3/2 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Not such a long time ago… With all the headlines this week about abortion, contraception and ultrasounds, it looks like the culture war is alive and well.

Don’t forget to check PoliticsPA later today for the Ups & Downs!

Senator Casey Stirs Local Debate Over Contraception Vote: Senator Casey voted on the Senate floor today to proceed with a debate on an amendment offered by Senator Blunt that would have allowed any employer to deny contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds. Here’s our look at the stakes going into Thursday’s vote.

Murphy Campaign Unveils Endorsements: Rep. Tim Murphy rolled out a list of 30 endorsements Thursday including a former Governor, Congresswoman and state officials.

Smith Issues Writ, Slams Court: House Speaker Sam Smith is issuing court-ordered writs of election for four vacant state House seats, but not before issuing a blistering statement accusing the Supreme Court of “creating a constitutional collision between two of the three constitutionally created co-equal branches of government.”

Democrats Use Ultrasound Bill As Rallying Cry: Few issues stir up passion and emotion like abortion and reproductive issues, and few pieces of legislation this session have attracted as much antipathy from pro-choice opinion leaders as a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to obtain an ultrasound. Now the GOP looks like it’s backing off.

Dem Phil Scollo Launches Website in PA-10: Businessman Phil Scollo, who’s running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 10th District against incumbent Tom Marino, launched his campaign website Thursday afternoon.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-15: Rob Teplitz, candidate for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola, is a favorite of Democratic recruiters in Harrisburg. Thursday he won the endorsement of the Central Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council. “Working alongside dedicated friends of organized labor like Bob Casey and Jack Wagner, Rob Teplitz has spent most of his career standing up for working men and women,” said Paul E.J. Bachman, Council President.  “We’re proud to stand with him in this campaign.” Teplitz faces a primary challenge in Alvin Taylor.

SD-30: John Eichelberger may not be up for re-election this year, and he may now know for sure what his district will look like then, but that isn’t stopping him. The Altoona native has been touring Franklin County in anticipation that he will represent part of it after redistricting.

HD-51: Points for creativity. Michael Cavanaugh, Republican of Uniontown, was removed from the ballot Thursday despite his valiant effort to argue that he wasn’t actually personally served with notice of this petition challenge. He was booted off o the grounds that he’s a convicted felon and not eligible to hold the office. Gary Gearing is now the only Republican facing Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fayette).

HD-103: This is becoming one of the hottest primaries in the state. Prominent community organization Harrisburg Hope hosted a candidates forum Thursday night that drew 150 people. The four Democratic candidates are Roy Christ, a former Harrisburg school board president; Patty Kim, a city councilwoman; Gloria Martin-Roberts, council’s former president; and Karl Singleton, the administrator of a charter school.

HD-169: John McCann, one of the two Republicans running to replace now Philly City Councilman Denny O’Brien, has launched a website which includes a reform plan. He’s battling O’Brien’s pick and apprentice, Dave Kralle for the nomination in the forthcoming special election.

National:
CBS News: A recipe for a better GOP candidate
Politico: After Michigan primary, Rick Santorum needs stronger stomach
AP: Underfunded Santorum campaign hopes to pick off Gingrich supporters one way or another
Washington Post: Are you a snob?
Huffington Post: Mitt sweeps, but viability questions persist
Morning Call: Romney campaign turns to shallow pockets
Morning Call: Senate halts measure aimed at reversing new contraceptive mandate
Morning Call: Santorum tells Spokane: Send a message to the GOP’s ‘good old boys’
Politico: IN Georgia, Rick stumps on Newt’s home turf
Politico: Newt Gingrich goes on the attack
Politico: GOP debates are ad fodder
Roll Call: Capitol complex faces another tough budget
Roll Call: Timothy Geithner reaches out on tax reform
Roll Call: Snowe, Kerrey shift Senate landscape
Five Thirty Eight: Democrats favored to pick up Nowe seat
Washington Post: To residents of another Washington, their cherished values are under as
Washington Post: What Andrew Breitbart meant to politics
Washington Post: Why doesn’t the tea party like Ron Paul?
Forbes: The Anti-Economic Growth Presiden
The Hill: Schumer focuses on the Senate, Scott Brown and contraception
The Hill: Santorum accuses Romney of rigging Michigan’s delegate distribution
The Hill: GOP senators push cybersecurity bill that avoids ‘heavy hadnd of government’
NY Times: Obama seeks to end subsidies for Oil and Gas Companies
NY Times: A conservative leader was less so in Congress
NY Times: House passes bridge bill after an Earmark debate
NY Times: Romney Faults Obama on energy production
Pro Publica: Super Donors: Our reading guide to the top 10 Super PAC givers
USA Today: Incumbent vs. Incumbent in 2012 races
USA Today: Super PACs, candidates blur lines ahead of Nov. 6
Slate: Rubber reversal?
Slate: Twilight of the Voting Rights Act

Statewide:
AP: PA jobless rate falls again to 7.6 percent
Capitol Ideas: LRC meeting delayed until further notice
Capitol Ideas: House GOP leader Turzai won’t schedule vote on ultrasound bill
Capitol Ideas: Senate Dems mark one-year anniversary of end of adultBasic
Capitol Ideas: Commonwealth court dismisses Obama ballot challenge
State House Sound Bites: Latino redistricting advocates lick wounds after special elections ordered & new map vote delay
State House Sound Bites: County election boards prepare for April primary
PA Independent: PA jobs initiative will cost $2.5 million
StateImpactPA: Feds investigate Chesapeake for potential Clean Water Act violations
StateImpactPA: Another take on PA plant closures
StateImpactPA: Western PA townships prepare to challenge impact fee
StateImpactPA: Toomey “Dismayed” by power plant closures
Capitolwire: Not much agreement between House Democrats, Corbett administration regarding UC fund insolvency solutions
Capitolwire: House Speaker, elections bureau say April 24 special elections are on
Capitolwire: Castille proposes hiking driving fines by $13.50 to hike funding for courts, legal aid funding
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
Morning Call: Senate vote over birth control tough for Bob Casey
Morning Call: Club for Growth gives Casey lowest score
Essential Public Radio: Republican U.S. Senate candidate calls for “common sense” energy policy
Delco Daily Times: PA economic boss: We can save 2 refineries
Early Returns: “Stupid” elections move on

Philly:
Inquirer: Billionaire may bid on Sunoco refinery
Inquirer: Occupy Philly, unions protest education cuts
Inquirer: Six Pa. House seats to be filled in April
Inquirer: Field office for Obama opens in Philly
Inquirer: Moore says he won’t challenge Brady after all
Daily News: Pa. board charges Philly traffic judge
Daily News: Feds eyeing Fattah Jr.
Daily News: Taxi drivers protest PPA budget hikes
Daily News: PhillyDeals: Phila explores recovering losses to swaps sellers
AP: U.S. wants graphic warnings on cigarettes
AP: New Jersey bans sale of synthetic marijuana
PhillyNow: Senators Toomey, Casey: Birth control is bad and should be denied
Fox Philadelphia: Philly using ads to generate revenue
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia analysts unsure of arc of GOP presidential debates
WHYY Newsworks: Despite uncertainties, county officials preparing for Pa. primary

SEPA:
Pottstown Mercury: Parents react to Pottsgrove centers vote
Delco Daily Times: Marcus Hook officials: Zoning charge is about safety, not money
Montgomery Media: North Penn may consolidate bust stops to control budget
Montgomery Media: Review shows Montgomery County budget underfunded by nearly $10M
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Community College president makes the case for increased state funding in Harrisburg
Daily Local: School district consolidation is on table at state level

Pittsburgh:
Early Returns: Ridge, Hart, others endorse Murphy
Tribune-Review: Former chief of staff says Orie directed cover-up
Tribune-Review: Computer error delays next batch of reassessment notices
Tribune-Review: Defense rests in Mike Veon trial
Post-Gazette: Veon corruption trial goes to jury
Post-Gazette: Disabled riders, supporters plead with Port Authority
Post-Gazette: Legislators join forum calling for action on public school cuts
Post-Gazette: In the wake of the Shale rush, Washington County experiencing high rate of job growth
Post-Gazette: In new Orie trial, key witnesses are first
Post-Gazette: Satellite, branch campuses vulnerable in Pa. budget
Essential Public Radio: Pittsburgh military, political, business leaders prepare to battle to preserve bases
Business Times: URA leader Rob Stephany leaves for Heinz endowments
Patriot-News: Restricting access to Capitol’s 3rd floor draws criticism from activists, Democrats
Plum-Oakmont Patch: Disabled residents, commuters speak out against planned port authority cuts

Southwest:
Altoona Mirror: Political activity fuels suit
WJAC: Report: Western PA received $28 million from National Parks visitors in 2010
WJAC: Critz wants answers to conflicting reports over remains of Flight 93 passengers
Daily Courier: Fayette man’s run for office struck down
Observer-Reporter: Washington County expects to adopt drilling ordinance
Valley News Dispatch: 50-year-old gas drilling lease challenged
Daily American: County commissioners in favor of Marcellus impact fee
Daily American: PA-12 candidates have mixed reviews on No Budget, No Pay Act

South Central:
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Pa. House GOP puts brakes on ultrasound bill
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Franklin County commissioners on sound system for the first time today
Chambersburg Public Opinion: State senator visits ‘new’ part of his district in Franklin County
AP: Pa. jobless rate falls again, to 7.6 percent
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg Mayor Linda D. Thompson to hold town hall meetings focusing on crime prevention
York Daily Record: Pennsylvania Speaker to set elections for 6 House vacancies

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Alburtis teen councilman pleads guilty, gets probation
Morning Call: Corbett administration puts more constraints on Capitol rallies
Morning Call: Conservative activists Andrew Breitbart dead at 43
Morning Call: Mandatory ultrasound bill delayed at state House
Reading Eagle: Teaching team a growing trend
WFMZ: Maryland governor signs same-sex marriage bill
WFMZ: Judge apologizes for forwarding racist email aimed at President Obama
Express Times: Allentown waste-to-energy plant proposal may have enough support to pass

NEPA:
Times Leader: 59 workers cut
Times-Tribune: Scranton City Council to toughen rental-agency rules
Times-Tribune: Atheist group challenges COLTS ad ban
Times-Tribune: Scranton teachers approve contract
Standard Speaker: Lawton takes on full agenda as county head
Standard Speaker: Corbett deputy, valley native explains budget
Daily Review: Legislators, school directors to meet in Canton
Go Lackawanna: Cordaro transferred to federal prison in NY

North By Northwest:
Centre Daily Times: Judge Rejects Motion For Delay In Sandusky Trial

Opinions:
Tribune-Democrat: Editorial: Battle isn’t one of east v. west; Critz-Altmire ballot decision expected on Friday
York Dispatch: Editorial: Right & righter
Pocono Record: Editorial: State police service is worth the price
Erie Times-News: Op-Ed: Kelly: Get specific about how to change D.C.
Pottstown Mercury: Op-Columnist: Clean energy highway is the road to take
Morning Call: Should schools use metal detectors?
Reading Eagle: Empty promises won’t resolve America’s energy woes
Reading Eagle: Many must be involved in downtown 20/20 plan
Express Times: Op-Ed: Threaten a judge, go to jail
Daily News: IOM editorial: No new taxes! Maybe
Inquirer: Couldn’t shred the truth
Tribune-Review: Super PACs can’t crown a king
Post-Gazette: Campus diversity: This is not the time to weaken affirmative action
Post-Gazette: Romney’s night: Victories in 2 races bring him closer to the prize
Post-Gazette: Santorum’s extreme statements divert attention from Romney’s extreme agenda
Observer-Reporter: Snowe’s departure a loss
Times-News Editorial: Mike Kelly Needs To Get Specific About Change In DC
Pottstown Mercury: Don’t blame refinery closings for higher gas prices
The Intelligencer: Monto budget “anomolies” eye-opening
Delco Daily Times: Editorial: Clouds darken as Sonoco execs bail out on long ties to borough
Citizen’s Voice: Santorum caters to the uneducated
Morning Call: Should schools use metal detectors
Politico: Save the postal service
Roll Call: Republican roller coaster ride continue
Washington Post: How I would lead the World Bank
Washington Post: To sustain Growth, China must boost freedom
NY Times: The unfinished fight over contraception
USA Today: Latest gas price spike spawns bad ideas

Blogs:
Keystone Politics: PA-15: Charlie Dent will vote against free birth control
Morning Call; Capitol Ideas: Senate Dems mark one-year anniversary of end of adultBasic
Keystone State Education Coalition: Commonwealth Court says Chester Community Charter School must disclose salaries under the Right-to-Know request
Commonwealth Foundation : Pennsylvania Businesses Face highest taxes
Commonwealth Foundation: Rent seeking: Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage musical
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Hanover reaches out to LV municipalities over Allentown tax grab
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Despite NIZ, PA a bad place to do business
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Hanover Township unveils plans for village view park
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Allentown’s friendly EIT office
Lehigh Valley Ramblings Rich or poor, every Allentown child  can have a free cell phone!
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Portland power plant’s closure means 70 fewer jobs
Keystone Politics: Gerrymandering overreach comes back to bite Republicans
Keystone Politics: Shame on Bob Casey
Keystone Politics: Charlie Dent will vote against free birth control
Keystone Politics: Elected positions are political positions
Keystone Politics: Transvaginal ultrasound news round-up
Keystone Politics: PA GOPers retreating on transvaginal ultrasound bill?

March 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Morning Buzz, Top Stories | No Comments

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