploit Low Gas Prices

Blogs:
Keystone Liberty: Constitutional Spending Cap
Young Philly Politics: House transportation bills strike first as tragedy, then as dangerous farce
Commonwealth Foundation: Job-killing Marcellus energy tax emerges
PA Budget and Policy Center: More of the same? Governor Corbett’s next budget
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Grand jury: Bethlehem township defrauded of $832,460
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Where will Mann be working next year?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Who was at this year’s Super Bowl?
Lehigh Valley Independent: Allentown’s Franklin Park and land rents
Lehigh Valley Independent: Food deserts are a supply side problem
NEPArtisan: Guilty public officials; do signs of respect get removed?
2 Political Junkies: Occupy Pittsburgh march
PennPatriot: Job talks need substance
Keystone Politics: Should PA have two primaries this year?
Keystone Politics: More people are on food stamps because there aren’t enough jobs
Keystone Politics: Baltimore police launch raid on PA’s 4th congressional district
Keystone Politics: Will Dems force a party line vote on weak GOP impact fee?
Keystone Conservative: Op-Ed: PA GOP endorsement – Card check or keeping them honest?

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