Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. It’s PLC weekend! Conservatives from around the state will gather in Harrisburg to hear two presidential candidates and a Governor. There is lots of news this morning – including a dozen updates on state house and senate races.
Don’t forget to check back later today for this week’s Ups & Downs!
Critz Goes All In: Mark Critz is putting his entire bankroll on the line. The Congressman has purchased $500-600K of television airtime between now and the primary. Meanwhile, Jason Altmire is buying TV at a slower pace with just $300K slated to go up by April 24th.
Rep. Payton Knocked from Ballot: State Rep. Tony Payton withdrew his name from the April 24 primary ballot, after a line-by-line challenge voided over 1,600 of his 1,854 petition signatures. He is the only incumbent Pa. lawmaker seeking re-election not to make the ballot.
Raja Embraces Race in TV Ad (With Video): “He may look just a little different. Talk with a bit of an accent, but there’s one language Raja is quite fluent in: conservatism,” a narrator says. “When it comes to conservative values, he sounds just like us.”
Romney, Santorum Coming to Lancaster: The Lancaster County GOP will be at the epicenter of the presidential contest in April. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will each speak at the party’s annual spring banquet on April 17.
Meet Manan Trivedi: The Reading area physician unveiled a 3-minute bio video this morning, featuring some of his neighbors and his adorable daughter. He’s running against Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) in the 6th district.
Pa. Congressmen React to IPAB Vote: The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal a Medicare cost-control board called for in President Obama’s health care agenda, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Casey Co-Sponsors New DISCLOSE Act: Casey announced his support of a bill that would compel donor disclosure by any organization spending more than $10,000 on electioneering – the same day as Citizens United endorsed GOP Senate hopeful Tom Smith.
Citizens Against Higher Taxes Endorses Murphy: Citizens Against Higher Taxes endorsed Rep. Tim Murphy today over Evan Feinberg.
AFSCME Endorses Critz: Rep. Mark Critz announced today that he had received the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in his primary bid against fellow incumbent Jason Altmire in the new 12th Congressional district.
Legislative Election Updates
SD-29: Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) is getting a little help from his friends. Facing a primary challenge from Brian Rich, Argall pulled in the unanimous endorsement of members of the Tamaqua Borough Council. “Senator Argall has worked hard to help our community, helping bring jobs to Tidewood Park, revitalize our downtown, improve our recreational facilities and save the Tamaqua Railroad Station and the Owl Creek Dams,” they wrote in a joint statement.
SD-37: Watch Raja’s TV ad, in which the former Allegheny Exec candidate embraces his race and his accent. He’s running against Rep. Mark Mustio and Sue Means for the seat of retiring Sen. John Pippy.
HD-24: The Trib does a quick review of the Rep. Joe Preston v. Ed Gainey matchup in the Dem primary.
HD-31: Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) threw his official kickoff party this week. “At the end of the day, people will be faced with a simple choice: someone who has a proven record of fighting for them or a rubber stamp for Tom Corbett and the huge Republican majority in the House. I am confident that given that choice, I will win their votes,” he said. He’ll face either Helen Bosley or Anne Chapman in the general.
HD-83: A judge has tossed Williamsport native Chris Bain off of the ballot in the GOP primary against Harry Rogers. Both men are vying to unseat Rep. Rick Mirabito (D-Lycoming). Bain says he will appeal, and if that fails mount a write-in campaign.
HD-92: Here are the details on the March 27 debate with the 5 GOP candidates seeking to replace Rep. Scott Perry (R-York), who is running for Congress.
HD-157: Former Rep. Paul Drucker, challenging freshman Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester) for his old seat, penned this op-ed about the Voter ID bill. “What happened to ‘jobs, jobs,jobs’?” he asks. Meanwhile, Kampf’s sponsorship of legislation to change prevailing wage rules for schools earned him a protest from 100 union carpenters at his Paoli office. This seat is one of the Dems’ top pickup opportunities in 2012.
HD-179: In a shocker, Rep. Tony Payton was knocked off the ballot Thursday. James “Scoot” Clay, a connected community activist backed by a number of ward leaders, is the only candidate in the Philly district. Though Payton may try to mount a write-in.
HD-182: Brian Sims, the attorney and LGBT activist challenging Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Phila) in the primary, says the one debate scheduled is insufficient. He wants 6 debates, one in each major neighborhood in the Center City district. In related news, [challenger] demands [3-10] debates with [incumbent].
HD-196: Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) is facing a challenge from middle school math teacher Dan Bradley – the product of a robust Tea Party scene in the county. The York Daily Record talked to both candidates.
Harrisburg Patriot News: Mitt Romney aide compares his views to an Etch A Sketch
Morning Call: Miscues costing Rick Santorum delegates
Wall Street Journal: Rendell, Pickens push for natural gas
CBS: Arlen Specter: “Santorum is too extreme”
The Daily Beast: 5 issues where Romney is farther right than Santorum
Politico: Pro-Jesus Jews paid Rick Santorum
Politico: Team Romney: Santorum is just helping Obama now
Pennsylvania Ave: Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in Lancaster
Pennsylvania Ave: Steny Hoyer in Easton for Tim Holden
Five Thirty Eight: Introducing the Romney magic numbers calculator
The Caucus: In attack mode, Santorum leaves himself open
The Caucus: The early word: Etch-a-Sketch
Washington Post: Santorum’s end game
USA Today: Louisiana GOP primary actually matters this time
AP: Lawyer seeks dismissal of charges against Sandusky
Capitol Ideas: Things government does: Corbett administration opens office to focus on reducing state spending
Capitol Ideas: PA unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 in February
Capitol Ideas: Patrick Murphy is on the air in AG’s race
Capitol Ideas: Thursday Morning Coffee: Politics isn’t a game, until it is
PA Indepdendent: PA school districts: Prevailing wages too costly
StateImpactPA: Environmental group says Delaware River is one of the nation’s most polluted
StateImpactPA: “Bill McKibben: Mr. Obama goes to cushing, OK”
StateImpactPA: “Appalachian coal fights for survival on shale boom”
StateImpactPA: EPA requests $14 million to continue fracking study
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: Marcellus driller provides water, Corbett wants to eliminate conservation fund, and Shell to drill Chinese shale
AP: Jury begins deliberation in Orie corruption case
Daily News: Contraception mandate fueling Catholic protest
Inquirer: Rebellion brews in Philly City Council against tax changes
Inquirer: Talks resume between SEPTA, transit police
Inquirer: What exactly does a town owe its taxpayers?
Inquirer: Rally to protest ‘ultrasound bill’
Inquirer: Lining up at Center City DMV – some to get voter IDs, others to protest the new law
PhillyClout: Nutter weighs in on SEPTA police strike
PhillyClout: Who’s paying for advisors to possible PGW sale?
PhillyClout: City Council backs unions in push for contracts
Phillynow.com: Nutter defends homeless feeding police on ‘Radio Times’
Phillynow.com: CeaseFire PA: Trayvon Martin-like shooting could happen here
WHYY Newsworks: What’s the right way to meet the needs of Philadelphia’s homeless?
WHYY Newsworks: Council bill challenges Nutter’s property tax plan
WHYY Newsworks: Nutter offers status report on new crime-fighting measures
WHYY Newsworks: Court date: Could the justices strike down part of the Affordable Care Act?
WHYY Newsworks: St. Martin de Porres leads the way toward independent Catholic schools in Philly
phillyburbs.com: Official: Bristol Twp. schools working to cut $12M deficit
phillyburbs.com: Cinnaminson introduces budget that will increase taxes for the average homeowner
Delco Daily Times: Residents ask Chi School Board to trim budget, tax hike
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Commissioners approve $2M contract for low income senior housing in Bensalem
Montgomery Media: Local lawmakers spar on budget issues at forum held at Colonial Elementary
Montgomery Media: Occupy Jenkintown pledges not to interfere with farmers market
Daily Local: Phoenixville School Board shaves tax hike in half
Tribune Review: Ex-Pa. speaker Perzel gets up to 5 years
Tribune Review: Orie tells prosecutor her behavior was sloppy, but legal
Tribune Review: Jury begins deliberations in Jane Orie corruption trial
Tribune Review: Preston, Gainey to vie in East End Democratic primary
Early Returns: AFSCME picks Critz
KDKA: Gov Corbett in Europe to spur PA growth
AP: DA: Orie case public corruption at its worst
Beaver County Times: Former Pa. Sen. Mellow to plead guilty April 27
Indiana Gazette: Surprise witness: I saw Orie campaign work
Indiana Gazette: Perzel given prison time
Somerset Daily American: Educators, legislators debate merits of economic furloughs
Morning Call: Niagara looks to add jobs, space in Upper Macungie
Morning Call: Lehigh County reassessment challenge deadline is Friday
Reading Eagle: Oley plans to cut teaching positions
Reading Eagle: Kutztown attorney seeks Democratic nod for state House seat
Morning Call: Steny Hoyer in Easton for Tim Holden
National Journal: Upset Alert: Holden facing deep-pocketed challenger
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Gov. Corbett to visit Chambersburg April 4
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Keystone Health will appeal commissioners’ denial of tax exempt status
Chambersburg Public Opinion: New political groups rising in Franklin County area
Carlisle Sentinel: Gov. Corbett in Germany on trade mission
Carlisle Sentinel: Two presidential candidates to be at Pa. leadership conference
Harrisburg Patriot News: Sen. Jane Orie’s lawyer blames staff for any illegal work
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg receiver Unkovic cites ‘corruption’ in debt crisis
York Daily Record: Property tax, new business important in House 196th District race
York Dispatch: Santorum, Gingrich to speak in Harrisburg Saturday
Lancaster Intelligencer: Jobs bill threatens Lancaster County’s new radio system
Patriot-News: Republican candidates for 92nd State House seat to debate next week
North by Northwest
Sharon Herald: ‘Frack water’ stolen from creek
Centre Daily Times: Obama defends handling of Keystone pipeline
Centre Daily Times: Battle brews over referendum
Centre Daily Times: Glenn O. Hawbaker fined for air quality violations
Williamsport Sun Gazette: City tossed Republican off ballot
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Jobless rate drops for area
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Election issues bedevil state’s overall integrity
Harrisburg Patriot News: It’s time for Pennsylvania to reform its debt process
Harrisburg Patriot News: Letter to the editor: Obama does possess surefire campaign strategy
York Daily Record: Our take on gas pipelines in York County
Lebanon Daily News: Big election, like spring, is in the air
Lebanon Daily News: Letter to the editor: Continuing with sensible primaries
Erie Times-News: Republicans play “Mediscare”
Erie Times-News: American voters left weary from raucous primaries
Centre Daily Times: Seeing beyond health care mandate
Tribune Review: The race for president: Baghdad Rick
Tribune Review: The Thursday wrap
Tribune Review: Political rope-a-dope
Morning Call: Atrocious anti-fracking movie “gasland” could discredit environmentalists
Morning Call: Ironically for Santorum, PA GOP primary might not matter
Morning Call: Rush Limbaugh is a victim of double standard
Reading Eagle: Groups unite to deliver more medical care in Reading
Reading Eagle: GOP pushing women back to 19th century
Inquirer: Letter to the Editor: Evidence that vouchers work
Inquirer: Letter to the Editor: Pa. voter-ID law a modern version of Jim Crow
Daily News: Editorial: More cuts, fewer library visits bode ill for turning the city around
Daily News: Letter to the Editor: Pa. treasurer’s advice to parents of college-bound kids: Save up for education
Commonwealth Foundation: Does school choice reduce crime?
Lehigh Valley Independent: What to do with dead malls?
Lehigh Valley Independent: Weak arguments for plumber licensing in Whitehall
Lehigh Valley Independent: What’s the endgame on Gracedale?
2 Political Junkies: Yea, this needs to be moved
2 Political Junkies: Romney Camps’ etch a sketch flip-flop
Keystone Politics: Corbett wants to rob conservation fund’s dedicated revenue
Keystone Politics: Is the Ryan budget going to run afoul of GOP voters?
Keystone Politics: Don’t over regulate food trucks and mobile vendors
John Hanger: Georgia power closes 3 coal/oil plants and replaces natural gas
John Hanger: Pew poll has fascinating data on fracking: 74% know nothing or little about it
Jan Jarret’s Ad Hoc Blog: Don’t believe in global warming? Just face the facts
Citizen’s Call: Chetlenham sustainability plan open house attracts considerable interest