3/28 Morning Buzz
Poll: Santorum Drops 15 Points in PA Primary: A poll released this morning by Franklin & Marshall indicates that winning the Republican primary in Pennsylvania is not a given for Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney has gained on the former Pa. Senator by a net 27 points (Santorum 30, Romney 28 in March; Santorum 45, Romney 16 in February).
Super PAC Prepares to Spend $200K Each Against Holden, Murphy: A maverick Super PAC with the sole mission of taking out incumbents of either party has set its sights on Reps. Tim Holden and Tim Murphy, and is preparing to spend around $200K in each district to defeat them in the April 24 primary.
Brady Donates to Critz: Shira Toeplitz of Roll Call reports that Rep. Bob Brady (D-Phila) gave Mark Critz $2,000 in March. He’s the first member of the Pa. delegation to dabble in the Altmire/Critz primary.
Fitzpatrick Endorses Romney… Again: Mitt Romney’s campaign rolled out another Pa. endorsement today.. sort of. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) has been on the record supporting the presidential hopeful since at least December.
Pa. Supreme Court Nixes Residency Requirement for Petition Circulators: Petition circulators do not need to live in the district where they are circulating, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled today, so long as they are Pa. residents. The Court’s decision was unanimous.
Cartwright Dings Corporate Tax Breaks in New Ads (With Video): Matt Cartwright plays economic populist in his latest television ad. In a pair of quirky, 30-second spots, the Lackawanna County attorney running for Congress against Rep. Tim Holden pokes fun at tax breaks for corporations.
Kane on TV Wednesday: Kathleen Kane will put her substantial war chest into play starting today, according to a campaign source. The former Lackawanna County prosecutor will go on the air in most parts of the state.
Josephs Ultrasound Comments Get National Play: If you think Tom Corbett’s quote was the most outrageous thing said about the ultrasound bill, you’d better close your eyes. Rep. Babette Josephs surrendered the rhetorical moral high ground to supporters of the bill in a big way on Monday, suggesting its female co-sponsors are “men with breasts.”
Legislative Election Updates
SD-29: Brian Rich, the businessman challenging Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill), released this web video this week, which zings Argall for a number of votes in Harrisburg – including the midnight pay raise.
SD-31: Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland) and GOP challenger Andrew Shaw faced off in a York debate Monday. Here’s the York Daily Record’s write up.
SD-40: Jane Orie is on her way out. A year ago when this looked likely, Republican insiders said former U.S. Rep. and Pa. Sen. Melissa Hart was the frontrunner to be her replacement. We checked back in after the Orie verdict and Hart is still the frontrunner. Confirmed by the Post-Gazette. Attorney and 2010 candidate Dan DeMarco is the Dems’ likely pick.
HD-20: Community activist Dave Schuilenburg will remain on the ballot, a Commonwealth Court judge ruled. He blamed Democratic opponent Mark Purcell for the challenge. “The challenge was formally filed by Bobby Wilson, a known supporter of Mark Purcell of Ross Township, another challenger for the seat. Purcell, a perennial candidate who has lost bids for the same post 4 times in the past, a bid for congress in 2002, & a bid for County Council in 2005, has been known for challenging petitions,” said Schuilenburg’s release. The real winner is probably Rep. Adam Ravenstahl (D-Allegheny). It’s always better for an incumbent to face two challengers than one.
HD-31: Anne Chapman is one of two Republicans dueling to take on Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) – (the other is Bucks GOP-endorsed Helen Bosley). Tuesday Chapman announced a number of local endorsements: Pennsbury School Directors, Simon Campbell, Allan Weisel, Kathleen Zawacki, Steve Kosmorsky and Chris Cridge. Lower Makefield Township Supervisor Jeff Benedetto, Newtown Township Supervisor Rob Ciervo and Upper Makefield Supervisors Bud Baldwin and Larry Breeden. The other candidate is Helen Bosley.
HD-93: Meet Rep. Ron Miller and his primary challenger, Ernie Merisotis, a trucker who also challenged Miller in 2010. The York Daily Record has the write-up.
HD-187: Meet Joseph Haas, one of two Democrats vying to unseat Rep. Gary Day (the other is Bill Bispels). Write-up by the Pa. Progressive.
Alex Roarty, National Journal: Changing Demographics of PA Republicans (from east to west) could help Santorum.
Huffington Post: Rick Santorum looks to deny Mitt Romney a win by any means
Los Angeles Times: Potty mouth Santorum shows GOP race is in a rut
The Hill: GOP lawmaker says healthcare law nothing but costly ‘broken promises’
The Hill: Focusing on foster care
Daily News: Dozens protest Pa. ultrasound bill
Pennsylvania Ave: Steve Welch television ad
Roll Call: If Lugar loses, will Indiana really be in play?
Roll Call: Keeping Watch
National Journal: Pennsylvania’s conservative shift could save Santorum
National Journal: Romney Myth-busting
Real Clear Politics: Did the EPA just kill big coal?
NY Times: Santorum fails to capture Catholic vote
USA Today: Majority in GOP want Gingrich, Paul to drop out
Morning Call: Senate candidate Steve Welch goes on air
Capitol Ideas: Even without votes planned, there’s plenty of emotion during ally against mandatory Ultrasound Bill
Capitolwire (Paywall): Norquist Resigned To Corbett Shale Tax But Warns on Transportation Plan
State House Sound Bites: County Election Directors Parse Voter ID Instructions
State House Sound Bites: Political Candidates Make Hay of Ultrasound Bill
Commonwealth Confidential: NRA Wields Clout Behind Closed Doors in Capitol
Patriot-News: Pa. Senate Education Committee Shows Its Disapproval to Gov. Corbett’s Proposed Changes to the Keystone Exam
WHYY Newsworks: Pre-abortion ultrasound bill on hold, but still campaign issue
AP: Legal tangle grows over PA capital’s debts
AP: Court ends PA election petitions’ residency rule
AP: Trial delayed for ex- PA Rep. Stetler
AP: Ultrasound bill sparks protest
Daily News: John Baer: The last of his kind? (About Rep. Todd Platts)
Daily News: Christine Flowers: Justice Patrick Murphy?
Phillynow.com: Daily Grinder: Attorney says Msgr. Lynn tried to ‘correct’ abuse problem
The Philly Post: Corbett and Christie hit the snooze on fixing the Walt Whitman bridge
ABC: Rally for Trayvon brings call for local issues
CBS: Nutter blasts Pa. lawmakers for roadblocking city gun control efforts
CBS: New head of Philly schools blames previous board for huge budget shortfalls
WHYY Newsworks: Councilwoman wants quick control of Philly’s blighted properties
WHYY Newsworks: Philly school district budget still millions in the red
City Paper: Corbett’s budget proposal would send addicts flooding onto Philly streets
Philly Clout: What did Councilman Nutter think was the best way to move to market value assessments?
Philly Weekly: Elephants in the room: 10 things I saw, heard, and learned at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference
Inquirer: 60 parents, students protest Central Bucks curriculum changes
Inquirer: Council proposals would reinvent vacant-land and tax-delinquency systems
Delco Daily Times: Group says taxes will grow PA’s ‘fiscal pie;’ economist disagrees
Pottstown Mercury: Daniel Boone forum to discuss school racism concerns
Courier Times: Bucks conservatives caravan to DC for health care hearings
Burlington County Times: Willingboro to relocate some students for 2012-13 school year
Burlington County Times: Willingboro approves $73M school budget
Burlington County Times: Medford BOE approves budget
Delco Daily Times: Gen. McChrystal visits Widener
Daily Local: West Chester school board lists negotiating goals with teachers’ union
Valley News Dispatch: New Kensington 10 Commandments rally postponed
Tribune-Review: Westinghouse principal sought after last is reassigned
Tribune-Review: Parties turn focus to filling position
Post-Gazette: Group calls on Legislature to reject NRA-related measures
Post-Gazette: Informal assessment appeals result in declines for 57 percent
Post-Gazette: EPA proposes first carbon emissions rules for new power plants
Post-Gazette: Peters Township joins opposition to state’s shale regulations
Early Returns: Romney picks up Fitzpatrick
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Wis, NYT, Welch
Early Returns: Welch campaign going on the air
Early Returns: Blast from the past to replace Orie?
Beaver County Times: Route 51 bridge work to begin Monday
Observer-Reporter: Interstate work planned
Observer-Reporter: Developers ask Peters Council for help is resolving tap-in dispute
Indiana Gazette: Engineer questions plan for scrubbers at Homer City power plant
Indiana Gazette: Drilling rigs on decline in PA, nationwide
Somerset Daily American: Conemaugh municipal authority finds another source of water loss
Altoona Daily Mirror: Water main search goes dry
Altoona Daily Mirror: More information sought before deciding on merger
Altoona Daily Mirror: Claysburg speaker: Make your own choices
Daily Courier: South Union, Dunbar coal company reach agreement
Daily Courier: Mt. Pleasant council plans quarterly meetings with authorities
Daily Courier: Connellsville attempts to stop blight
Daily Courier: Southmoreland continues gathering public input on budget
Pocono Record: Super PAC ties Holden to gas fracking support
Times Tribune: Casey urges FEMA to approve federal funds to rehire laid-off Scranton firefighters
Times Tribune: Feds oppose delay to Munchak’s surrender
Times Tribune: Clinton backs Kane, but afl-cio backs Murphy
Times Tribune: County block grant proposal faces negotiation
Times Tribune: Dunmore OKs cell tower, votes to pay volunteer firefighters
Citizens Voice: House, Senate approve juvenile justice bills
Citizens Voice: County council to vote on gas impact fee
Citizens Voice: House panel approves road repair bill
The Times Leader: Health care reform law won’t fix insurance problems: Commentary U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta
Times Leader: County controller: Outside audits to cost $13,500
Times Leader: Munchak bail request is opposed
Morning Call: Casey wants more pipeline information available to residents
Morning Call: School busing could be on chopping block in East Penn’s future
Express Times: Wind Gap councilman faces summary harassment charge
Express Times: Kevin Deely addresses Southern Lehigh School Board; officials debate whether politics OK at meetings
Reading Eagle: Budget crises in Reading School District
Reading Eagle: Reading to help Alvernia with dorm project
Reading Eagle: Muhlenberg official gets top state rec award
York Dispatch: Republican candidates for Senate, Legislature outline their agendas
York Dispatch: Stetler Bonusgate trial rescheduled
Carlisle Sentinel: Senate passes Vance’s bill honoring fallen Silver Spring officer
AP: Legal tangle grows over Pa. capital’s debts
Carlisle Sentinel: Scott Perry announces second diner tour stop
AP: Pa. mayors hit bill to limit local gun-control power
Carlisle Sentinel: Court ends Pa. election petitions’ residency rule
AP: Sen. Jane Orie’s theft conviction could mean bad news for her judge sister
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pa. Senate Education Committee shows its disapproval to Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed changes to the Keystone exams
Harrisburg Patriot News: Mayors oppose bill seen as attack on local gun safety laws in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pa. House and Senate committees to explore state police manpower concerns
York Daily Record: Some York County voters switch parties as deadline hits
York Daily Record: Two vying for 93rd House seat
York Daily Record: Republican forum gives Pat Vance, challenger Andrew Shaw a chance to spar
AP: Lawsuit: Pa. Year of the Bible resolution unlawful
Lebanon Daily News: Senators go to bat for Lebanon
Inquirer: Is federal aid being misused?
Inquirer: Voter ID bill fulfills its quest: discouraging voters
Pottstown Mercury: Black, Hispanic students: school to prison pipelines
Courier Times: Sorry, Pennsylvania… your primary won’t matter
Daily News: Editorial: Supreme Court hears case for and against Obamacare
Daily News: Letter to the Editor: Feed the homeless: It’s the right thing
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Marcus: Ryan’s budget plan doesn’t deliver
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Krauthammer: Health-care plan reckoning under way
Tribune-Review: Holder’s ID ‘case’: No case at all
Tribune-Review: For voters, tax reform means tax equality
Post-Gazette: Corporate “people” ?
Post-Gazette: Debt disaster
Post-Gazette: Santorum’s tactics seem like big pile of…
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Drilled, longwalled landscape livable
Keystone Politics: Medical Device Industry whines about smaller windfall
Keystone Politics: PA AFL-CIO endorses Critz
Keystone Politics: PA-Sen: Sam Rohrer comes out for social security privatization
Keystone Politics: Pat Toomey’s breathtaking market fundamentalism
Keystone Politics: Ken Lee receives major labor endorsement
Young Philly Politics: Homeless attack should not be ignored
Keystone State Education Coalition: Why discuss vouchers when we can’t afford to fund Pennsylvania public schools?
Commonwealth Foundation: School choice in Milwaukee increases graduation rates
Commonwealth Foundation: Union tactics killing teaching jobs, raising taxes
PA Budget and Policy Center: Citizens deliver pie to lawmakers with message to close loopholes
Lehigh Valley Independent: What influences a stadium’s impact on development?
Lehigh Valley Independent: Why to skate plaza matters
Lehigh Valley Independent: LVAR should start measuring rental vacancies
NEPArtisan: PA-17: New Cartwright ad, Lackawanna Co Democrats endorse Holden
NEPArtisan: PA-17: Holden dodges questions on his pro-fracking votes
NEPArtisan: PA AFL-CIO endorses Murphy, counters Clinton for Kane
NEPArtisan: PA-AG: Former President Clinton endorses Kathleen Kane
2 Political Junkies: Photos, video from Trayvon Martin rally in Pittsburgh
Water Cooler PA: I was wrong to question the Delaware River Port Authority
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Endorsements flying in attorney general race
Pennsylvania Progressive: Sen. Orie convicted on 14 counts
Pennsylvania Progressive: Meet Joe Haas, House District 187 candidate
Pennsylvania Progressive: Supreme Court nullifies residency requirement for petitions
Above Average Jane: Candidates in 152nd and 150th state House races launch websites
Above Average Jane: DeLissio small business tour
Keystone Progress: The Affordable Care Act works
Keystone Progress: Progressive caucus releases complete budget for all
Keystone Progress: ‘Republicans For Mandating Coverage’ calls on Supreme Court to uphold health reform
Keystone Politics: Dump Charles Plosser
Keystone Politics: What Critz and Altmire disagree about
Keystone Politics: Ken Lee receives major labor endorsement
John Hanger: Comment on NYT’s gas reporter mortgage and drilling saga
John Hanger: U.S. public opinion about nuclear power has amazing gender difference
Jan Jarrett’s Ad Hoc Blog: Pink slime and superbugs; Do you know what’s in your food?
North Pittsburgh Politics: Dave Schuilenburg stays on ballot in Pa. House district 20 race
North Pittsburgh Politics: Hart vs. Demarco for State Senate District 40