3/30 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. Tons of action in the Altmire/Critz race, which is finally living up to the hype. Lot’s of news this week from that race, mainly over Altmire’s latest TV ad.

Don’t forget to check back later for the Ups & Downs, and scroll down to see two women in politics events happening in Pa. on Saturday.

State of Play in Altmire/Critz Race: The hard-fought primary battle between two Democratic incumbent congressmen – Jason Altmire and Mark Critz – appears to be turning on a question that only a political theorist could love. In a low-turnout primary with two credible incumbents, can the one with wider name recognition and a home-field advantage (in this case, Altmire) beat out the one who has the backing of the district’s most influential interest group (Critz, with strong support from labor unions)?

Senior House Democrats & Labor Help Critz Push Back Against Altmire Ad: Several House Democrats and at least one labor union are running to the defense of Congressman Critz in the wake of Congressman Altmire’s ad which argued that Critz voted to end medicare and defended Wall Street.

Altmire Receives Plumbers and Steamfitters Endorsement: Jason Altmire has received the endorsement of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 47 in Beaver County, according to a press release issued early Thursday morning.

Poll: Smith Leads Senate Race: Tom Smith is atop the field of Republicans seeking to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, according to a poll released this morning. Smith has 25.7 percent to Sam Rohrer’s 17.9 percent, but a strong 48.2 percent of respondents are still undecided.

Kane Launches First Television Ad (Video): The spot, a thirty-second introductory ad that emphasizes Kane’s prosecutorial experience, is expected to air in most of the Commonwealth’s major media markets.

LGBT Groups Endorse in 2012 Primaries: Four of PA’s most prominent LGBT rights advocacy groups – EqualityPA, the Liberty City Democratic Club, the Steel City Stonewall Democrats and the Capital Area Stonewall Democrats – have made their endorsements in the 2012 primaries. Here’s who stood out.

Women in Politics: There are two neat events going on tomorrow. For Democrats and liberals: a women’s rally against the ultrasound bill at the Bucks County building in Levittown will feature lawmakers, women’s rights leaders, and more – including the funniest opponent of the now-defunct measure, Sen. Larry Farnese.

For Republicans and conservatives, the Luzerne GOP Women are having a breakfast on Saturday at the Genetti in Wilkes-Barre, headlined by Rick Santorum’s daughter Elizabeth. Doors open at 9:15.

Legislative Election Updates:

LGBT Endorsements: The four biggest gay rights advocacy groups in PA have made their endorsements in the 2012 primaries – too many to list below. But check ‘em out.

SD-29: Brian Rich has a friend in (the Citizens Alliance for) Pennsylvania. The conservative group rebutted a mailed by Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) or supporters which reportedly said that a company owned by Rich, his primary challenger, had been sued for a number of things including racketeering. CAP reports that the lawsuit was thrown out and the plaintiff forced to pay damages.

SD-37: The Moon GOP unanimously endorsed Rep. Mark Mustio for the seat of retiring Sen. John Pippy. “Our committee has worked with both Representative Mustio and Senator John Pippy on many issues affecting our community and although we wish Senator Pippy all the best in his retirement, Mark will be able to step in as our next senator seamlessly because of his teamwork with John over the years,” said Cathy Tress, chair of the committee.

HD-24: Here’s a dispatch about the smart move by Ed Gainey. The primary challenger to Rep. Joe Preston (D-Allegheny) accused the incumbent of forged petitions – which Preston’s camp ultimately withdrew. Yesterday, Gainey held a presser with people who allege that their names were forged. Good optics.

HD-150: Kelly Devine, the Democrat running against Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montco) is having her campaign kickoff tonight at the Appalachian Brewing Company in Collegeville at 7. Of GOP House leadership, Devine said, “Instead of focusing on the needs of the people and funding our public education system, they slashed their budgets and put the burden of tax increases on local government. They promised a return to financial stability, and instead kicked the can back to our local school boards.”

HD-182: We will single out this one race to mention the LGBT endorsements. The two biggest gay rights groups in Pa. backed challenger Brian Sims, an openly gay attorney and LGBT advocate, over incumbent Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Phila).

National:
Tribune-Review: If Santorum stays in race, Pennsylvania could spell his doom
Politico: Lawmakers split on mandate severability
ABC News: The Note: Rick Santorum, the ‘Candy Man’
Washington Post: The Fix: Rick Santorum’s ‘win or go home’ states
Washington Post: The Fix: Rick Santorum allies up Wisconsin ad buy
Boston Herald: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum urged to step aside
Huffington Post: Rick Santorum aligns himself with Scott Walker
Pennsylvania Ave: Dent and Schwartz to support bipartisan budget bill
Pennsylvania Ave: Romney to hold tele-town hall with Pennsylvania voters
Roll Call: In GOP Presidential race, Fat lady sings
Five Thirty Eight: Supreme court may be the most conservative in modern history
Washington Post: Spector’s dirty old man routine should inspire women
The Hill: Ryan’s budget passed by the House with 10 GOP defections
ProPublica: While White House easing student debt burden, Fed Contractors play hardball
USA Today: Pennsylvania is key for Santorum, but is it still home?
Slate: How to defend Obamacare

Statewide:
Capitol Ideas: Kathleen Kane is on the air in Democratic AG’s race
Capitol Ideas: Spot the campaign issue: Republicans running against healthcare reform
Patriot-News: AG Candidates Agree To Serve Full Term Before Seeking Other Office
Patriot-News: Should the Next AG Be Barred From Seeking Higher Office?
Baer Growls: A Pa. Push Against Obamacare
City Paper: Corbett cut to General Assistance could keep some women in abusive relationships
Philly Now: Pennsylvania may bar doctors from disclosing fracking dangers
Pottstown Mercury: Pa. Senate passes law banning animal gassing

Philadelphia:
CBS: Philadelphia School Reform Commission votes to close eight schools
CBS: Philadelphia lawmaker wants to tighten “resign to run” candidacy rule
CBS: Mayor Nutter addresses hospitality students, stresses graduation rate
WHYY Newsworks: Timing of property tax reassessments a matter of politics, not law
WHYY Newsworks: Could soda tax come back in Philly?
Philly Clout: Council pushes state to take action on child sexual abuse legislation
Philly Clout: Nutter staffer to head Obama voter ID education effort
Philly Clout: Board of Ethics to revise rules regarding Controller’s staff
Philly Now: Security guards rally for unionization at Love Park
Inquirer: Philly School District faces $186 million budget gap
Inquirer: John Baer: A PA push against Obamacare
Inquirer: Nearly 67 years later, soldier gets Prisoner of War Medal

SEPA:
Daily Local: West Chester U. students join Harrisburg rally
Daily Local: Demonstrators come face to face on HB1077
Delco Daily Times: Senator urges action on snakehead reports
Delco Times: ConocoPhillips extends deadline for facility sale
Delco Times: Chester mayor offers goals in “State of the City” speech
Delco Times: New talks in week-old transit police strike
Delco Times: Aston Twp. repeals law targeting sex offenders
The Intelligencer: Fitzpatrick town hall on healthcare draws tough questions
Bucks Local News: Environmental group: Delaware Rivers tops list of most polluted waterways

Pittsburgh:
Leader Times: Auditor general candidate stresses watchdog brigade
Valley News Dispatch: New Kensington police chief dead
Tribune-Review: Western Pennsylvania municipalities file suit against state over new gas laws
Tribune-Review: New judge appointed in West Penn antitrust lawsuit against UPMC
Tribune-Review: Some Pittsburgh schools marking death of Florida teenager
Tribune-Review: Former Bridgewater councilman held for trial in 1979 slaying
Tribune-Review: PUC approves cab service in Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs
Post-Gazette: Challenger calls for probe into Preston’s nominating forums
Post-Gazette: 138 arrests in McKeesport since saturation patrols began
Early Returns: Altmire attacks Critz in new campaign ad
Early Returns: RNC chair: Referendum on liberty
Early Returns: Kane up with TV ads in AG race
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Candy & bowling
Early Returns: Romney transmits info to PA voters

Southwest:
AP: MTA buying subway cars made upstate; protects jobs
Observer-Reporter: County gets new drug task force boss
Observer-Reporter: Hunter files civil rights suit against Peters police officer
Observer-Reporter: Filming company pays for day of free parking in city
Indiana Gazette: Indiana County – Land given for veterans shelter
Indiana Gazette: White Township – Supervisors seeking larger grant
Indiana Gazette: Indiana County – Drilling ordinance advanced
Somerset Daily American: Santorum’s brother uses pop culture to differentiate presidential hopefuls
Altoona Mirror: Mo Valley initiative boosts test results
WTAE: Budget crunch could force state police barracks to close
Daily Courier: Salary board reclassifies positions in Fayette

NEPA:
Citizens Voice: Health care law has local support
Citizens Voice: House committee drops mine fund transfer bill
Citizens Voice: Nanticoke officials, home-rule committee settle policy differences
Times Leader: Hopefuls disclose financial numbers
Times Leader: HHS official makes house call
Times Leader: Sterling focus for leader
Times Leader: Baker bill requires judges give reasoning for juvie placement
Times Tribune: Lackawanna County salary board OKs new positions
Times Tribune: Scranton mayor praises downtown development, accepts fiscal challenges
Times Tribune: Cremation permit fee OK’d by commissioners
Times Tribune: Scranton mayor to give annual State-of-the-City address
Times Tribune: State treasurer to announce those owed unclaimed property  via newspaper advertisement
Times News: McAdoo GOP group endorses Argall
News Item: Mayor fights woes, maintains optimism
Standard Speaker: Health insurance mandate excludes illegal immigrants
Daily Review: Marino’s pharmacy bill subject of Judiciary hearing

Lehigh Valley:
Express Times: Washington councilman says Washington Township is overcharging for police services
Express Times: Warren County  freeholders approve  2012 budget
Reading Eagle: Zoners approve variances for 5-bay garage
Reading Eagle: Council Oks new pistols  for police department
Reading Eagle: Spencer nominee’s firm owes city $45,000
Morning Call: Sludge naysayers outnumber supporters at Lower Mount Bethel event
Morning Call: Macungie police-mayor schedule dispute
Morning Call: Allentown Pa Arena sued by Hanover

South Central:
AP: Towns sue Pa. over Marcellus Shale law
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett’s counsel meets with advocacy groups to discuss state Capitol access restriction concerns
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pa. attorney general candidates agree to serving full terms before running for another office
Harrisburg Patriot News: Should the next Pennsylvania attorney general be barred from seeking higher office while serving
York Daily Record: Primary central: Everything you need to know about the April 24 primary
York Dispatch: York area lawmakers joining lawsuit to reform education funding
Go Lackawanna: Hopefuls disclose financial numbers

North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Possible cuts to human service programs worry Erie County clients, providers
Erie Times-News: U.S. Senate candidates offer views at Erie forum
Erie Times-News: Claim your refund: IRS owes more than $15,000 to Erie County residents
Campaign ‘12: U.S. Senate candidates offer views at Erie forum

Opinions:
Pocono Record: Letter to the Editor: Corbett should not support ultrasound bill
Citizens Voice: Opinion: Orie’s case necessitates sweeping reform
Citizens Voice: Letter to the Editor: State’s new gas drilling goes against PA Constitution
Citizens Voice: Letter to the Editor: Insurance for contraception reduces cost of medical care
Daily Review: Letter to the Editor: Online privacy needs protection
Tribune-Review: Health care costs: Perverted “insurance”
Tribune-Review: The Thursday wrap
Tribune-Review: Schools can do more with less – if we let them
Post-Gazette: Experience counts: Democrats should renominate Doyle for Congress
Post-Gazette: Keep foreign aid: America must maintain its role abroad
Post-Gazette: Keep in mind the Republicans’ No. 1 goal
Beaver County Times: Church defending its morals
Beaver County Times: Health care plan offers many benefits
Beaver County Times: Government should not invade private lives
Beaver County Times: Budget cuts hurtful
Observer-Reporter: Delaying reality doesn’t help kids
Observer-Reporter: Cautious optimism
Altoona Mirror: Reduce deficit spending
Harrisburg Patriot News: Corbett’s budget cuts jeopardize progress made with mental illness
Harrisburg Patriot News: Legislators shouldn’t worry with ‘Year of the Bible’
Harrisburg Patriot News: Santorum often talks before he thinks
Inquirer: Campaign cash sources matter
Daily News: That squirmy feeling… the Orie case
Pottstown Mercury: A time for peace
Courier Times: Health care is not a civil rights issue
Daily Local: Sentencing of Perzell should be a wake up call… but it’s not
Daily Local: Ten Commandments replaced by legislation

Blogs:
Young Philly Politics: Nowhere to go, more addicts on the street and a ringing irony
Keystone State Education Coalition: School board resolution asks state for more funding
Commonwealth Foundation: Change we can’t afford
Lehigh Valley Independent: News analysis fail
Lehigh Valley Independent: Lehigh GOPers reject vehicle safety grant
NEPArtisan: Susquehanna County imposes drilling fee, others to follow
NEPArtisan: Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane’s ad hits cable
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Charter flap on county ethics board
Pennsylvania Progressive: The late great commonwealth: Catching up to the Republican primary
Keystone Progress: Daily funnies: “Texas Ultrasound” comic
Keystone Politics: Plumbers and steamfitters endorse Altmire
Keystone Politics: How Harrisburg Republicans are killing the economic recovery
Keystone Politics: PA-15: LGBT groups endorse Jackson Eaton in Democratic primary
Keystone Politics: Critz launches first attack ad in PA-12 Blue Dog fight
Keystone Politics: The PA chamber’s incoherent defense of tax loopholes
Keystone Politics: Fact checking the Altmire attack ad; Pants on fire?
Keystone Politics: Why shouldn’t you be allowed to order overseas wine?
John Hanger: EPA GHG rule spotlights 1 of 3 big manipulations in Howarth study
John Hanger: State gas generation jumps 68 percent from January 2011 to to 2012
John Hanger: Wing generation rises 50 percent plus, nationally and in Pennsylvania
Jan Jarrett’s Ad Hoc Blog: Cassandra, Steven Tyler and global warming
Jan Jarrett’s Ad Hoc Blog: Cut mercury pollution so we can eat our trout
Citizens’ Call: Glenside shop owner cozies up to magnanimous mob
Citizens’ Call: Kerlin Farm would-be developer goes toe-to-toe with area residents

One thought on “3/30 Morning Buzz

  1. The CAP involvement in the 29th Senate district should have the disclaimer that Gretchen Sterns, husband of CAP’s recently departed “head”, Joe Sterns is running Brian Rich’s campaign. Bunch of hypocrites. Unbiased? Yeah Right! Leo, you guys have lost all credibility!

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