3/1 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. The big news from yesterday: the Pa. Supreme Court ordered Speaker Sam Smith to call special elections in the 6 vacant state House seats.

Special Elections: What’s Next: The Supreme Court ordered Speaker Sam Smith to call special elections for the 6 vacant state House seats. Here’s a run down of what the ruling means, what comes next, and which party is likely to benefit.

Pa. Supreme Court Orders Smith To Call Special Election: Another court decision, another redistricting victory for Democrats. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Wednesday ordered Speaker Sam Smith to issue writs of election to fill six vacant State House Seats using 2001 lines.

Moore Drops Primary Challenge to Brady: Jimmie Moore, an attorney and former Philadelphia judge, his withdrawn his primary challenge to Rep. Bob Brady.

PA-7 Race Off To A Slow Start: The race for Congress in the 7th district should be one of the top in the state. Freshman Republican Pat Meehan must defend a record with no shortage of tough votes in a suburban Philadelphia seat in a presidential campaign year. But so far, things are off to a slow start.

Patrick Murphy Opens Wide Lead In Endorsements: Attorney General hopeful Patrick Murphy this week picked up the support of a number of Lehigh Valley Democrats and the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, adding to his significant list of endorsements.

Pa. Scorecard: Club for Growth: Toomey, Pitts and Murphy get good marks from the anti-tax organization for their votes in 2011, while Casey, Brady and Schwartz bring up the rear.

Super PAC Targets Incumbents: National Journal reported this morning that a Super PAC, “The Campaign for Primary Accountability” is targeting 11 incumbent congressman. Among the 11 are Holden and Murphy. According to the paper, the PAC has raised $1.8 million so far.

FBI Raids Home of Rep. Fattah’s Son: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, federal agents early this morning raided the home of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah’s son and the law office of an attorney who has received millions in contracts from the Philadelphia school district.

Legislative Election Updates:

Special Elections: Don’t miss this PoliticsPA feature about the coming specials in HD 22, 134, 152, 169, 186, and 197.

York Co Primaries: The York Dispatch checks in with the York 9-12 Patriots, a Tea Party group that’s helping to orchestrate primary challenges in the 31st and 33rd Senate districts (Sens. Pat Vance and Richard Alloway) and the 93rd, 94th and 196th House districts (Reps. Ron Miller, Stan Saylor and Seth Grove).

HD-3: Republican Jason Owen kicked off his campaign Wednesday to replace the retiring Rep. John Hornaman (D-Erie). An attorney by trade, Owen played up his Erie roots. “We need to send a strong and independent leader to Harrisburg who will fight for Erie County,” said Owen. “We’ve been spoiled to have a Governor from Erie, and an ally like Jane Earll in the Senate. Those days are gone, through redistricting we’ve already gotten a taste of what our future will look like without strong leadership in the Capitol.” He faces Regina Smith in the primary, and would face Democrat Ryan Bizzaro in the general.

HD-48: State Rep. Brandon Neuman will be the only Democrat on the ballot in this district. His prospective primary opponent, Washington County Jury Commissioner Judith Fisher. She turned in just 400 petition signatures and says she doesn’t have the money to contest the court challenge of 215 of them. Neuman is now unopposed.

HD-50: The GOP’s challenge to Rep. Bill DeWeese’s petitions – on the grounds that he was convicted of corruption – was thrown out. He will remain on the ballot.

HD-149: Meet Nahjee Grant, the 23 year-old college student who is challenging Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montco) in the Democratic primary.

HD-151: Will Sylianteng, the Democrat running against Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montco), issued a statement about his campaign kick-off. “I have a two year old daughter and with everything that comes out of Harrisburg these days, I worry about her,” he said in a statement. “I worry about the quality of education we will be leaving to her and her generation…”

HD-183: Danielsville native Matt Miles is announcing a write-in campaign for the Lehigh Valley district. He must get 300 write-ins to make the ballot for the fall. As it stands now, Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Northampton) is unopposed.

National:
AP: On to Super Tuesday: Santorum, Romney battle on
Centre Daily Times: Somerset Coroner Denies Flight 93 Remains In Landfill
Morning Call: Romney averts disaster with narrow Michigan win
Morning Call: Opportunity Lost, Santorum retools for must-win Ohio
Morning Call: Democrats see ‘razor close’ battle to retake the house
Politico: The center crumbles
Politico: Hill weighs tax tradeoffs
Politico: Paul ‘movement’ comes to Virginia
Roll Call: Dreier Retirement sets off scramble for rules gavel
Roll Call: Who’s afraid of John Boehner?
Roll Call: Time for election year agendas
Five Thirty Eight: The Meaning of Michigan
Washington Post: ‘Operation Hilarity’ fizzles
Washington Post: Which win was more important
Real Clear Politics: Mitt survives again with Arizona, Michigan wins
Real Clear Politics: Republican race to reset in Ohio next Tuesday
Real Clear Politics: Right Problem, wrong solution
The Hill: House subcommittee votes to repeal healthcare reform law’s ‘death panel’
The Hill: House bill would stop ‘subsidizing’ ex-presidents rich from speaking fees
The Hill: Boehner ally, critic Rep. LaTourette holds keys to House transportation bill
NY Times: Romney faces Stubborn question , despite victories
NY Times: Many cast vote with November in mind; others, character rates high
NY Times: In Ohio, Santorum tries to widen message while keeping base excited
USA Today: Obama praises Snowe (and appeals to moderates)
USA Today: Some Michigan Democrats backed Santorum
USA Today: Pro-Gingrich PAC goes after Romney again
Slate: Why the Supreme Court should stay out of affirmative action

Statewide:
AP: PA House GOP puts brakes on ultrasound bill
AP: PA high court orders 6 House special elections to be held
AP: Judge upholds convicted lawmaker’s election bid
The Street: Santorum’s campaign manager: We tied
Capitol Ideas: Police shut off access to capitol hallway to dissuade disabled protesters
Capitol Ideas: PennDOT’s Schoch gets one question on transportation funding: When?
State House Sound Bites: State-system universities ask cuts be restored
State House Sound Bites: Dem candidate for AG condemns ultrasound bill
PA Independent: Transportation secretary puts cards on the table, lawmakers wait for Corbett to bet
PA Independent: PA Supremes: Special House elections set for April 24
PA Independent: DPW Secretary: PA needs new direction on welfare spending
StateImpactPA: DCNR Secretary: No plans to lease more forest land for drilling
Capitolwire: Health department research ‘hiatus,’ poison control cuts bring questions from House panel
Capitolwire: Supreme Court orders House special elections to be held April 24
Capitolwire: Branch campuses at risk if state aid cut, Pitt chancellor says
Capitolwire: Corbett adds pension money to K-12 total, to combat critics of his cuts
Capitolwire: Corbett administration has no ‘imminent plans’ for leasing state forestland for natural gas drilling
Capitolwire: Concerns voiced by lawmakers about DPW’s county block grant proposal
Capitolwire: 14 state-owned universities ask for restoration of state funding
Capitolwire: Senate Democrats claim DPW budget ‘mean-spirited,’ say cuts will hurt ‘poorest of the poor.’

Philadelphia:
Daily News: Santorum: Liberal Penn State professors docked my grades
Daily News: Pa. Supreme Court: Speaker must approve special elections
AP: GOP race on pace for summer delegate fight
Philly.com: Council to hold budget hearings around city
Inquirer: Fourth Bucks County official sentenced in political corruption case
Heard in the Hall: Budget road show
PhillyNow: Jimmie Moore drops out of race with Bob Brady
PhillyNow: Disabled activists barred from Capitol
WHYY Newsworks: Historic preservation can be financial windfall for Pa. towns

SEPA:
AP: FBI investigates son of PA Congressman Fattah
Pottstown Mercury: Spring-Ford reviews MCIU budget
Pottstown Mercury: “Centers” approved ananimously by Pottsgrove board, need for full-day kindergarted cited
phillyBurbs.com: Volunteers sought for township panels
The Intelligencer: Fitzpatrick, Meehan among most liberal in GOP
The Intelligencer: Montco casino readies for March 31 opening
Delco Daily Times: Former Philly judge withdraws election challenge to Brady
Bucks Local News: Lietenant Governor Jim Cawley to lead Bucks County’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade through Levittown

Pittsburgh:
Tribune-Review: Defense rests in ex-Rep. Veon’s second corruption trial
Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh public schools, clerical workers reach agreement
Tribune-Review: Orie’s attorney: Prosecution has no evidence linking her to fraud
Tribune-Review: Dozens testify about hardships that transit cuts would create
Tribune-Review: Carnegie Library board developing five-year strategic plan
Post-Gazette: City Council confirms two board nominees
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County Council considers redistrict plan
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh launches free spay, neuter program

Southwest:
Post-Gazette: Military now says Flight 93 remains not dumped
WJAC: Mining company says $40 million project will help clean watershed
WTAE: 5 coal-fired power plants to close
Daily Courier: Hearing set on nominating petitions in Fayette County
Daily Courier: Fayette County Election Board targets problems
Observer-Reporter: District judge redistricting plan released
Observer-Reporter: DeWeese to remain on primary ballot

NEPA:
Times Leader: Controller wants to hold off on payment
Times Leader: Wyoming County district court changes proposed
Standard Speaker: 65 Luzerne County employees to lost jobs Friday
WNEP: County worker pleads guilty to theft, county takes action

South Central:
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. high court overturns malpractice fund ruling
Carlisle Sentinel: Magisterial district judge moved to Cumberland County Courthouse for safety
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Penn State President Rodney Erickson says no state support would lead to a drastically different Penn State
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Pennsylvania Sen. Jane Orie knows too much about criminal justice system to commit forgeries, defense says
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Former state Rep. Brett Feese begins serving prison term for his role in Computergate scandal
York Dispatch: Pa. high courts orders 6 House elections to be held

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Corbett’s eduction spending hike covers pensions, not books
Morning Call: Senate vote on birth control tough for Bob Casey
Morning Call: Lawmakers still waiting on answers for transportation funding
Express Times: Poll: Christie as VP would help Romney in NJ, but not enough to defeat Obama

North by Northwest:
Centre Daily Times: Penn State Trustee Candidate List Reaches 86 Names
Times-News: Erie County To Mail First Reassessment Notices This Week

Opinions:
Morning Call: Global warming textbook reaction
Roll Call: Spectrum auction deal may haunt Congress
Washington Post: Santorum blows an opportunity
Washington Post: An election ripe for an independent candidate
WSJ: The other GM bailout
NY Times: Undermining State Campaign Laws
Post-Gazette: Universities’ ally: A powerful GOP state senator opposes higher-ed cuts
Altoona Mirror: Obama policies costly
Pottstown Mercury: Hikes in gas prices eclipse payroll tax cut
Pottstown Mercury: Santorum should keep religion out of politics
Courier Times: Million dollar idea: Something for nothing?
Burlington County Times: The county must get out of the hospital businesses
Bucks Local News: Letter to the Editor: Term limits are needed for our elected officials
Times Leader: What if jobless were seen, heard?
Wayne Independent: Setting the record straight about council
Standard Speaker: State cashing in on booze and gambling
The Daily Review: “Super PACs” need a little kyptonite
Morning Call: Global warming textbook reaction

Blogs:
John Hanger: PA DEP must remove cloud over its drinking water tests are sound
John Hanger: Top five facts why high gasoline prices today do less damage than in 2008
Keystone Politics: UFCW gives PA congressmen all As or all Fs
Keystone Politics: Rick Santorum or Ayatollah Khamenei?
Keystone Politics: Allyson Schwartz helping Republicans kill critical health care cost controls
Keystone Politics: Chaka Fattah schoolsTexas Rep. on his own state’s voter ID law
Pennsylvania Progressive: February 29, 2012
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Hanover Township considers lawsuit over Allentown’s EIT tax grab
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Despite threatened protests, local gov’t seminar at NCC still on
PA Water Cooler: Philadelphia catholic schools remain open – but for how long?
Commonwealth Foundation: 5 scary facts about Pennsylvania’s welfare spending

2 thoughts on “3/1 Morning Buzz

  1. Thank you for the coverage of my announcement. I look forward to working with you as a strong and independent leader from Erie County!

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