3/2 Morning Buzz

State Senator Orie’s trial is winding down. She took the stand in her own defense for the second time yesterday, and reports indicate she hasn’t helped her cause.

Hearings began for Corbett’s cabinet nominees. The school vouchers bill cleared committee. Senator Toomey gave his first speech on the Senate floor and surprise, it focused on fiscal discipline. 2012 GOP Senate contender Marc Scaringi reaches out to a conservative audience with an op-ed in the Tribune Review.

And the air wars are raging in the Philly suburb swing districts of Reps. Fitzpatrick and Meehan. Planned Parenthood, the DCCC, and pro-life Susan B. Anthony List are all trying to mobilize opponents or supporters over budget votes by these Reps and others.

PoliticsPA Reports

Sen. Toomey Takes Senate Floor for Maiden Speech and Discusses the Federal Debt Limit
Senator Pat Toomey (R) took the floor and addressed the U.S. Senate in his maiden speech with his concern over the national debt limit. The Senator’s Full Faith and Credit Act is legislation he introduced last month and offered today on the floor. The amendment would make it so that the national debt becomes the Treasury’s top priority in the event that it reaches its limit.

Dem Chairman Sees Primary Contender for Altmire
State Dem. Party Chairman Jim Burn said Altmire, a right-leaning democrat, may have a tough race in 2012. Steve Peoples of Roll Call has the story and interview with the Chairman.

DCCC Launches Next Phase of Drive to 25 Campaign; Pa. Leads With Seven Reps
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) launched the next step of its “Drive to 25” campaign last Wednesday—a paid advertising and grassroots effort that targets 50 Republican representatives from across the nation—and Pennsylvania is in the lead with seven representatives taking the heat.

Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Susan B. Anthony List, Duke it Out Over Fitzpatrick & Meehan
Who’d have thought funding for Planned Parenthood could be so contentious? Planned Parenthood and the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List have dueling radio ads in the Philly suburbs re: votes by Reps. Fitzpatrick and Meehan to defund the former.

Protesters Surprised By Invitation Into Rep. Gerlach’s District Office
Members of Clean Air Council, PennEnvironment, and the National Wildlife Foundation were protesting in front of the district office of U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-6) when they were invited to air their grievances in person to members of Gerlach’s staff.

Capitol Ideas: School Vouchers Legislation Passes State Senate Education Committee
A bill that would allow some parents to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice has cleared its first legislative hurdle, but if Tuesday’s vote by a state Senate panel was any indication, a protracted and emotional fight yet remains.

Rallies Across Pa. Held in Support of Wisconsin Union Workers, Wis. Gov. Walker
Thousands of supporters across the state joined together through the weekend, protesting efforts in Wisconsin by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate collective bargaining rights for unionized state employees. With these rallies also came counter-protesters, stressing that the governor is taking needed steps to balance the state budget.

Former State Official: Buy in Bulk, Decrease the Deficit
David Yarkin, former deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, wrote an op-ed for today’s New York Times contending that states and cities can slash their deficits by buying services and goods in mass from a single vendor.

Pa. Boroughs Move to Reduce Council Seats
As a result of dwindling populations and unavailable numbers of candidates, countless boroughs across Pennsylvania are asking themselves if a reduction in council seats is the right move for them. Many officials and borough citizens believe that lowering the number of their borough’s council seats in proportion with population, can help make government more tightly regulated and efficient.

Headlines
Fox Philadelphia: U.S. AG Holder Gets Testy About Black Panthers Case
Daily News: Phila. could lose $150M in Federal Aid If Budget Cuts Remain According to Mayor Nutter
Post-Gazette: State Sen. Orie Admits Being ‘lazy’, Using State E-mail for Campaign (h/t Early Returns)
AP: Navy moving ahead to name ship after Murtha (h/t Early Returns)
Patriot-News: Sen. Casey Calls on State, Federal Agencies to Test Pa. Water
Early Returns: Toomey’s bill shelved; Casey’s bill passes
Patriot-News: Bonusgate defendant PJ Lavelle, Ex-Veon Aid, Gets Probation Sentence
Capitol Ideas: DCED Nominee Alan Walker Headed for Senate Vote
Inquirer: Lawmakers: End time limits for child sex prosecutions
Patriot-News: State Senate panel approves Castle Doctrine expansion
Fox Philadelphia: Pa. Bill Would Block Compulsory Unionism
Early Returns: Budget Apocalypse For Film Subsidy?
Newsworks: HUD Secretary Says Auditor Will Get to Bottom of PHA Issues
Heard in City Hall: Attempt to Knock Philadelphia Councilman Frank Rizzo Off the Ballot
PhillyClout: Sam Katz Appointed To PICA Board By Gov. Corbett
Daily News: Council Eyes Bill for Paid Sick Leave
PhillyClout: GOP Straw Poll Goes Against Local Party Picks
Patriot-News: York, Lancaster Mayors Deal With Challenges Differently than Harrisburg’s Mayor Does
Patriot-News: Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray Provides ‘A Tone of Professionalism in City Hall’
Patriot-News: York Mayor Kim Bracey ‘is a builder of partnerships and relationships’
Inquirer: Nutter’s budget faces ‘triple threat’
Inquirer: Pa’s adultBasic health insurance runs out of funds, shuts down
Post-Gazette: Top Corbett aide blames Rendell for budget deficit
Times-Tribune: End of AdultBasic adds to health care strain
AP: Despite overhaul, gas wastewater still a problem
Citizens’ Voice: Threat of shutdown has government workers planning protest in region
Citizens’ Voice: Griffith to back Urban bid
Citizens’ Voice: Drilling rig to return to Columbia/Luzerne border
Citizens’ Voice: Harrisburg Democrat, Republicans talk bipartisanship
Times Leader: Toohil requests state probe into MinSec facility
Times Leader: Candidates flocking to council race
Heard in City Hall: Convention Center Chairman Defends Right to Party
ABC Philadelphia: Tony Zecca, former deputy mayor of Philadelphia under Frank Rizzo has died
Tribune-Review: Lawmakers’ hearing request angers Armstrong school directors

Opinions
Marc Scaringi, Tribune Review: Obama’s meddling in Wisconsin is an assault on taxpayers
Young Philly Politics: $500K for a superintendent: Another financial misstep by the School Reform Commission
Inquirer Editorial: PHA board must go
Patriot News Editorial: Brace yourself: more Corbett cuts are coming
The Morning Call, Paul Carpenter: Liquor, not Wisconsin, is the crux
Philadelphia Daily News Editorial: CHUTZ-PHA: Housing board won’t step down
Citizens’ Voice: Savings might be infectious
Inquirer Editorial: No way to run the government – jeers to GOP budget assault on EPA

March 2nd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook | No Comments